Molly Poppancakes

Breakfast, Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the top five starred in tourism infomercials to sell their very own home towns. And well, the resulting five infomercials – directed by Suzanne Paul, no less – were vastly different, verging from melancholy to masterpiece, alongside a healthy dose of manic for good measure. Spankie was delightfully demented, Kween went dark but forgot to add the humour, Bev was confusing but appeared to be having fun, Molly gave drunk chick realness and Hannah gave us pure cinema. Obviously it led to Bev and Kween landing in the bottom and TBH, I’m glad it did because they turned the best lip sync in Down Under history. And while Bev went home, after that performance, it was on a very high note!

Backstage the dolls toasted Bev’s run in the competition and shared how proud Brisbane would be, which yeah, we are. Kween meanwhile was grateful for the journey and to be able to turn the lip sync, though was not planning to do it again until the crown. Which, as usual, is foreshadowing right? Molly asked Spankie how it felt given everyone that is eliminated seems to be leaving messages telling her they are rooting for her. Which obviously made her feel damn great, admitting it means the world to her that they feel loved, while Kong admitted that she too is team Spankie given she is so lovely and helpful. But make no mistake, she also wants to win. As do Hannah and Molly who showed off their aunty moves to prove it.

The next day the top four were thrilled to be lining up for the second last challenge, while Molly was frankly shocked to have made it this far. Particularly over Minnie and Yuri, who they all agreed are each icons in their own ways. They then got a call from zaddy – and recently minted Emmy winner – Murray Bartlett who dropped some hints for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the makeover. Which was quickly confirmed by Broom when we arrived with a super fan, his father, cousin and uncle and TBH, all of them could choke me. In any event, the family would be joining each of the dolls’ drag families. With the duos decided by a game of scissors, paper, rock, with Molly first to make her choice, opting for Keelan the superfan. Kween went with cousin Tyler, Hannah opted for Tony the dad(dy), leaving Spankie with Uncle Paul.

Molly and her new sister were vibing and living their best life, with her quickly kikiing about the dolls while Kween looked on, grateful she would have someone that didn’t already have all the energy. Hannah and Tony meanwhile became the fastest of friends, learning that three of his sons are gay and that he was ready to get the biggest titties possible. Spankie then learnt that he was partnered with a fellow Palmy local, and while Paul knew they had to work hard to get Spankie to the end, sweet Spanks just wanted her to have fun. Kween meanwhile was partnered with the chillest, sweet guy and given they have similar builds and personalities, condragulations Kween, I was right about the foreshadowing. And though her partner was ready to break down some barriers, he was scared of breaking his ankle in the heels.

Which the youngens mastered – unintentional death drops be damned – while the older generation seemed to struggle. Though given Spankie almost stacked it in the walking showcase too, who actually knows what will happen. 

Ru returned to kiki with the new families, with Molly and Keelan going for a bit of sweet and sour while Molly just hoped to keep up with her new sister’s energy. Keelan opened up about how lovely his family are and damn, I want to hug Tony. Speaking of him, he and Hannah charmed the hell out of Ru who then gave Tony some tips about walking in heels. Spanks and Paul were living their slut dream and made Ru even happier than Tony, and I’m so ready for this. Kween and Tyler meanwhile were a little subdued, but damn Kween is in her element and ready to slay. And you know Tyler is going to be feeling her oats, though needed to sell everything in her eyes.

After Ru exited, Molly started to grow nervous about Kween and Tyler who were clearly coming together perfectly. Particularly since Keelan kinda-sorta hated her outfit and wanted to slut it up a little more, making Molly’s life quite hard. Spankie too was struggling to make all the alterations required to pull together Paul’s look, making her terrified about landing in the bottom again. Which was heartbreaking as she started to cry.

Elimination Day rolled around with Tyler spending the night before practising his walk, while Keelan was taking notes for where she and Molly can improve. They then received another call, this time from Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills. After that commercial, the duos split up to start getting ready with Tyler nervous about letting down Kween, leading to Kween going into Spankie territory and giving the most beautiful pep talk and well, they are totally winning. Right? Spankie and Paul meanwhile bonded over family, with Spankie admitting she moved back to Palmy when her father was given six months left to live and while he is still alive and well, he is grateful he was able to build a stronger relationship with his father. Which is essentially what Paul did for his own father, with the duo breaking down and becoming the best of friends.

And. I. Live.

Molly meanwhile was ready to give Kween the win, given Tyler looked like a woman and well, she had run out of time to get her and Keelan into drag. With Keelan then trying to pull a Spankie and Kween by giving her a pep talk.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys took their places on the panel as Kween Kong introduced Sister Kong on the Opposites Attract runway, serving angel and demon and well, Tyler SLAYED. Molly Poppinz and Kandy Flippinz were a camp delight as Kandy lived her best life. Spankie and Flash Jackzon gave pizzeria realness, now with pineapple – WHICH IS ALWAYS WELCOME ON ANY GOOD PIZZA – and they looked so cute together. Hannah and Elle Gator gave mediaeval, regal realness and were oh, so beautiful.

Kween and Sister received universal praise, particularly given how much Tyler was living for how beautiful she looked. Kween opened up about how wonderful her week was, while Tyler was proud of how much fun he had. And I assume, for doing THAT. Molly and Kandy were praised for giving sweet and sour, while Michelle couldn’t understand the narrative of their runway. Keelan opened up about how jealous she is of how good her family looks and for how much fun they were. Spankie and Flash were praised for giving sexy and having fun, though Spankie obviously had the better mug. Spankie opened up about how close she felt to Paul and ugh, I love it. Hannah and Elle were praised for their vibe and how beautiful Tony looked, while Michelle and Ru lavished praise on Tony for how much of a wonderful parent he is and ugh, of course I’m crying.

Backstage the duos toasted their success with Kealan so happy for the experience, while Tyler felt like it was a powerful, transformative experience. Everyone then lavished each other with praise, talking about how grateful they are for the experience. Hannah then started to break down, feeling like it would be her and Molly lip syncing tonight leading to everyone having a tear, desperately hoping that nobody would be eliminated instead.

Obviously Kween took out her second win of the season – Tyler is the new Wintergreen, right? – while Spankie was deemed safe, tragically leaving the self-proclaimed hobbit twins to lip sync. Just as was foreshadowed, and then expected. And while Hannah was threatening to go the park and bark route, she turned Heartbreak in This City by Steps and Michelle Visage, using every corner of the stage and hitting every lyric. And while Molly also turned it, I feel like Ru fell back on the track records and sent Hannah through to the finale, tragically eliminating the delightful Molly Poppinz.

Going out just before the final is always a bitter pill to swallow, but given Molly is such a sweet delight, she took it all in stride. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her she had a wonderful run on the competition and truly got to show how kind and funny she is. In addition to serving some killer looks. And while she was felled at the near-final hurdle, she is the perfect kind of star to go out and snatch an All Stars crown. With that, she was well and truly perked up, which is convenient, given you can’t be sad ahead of eating a big stack of Molly Poppancakes.

Before brunch became a thing, pancakes at home were well and truly my favourite weekend treat. Fluffy, pillowy discs of carby goodness, drizzled with a heaping of maple syrup, honey or lemon and sugar. Whatever your choice of topping, pancakes are always a win.

Enjoy!

Molly Poppancakes
Serves: 2 dear hobbit friends (which I can say, given I’m built like the hobbit queens).

Ingredients
1 ¾ cup milk
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
butter, for fryin’ (and servin’ too, obvi)
your fave condiments, to serve

Method
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a measuring jug and combine the dry in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk in the wet ingredients until the batter is just combined.

To fry, pop a large skillet over medium heat. Once nice and hot, add a bit of butter to the pan and spread across as it melts. Pour about ¼-½ cup of batter into the pan and cook for two minutes, or until bubbles start to form, pop and hold their shape on the top. Flip and cook for a further minute or two, or until they are cooked through. Transfer to a plate to keep warm and repeat the process until done.

Serve immediately with butter and your favourite topping, before devouring, in the triumphant melancholy only carbs can fix.


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Tarragon Chickian Vanderpuss

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the top six gave us a late-breaking rusical in honour of the iconic girls trip movies of the ‘10s. And while everyone was solid, given it is so close to the end, it was the back-up dancers showing their buns that stole the show. Well, the buns AND Vivian who absolutely devoured the performance and finally secured her first, very well-deserved victory of the season. Tragically while one half of my heart was shining, the other one faded as Irma landed in the bottom opposite Giselle. And in my opinion, was sent home solely for having the weaker track record. On paper.

