Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champion girls were riding high after blindsiding David, with JaQueen pointing out that they need to get rid of one more Contender to solidify their game. Daisy found a second idol and was hopeful it would be able to turn things around for her, though sadly found it in front of Luke and Pia. As the Champs plotted who to vote against at tribal council, Luke and Pia spilled the beans about the idol and gave the Champs an upper hand in the latest head-to-head battle. Despite Daisy trying to play it cool, JaQueen scared her into playing the idol for herself, which didn’t help to save her as the Champions banded together to take out my king, John who was booted by the rest of the tribe.

Fully clothed.

The next day JaQueen and Baden were bantering over the fire, with Baden happily hacking at a coconut and proud that he has learnt to communicate with others. He haphazardly tried to slice breakfast, almost becoming a double amputee in the process, which further endeared him to his tribemates. I mean, the hilarity almost killed Pia who is killing the game and honestly, that is his best plan ATM. Otherwise, he is not winning.

Later that day JaQueen was riding high from John’s boot, given it means that the Champion majority has without a doubt taken control. And as such, she was feeling confident and planned to push her allies to get rid of another Contender next. Speaking of the Contenders Daisy and Harry were sitting by the shore heartbroken about their predicament, though shocked about how close everyone had gotten. Daisy was rightly feeling stupid about misplaying a second idol, before hunting for a third idol to keep herself safe, her allies be damned. She and Harry went searching, desperately, followed by Luke and Simon who were tasked with keeping an eye on them, Daisy started to get strategic, pointing out that Luke told everyone about her idol and that some told her it happened. While it was fake, that made Luke and Simon feel very anxious about their place in the tribe, immediately blaming Pia and vowing to get their own form of revenge.

Before Luke could take a shot at the one true Queen of Australian Survivor, Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge where everyone was split into duos to do an upright version of Twister. It was for an overnight spa getaway, so everyone was shitting their pants at the thought of winning. Pia and Daisy found themselves as one pair, Luke and Baden another, Abbey and Harry together versus JaQueen and Simon. One person was responsible to remove the even numbered pegs, while the other had the odds with everyone surviving the first round before Luke almost gave Baden a wristy and flooded my basement. While that didn’t happen, he did reach around before Harry fell from the wall and eliminated himself and Abbey. Everyone survived the next few rounds while Luke and Baden plotted about how they will survive the next few rounds of votes in the niche they’ve created in the middle … while JaQueen’s bush-feet dominated. Out of nowhere Baden fell out, while his father Luke tried to keep his spirits up. The remaining pairs kept a dominant pace before Pia slid off, handing Simon and JaQueen the win. Jonthan then gave them the chance to invite another duo to share the reward, with JaQueen rightly sharing the spa to their runners-up.

At the spa the victors were shocked by how opulent the reward was, despite the fact the weather was miserable and Simon like JaQueen believes that it is palm frong, not frond. Daisy was the most hopeful, feeling like Luke being left back at camp is the best chance for her to make a dent at the Champions numbers with JaQueen. Speaking of JaQueen, she was wise and asked everyone to go through the remaining castaways and list their pros and cons, pointing out why Harry and Luke are dangerous, with nobody able to point how dangerous she is. Simon then shared that Luke was annoyed that Pia allegedly told everyone that he knew about Daisy’s idol, filling her with nerves and unsure who to trust moving forward. Simon then doubled down and pointed out that Luke needs to go ASAP, with Daisy jumping on board and sharing it is her best chance to survive.

Back at camp Luke was feeling salty about Daisy’s lie, pulling Abbey aside and sharing that that intel made its way back to the Contenders. Knowing he would be screwed if he sticks with the Champs, Luke pulled Harry and Baden aside to find out who was spilling the tea and low-key, how does he orchestrate a blindside with them. Harry knew what he was trying, so lied that Pia is the one that shared the idol intel. Harry and Baden made quick work of pulling him in, identifying JaQueen and Pia as the biggest threats before the trio plotted to get the rest to split the votes, while the three of them band together to take someone out. Someone named JaQueen.

Everyone reconveened for the immunity challenge where they would each have to do a bicep curl to hold a ball, with the last one standing without their ball on the floor, snatching immunity. As they speculated who would win, Baden dropped his ball and pretend to be shocked. Though I feel like he meant to drop. Harry almost drop is, before Daisy’s fell out of nowhere while JaQueen threw some casual shade. Like the icon she is.Out of nowhere Pia dropped, followed closely by Harry, who should have been the first to go. Abbey was the next to go, thanks to a former broken wrist while JaQueen, Simon and Luke battled into their second hour. JaQueen then felt a spider on her knee, requesting that Baden remove it for her. Baden being an icon chose to ignore her request, leading to Daisy getting up to help as Luke eliminated himself. JaQueen and Simon battled out with the former desperately trying to get Simon to drop and give her a win.Harry used this to his advantage, telling Simon that he would drop if her felt safe which backfired, led Simon to barter for a reward – should JaQueen win one – and hand JaQueen a well earned victory.

Back at camp Harry was feeling super nervous, given his number one target had immunity. This made him feel super salty and since he couldn’t get rid of her, he was hopeful that Daisy would have formulated a plan at the reward. She joined with Baden and Harry to point out that they were all planning on voting out Luke at their next chance, and while they like Luke, they were just hopeful it would be enough to save them. Meanwhile JaQueen was nervous about Simon wanting to get rid of Luke and since Daisy was on board with his plan, JaQueen wanted her gone as she could predict everyone else’s moves.