Backstage Vivian was disappointed that her shining moment coincided with her bestie going home. Same, girl, same. As they read Irma’s farewell message, Fiercalicious grew annoyed that yet another queen was rooting for Vivian to take out the win before she departed. Which, obviously. As the dolls sat down, they praised Giselle for absolutely slaying the lip sync which led to Vivian realising she is now the only one to not have to do so in an adorable little humble brag. Oh and then Fiercalicious and Kimmy started shading each other, but thankfully it stopped before they stumbled into real feud territory again. I think, because these icons love to pop off.

The next day the top five were exhausted after the rusical, though ready to push through to make it through to the end. They spoke about how diverse they are as performers and how they have each brought something different to the competition, while Vivian worried what Fiercalicious would do once she developed pores. Brad dropped by to reward the dolls with some video messages from their family with Giselle’s boyfriend being super cute, while more importantly, their dog Vicky is absolutely gorgeous, as Giselle – and I – started to sob. Kimmy’s mum is a sweet, perfect angel who must be protected at all costs, Vivian’s dad is the most adorable, energetic, kind man and I live for him, while Jada’s bestie Baby Bel Bel gave her a delicious pep talk and Fiercalicious’ mum was so gentle and lovely that I just want to give her a hug.

With everyone’s hearts nice and full, Brad announced that this week they’d be going big with the challenge by throwing a Masquerade Ball. The first category would be Masc for Mascara, then they would stomp the Incog-she-to runway followed by walking in a designed outfit that is inspired by five masks. And since Vivian took out the last challenge, she got to give them to her sisters, this time matching them with ones that she thinks they will excel at.

Everyone split up to get to work on their outfits, with Fiercalicious very nervous about having to sew a look while Vivian and Giselle were thrilled to be the only sewers left. Team Glue Guns meanwhile were busy shading each other while Giselle tried to help out her sisters where she could. Which was 99% of the time. When focusing on herself however, she was planning to go big and dramatic in her look while Jada was just shocked that she was sewing. Brad returned to kiki with the dolls about their looks, with Fiercalicious confident in her workmanship (once she goes from the machine to the glue gun, obvi). Kimmy was sewing against type by giving a dramatic gown, rather than a bra and panty combo, Jada meanwhile was playing it safe with Brad cautioning that she needs to give them more while Vivian was struggling to edit down her look and to give it polish. While Giselle was reminded to focus on her own outfit first, like oxygen on a plane.

After Brad exited, Vivian put the advice to work and decided to whip up some statement pants, while Giselle ran into disaster as she tried to line her gown WITH SHEETS OF GLUE. And let’s just say, it did not like the steamer. Jada too was on the struggle bus as she discovered she hadn’t left a head hole in her gown, while Kimmy questioned her ruffle choice and instead tried to Kaos her gown with cardboard shards.

Elimination Day arrived as the dolls spoke about the importance of ball culture in educating and leading the way for the LGBTQIA+ community. It then took a very heavy turn towards consent when Kimmy opened up about how often she, and all trans women in general, are sexually assaulted. Which visibly shocked all of her sisters as they rallied around her and reiterated how strong and powerful she is and thanked her for being some open with them. And ugh, the dolls are just so damn loving and beautiful, despite how often they have brought the drama this season! 

Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined on the panel by Lesley Hampton before Giselle opened the Masc for Mascara runway giving sexy Gaultier sailor, Kimmy was a gloriously regal king, complete with nipple tassles, Fiercalicious was PERFECTION in mint with a pink beard and wig in honour of Mathieu Anderson. Vivian was a gorgeous, androgynous camp delight, while Jada looked like Cruella de Vil’s pimp boyfriend. On the Incog-she-to runway, Giselle went from school girl to glamazon showgirl, Kimmy went from anonymous profile on Grindr to club kid clown, Fiercalicious went from glamorous villager to golden Josephine Baker, Vivian went from chef to Italian vixen while Jada went from evil queen to shimmering fairy.

When it came to their Masquerade Eleganza, Giselle was stunning in a glamorous Cinderella gown – minus the unfinished hem – Kimmy was a carnival delight, Fiercalicious was stunning in a purple velvet gown, Vivian was a glamorous Sandy Olsen on the way to the ball while Jada was all drama is a stunning black gown with golden ruffles. Giselle was praised for giving three vastly different looks, despite a clunky reveal in the second category and the fact she didn’t hem such a perfectly designed look. Kimmy received universal praise for wearing pants in the first runway and looking stunning in the other looks (despite not making much sense, obvi). Fiercalicious received universal praise for knocking each and every look out of the park, Vivian was praised for the vibe she brought, despite Brooke wanting her to stop hiding behind the camp on the runway and to bring more drama in the designed look. While Jada gave us the Meatloaf treatment, aka two out of three were winners while her Incog-She-to was read for not bringing enough of a reveal.

Oh and then Brooke announced that this was the final elimination, as this year, they would be having a top four!

Backstage the dolls were gagged by Brooke’s pre-exit announcement that there is only one more week of the competition, while the hot glue girls were shocked that one of them is likely to win the challenge. Well, were shocked, until they started to bicker amongst themselves over who used less glue. Vivian meanwhile was well and truly in her feels given the judges felt she didn’t give them enough drama, while Kimmy was accepting of her designed look being read for filth, though was pissed about the rest. They one thing they could both agree on, is that neither wanted to lip sync against their sister.

Ultimately it was Fiercalicious that took out her second win of the season, while Giselle and Jada were sent to safety, leaving Kimmy and Vivian to battle for safety. Just as they expected. As soon as Ctrl, Alt, Dlt by Rev kicked off, the dolls were ready to fight. Kimmy was a full on showgirl, hitting every lyric and nailing everything. Vivian meanwhile was camp, high energy with a little bit of edge and well, it was perfect. Sadly, not perfect enough for her to make it through to the finale as Kimmy was saved and my love Vivian exited the competition.

And well, I was not happy about it. She followed the sound of my wailing screams and heaving tears to find me backstage cutting up Brooke’s wardrobe and wigs in an act of revenge for breaking my heart two weeks in a row. Vivian being a delightful cat-mom, she gently pulled me in for a hug and assured me that everything will be ok and she is happy with making it to the top five. Her calm soothing presence was enough to talk me off the edge, allowing me to pivot into the bargaining phase of grief by demanding she and Irma live out my dream for them to become the Canadian version of Trixie and Katya. Which she agreed to, but maybe that was because she was starving for some Taragon Chickian Vanderpuss.

Rich, creamy and packing a herbaceous punch, this comforting main is the perfect winter meal. The tarragon perfectly cuts through the creaminess to dance across your palate alongside the earthiness of the chicken. Just like our sweet Vivian in a rusical.

Enjoy!

PHOTO 2

Tarragon Chickian Vanderpuss
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil
4 shallots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp dried tarragon
2 chicken breasts
80ml dry vermouth
½ tsp sea salt
60ml double cream
pepper, to taste
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped

Method
Place the oil in a frying pan with a lid over medium heat and cook the shallots, garlic and dried tarragon for a couple of minutes, or until the kitchen is nice and fragrant. Push it to one side and add the chicken breasts, smooth side down and cook for five minutes or so. Flip and immediately pour over the vermouth. Allow to bubble up for a minute before sprinkling over the salt. Reduce heat to low, pop on the lid and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Bring the juices to the boil, stir in the cream and add a good whack of pepper and the fresh tarragon. 

Serve the chicken immediately on a bed of rice or mashed potato, followed by a generous drizzle of sauce and some fresh tarragon. Then devour, like the winner you should be.


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Strombombae

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls worked through a lot of their Fiercalicious related drama backstage with everyone finally ready to get along and focus on the competition. Which was perfect timing, given last week they finally took the stage to play the Snatch Game. Thankfully Giselle opted against doing Celine injustice once again, instead slaying as Marie Curie. It was a three horse race at the top of the pack, as Irma gave a pitch-perfect Marilyn Monroe and Vivian channelled the power of Jessica Chastain to delight as Tammy Faye. Ultimately though, it was Giselle’s absurd take that handed her the second win in a row. At the other end of the pack, poor Kimmy was struck by the Ariana curse, though narrowly saved herself as Lady Boom Boom was booted from the competition.

Backstage Giselle was heartbroken to lose her fellow French Canadian sister, though given she left a hilarious goodbye message, they quickly turned their focus to how she slayed the competition. While Kimmy was disappointed to have to lip sync, she was proud of herself for fighting and as such, had a fire within her to slay. Vivian meanwhile was disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the win, while Giselle was hopeful to keep her momentum going and to parlay winning the most important challenge into winning the season.

The next day the dolls were still shocked that their frontrunner was gone, which disappointed Jada given she felt she was a front runner too. Irma meanwhile was proud to have done well, though ready to get that win ASAP. While Bombae was feeling a little lost, though Giselle encouraged her to just show the judges who she is. Their kiki was interrupted by the arrival of Traci who tasked them with dragging up for family photoshoots. Vivian, Kimmy and Fiercalicious would shoot a holiday card, Bombae and Irma were giving vacation chic, while Giselle and Jada would be celebrating their growing family. Vivian was an absolute delight as they did their shoot with Kimmy a killer mess and well, I love their trio. Irma and Bombae were totally demented divorcees while Jada and Giselle were such a gorgeous couple as their third baby was born. And despite everyone slaying, it was Jada that took out victory. And well, Vivian was robbed, TBH.

Before departing, Traci announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be pulling together an eye shadow palette before filming a commercial to promote their product. The girls immediately selected their colours before splitting up to work on their campaigns. Kimmy was going to be giving all the heart, while Bombae planned to give a deluded ‘90s supermodel. Jada was planning to turn up the party, while Fiercalicious was selling fierce, obviously. And damn, she was focused on taking out the win, methodically planning her concept and selling herself to the judges. Vivian, Giselle and Irma were focused on making it funny, as the former planned to target the cat-parent market. Giselle planned to teach international swears, while Irma was selling snotty vibes. Bombae started to worry about having the wrong concept, approaching Irma and Vivian to see if her idea of desperation was good. With Irma reminding her that she is better than a ‘desperate to win’ joke and instead, she should come up with a new plan.

Vivian was first up to film her commercial, nervous as hell but no less charming. Giselle gave full ‘90s glamour and while Traci didn’t love the amount of beeping through the commercial, she was confident. Bombae’s new concept served butter chicken and tackled racism and immigration before Kimmy dropped by and lived her best life throughout the shoot, giggling at her own jokes and being generally adorbs. Irma was fluro, wild and oh so fun before Fiercalicious was focused and on brand. Oh and Jada was obviously charming as hell.

Elimination Day arrived with Giselle and Irma confident in their commercials before the girls kikied about their first time in drag. Bombae admitted her sisters dressed her up when she was a kid and felt so pretty, instantly falling in love with drag. Kimmy shared that she came out as trans at 6, with her mum raising her up and allowing her to express herself and damn, I am crying. Fiercalicious was feeling like she can help the future queens learn skills by being in the competition, while Jada got her start after a promoter suggested she compete in a bar pageant.

Brooke, Traci and Brad were joined by Mei Pang on the panel as the dolls stomped the Paint runway with Vivian slaying as a sexy work of art, painter’s palette. Irma was stunning as a paint by numbers delight, Bombae served drama in a beautiful watercolour look, Jada was gorgeous as she dedicated her look to her black beauty while Giselle was a perfect Picasso. Fierce gave camp glamour as a swinging rococo girl before Kimmy closed the show as the love child of Vivian and Bombae, and oh so sexy.

When it came to the commercials, Vivian was bonkers and energetic and well, I love everything about it. And how much she lived for it herself. While Mai suggested she adds some drama to her make-up, though beyond that, she is perfect. Along with her runway. Irma’s runway received universal praise while the judges felt her ad was a mess of concepts, despite it being fun. Bombae’s commercial was super fun, though the judges only really lived for her girly runway, feeling like her commercial was too rehearsed. Jada was praised for looking so good, which led to her breaking down as the judges heaped all the praise for what she did this week. While Traci held back tears over how much she loved it all too.

Giselle meanwhile was totally bonkers, though the judges felt she was too focused on serving funny rather than giving any content at all. Thankfully, her look was absolutely stunning and they loved it. Fiercalicious, gave the most traditional commercial and was rightly praised for how strong the end product turned out. And for how close she stuck to her brand. Add into that the perfection on the runway and well, condragulations my dear, you’re the winner of this week’s challenge. Kimmy meanwhile was adorable and oh so stupid and I love it. As did the judges, only they were confused by her look.

Backstage the dolls were all confused about who could be landing in the bottom, with everyone getting high praise for half of the week. Vivian encouraged Jada to accept the fact she is a beautiful queen, while Bombae was worried that the judges think she is terrible at make-up and is quite confident she will be lip syncing. Irma suggested Kimmy will be in the bottom too, given they hated her runway while Fierce and Kimmy were sure Irma and Giselle would be the ones joining Bombae in the bottom. Despite their perfect runways. And while everyone thinks it is between Jada and Vivian, Fierce was confident in her chances too.

Ultimately Kimmy was sent to safety before Fiercalicious found out she was right to back herself, taking out her first win of the season. That left Vivian and Jada as safe, before they were narrowly joined by Giselle. Which left Irma to face off against Bombae to Table Dancer by Keisha Chante. And while I was fully expecting Bombae to demolish, Irma put up an epic fight, giving comedy, shapes and hitting every lyric. And while Bombae was so stunning and perfect, she spent the start of the song worried about her nips popping out and well, it felt like that distraction is all that cost her, as the dolls turned a show. Though tragically, it was Bombae’s final one this season leaving Irma to fight another day.

Backstage Bombae was still pretty down on herself after the judges critiques and getting in her head before I started to channel Ru. Well, after I pulled her in for a hug. After the physical contact was down, Ru took possession of my body, reminding Bombae that all the negative thoughts running through her head were her inner-saboteur and that the judges critiques weren’t to have a go at her, but to help her explore areas that she could try something different in. You know, because drag is art and art is subjective. Once that little Boulet detour was out of the way, I pulled her in for another hug and reminded her she is perfect, will likely win an All Star season because of her talents and then fed her drive with a piping hot Strombombae.

Stromboli is one of the lesser known – at least here in Australia – Italian delights. Part pull-apart, part calzone, all deliciousness, it is the perfect, cheesy-carby snack to help cheer you up and reinvigorate your soul. Annnnnnd, now I have Beyonce in my head again.

Enjoy!

Strombombae
Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 on the reg.

Ingredients
1 ball of pizza dough per Zsa Zsa’s recipe, or store bought if you don’t have time
1 cup Amber Marinara Sauce
150g ham, sliced
150g hot salami, sliced
1-2 cups mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
a small handful basil, roughly chopped
1 egg, whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Split the dough in half and roll out each on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly the size of a 20x30cm rectangle. Spread the mariana over each rectangle, leaving a little border around the edges. Divide the meats, half the mozzarella and most of the parmesan over the top, followed by the basil. Fold in the shorter sides before rolling the dough to enclose the filling, wetting the final edge to seal the dough. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam-side down.

Brush each log with some egg, followed by some extra mozzarella and parmesan, and slash some diagonal cuts into the top with a knife. Leave to prove for about 15 minutes before transferring to the over to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Leave to rest for five minutes before devouring, ideally with a sprinkle of basil and extra marinara for dippin’.


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Chicken Slidy Boom Boom

Burgers, Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls thought they were all going to be designing runway looks based on differing boxes. However when they opened them to check out their haul, they learnt it was all a ruse and instead, they would be designing looks based on the exact same items. Somehow everyone managed to pull off different looks, with Giselle stunning in a glamorous gown, while Kaos repeated a similar look from the previous design challenge. And Jada just straight up looked a mess. As the dolls untucked, a massive blow-up occurred between Fiercalicious and pretty much everyone, leaving her hurt in a very foul mood. Giselle rightly took out her first victory, while Jada once again saved herself via the lip sync as she sent Kaos packing.

Backstage the mood was well and truly sombre, with everyone missing Koas while Jada was feeling down after having to lip sync again. Despite turning the party, obviously. While everyone congratulated her on her performance, Fiercalicious looked on sulking, leading to Bombae and Kimmy calling her out for being in her feelings. With Kimmy in particular not interested in apologising to her, instead asking her to do better. As everyone gave their two cents, Lady Boom Boom cut them off and told everyone to move on and put high school to bed. And instead, congratulated poor Giselle on her first win. With even her over the idea of being congratulated, given she was sitting in her corset for way too long.

The next day the mood was so much better, with Bombae ready to take out a win before Fiercalicious apologised to her sisters and vowed to be less reactive and open to their feelings. And challenge her energy on a win. And just like that, they were all friends again. Kimmy pointed out that there are four queens with a win, begging the question, when will the other dolls slay? Which led to Irma promising us that should they get a comedy challenge, this could be her moment. Like Snatch Game. Which is what Brooke confirmed was the upcoming challenge as soon as she dropped by. Well, after opening the bibliotheque for some reading.

Fiercalicious channelled her feelings into destroying her sisters and damn, I wasn’t expecting her to be that good at reading. Boom Boom was cute as she sweetly eviscerated the dolls, Irma was brutal and oh so good, Giselle was silly, Jada was sage and cruel, Vivian was kooky and fun, Bombae was amazing while Kimmy was aggressive and amazing. Though ultimately there could only be one winner, and that was the icon herself, Lady Boom Boom.