Simon and JaQueen went for a wander into the jungle to lock in the plan to take out Daisy and while Simone didn’t want to, JaQueen barrelled through and told him that they would take her out and tell her that Harry would be going. Daisy stumbled on the scene and while they tried to lie and tell her Harry would be going, she knew it was a lie. With that, she approached Luke and floated the idea of getting rid of Pia and him joining the Contenders.

Pia too was feeling nervous, worried about Daisy’s lie ruining her relationship with Luke slash the game. With that she approached Luke to clear the air, and pledge their undying allegiance. The entire Champion alliance then got together to lock in the Daisy vote, though Luke’s growing nervousness started to make JaQueen anxious and hot damn, we have a vote coming. Baden and Luke then caught up with JaQueen, Pia and Simon watching on and let’s just say Alibrandi was only looking for a reason to flip the vote, convincing the other two to get rid of Luke to guarantee their numbers.

At tribal council Luke acknowledged that the post reward divide could have impacted the game, given half the tribe were left out feeling like shit. Pia admitted it was pretty sweet, while Daisy was hopeful after making friends in the jacuzzi. She continued to push that the spa crew formulated a plan, hopeful that they could pull in one other for a blindside. Luke said that making a plan and missing is very dangerous before JaQueen jumped in and CEO’d to say that the reward plan was just misdirection, while Daisy sharing that it was a lie and they were planning. She then spoke about mopping and flopping, before Janine double down on saving her allies.

Pia joined the fray, assuring everyone that everyone was at least floating everyone else’s name and TBH they all agree with the plans, whether they intend to follow through or not. Harry thought that was bullshit, Luke was nervous, Abbey continued to espouse loyalty, Daisy was nervous and Janine wanted everyone to stay solid. Then Jonathan dropped the bombshell that they would not actually be voting someone out of the game and instead, the person would be sent to exile beach to await the next person to be booted from the game before they battle it out for a chance to return. With that the tribe voted and Daisy found herself sent to exile, filled with nerves about what she was going to face while awaiting her next opponent.

The next day we did a welfare check of Daisy on Exile Beach and honestly it looked pretty desolate and I would have been absolutely terrified. She then kind of broke down from loneliness, despite being grateful to still be in the game. To make it worse the rain started to bucket down which is usually her favourite thing. But then she lit a fire, steeled herself and vowed to not just return but win the game.

We dropped by camp where the tribe were busy doing chores and running errands, while Pia, JaQueen and Abbey joked about the lack of Instagram with their lives and whether they are actually in Fiji if they can’t prove it. Pia spoke about how strong their alliance is, though knew that she will have to channel her inner Joe Pesci in Goodfellas ASAP and start whacking people. Speaking of people that need to be whacked, we checked in with Harry who was nervous about joining Daisy on Exile and tried to find a way to send literally anyone else. He was hopeful that his chats with Luke are the key to fracturing the dominant Champion tribe, so rallied Baden to join him and try to fracture the alliance. And send his nemesis JaQueen to Exile … and out of the game.

Harry approached Luke and played into his nerves, explaining that as soon as they can, his allies will blindside him. He admitted that he has more trust in Harry at this point in time, and was keen to flip things up and make a move. They then laughed about JaQueen and Daisy spending time alone on Exile, given JaQueen was tiring of Daisy. Harry then approached Abbey to see what she is thinking, before pointing out why it is the stupidest move for her. This started to make her nervous, realising that riding coattails will not pay off in the end and hot damn, may she actually flip on her closest allies? Again.

Don’t tell Nova.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would lay on a steep ramp above the water, holding on to a pole. With the last one left hanging winning immunity. Almost immediately Baden dropped into the water – with a joyous weeeeee – before quickly being joined by Janine. Everyone else made it to 30 minutes before Harry couldn’t hold out anymore. Jonathan clearly grew bored, so after 45 minutes he forced everyone down to just one arm which made quick work of Abbey. After 90 minutes – which is honestly insane – Simon and Luke dropped one after the other, handing Pia her first individual immunity win. Which is just as ridiculously amazing as you would expect.

Back at camp Pia was relishing in her role as a challenge beast, thankful that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. Janine too was thrilled that Pia won immunity, as that meant they can power ahead with their plans and send Baden to exile to eliminate Daisy once and for all. She rallied her fellow Champs and told them that they have the numbers to split the vote and not worry, which made Abbey more sure that making a move against her was a good idea. Well when she wasn’t riddled with fear about Janine coming back to the game and destroying her. Abbey approached Harry and Baden to float flipping the vote to Simon, given the girls will be more forgiving of that deception. While Harry admitted that he would prefer JaQueen out of the game, he straight up didn’t mind so approached Luke to see whether he would be ok with voting out Simon. And you know he was.

Abbey approached Pia and JaQueen to do some yoga and allow JaQueen to continue the push to get rid of Baden. Getting nervous about Abbey’s movements, Harry approached JaQueen and Abbey to talk about the dwindling time remaining in the game and as such, the need to start locking in the right path to the end.

At tribal council Pia continued to be thrilled about her immunity win, particularly since it means that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. JaQueen spoke about the complexity of the vote ahead, assuming that should a Champ get booted and come back, they will be furious, almost talking directly into Abbey’s soul. Baden spoke about being nervous before Harry pushed hard for the Champions to finally make a move and take control of the game. Simon admitted that Harry’s pitch sounds good, though planned to stay solid. JaQueen agreed that she didn’t see anyone budging, before Harry said that they have the luxury of not feeling nervous. JaQueen then grew sassy and pointed out that the Contenders only have themselves to blame. Abbey tried to play coy, Simon admitted that somebody strong needs to face off against Daisy, with Luke, Pia and Abbey all agreeing that they fear an angry Daisy returning to the game.

Luke was confident that he was in on the real plan, Simon said that he was feeling confident while Abbey crushed Baden and Harry’s spirits, saying that the numbers speak for themselves. JaQueen mentioned the vote won’t really impact the tribe, and that the main concern it what happens the next day. With that the tribe voted, Abbey and Luke flipped to the Contenders and Simon found himself heading to Exile.

After randomly voting for Abbey.

Later that night Daisy was shocked to be joined by Simon, who was well and truly shocked himself. They caught up and Simon filled him in on Harry, Luke and Baden flipping the script, while Daisy silently started to panic about facing off against a former athlete in the upcoming duel.

The next day Daisy awoke and put her game face on, while Simon spoke about how difficult Exile was despite not having to spend any time there alone. My boy Jonathan and the remaining tribe waited for them to arrive at the duel, with Daisy talking about how difficult it actually was to be by herself for a couple of days while Jonathan threw some casual shade at Luke and Harry. Jonathan then told the duo that their battle would see them guiding ten discs through a suspended maze and balance them on top with the first person to build their tower returning to the game and the loser out for good. Simon got out to an early lead while Daisy took a slow and steady approach. Simon then dropped a disc, allowing Daisy to take a slight lead before she dropped a disc and handed the lead back to him. Just. They stayed neck and neck for much of the challenge before they both dropped on their eighth disc, leaving them both to start over. Since Daisy dropped first, she had a small lead on the second build however dropped at the last minute, allowing Simon to snatch victory and return to the game.

Daisy was pretty gutted to lose the challenge at the very last moment, but was thrilled to finally be in the arms of a warm, loving fellow Queenslander like me. Not wanting to kick her while she is down, I avoided pointing out that the wasted two idols which could have really helped her game, so instead served her a big ol’ Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad to perk her up.

 

 

I know, I know, you don’t make friends with salad. But when they taste this good, you can surely make an exception. The sweet, sticky dates work perfectly with the creamy cheese and earthy walnuts to make this salad something really special.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad
Serves: 4, or one broken exiled castaway and her besto.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp seeded mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
250g baby spinach or swiss chard, sliced
½ cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
6 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced thin
1 pear, cored and sliced
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese

Method
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and a good whack of salt and pepper in a jug and whisk well to combine.

To make the salad, toss the dressing through the shard – or spinach – until everything is nicely coated. Add the remaining ingredients, toss again and serve immediately.

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Alicia Caraway Meatballs

Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: The Australian Outback, Tapas

Get your flagging finger ready and sidle up to my face because Survivor: Island of the Idols is back in less than four weeks and my girl Alicia Calaway is finally making her triumphant debut on this here anthropological study.

I’ve known Alicia for years after training as personal trainers together in NYC and when Probst was casting Australian Outback, I knew she would be a perfect fit. While her epic finger-waving fight with Kimmi made our friendship difficult for a couple of years, we eventually buried the hatchet as I aggressively tried to help pre-game for All Stars.

While Alicia’s most famous moves in the game are the aforementioned fight and providing a break to the Mogo Mogo pagoning in All Stars, she also holds the joint distinction of being the first person to vote for the winner of two seasons.

Given she has a history with Rob, I thought it would be entertaining to bring her over to celebrate his return with Sandra to pal around Gilligan’s Island style. Though tragically, they had moved on from their All Stars dramas and instead she was excited to see him back. And hopes it isn’t as long between this season and his next.

Again, I won’t say anything here about warring winners.

We laughed and caught up on life, toasted to the ongoing success of the show despite its ever worsening twists and gorged on Alicia Caraway Meatballs in the hope that Island of the Idols will follow David vs. Goliath and be a killer season despite the shitty title.

 

 

I stumbled upon this recipe on Taste.com.au in a desperate hunt for something quick, easy and featuring caraway, and it quickly won my heart. Delicate meatballs, with a good whack of spice and sticky sweetness? They’re now the second favourite balls I like in and around my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alicia Caraway Meatballs

Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup

Method
Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, egg, caraway, chilli and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined and form into golf sized balls.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and once hot, toss through the balls and cook for ten minutes, or until cooked through. Add the maple syrup and toss to coat.

Serve immediately and devour, careful not to wag the balls near my face. Though there would go my social life.

 

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Some Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls waiting to heal Ross Clarke-Jones after his tragic injury on Australian Survivor.

Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls

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

Previously on Australian Survivor after burning himself and then his idol at two back to back tribals, Harry was feeling the heat and again focused on the Ben Driebergen strategy of finding idols until the end. Thankfully we were put out of our misery and distracted from the horrible memories of Chrissy’s robbery with Jonathan lording of the reward challenge for parmas which made John smile so brightly my basement flooded. Once again Andy struggled to get anything right, this time bombing throwing the immunity challenge as Baden single handedly beasted his way to winning the challenge, sending the Contenders back to tribal. Not wanting to rest on his second idol, Harry talked to Simon and Ross to see if they would be interested in flipping on JaQueen, Pia and Abbey and joining him and Matt to take control of the game. Sadly they weren’t interest however and after Harry played his idol, which made Janine nervous enough to play hers, poor Matt was voted out of the game.

The next day we checked in with the Contenders where Ross and the girls were thrilled to still be standing. Well sitting really, in the water as they washed themselves and relished island life. Ross then found a plank of wood which he used to attempt surfing on the reef and again, I love the man and get can’t enough of him on my screen.