But more importantly, Snatch Game! As Brooke exited, the dolls split up to talk about their characters with Boom Boom going with iconic Montreal drag queen Mado. Which is what Giselle was planning to do, though given she had back-ups, she did a full Divina and gave her the outfit and opted for someone else. As Jada and Fierce caught up, we learnt that the latter and Kimmy both planned to do Ariana Grande and well, this could get messy. Wait, no, Fierce graciously took the high road without a battle. Though trust she will be pissed if it costs her the competition.

Brooke returned to check on her girls, with Bombae going with Aziz Ansari and well, yes, this could be super fun. Or a total mess. Either way, I want to see it. Jada was planning to go with Saucy, who I’ve never heard of, but they look like an icon, so work. Vivian is going into battle with Ginger Minj and Jessica Chastain by playing Tammy Faye, while Brooke was nervous about Kimmy’s take on Ariana Grande. Though once again, she was confident she would make it fun. Fiercalicious pivoted to Kourtney Kardashian and damn, please let her get into a kickdown fight on the panel. Brooke was excited to see what Lady Boom Boom would do with Mado, while Irma is finally bringing Marilyn to Snatch Game. Oh and Giselle is going to play Marie Curie or Celine Dion, and while Broke seemed into the second (despite her trauma), Marie would be iconic. So let’s hope she sticks to her guns.

Snatch Game kicked off with Bombae bringing the energy while Giselle was perfection from the very first moment, complete with a green glow from beneath the desk. Fierce had the Kardashian vibe down pat, Irma was hilarious, Vivian was the right level of manic and was so damn adorable. Jada’s Saucy was cute and fun, while Kimmy was an absolute mess. In the most entertaining way. While Boom Boom was there. There is no denying that this was Giselle’s challenge to lose though, as she dominated each and every moment – I mean, she lost teeth and hair, drew a new brow with her marker and was all around hilarious – while Irma and Vivian narrowly followed behind for supremacy. At the other end of the pack, Kimmy’s bomb was totally entertaining, while Boom Boom was kinda boring as Bombae just missed the mark.

Elimination Day arrived with Vivian feeling her oats, ready to breakthrough with a potential win. She opened up to Irma, sharing that she was embraced by a group of people at a Baptist Church growing up and that their warmth and kindness helped her become the person she is today. This led to a discussion about all of their journeys with religion, and while Vivian’s was good, Kimmy was sent to a conversion camp, as was Giselle, though somehow accidentally after a priest told her it was an artist camp. And as such, her mother pulled her out when she found out about the lie. Bombae on the flipside was taught about the queer god and goddesses of hindu culture and embraced by her family growing up, though admitted they didn’t know she does drag. With Boom Boom hilariously suggesting that might be for the best, given she hasn’t won a challenge.

Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined by the returning Sarain Fox as the dolls stomped the Periodic Table of Elements runway. Fiercalicious was an iconic club kid dominatrix as Neon, Kimmy gave prehistoric A’Whora vibes for calcium before Vivian slayed arsenic as Joker before revealing a Batman love interest in arsenic-made green. Boom Boom was avant garde for bromide, complete with liquid pumping through the architectural look. Giselle was a gorgeous goddess snitch serving gold before Jada gave pop glamour in honour of sodium and Irma was a glamorous ‘50s housewife in a yellow gown for uranium. And then Bombae stole the show as the sexiest living balloon for helium.

Jada and Fiercalicious were both sent to untuck before the judges read Kimmy for filth, despite looking like Ariana in Snatch Game. On the flipside, they lived for her runway. Vivian received wall-to-wall praise for both Snatch Game and her glamorous runway. Sweet Boom Boom was praised for giving perfect Mado in appearance, though read for giving absolutely nothing more. Though they loved her runway. They lived for everything Giselle did this week, from the demented character study, to making them laugh and looking perfect on the runway. They also adored everything Irma did in the Snatch Game and the light and shade she brought to her performance. Oh and they loved her look. Poor Bombae, meanwhile, was praised for starting strong, though read for completely losing momentum. But thankfully, they loved the runway.

Backstage Kimmy was disappointed to be in the bottom, though knew she deserved it and as such, was just ready to bring it in the lip sync. She opened up about not singing in the challenge due to it triggering her gender dysphoria, though didn’t want to bring it up and sound like she was making excuses. Which is super heartbreaking. Boom Boom too was ready to lip sync, while Bombae was disappointed to miss the mark. But was fired up to perform should she have to.

Ultimately Irma Gerd and Vivian were sent to safety as Giselle took out her second win in a row. At the other end of the pack, Bombae runway narrowly saved her as Kimmy and Boom Boom faced off to Run Away With Me by Carly Rae Jepson. And damn was it good! Both girls hit every lyric and looked so beautiful, while Kimmy stripped off and started kicking and flipping around the stage, poor Boom Boom was kinda held back by her restrictive outfit. Which is honestly the only thing that could split them, saving Kimmy and sending sweet Lady Boom Boom out of the competition.

While she was disappointed backstage, I reminded her that she followed in the tradition of her fellow non-English speaking sisters in stumbling on Snatch Game which is hardly something to be embarrassed about. I mean, ask France host Nicky Doll, it is painfully hard to be funny in another language, and as such, she was always at a disadvantage this week. Which was enough of a pep talk to cheer up the former front runner, giving us plenty of time to lol about while smashing some Chicken Slidy Boom Booms in honour of her slayage.

You know the deal, I love burgers. But sliders have an even bigger place in my heart, given they are baby versions, meaning you can eat twice as much without any guilt. Creamy slaw, chicken so crisp you could cut a tooth and the tang of pickle also doesn’t hurt making these so damn moreish.

Enjoy!

Chicken Slidy Boom Boom
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
4 shallots, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery stalk, finely sliced
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
4 boneless pieces of Farrahed Moan Chicken, cut in half
8 slider rolls
4-6 pickles, sliced
4 slices American Cheese, cut in half

Method
Combine the cabbage, shallots, carrot, celery, mayo, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl until everything is well coated. Adjust the mayo and seasoning, depending on taste.

After you’ve prepared the chicken as per Farrah’s instructions, split the sliders and pop a spoon of the slaw on the bottom, followed by the pickle, the chicken and then some cheese. Then close and repeat until they’re all done, before smashing, happily.


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Bread Palomalette

Breakfast, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sandwich, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France, ten of the best and brightest from across the country – though mainly Paris – arrived at Nicky Doll’s Werk Room ready to showcase all the best France has to offer. And while they didn’t always have the global rights to their lip sync songs, they did serve up a joyous and fun season, despite the fact we had to lose many an icon along the way. Starting with firestarting sweetheart La Kahena. She was soon followed by the camp Lova Ladiva before the sweet La Briochée exited. Kam Hugh then joined the WIN to ELIM club before Elips followed her out the door.

After an emotional lip sync, La Big Bertha was felled, before the top four had to lip sync for their place in the finale which saw Lolita Banana’s run come to an end. The top three then battled it out writing verses – in English, no less – and performing the remix on the mainstage before lip syncing for the crown. Despite all of the top three being more than worthy of taking out the crown, Nicky had not yet been given enough power by WOW for winner, winner, three chicken dinners. As such, she chose the supremely talented Paloma to take out the crown, leaving La Grande Dame and Soa De Muse as very worthy runner-ups.

And again, future All Star winners.

From the moment I saw her promo picture complete with a ship on her head, I fell in love with Paloma. And while I would travel to the ends of the earth for Soa, that does not take away from my love for Paloma.

She calmly ventured through the competition with kindness and such a gloriously chill vibe, channelling her energy into delivering killer performance after killer performance. And well and truly earning herself the crown.

As she returned to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her for such a strong, diverse run. She gave glamour, humour and heart and well, she is the perfect winner of the inaugural title. And the piping hot Bread Palomalette that goes along with it.

This little social media number I spotted back during the darker times of COVID is an absolute delight and oh so simple. Part toasted sandwich, part omelette, all joy, this one pan wonder is worthy of a winner. Or us regular folks in need of a quick, hearty breakfast.

Enjoy!

Bread Palomalette
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 shallot, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bread
2 slices American cheese

Method
Whisk the eggs and shallot together in a large bowl with a good whack of pepper and a better whack of salt.

Pop a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once gloriously foamy and covering the pan, add the egg and shallot mixture and agitate the pan to form ripples. Dip the bread in the egg, then flip it to sit close to the edge. Repeat with the other slice of bread and place next to it, on the opposite edge.

After the egg is set, flip the entire omelette and bread so the top of the bread toasts. Pop the cheese on top of each slice of bread. Fold the omelette over the cheese before flipping one slice of bread on to the other to close all the cheesy egg inside a sandwich. Flip and cook for another minute or so, or until the bread is toasted. To regal perfection.