We checked in with Camp Champ where they too were enjoying island life, fishing and swimming together on the reef and feeling grateful for everything they were experiencing. Andy too was loving it SA MUCH and damn, that sours things for me. They soon returned to camp where Andy continued to ruin my vibe, talking about the pain of not returning to tribal though was thankful that nobody realised. Right on cue we heard from Luke who knew that Andy’s attempt to throw the challenge were as subtle as a brick and as such, he wanted to take him down ASAP. Luke then dived into his spy shack as Andy tried to catch up with Baden, knowing that getting Baden on board is key to his safety given he single handedly thwarted Andy’s lame attempts at throwing the challenge. Luke then pulled Baden away from Andy and suggested that they will be a powerful duo as nobody would expect it.

Back at the Contenders tribe Harry was feeling all alone, surrounded by Champions while JaQueen continued to lament the pain of Harry still surviving. Ross checked in with Harry to find out whether his tears were real and was disappointed to find out his good nature was taken advantage of. Ross then joked about tethering himself to Harry to avoid him finding one, so the two goofed around as the rest of the tribe got together to hunt for the newly hidden idol. Which filled Harry with joy to have spooked them. With everyone otherwise ocupado, Harry approached JaQueen with a Hail Mary pitch to sell himself as the more helpful ally than some of her current options. She then businessed the hell out of him before agreeing that it is smarter for her to keep him around and hot damn, JaQueen is a bloody icon.

Jonathan arrived for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would race across a series of poles, tarzan swing across a gorge before tossing a monkey fist in a fork before using the ropes to traverse a balance beam. They then need to release puzzle pieces, build a stair ladder and light a fire at the top of the tower. After benching Andy immediately, Shaun got the Champions out to an early lead, while the Contenders slowly tried to close the gap thanks to Daisy struggling on the poles until she leaped into Shauns arms. Swoon. While the Champs started to swing across, Ross and Pia struggled on the poles allowing the Champions to extend their lead. Then tragedy struck as Ross clipped his leg while doing the Tarzan swing, fell into the ditch and started screaming in pain.

That is when I started sobbing uncontrollably. In the words of Countess Luann, don’t let it be about Ross. Anyone but Ross.

The challenge was stopped immediately as the medics were bought in as everyone stood around with a look of sheer panic on their faces. He was then carried off the challenge site by Jonathan to before the doctors decided that his injury was serious enough to warrant further medical assessment … before the challenge was restarted from where they were. Decidedly more sombre the tribes battled it out, as the Contenders desperately tried to close the gap. One by one the Champs landed their planks as the Contenders slowly made their way back into the challenge. Until they didn’t and the Champs got into their rhythm, climbing the tower, lighting their fire and securing immunity for their tribe.

The Contenders returned to camp worried about Ross’ injury and wondering what to do at tribal council, should it go ahead. The four former Champs speculated whether Harry could have found another idol, before JaQueen started weighing her options and wondering whether keeping Harry over Simon is the smarter move. JaQueen approached Pia who was keen to get rid of Simon instead of Harry with them then going to Abbey who was far less convinced about the idea. While she was getting emotional, Pia grew more and more sure that taking out Simon was the better idea as Harry is desperate and will stick with them to take control. JaQueen and Pia approached Harry who was super keen, with JaQueen only requesting his undying loyalty in return for them going out on a limb to keep him around.

As Simon wandered alone in his speedo, the new alliance of four sat around the shelter speculating about Ross’ safety. Before Ross was escorted back into camp on crutches by Jonathan, who announced that he had broken his ankle and as such such could not return to the game. The Contenders all started to breakdown, heartbroken to lose the life of the party before Ross encouraged Pia and Luke to go out and win this thing. The Champions were then wheeled over to camp so that they could farewell Ross and celebrate the bloody icon, as he hobbled away wearing Harry’s socks.

Before hopping – quite literally – into the back of the 4WD to see if he could finally have his culinary comfort. You see Ross and I have known each other for years, as I grew up surfing up and down the NSW coast from D’Bah to Bateau Bay, with Ross spotted my talent and taking me under his wing and coaching me. While I found myself too distracted by attractive men in speedos to ever get anywhere with my surfing, Ross continued to mentor me, I believe, because he loved that I paid in Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls. I mean, I could have paid him, but I am also very cheap.

 

Ross Clarke-Jones waiting to test whether Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls could heal him after his tragic injury on Australian Survivor.

 

These babies are so delicious and warming, that I’ve oft said that they have healing qualities and while that may seem opportunistic or convenient based on the tragedy that befell our King, the proof is in the pudding. Or sausage roll. Sweet, salty and melting in your mouth, these are the only things that will dull the pain of losing the icon of the game. Our new, literally fallen god, Ross.

Enjoy!

 

Ross Clarke-Jones testing whether Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls could heal him after his tragic injury on Australian Survivor.

 

Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
250g streaky bacon, diced
1 bunch shallots, sliced
1kg chicken mince
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp sage leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
6 sheets puff pastry, thawed and sliced into quarters
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until sweet, fragrant and translucent. Add the bacon and cook for a further ten minutes, or until its just starting to brown. Add the shallots, stir and remove to a bowl to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Add the chicken mince to the bowl with the breadcrumbs, chilli, maple, sage and a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.

Divide the mixture into 24 and form into a sausage shape. Place a sausage along one edge of the pastry squares and roll to enclose, brushing the last centimetre or so with egg wash to close. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam side down, and repeat the process until done.

Brush all the rolls with the rest of the egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour or so, or until golden and puffed. Devour immediately, to fix your broken, Ross-less heart.

 

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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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Boanana Hope Pancakes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Breakfast, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders continued their losing streak with Paige leading the charge, while the Champions continue to flourish under the leadership of Queen Moana. After lapping up some pies and pints at reward, the Champions dominated in the immunity challenge while Paige was telling them about how everyone hates her, rather than attempting to win the challenge. Luckily for her though, Jenna’s injury proved too much for the tribe to overlook as they joined together to boot Miss Congeniality.

Things were looking zen at the Champions the next day as Lydia and Steve did some tai chi, Brian dried his foul jocks and Shane swam laps, rather than feeding the chickens. Feeling that she isn’t well placed on the tribe, she used the time to fashion the plan to hunt for an idol to assure herself some protection. She also spoke about hating fame and living an interesting life, and TBH she is a kooky iicon and I love her.

Meanwhile over at Camp Contender, the tribe reminisced about the tribal council and how angry Jenna appeared on her way out. Anita particularly was feeling upset, given like Red, she likes to protect her girls. They then spotted a rainbow and everyone felt positive. Well, everyone but Paige who Anita was still seething about her attempts to spill secrets to the Champions. Zach too was feeling pissed about their lack of reward wins, so decide to share his misogyny and wish for a dishwashing challenge so their girls could stand a chance. I mean, a month of F45 isn’t enough for his white male privilege.

Back at the Champions Queen Moana was feeling sick and was struggling to keep any food or drink down, concerning everyone in the tribe. Her BFF Mat pulled her aside to give her a pep talk and try and distract her from the thoughts of home that are lingering to make her misery worse.

My boy Jonathan returned for a cheeky battle-esque reward to allow Robbie the opportunity for another schooling from Mat. How will this episode’s schooling for bacon and egg rolls and iced coffee work? Each tribe will put one person up to balance on a barrel over the water holding a rope between them and their opponent. The last person standing wins a point for their tribe. Mat and Robbie put their rivalry on show first, with Mat quickly coming out victorious again. Zach faced off against Steve to show the girls how it is done, with Steve finally putting the git in his place pulling him straight into the water. Which pissed Zach off, leading to him splashing the girls on his tribe in a fit of anger. Poor Shonee was schooled by Lydia, Sam beat Benji, and Zach continued to flip out on the shore, yelling at everyone on his tribe. Thankfully Fenella proved adept at something other than washing up, quickly beating Sharn. Heath continued the comeback schooling Brian, before Monika beat Anita and pissed Zach off again before Shane rubbed salt in the wounds destroying Tegan. Sadly we missed out on a complete meltdown as Paige fell to Moana and handed them reward.

Robbie was legit crying before Jonathan interrupted with an extra reward, with the Contenders allowed to pick two people from the Champions to battle it out for an individual big breakfast reward. Mat and Steve were selected to compete, with Mat ultimately taking out victory. Not to rest on his laurels, Jonathan added another twist allowing Mat to select a Contender to join him. Not wanting to give the males any strength, he selected Paige to stir the pot and keep her on the bottom of the tribe. As they all headed back to reward and/or camp, Shane showed the Contenders that she was definitely on the bottom, searching for an idol on the sit out bench in their full view.

On Mat and Paige’s private reward, he quickly got to work asking her about the Contenders tribe dynamics. She then outlined all of her plans, told him how everyone on the tribe was aligned and TBH, just totally screwed herself and the tribe. Meanwhile back at the Champions camp the tribe smashed their rolls before Brian set up a game of ten pin bowls using the empty iced coffee bottles, much to everyone’s delight. With everyone distracted, Shane went for a wander to try and find an idol. And while everyone laughed about the fact she was once again on the hunt in their full view. This time she actually found something, as everyone applauded and congratulated her on the hunt finally paying off. Actually find the idol made her nervous however, and she tried to play it off as just a clue. Though given the threats from Brian and Lydia that she will be the next to go, I don’t see the idol lasting long.

Meanwhile Paige returned to the Contenders tribe and was thrilled by her newfound popularity as everyone wanted to find out about the dynamic of the Champions. Given he isn’t trying to kill his own game, she had nothing to share … which succeeded in making everyone nervous about what happened on that reward that she isn’t sharing with them.

Back at the Champions tribe Sharn appeared to have lost her mind, doing a demonic Lord of the Rings tribal dance. Before we got answers about her sanity, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge which required two people from each tribe to be locked into a cage and pushed through an obstacle course before releasing the tribe members and breaking three suspended glass balls. The Contenders got out to an early lead with their caged Anita, while the Champions struggled with Monika and getting over a large wall. The Contenders continued to pull away, getting to the end of the course before the Champions had even managed to get Shane and Jackie over the aforementioned wall. The Contenders made quick work of Tegan and released both her and Anita, while the Champions flailed with their caged Lydia. Heath and Zach each knocked out a ball before Brian tried to pull things back. It was all for nought though, as Robbie finally had a hero moment and secure victory for the tribe.

We also got a close up of Benji’s nip and hot damn if I’m not moister than an oyster.

The Champions got to scrambling as soon as they arrived back at camp, with Sharn quickly ID-ing Jackie or Shane as the next to go. Throwing a spanner in the works, Moana continued to feel sick and seemed ready to give up. Though thankfully Mat appeared to turn her around. Jackie realised that she would be a target given the fact she struggled in the challenge, deciding that taking out Moana would be her best option. Shane joined Moana in the shelter to share that she heard she wanted to quit, given she feels terrible. Moana discredited her intel and shared that Shane needs to find her idol, if she hadn’t already. Meanwhile Jackie and Monika continued to scheme against Moana, though dangerously close to being within earshot. Sam checked in with Lydia, who was wanting to vote based on weight to strength ratio – aka split the votes on Jackie and Shane to flush the idol and blindside Jackie.