Then devour, victoriously. 


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Soavlaki De Muse

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top three competed in an epic final challenge which involved learning languages, lip syncing, dancing and kiki-ing. In addition to stomping the runway in a gown, worthy of a crown. Aka the usual set-up. While Paloma struggled through rehearsal, she turned it out when taking the stage, embracing her charm and living her best life. Soa slayed literally any and all moment, while La Grande Dame was just so beautiful. And cool.

As has been the tradition of the season, La Grande Dame, Soa and Paloma were all fiercely talented icons. Though tragically, Nicky and Co. had to make a decision and while I already spoiled La Grande Dame as one of our runners-up, she shared the position with the owner of my heart Soa De Muse.

Despite a rocky start after her first win, there was no denying she was compelling as all hell and it was more of a situation of when rather than if she would bounce back. From giving killer, hilarious confessionals and being charming as all hell in the challenges and the Werk Room, she was well and truly the breakout star of the season.

And will make a very worthy winner of Drag Race France vs. The World.

As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and while I wanted to tell her she was the ultimate robbed goddess of the season, I couldn’t do it. Because France’s top three were all iconic talents in their own ways, which made it such a joy of a season to watch.

Instead, I reminded her that she is a star and while she didn’t leave with the crown, the season is only the beginning for her and I can’t wait for the globe to fall in love with her. Just like I have. Then I stopped myself short of calling her the second coming of Ru and simply served her a big, fat Soavlaki De Muse to show her my devotion.

You know I have a passion for sticking meat in my mouth, particularly if there is dough somehow involved. And this one is even more fun than usual. Packing a punch of garlic, you’re hit with a fresh kick of flavour that has you begging for more. Like us with Soa on our screens, you know?

Enjoy!

Soavlaki De Muse
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
⅓ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 red onions, sliced
400g Jaida Essence Halloumi, cut into large chips
6 Pita Andre Bread
⅔ cup Carole Radtzikiwill
2 cups Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1 tomato, diced
1 cup lettuce leaf

Method
Combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, cumin, chilli and paprika with a good whack of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat and onions and stir until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight.

To make the kebabs, preheat the oven to 180C. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers, trying to avoid overpacking them. Arrange the onion on a lined baking sheet before laying the skewers on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Add the haloumi in for the last 10 minutes to crisp up on the outside.

To assemble, smear the pita bread with a little bit of tzatziki, followed by the chips, tomato, lettuce, meat and finally the haloumi. Wrap into a tight cylinder and then devour greedily.


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Itejan Weddillay Soup

Main, Soup, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the rapidly expanding jury was filling up with members of the former Masu tribe as everyone started turning on each other, rather than going after their pre-merge counterparts. While Steffi and Marian were locked in with each other, their other ally Meryl was not so solid and was ready to make a move, resulting in the blindside of Steffi. That obviously led to Marian seeing red, as she spit fire on her way to aligning with Dino. After taking out immunity, Marian was nervous about Meryl skipping out on tribal council with her pass. This led to an epic planning where Dino and Co. convinced her that they needed her vote, sending Marian out of tribal council while the rest of the tribe brutally blindsided Meryl.

Back at camp Marian was thrilled that Meryl had fallen into their trap and sent her back to camp before the vote. The remaining tribe soon joined her with Shane thrilled that the move brought the tribe together, with Marian congratulating everyone for pulling it off. With Killarney still sure that it was all her plan, which obviously annoyed Phil, given he, Felix and Dino are the ones that actually put in the work. Talk turned to how well Meryl took her blindside, with everyone agreeing her positive attitude is indicative of how great the season has been.

The next day Felix woke up his tribemates with news of an upcoming reward challenge, leading to speculation about why the challenge was starting so early in the day. Begging the question, is it a tough challenge or an epic reward? Like say, the loved ones visit. This got everyone hopeful about potentially spending some time with their loved ones. Killarney opened up about the recent loss of her mother and her partner in the space of a month just before the game and while she is still struggling with her grief, she is proud of how hard she has fought despite it. And oh god, I’m crying before we even got to the challenge!

After drying my tears, the tribe caught up with Nico where they learnt they would have to race on a balanced rig to spell out the name of the season without knocking it over. With the winner getting a big schnitty reward, alongside a cheeky call with their loved one and an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. This got Marian crying, while everyone agreed that seeing their loved ones would be the biggest advantage they could ask for. With that, the challenge kicked off with Phil absolutely powering ahead with Killarney nipping at his heels. Well, until she knocked her blocks off. While Felix and Tejan closed the gap, it was all for naught as Phil quickly took out the win.

Nico obviously decided to give him a little dilemma, offering him the chance to take two people on reward with him but only if he was willing to forfeit the food and advantage. The tribe kindly all told him to play it smart and hold on to the entire reward, while Tejan clarified how using the reward invite works and if he would simply be joining Phil on the reward, rather than taking it away from him. After the assurance both of them would get to go, he played his token and headed out for a little bit of love. And a share in the advantage. As they exited, Dino started to break down over the thought of his fiance sitting at her computer, about to be told they wouldn’t be talking and ugh, it is all too sad. And that is before Killarney even started worrying about how to keep her head in the game while still mourning.

Phil and Tejan arrived at their reward, giddy to smash some food before getting their video call. Oh and the advantage for the upcoming immunity challenge. While Phil didn’t want him to get the advantage, he was glad to have Tejan there with him and to have the chance to talk about potentially aligning. Hoping to split the immunity challenges between them and make a move against Dino and Marian as the last big threats left in the game. And while Phil hated the idea of turning on his friend, he knew it would be necessary eventually.

Speaking about Dino, he and Marian were talking about the threat Tejan poses to their games with Killarney joining the fray and agreeing that an immunity run could screw everyone up. Dino opened up to us about how he wants to progress with his biggest threats – Marian, Phil and Felix or Shane. Speaking of the latter two, they were bonding and floating the idea of working together while back with Marian and Dino, she didn’t want Killarney or Tejan getting anywhere near the end with her. Shane joined them, as Marian speculated who would take her to the end if she was in the final four with Phil, Shane and Dino.

Back at reward, Phil was first up to call his family and immediately started sobbing as he saw his wife and kids. He opened up to them about how tough the game has been, though assured them that he is focused and fighting through, sticking to everything they planned before heading out. He tagged out with Tejan who truly lit up when his partner, niece and nephew popped his sweet angel dog on screen. And ugh, his partner is so cute, telling him to just focus and make it further than he did in his first season. The duo then bonded over the chance to see their family, with Tejan thrilled by how much the reward has given him. And hoping it pays dividends in the long run. In my heart, for his dog.

The next day everyone started speculating about the immunity challenge, while Marian grew focused on getting rid of Felix to bring Phil back to her loving arms. She then told Dino that Felix has been throwing his name around, while Dino told her that he in fact was throwing out her name. Felix meanwhile genuinely started throwing out Marian’s name, given it frees up Shane to align with him and take control with the goats. Felix and Tejan then floated the idea of getting rid of Marian, with Dino assuring them that getting rid of Killarney is all that she really cares about at this point.

The tribe reconnected with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would have to stand on a ledge and balance a block of wood between a beam and their heads. With Phil and Tejan getting to start the challenge five minutes after everyone else, which is an epic advantage. Before the duo even started Marian lost her focus and dropped out of the challenge. Tejan dropped as quickly as he started, before Shane dropped out of nowhere. After fifteen minutes, Killarney dropped, soon followed by Dino leaving Felix – who was shocked not to be the first out – and Phil to battle for immunity. Eventually though, the advantage proved to be too much to overcome as Felix dropped his block and handed Phil immunity yet again.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his challenge win, with Killarney growing nervous about his new found beastly ways. Marian meanwhile was worried about how close Felix and Phil were getting, catching up with Dino and Shane to talk about who they should target with Marian wanting to get rid of Felix, while Dino knew Tejan and Killarney were also a risk as the remaining goats. As Phil, Felix and Killarney went down to the beach to fish, they noticed a symbol on a rock with Phil quickly pouncing on it and jagging a clue to a hidden immunity. Though tragically, he could not find it. While he was searching, Killarney admitted that she was finally ready to trust that Felix wants to work with her. And given she allegedly orchestrated the Steffi and Meryl blindsides, she felt he was lucky to have her.

Phil gave up on his search and joined up with Marian and Dino to plan the vote ahead, with them suggesting getting rid of Felix given his final four is clearly him and the goats. Speaking of Felix, he was busy catching up with Shane, who spilled the beans about Dino and Marian coming for him. Which obviously filled him with dread. Felix and Tejan then caught up, debating how much they can trust Shane while he was wondering how he can work the information if it comes out. Shane then caught up with Tejan, talking about the impending chaos, while Phil continued to desperately hunt for his idol.