At tribal council Mat brought up the weight to strength ratio, which Steve agreed was their major issue in the immunity challenge. Jackie spoke about having strengths other than hauling herself through obstacles, though felt she was definitely improving as the game went on. Shane too was on the defensive, quickly reminded everyone that there is more to the game than strength. Sam called out Shane’s idol hunting ways and the fact it finally paid dividends, and told her that she needs to play the idol if she wanted to survive. Jonathan addressed Moana’s ailing health before Moana and Sharn quickly jumped in to say that there is no way they would be writing her name down that night. Mat went one further and said Mo at 50% was better than some other tribe members, which while savage, was kinda true.

Monika headed off to vote before Moana interrupted proceeding and asked Jonathan to call off the vote and let her check out – aka quit – rather than cause any drama for the tribe. She spoke about how she wasn’t getting batter and was letting her team down. Sharn and Mat jumped in and tried to talk her out of it, assuring her that she is better to let tribal council play out rather than quitting. While she had completely given up, Moana decided to trust her allies would respect her wishes and trusted in them all to vote. While Lydia and Sam loudly voted for Shane – actually, Sam trolled her and that is iconic – the rest of the tribe joined together to send Moana out of the game and into my loving arms to recuperate.

After making her way to Loser Lodge, Mo’s illness got to her and she collapsed in my arms leading to the heroic moment where I carried her across the room singing Whitney Houston’s cover of the Dolly classic, I Will Always Love You. While she didn’t say that I was her hero, she didn’t not say it either. Well … until she saw the shit tonne of Boanana Hope Pancakes I had waiting to heal her.

 

 

Was Moana happy that I draped bacon on her pancakes, given her staunch vegetarianism which led to her finding an idol? Hell no. But she was hungry enough to eat around it. Like Jack Johnson probably sang in the hit song I forget, banana pancakes are probably the best kind of pancakes. Moist, sweet and perfect for nursing you back to health.

Enjoy!

 

 

Boanana Hope Pancakes
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g flour
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
2 eggs, whisked
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ⅓ cups buttermilk
3 tbsp melted butter, plus extra for fryin’
8 rashers streaky bacon … relax not for Mo, guys
maple syrup, to serve

Method
Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl, stirring well to combine. Make a well in the centre and slowly stir through the eggs, banana, buttermilk and butter until smooth.

Heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan over medium heat and cook until foaming. Add ⅔ cup of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook further a further minute, or until cooked through. Discard/devour the first one – because they are always the worst, no? – and repeat until done.

While you’re cooking the pancakes, fry the bacon in a second pan until crisp.

Divide the pancakes between the plates, top with the bacon if you’re like me and like all the bacon, drizzle with maple syrup and devour.

 

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Mattcha Dyson Latte

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Sur … wait, no, SERIOUSLY? It happens to me everytime! New year, new season, new gimmicky title – Champions vs. Contenders, yo – and finally, a new location as my boy JLP introduced us to majestic Fiji – aka the home of US Survivor now – before showing us a boat as it made its way through the rivers of Fiji, obviously featuring the Champions … as yachting is how champions choose to travel. On said boat we were introduced to dual code footy champ Mat Rogers, icon Shane Gould – who is instantly my favourite – and Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine’s nemesis Russell Hantz, who for some reason was put on the Champions tribe despite losing Survivor thrice. They were joined by double amputee ex-soldier Damien Thomlinson, who was very confident in the fact one of them will win.

Jokes on him though, because everyone loves an underdog … and with that we were introduced to Steve K and the rest of the Contenders, as they rolled through the jungle in a beat-up old truck, holding on for dear life so not to be flicked out into the Fijian jungle and the awaiting staged tribesman. Joining Steve – who is also an icon – is Anita who will challenge Shane for my heart, oh wait, no, zaddy’s home … I’m going for Robbie. Robbie is hot and I look forward to the Locky Gilbert Memorial Nude Challenge.

The Contenders arrived at the site of their first reward challenge – said Locky Gilbert Memorial Nude Challenge … The Secret is real, yo – to see Jonathan, who gave them some light shade about being the Contenders. Not leaving them to wonder about their opposition for long, JLP brought out the Champions and like me, they were shocked to see three-time loser Russell amongst the line-up

Echoing my sentiments potential-Queen Anita mentioned the fact that everyone loves an underdog, before JLP threw some epic shade at Hantz, enquiring what exactly he had done to be considered a champion.


#JLP4LYF

Mat Rogers wasn’t concerned about having too bigger target on his back, Steve W worked his way up in my books by showing a decent knowledge of the game, and not to mention could give us the majesty of seeing Mish Bridges pulled out for a family reward.

Before I pass out from the excitement of Mish, I’ll focus on the challenge and hand and get back to secreting the clothes off Robbie, Benji, Heath, Steve W and Sam. JLP informed everyone that they would play the game with only the clothes on their backs and that this challenge would give them the chance to battle for comfort items. Each round, one person from each tribe faces off, slides down a slide – hopefully showing some skin for some – and battle for the item dropped at the end.


Shying away from the usual same gendered competitors in each round, Moana was up first for the Champions competing against Matt D for a single pillow. Obvi, I assumed Moana was going to completely school him – as did Mat R – however somehow he took out the pillow, despite her crafting move. Ex-Gladiator Zach and Steve compared muscles for a bag of rice with Steve completely bombing, though making him even more lovable to me. Olympic Gold Medallist Lydia proved no match for Jenna who snagged the Contenders a bag of pineapples – their third win in a row – before Steve K started rifling through the loot, obviously searching for an idol clue due to boredom over how one sided the battle is. Thankfully for the Champions, Queen Shane dominated Paige and scored them their first victory, in the form of oranges. Mat R and Robbie – in some v skimpy pants, YAS – were up next with Mat making a play for my heart by trying to rip his pants off while dragging him over for the Champions second win, this time for rope. The final round featured man-tree Heath versus recent arrestee Brian Lake competing for fire in the form of flint, which Brian snatched by playing dirty and pushing Heath out of the way at the start of the slide.

With that, the survivors were sent off to their camps where we met former Miss Universe Australia Monika who was completely thrilled about not having to shave or wear make-up for a couple of months. Given she is a beauty queen, she is definitely one to watch. Steve W quickly made himself the leader of the Champions, rallying the troops and getting everyone to work setting up camp and starting a fire. Obviously this pissed off Russell, who felt everyone was too focused on setting up camp rather than playing the game. Which yes, is true, but come on … you need shelter and fire ASAP dude. Obviously Russell made a beeline for Monika, who he deemed to be stupid and proceeded to lie about making it to the end with his alliances three times (two dude) and helping a beauty queens win, bitterly spitting out Natalie White’s name when asked. And once again proving that he hasn’t really learnt from his mistakes.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders everyone got down to introducing themselves, with Anita continuing her ascension in my heart. Robbie put his career as a construction manager to good work, leading the tribe in building the shelter while Shonee, Fenella and Paige acted like the Greek Chorus, gossiping about how ripped the guys on their tribe are. While the girls thirsted and Benji, Zach, Heath and Robbie started a bromance, Steve K continued to hunt for an idol in a very obvious and skittish fashion. This got Matt D’s attention, who quickly spread the intel throughout the tribe and worked to get the target for first boot as far away as possible. Despite the drama, the tribe got together to make fire in preparation of nightfall and while there was smoke, there tragically was no fire.

Back at the Champions, the tribe joined together by the fire to share their impressive resumes and bond. While Shane and Lydia impressed with their olympic victories, it was Damien’s story that packed the most emotional punch sharing about the accident that lead to his amputations and even managed to take Russell out of his gamebot mode. While they snuggled by the fire to keep the cold at bay, laughing about how cold the Contenders would be feeling. We then obviously cut to see them shivering in misery, and while it was pitiful, it gave us the sight of Zach nuzzling into Heath for warmth and damn I could ship the hell out of that romance.

The Contenders quickly got to work attempting to make fire and fix their shelter the next day, while Shonee lamented the fact she could be doing brunch right about now, rather than smashing some termites with besties Fenella and Anita. Steve K? Oh, he is still hunting for idols and charming the shit out of Paige and damn, I could ship the shit out of this pairing too. Begging the question, WHY AM I SHIPPING HETERO RELATIONSHIPS?

The Champs went for a morning beach walk while Monika and Brian tried to learn what astrophysicist Sam actually does. He was concerned about how people perceive him being the nerd of the tribe, while Sharn, Brian and Monika gushed over how adorable he is. Russell too was fangirling over Sam, quickly trying to align with him and Monika before going hunting for a hidden immunity idol. With him tragically finding the first one of the season and vowing to force the Champions to start playing the game which is amazing for the sole reason that you know it is going to blow-up in his face.

JLP opted to distract me from the pain of Russell’s idol find by arriving for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would be required to climb over a high wall, climb through a series of obstacles, knock down a wall, unlock puzzle pieces, solving a hanging puzzle and then destroying said puzzle. While it for the ugliest immunity idol, it is immunity … so they were hungry. The Contenders got out to an early lead thanks to man-mountain Heath, while Russell proved to be an albatross around the Champions neck. Well until both tribes were down to one person left to ascend the wall, with Mat R snagging them the lead while poor Heath struggled. Thankfully the Contenders reclaimed the lead through the obstacles, giving them an advantage as they got to solving the puzzle. Though they did almost break Jenna, which looked pretty gnarly. Paige and Matt D quickly worked through the puzzle, well Paige did, while Matt wander aimlessly allowing Damien and Jackie to overtake the Contenders and start on destroying their puzzle. Damien dominated, knocking the puzzle down piece by piece while Matt D desperately tried to close the gap. Which he sadly didn’t.

While the Champions celebrated their win, Anita asked JLP to call a medic to check over Jenna, who thankfully assured her that it was just soft tissue damage. With that, legit doctor JLP sent them back to camp and ordered Jenna to elevate her leg while scrambling to save herself from becoming an easy first boot. Paige tried to rally the troops and perk everyone up, while Steve K lamented how the puzzle solvers squandered their lead. Sensing that he was the obvious target, Steve stuck to everyone like glue to avoid giving them the opportunity to plot against him. Despite feeling close to Zach, he was in fact leading the charge against Steve while Paige, Anita, Fenella, Shonee and Anita spoke about how sad it will be to lose him.

Fenella was confident that Steve wouldn’t have an idol, while Matt started to spook everyone by trying to split the vote just in case he did in fact find one. Matt got increasingly paranoid, going to the other boys to try and lock something in, only painting a bigger target on his back as he offended them and then disappeared for hours trying to find an idol. Obviously this made everyone suspicious, with queen Tegan and Robbie stalking through the jungle like Queen SDT to find him. Which they did, catching him red handed. We then returned back to camp where Matt was miraculously chilling with everyone by the beach and Steve then ran back into camp excitedly, making it all very confusing just as we headed out to tribal.