Felix caught up with Phil, with Dino soon joining them to block any chat. After Felix wandered off to hunt for the idol, Dino checked whether Phil was ok with the thought of Felix going, with him admitting that he still wants to work with him but also wanted to get the trio to the end together. Phil and Felix caught up while Dino continued the hunt for the idol, before Killarney asked permission to start hunting for the idol. She then threw Phil under the bus, sharing that he found an advantage on the beach which made Dino fearful that it meant the boys had already commenced turning on him.

The next day Dino continued to worry about his place in the game, getting up early to look for the idol in the hope that Phil hadn’t found it yet. Marian meanwhile caught up with Phil and told him that Killarney told her he found a clue and while he tried to tell her his clue told him it was at the Outpost, she knew it was a lie and quickly became wary of him. Phil finally told Dino about the clue in the hope that he could help him, with Dino sadly deciding it meant he had found the idol already. And Phil girl, you’re in danger. Well, when you next lose immunity.

Tejan and Felix meanwhile were hanging out by the shore, speculating about what was going on with the tribe with Felix growing paranoid. Though admitting he would prefer to be paranoid, rather than getting voted out. Felix and Phil caught up, with the former sure that he was the target for the rival faction and as such, they needed to lock in the vote against Tejan. Despite the fact Phil was ready to turn on Dino but 24 hours earlier. The trio then caught up, with Phil trying to bring them together and block out all the noise floating around camp in the hope of dealing with whatever else they were planning down the track. 

After splitting up, Phil finally found what he was looking for. Well, kind of, as he got another clue, directing him to look for said idol at tribal council. Sadly for him, Shane saw him find it and as such, quickly took the information back to Marian and given Phil is clearly the biggest threat, they decided that they needed to take a shot at Felix to weaken him. Marian and Dino caught up, with the former pointing out that Phil is on his way to winning the game and as his biggest threats, they need to take out the people he wants to take to the top three until they can take a shot at him. Shane filled Tejan in on the plan, who was annoyed as he wanted to take out Dino or Marian instead. After talking to Dino, Tejan approached Felix to tell him of everyone conspiring against him, seemingly unaware it could cost him the game. But since he made a fake idol, maybe he will get lucky.

At tribal council Felix admitted to feeling very nervous about the upcoming vote, while Marian said it was a very confusing day at camp as everyone came up with rival plans. Tejan admitted he was very much a target, with Felix laughing about it all being a lie, given he knows for a fact he is the target. He then spoke about wanting to take a goat to the end, while Marian and Dino started whispering about who to vote for between Tejan and Felix. Tejan admitted that he thinks he has been perceived as a goat, while Dino said that he would far prefer to eliminate the goats, Cirie style, given the goats take up a seat at final tribal council and makes it just that much harder to get to the end.

Felix said he was debating between sticking with what he knows and changing things up, while Tejan mentioned that the biggest threats need to worry because the leftovers could band together and take control. Felix continued his fight to say, reiterating that him being there the next day is best for most people’s games. Tejan then unveiled his fake idol, with everyone knowing it is fake. Felix pointed out that Tejan’s game has been to float along in the middle, so while people think they have him, they can’t trust he will stay with them. Phil whispered to Killarney to put down Tejan, while Marian confirmed with Dino that they were voting for Felix before they headed off to vote. And promptly voted Tejan out, despite him not playing his fake idol because he felt everyone had his back.

Tejan was in good spirits as he arrived at Ponderosa, despite the blindside. He knew that he was a target and while his decoys and plans didn’t come together, he was happy that he exhausted all of his options and went out swinging. While a game like Tejan’s is not over showy TV, he expertly navigated the middle and reduced his target, which carried him all the way to the top 7. And that in and of itself, is enough to justify a piping hot Itejan Weddillay Soup.

While this little number is traditionally a hybrid of cheap meats and veggies – or marriage, if you will – the resulting soup acts like a bowl of love. Warm, hearty and oh-so-soothing, it is the perfect way to cure a cold, miserable day.

Enjoy!

Itejan Weddillay Soup
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
250g pork mince
1 onion, diced
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
⅔ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste
pepper, to taste
3L chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach
1 chilli, thinly sliced (and seeds removed if you can’t handly the heat)

Method
Pop the minces, onion about ⅔ of the parsley, an egg, the garlic, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the parmesan in a large bowl with the salt and a good whack of pepper. Scrunch until well combined. Using wet hands, form into 1 tbsp sized meatballs and pop on a lined baking sheet.

Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat and once rollicking, maintain at a light boil. Gently drop in the meatballs and cook for about five minutes, or until tender and cooked. Whisk the remaining parmesan and eggs in a jug before pouring in the mixture, stirring, aiming to make thin strands of egg. Add in the spinach and chilli and cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat and stirring through the parsley and seasoning to taste.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving and devouring, with extra lashings of cheese for good measure.


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Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz

Main, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the OG Masus continued to fight it out for power, unaware that the Yontau boys appeared to be quietly playing them off against each other. After an epic reward and immunity challenge which left Dino cursed from winning the game while taking out a car, the gloves came off as Meryl, Steffi and Marian’s alliance splintered. While the latter two had rallied the troops to get rid of Meryl, she had managed to charm enough people – or scare them due to her copious amount of advantages – as the tribe narrowly blindsided Steffi from the game.

Back at camp the mood was very tense as Marian well and truly felt left out and stupid for not taking the idol when she had the chance at the Outpost. Meryl meanwhile was busy trading off the advantage to Tejan as promised, with him thrilled to split the alliance up. As he anticipated, Marian was cussing out Phil for blindsiding her before going person to person to throw Meryl under the bus by outing all of her advantages. And while it was hardly news to Felix, it definitely was to Dino as he questioned whether he should have taken the other shot at the last tribal council.

The next day Meryl was feeling a little nervous after breaking up with her original alliance and joining with the people willing to save her. Marian caught up with Dino to find out what the vote was about and whether he would be willing to work with her, rather than Meryl. With Dino admitting that Meryl’s advantages really change things, and to us, now that Marian is isolated, he felt that they have far more to offer each other moving forward. Dino then showed her the advantage and offered to hand it over to her to build trust, before him sharing that he would be so proud to see her win the season and to be the ambassador of the game, rather than a goat floating along and sneaking out a win despite not doing anything.

Tejan and Meryl meanwhile were busy bonding over being the biggest threats, agreeing that now they only really have each other. Tejan asked how she felt about Dino, Phil and Felix, with her grateful to have been saved though that she was wary given they have been aligned from the start. We then dropped by the trio, who were catching up about the state of affairs within the tribe and to quickly prove that Meryl’s trust was misplaced as they immediately locked in a plan to get rid of her next. Knowing that everyone will be willing to join them. As such, Phil and Felix would stick to her like glue while Dino would keep things casual while rallying everyone else on the plan.

Back at the shelter Shane and Marian were catching up, with the latter trying to convince him that Dino can be trusted to get them further. While Shane was still focused on getting him out ASAP, given he is the only other truly strategic player outside of Marian. Though given he is kinda volatile, Marian girl, you’re in danger. Meryl and Phil dropped by camp, where Marian continued to give her the silent treatment which started to make Meryl upset given it is clear that their friendship is over. She approached Marian and asked what was going on and why she hadn’t looked her in the eye, which Marian denied while noticing that Meryl’s facade is starting to crack and that other people have also noticed.

Killarney was busy whispering to Dino saying that she was disappointed by the Steffi blindside, but was ready to make a move on Meryl. Which obviously puzzled him, given she is a good 18 hours late. Killarney then dropped by Tejan and Shane to tell them the plan is to get rid of Meryl and trust and believe, she is the one driving it. While Shane worried who the hell he is aligned with.

The next day Marian was still nervous about the state of all the shattered alliances. Particularly since her one consistent ally, Shane, is still focused on getting rid of Dino before Meryl. Marian tried to calmly explain that Meryl is feeling comfortable right now and as such, now is the time to blindside her, while Shane was just worried about her potential naivety in trusting Dino’s lies.

We finally got a sighting of sweet, zaddy Nico as the tribe reassembled for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would start behind a locked gate and manoeuvre a key through a peg puzzle before unlocking said gate and completing a block puzzle. Dino made quick work releasing his key and started work on his block puzzle in an instant. Felix and Phil soon joined him before Meryl and Shane broke through the gate and started on the second puzzle. After releasing her key, Marian casually sauntered through the gate before casually solving the block puzzle in no time at all and won individual immunity. While Killarney remained locked behind her gate and everyone was dumbfounded how she did it some quickly.

Back at camp Marian was giddy with her newfound safety, though was nervous about the prospect of Meryl playing her tribal council pass and ruining the blindside. Though she admitted that getting rid of Tejan wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Tejan meanwhile knew that he was also on the block, catching up with Felix to assure him that there are far bigger threats to worry about than him. Meryl meanwhile was floating playing the tribal council pass to Phil, who casually reminded her that they need her as a number which lead to her suggesting they send Marian back to camp without her vote instead. She quickly caught up with Phil, Dino and Tejan to talk about the genius plan, while Dino felt very awkward about being so active against her.

Killarney meanwhile was sauntering about, worried about all the whispering, while Tejan was loving being part of the plan. Sadly for him, it wasn’t the actual plan, which made Dino worry about whether they should let him be involved. Despite the fact he is a big risk of screwing up whatever the plan is. After Meryl filled Felix in on the plan, he caught up with Phil and Dino, with all of them feeling a little bit awkward about how easily things have come together for them given it makes them think something is wrong. Oh and then Phil told Marian about the tribal council pass plan and she was so excited to see it all come together, while Meryl started contemplating playing her 50/50 coin to exhaust all her little trinkets. And presumably lessen her target.

At tribal council Tejan was feeling confident in his place in the game given Marian and Meryl are now feuding. Meryl admitted that she has been a target for some time now, while Marian was sick of her pretending to be the victim when she could have just spoken to her allies if she was concerned. Marian spoke about how happy she was to save herself by winning immunity, particularly given the duo have so much tension between them now. She continued to play up being left out and having no strategic conversations today, while Meryl admitted she didn’t really talk to anyone either.

Talk turned to blending in, with Killarney hoping to slink through rather than stick out, while Dino spoke about them needing to outlast more than anything else in the motto. Though he would also like to see someone worthy take out the title this season. Meryl spoke about playing like a goat being a proven strategy, though that there is so much time left in the game that those who are deemed a goat now, could quickly make a name for themselves. Killarney brought up the fact that everyone values different things, while Meryl opened up about thinking about the jury while Marian said you should be mindful, rather than worried.

Before they headed off to vote, Meryl stood up and played the tribal council pass to send Marian back to camp. Sadly for Meryl, Marian then bequeathed individual immunity to Shane on her way out the door which is not something anyone considered. With that the tribe finally voted and despite her initial nerves before tribal council, Meryl stood firm and held on to her 50/50 coin, which sadly became a memento, as the tribe banded together to blindside her from the game.

Thankfully she took the exit on her chin, thrilled by the excitement of it all and kinda knowing her days were numbered anyway given she was far and away the biggest threat in the game. That being said, I didn’t take it with as much grace, screaming and crying that my dream final three had broken up, with two of them exiting the game back-to-back. After sweet Meryl pulled me in for a hug, she reminded me it is just a game and she holds no ill will. Which was enough to eventually dry my eyes and whip her up a victorious batch of Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz.

There is nothing better than a fresh rice paper roll. While it works essentially with any and all ingredients you want, these little Peking duck numbers are some of my faves. Sweet, spicy and packing a herbaceous punch, they are the perfect way to eliminate post-boot pain.

Enjoy!

Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
12 rice paper rounds
80g vermicelli, soaked, drained and roughly chopped
¼ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
¾ cup coriander, roughly chopped
¾ cup mint leaves
1 lebanese cucumber, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 red capsicum, sliced
¾ bunch chives, sliced
2 peking duck breasts, sliced

Method
Start by prepping everything you need first as you’ll need to power on once you get started. Working one at a time, dip a rice paper round in a shallow bowl of warm water until soft before transferring to a dry, clean tea towel.

Place a small amount of vermicelli in the centre, followed by lettuce, coriander, mint, cucumber, carrot, capsicum and chives, before layering a few slices of duck. Roll one edge over, fold in both of the ends and continue to roll until it is sealed. Repeat until done.

Then devour, slathered in sriracha, hoisin or soy.


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Lolita Cubanana

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Sandwich, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France as the dolls edged closer to the end, they were tasked with naming a signature fragrance and starring in the commercial. So aka, French versions of Delusion by Jinkx. While Paloma, Soa and Grand Dame definitely erred closer to Jinkx, Bertha and Lolita gave off more Coco Montrese. Ultimately Paloma shone just that little bit brighter, taking out her second win of the season. Bertha and Lolita meanwhile lip synced for their lives, with Bertha showing skin and Lolita straight up shaving her head. Which proved to be the winning move, saving herself and sending Bertha out of the competition.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked by Bertha’s departure, as she willed Soa to make it to the end and jag the win in her message. Everyone gathered around to toast her performance and praised Lolita for demolishing the lip sync. The next day the dolls were once again fired up and ready to slay, as Lolita unveiled her fully shaved head. Talk turned to how Paloma killed the challenge, before everyone ran through their track records with Lolita feeling the pinch. Nicky arrived and after shading them by asking where the top four were, she gagged them by announcing that this week’s Maxi Challenge they would have to makeover one of their besties. Grand Dame, Soa and Paloma would be making over their female besties, while Lolita got her best friend slash fellow dancer that looked like his twin.

Everyone split up to kiki with Nicky hanging out with Grand Dame and her friend, who we learnt is a make-up artist and well, they are going to be good. Soa and Jackie would be going with matching energies, Paolma and Camelia were going to go with a vintage theatre look. Which made Nicky nervous, given it sounds so simple.

With Nicky exiting stage left, the dolls started to get their new sisters prepped, with Lolita nervous about her friend walking in heels. But once he got them on, he was living his best life and ready to shine. Paloma’s friend meanwhile, was not as confident given she never wears heels. Soa obviously delighted the other girls, talking about drag being all about personality and to not fear their debuts. Antonio then pivoted and grew nervous about his drag birth, though was focused on making his wife and daughter proud, and to get Lolita to the top. Paloma and Soa then asked if he was going to be tucked and well, that definitely made him nervous. Camelia looked delighted with her Paloma mug, while Kiki lived for Soa’s warrior mug and Antonio was gagged by how beautiful she looked.

Nicky, Daphne and Kiddy were joined by Raya Martigny et Loic Prigent on the panel as Paloma introduced Columbina and well, they were living their best lives giving vintage theatre camp. Lolita and Paquita were delightfully vibrant Mexicanas, with confetti, synchronised dancing and gags and well, I live for them. Soa and Kiki were so good, giving harpy chic and all the drama. While La Grand and Ma Petite Dame were silly and delightful as living dolls and well, to quote Trinity, I LIVE.

Paloma received universal praise for her Irma Vep inspired runway with her only critique being that she was so focused on making sure her new sister was doing ok. And Kiddy being triggered by the matching outfits. Columbina opened up about how proud of her friend she is and well, it was so sweet to watch. Lolita’s friend also gushed about how proud he was of his friend, with them receiving universal praise for the look, despite it erring on the side of gimmicky. Soa opened up about how proud she is to have made it so close to the end, while the judges lived for the theatricality and heart of their runway. Despite it not screaming drag. While La Grand and Ma Petite were beloved for liberating Barbie and looking a million bucks and giving big Paris and Nicole vibes.

Backstage the dolls welcomed their new sisters to the family, with everyone grateful to have a reminder from home to calm their nerves. Talk turned to their fallen sisters, with Soa praising all of them for making it such a fun season. Talk turned to who would be in the bottom with everyone releasing that all the critiques were on the same level and as such, something may be up.

Ultimately there was no winner this week, nor bottoms, as everyone would be competing in a lip sync Lalaparuza to make it to the end. With the winners of the first round of lip syncs jagging a little gift – a new outfit – while the second round would send someone home. First up were Lolita and Soa to Dieu m’a donné la foi. And well, it was an absolute battle as both of the girls came to flight. Soa made the most of her feathers while Lolita revealed a bejewelled bodysuit and a little banana to snack on. Lolita gave acrobatics and attitude, while Soa was in the pocket from start to finish, giving comedy and being an all around star and well, it was only right she made it through to the finale. Particularly since she had her cakes out.

Paloma and La Grande Dame took their place on the stage to lip sync to Le Banana Split, which was a missed op for Lolita, if you ask me. Both the dolls were energetic and having the best time, using every corner of the stage but TBH, I couldn’t take my eyes off Paloma. Botched split be damned. Which rightly earned her a spot in the finale alongside Soa. Oh and a new outfit.

Lolita joined La Grande Dame – well, after an outfit change – to lip sync for the last spot in the finale to La Grenade and well, I’m most shocked about the fact they could afford the rights to three songs in a single episode. While Lolita was brimming with power and fight, La Grande Dame gave glamour and all the attitude. It turned out to be a tight lip sync, but when Grande Dame started giving sass to Lolita, it was clear that she had booked her spot in the finale as poor Lolita was eliminated in fourth place.

Despite falling so close to the end, Lolita rightly felt proud of herself for making it to the top four. Particularly given how strong the season has been. As she rounded the corner to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a hug and thanked her for bringing so much joy and energy to the season. While at times she felt like an outsider, her bravery in sharing those feelings and building relationships with her sisters was truly beautiful. And well, very deserving of a big, fat Lolita Cubanana.

Do you really need multiple versions of pork on the same sandwich? No. But do I find that question offensive and stupid? You betcha, because a cuban is damn near perfect – from the ham to the roast pork, mingling with the nuttiness of the cheese and the tang of the pickles, this is heaven on bread.

Enjoy!

Lolita Cubanana
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices sourdough
1 tbsp American mustard
4-6 slices leg ham
4-6 slices roast pork
6 slices Swiss cheese
3 pickles, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter

Method
Spread the bread with mustard before piling the ham, pork, cheese and pickles on two of the slices. Use the empty slices to close the sandwich and butter the top.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and once hot, place the sandwiches buttered side down. Spread the butter on top of the remaining butter. Once the sandie is nice and golden, flip and cook for another couple of minutes, or until it is also nice and golden.

Then devour, victoriously. Despite being eliminated just before the end.


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Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink

Main, Poultry, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa with Toni out of the way both factions within the tribe weren’t sure how to proceed or take control. While the OG Yontau tribe were still focused on getting rid of Dante, the fractured OG Masu group weren’t sure whether to band with them or take out Dino. After Meryl won immunity and ventured off to the Outpost, she scored another advantage for the small cost of her vote at the upcoming tribal council. Which thankfully proved to be unnecessary anyway, as the tribe banded together to eliminate all of their threat, Dante. My Speedo King.

The next day things were rather zen at camp with Felix disappointed to have lost his friend though he knew that he needed to adapt and move on, should he want to make it to the end. Marian meanwhile pledged her ongoing friendship with Dante. Talk turned to Tejan highlighting the Steffi, Meryl and Marian faction, with Dino pointing out it was hardly new information to anyone. Killarney approached Shane about splitting up the trio, suggesting Steffi needs to be the next one to go while Shane cautioned her that it is actually Meryl pulling the strings and as such, she needs to be their focus.

Speaking of Meryl, she was busy catching up with Phil and floating the idea of working together while Phil jokingly called her the kingpin. Which you just know is dangerous for her in the long run and oh god, don’t take out my queen Meryl!

The tribe reconvened with zaddy Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would first spin a ball in a hoop while traversing a balance beam with the last six standing moving on to a table maze. With the last one standing, getting one of their holes plugged. Then the first three to finish that, would move on to an upright maze with the first to navigate three balls to the top winning immunity and a brand new car, test drive and picnic. So immunity, but zero shot at winning the game. Just like Kass, I guess. Felix dropped almost instantly, followed by Marian and Steffi leaving the rest to move on to the table maze. Shane, Killarney, Meryl and Tejan all dropped, leaving Dino and Phil to battle for the advantage on the table maze. Which wasn’t much of a battle, as Dino just as quickly jagged the advantage.

When it came to the second round, Tejan quickly booked his place on the upright maze, soon joined by Dino and Meryl. While they all kept getting close to the end, they kept dropping until Tejan landed two balls in quick succession with Dino nipping at his heels. Mere centimetres from immunity and the car, Tejan dropped his third ball, giving Dino enough time to calmly work his final ball up the wall to score himself immunity and reward. Though again, he just cursed his game. Before Nico even offered Dino a chance to invite anyone to join him on the picnic, Tejan started begging Dino to take him given he was so close. Sadly for him, he instead invited Phil, Steffi and Meryl as they all gave up on the chance to eat last episode. After already missing out on food at the merge.

Oh and the five left behind would get the chance to draw rocks for a trip to the Outpost. Which was promptly won by Marian. Leaving Tejan feeling even more enraged to have missed out, given he is guaranteed nothing.

Back at camp Tejan was disappointed to have just narrowly missed out on victory, with Marian quickly growing annoyed with his sense of entitlement. Particularly since he is a challenge beast and being hungry only makes him easier to beat. While Killarney tried to distract him and perk him up with some illegal rice, Felix and Marian went to the well to discuss who should be the next target at tribal council with Marian suggesting Meryl is the most dangerous person left in the game. Tejan joined them to get to work on making the aforementioned rice, which annoyed them both though Felix wisley cautioned her from saying anything, given it only paints a target on Tejan’s back. 

We ventured off to reward where Dino explained to us that he took Steffi on reward as it means she can not forge new alliances and is unable to go to the Outpost. While the four of them suggested getting rid of Tejan next, Meryl knew that both of her alliances are close to death and as such, she needs to make a strike on Steffi and Marian before they go after her.

Returning to camp, Killarney was smashing rice while Tejan joined the other two in refusing to eat and as such, she promptly threw him under the bus when the victors returned to camp. He came back where Killarney confronted him in front of everyone before they all left to avoid the drama. When it was just the two of them, she told him how disappointed she felt to have been left out to dry. Oh and then he snuck a spoon of rice and hid in the jungle to eat it.

Steffi meanwhile was busy catching up with Felix, floating getting rid of Meryl first followed by Dino and while he was safe in her pecking order, her confidence made him more nervous about her. As such, he approached Phil about getting rid of Steffi instead, given she appears to have more power and is far more dangerous, should she make it to the top eight. While Phil realised Steffi was still a threat, he was concerned about which decision would be best at setting up his end game. Felix next approached Dino, telling him that he is the next one to go in Steffi’s head and just like that, he was on board to blindside her instead.

At the Outpost, Marian was given the choice between rice and a clue to a hidden immunity idol and despite not feeling confident in her choice, she felt a single idol wouldn’t be what wins her the game and instead, took rice back to camp given they were all starving. Upon her return, she told everyone she was given the choice between a dessert buffet and a bag of rice, before getting the rice out and sulking. With Meryl pulling her in for a hug, while Phil was shocked that Marian could be so close with Meryl while simultaneously plotting her demise. After Meryl disappeared, Marian confirmed they were still blindsiding her with Phil lying and saying nothing had changed. And then realised he needs to start coming up with a way to repair that relationship after getting rid of Steffi.

Steffi and Marian caught up by the well with Marian telling her the truth about the Outpost with Steffi reassuring her that she has her back and to not worry about losing out on an idol. Sadly for them, Felix was continuing to work the Steffi vote, telling Meryl that she and Marian are targeting her and as such, she should join them in taking out Steffi instead. Knowing they still need one more vote to get it done, Meryl then promised Tejan her reward steal advantage should he vote with her and just like that, shit is about to get real.

At tribal council Meryl spoke about blindsides occuring due to everyone having killer poker faces, while Marian agreed that everyone is playing a very strong game. Steffi opened up about the fact that just because she has a plan, doesn’t mean that nobody else has a different plan and that hers may be the wrong one. Shane said it all comes down to blind faith, while Tejan was confused about the prospect of the Meryl, Steffi and Marian trio breaking up with Steffi adding they all just need to stick with the plan. Meryl said that promises aren’t really her thing in the game, not wanting to write cheques she can’t cash before Steffi spoke about driving or piloting and confusing everyone. Tejan felt like he wasn’t sure what was happening at tribal council, while everyone else gave the vibe they were in on the plan.

With that the tribe voted and it turns out that Steffi and Marian were not in on the right plan – or driving the car, before flying the plane to the destination – as Steffi was narrowly booted from the game. And while Steffi was obviously gutted to be voted out with an idol in her pocket, she quickly perked up upon seeing me at Ponderosa. While I wasn’t a massive fan during her first season, Steffi’s second run was far more enjoyable as the edit allowed us to see more of her kind heart. And as such, I was thrilled to cheer her up with some comfort in the form of a Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink.

There is something so nostalgic and warming about a chicken parcel. Maybe due to the fact they were a big bloody deal back in the ‘90s. Crunchy pastry, moist chicken and a glorious hot, creamy filling? That sounds like a nice way to spend the evening to me.

Enjoy!

Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 leek, sliced
250g frozen spinach
200g Danish feta, mashed
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
¼ cup unsalted butter

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and saute the leek on medium for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach and cook until defrosted and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Once chill, add the cheeses, egg and lemon zest to the leek and spinach and stir until well combined.

To assemble, lay the flattened breasts out and spoon over a quarter of the cheesy filling. Season with salt and pepper and fold the breast over to enclose the filling, like a big, meaty cigar.

Place two filo sheets on a clean surface and place a piece of chicken in the centre of one end. Roll the pastry over to cover, fold in each end and then wrap the rest of the sheet up. Repeat the process until you have four parcels.

Brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crisp. Oh and cooked through.


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