The tribe filed into tribal council before JLP rubbed salt in their wounds about not having fire or a shelter. While they lamented not being able to sleep, Steve proudly spoke about using meditation to get some killer shut-eye. Zach spoke about first impressions before King Steve called JLP Jeff and tried to refocus everyone on playing the game. Feeling nervous, Matt reminded everyone about Steve hunting for idol clues during the opening challenge and laid into him for not owning it. Robbie then cut him off and told him that maybe he should own his extended disappearance for idol hunting. Which he did own, before completely going in on the bromance alliance and moving the target closer to his back with every word.

While Robbie, Benji and Tegan tried to calm Matt down, he continued to lay into everyone and then offended all the women by saying they were blind, submissive lemmings. Which is ridiculous TBH. Fenella and Paige seethed at his continuing flameout, while Zach still tried to calm Matt while Matt, bless, continued to offend his tribemates, one at a time. Paige channelled Keith Nale and tried to get everyone to stick to the plan, which Heath, Shonee and Jenna agreed was the best, for the tribe. Matt too urged them all to stick to the plan, though the smirk on his face would suggest he either just realised he was the target all along or somehow was trying to make Steve feel safe enough not to play his hypothetical idol.

With that they cast their votes one by one before Steve did not play an idol, real or otherwise, and Matt found himself becoming the first boot of Champions vs. Contenders. Telling the girls to start playing the game on his way out the door, leading to Shonee’s brutal smack-down that they just did, instantly becoming my number one.

Matt was pretty pissed to find himself becoming the first boot, however quickly realised that he really only had himself to blame after that tribal council performance. And by realised, I reiterated it to him until he agreed he fumbled the ball or something else one of the footy playing Champions would say. After beating him down emotionally, I started to feel guilty and so quickly ran off to the kitchen and whipped him up a soothing Mattcha Dyson Latte.

 

 

The soothing nature of green tea combined with the sweetness of maple and the smug you can enjoy knowing how many antioxidants you’re enjoying, make this the perfect antidote to first boot pain.

I mean, it isn’t a shit tonne of cheese and carbs. But it will do.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mattcha Dyson Latte
Serves: 2

Ingredients
1 tbsp matcha powder
1 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp maple syrup
300-500ml hot (preferably frothed) milk

Method
Combine the matcha, boiling water and maple syrup in a cup and whisk until smooth and lump free.


Slowly pour in the warmed milk, stirring constantly.

Down, while lamenting the pain of becoming the first boot.

 

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Jarrot Fengel Soup

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Asaga was feeling washed out after Pete mutinied while he was loving being back at Samatau. Not loving it, were Henry and Michelle who slipped further down the pecking order. After a hard fought immunity challenge between Ziggy and poor, dim Jericho, the latter dropped from a pyramid over the water handing Samatau victory and sending the dwindling Asaga back to tribal where Odette learned Julia’s lesson, in that the person in the middle is oft run over.

Back at camp Sarah was feeling proud after uniting the two rival pairs to take out Odette, who really would be a nightmare at the upcoming merge giving her lack of loyalty. The next day, the final Asagans were still shocked to have survived 35 days. While Tara and Luke thought they were due for a challenge, Sarah was feeling the merge was well overdue and rallied the troops to plan who best to target from Samatau to sway to their side.

Speaking of the devils, Jarrad was feeling extremely confident to have his alliance back together and started to gossip about Locky being paranoid. Tessa was also feeling concerned, which makes me think one of Pete-Jarrad-Tessa-Ziggy is out tonight as they are coming across as smarmy.

JoJo was quick on the scene where the two tribes arrived for … THE MERGE. That is after Jericho butchered the English language, yet again. Everyone was thrilled as they unrolled their new black buffs ahead of the first individual reward challenge. The castaways were required to stand over an elevated glass bottle and swing a pendulum around it, without knocking it over. Sounds simple, but it is for the ultimate merge rejuvenation reward – new clothes, some pampering, food and letters from home.

Just as quickly as I had written off Luke, he spoke beautifully about how important his family are to him and I am now back in his corner. Michelle was first out of the challenge, quickly followed by Henny-Penny, Tara and challenge beast Ziggy. We ticked over the ten minute mark where Luke’s mind games backfired and he eliminated himself, followed by Locky, Sarah, Jarrad, Peter and Anneliese, leaving Tessa and Jericho to battle it out for reward. Given the fact Tessa is a doctor, I’m not shocked that her steady hands prevailed and she took out the first individual victory.

Of course Jonathan then offered her the chance to make a choice – to keep the entire reward for herself or to give up everything but the letter so that everyone can receive theirs. Making the most obvious decision, she opted to give everyone their letters. The newly formed … merge tribe returned to the former Asaga camp where everyone found their way to some coffee and treats while they read their letters. Michelle, obviously, saw right through her decision. While I do counter that their wasn’t an actual decision for the victor, it is probs going to create some drama so that makes me happy.

Michelle then questioned her family’s motives for writing the letter – they want some money – Tara sobbed about her kids, Pete sobbed about his relationship with his father, Henry and his nips looked beautiful while they struggled with his mother’s passing, Locky has a girlfriend and that is just fucked, Anneliese’s family sounds awesome, while Tessa and Jericho sound quite emotionally secure and their families weren’t too emosh. Sarah then sobbed through her letter, as did Ziggy leading to Luke’s moment in the sun while talking about his family and how much he loves them.

With the niceties behind them, the merged tribe got to know each other while Tessa spoke about her confidence that Samatau will stick together and get rid of the remaining four Asagans. Tara and Locky however reconnected by the fire and spoke about everyone being concerned about their bond. Meanwhile Jericho spoke about the merge being a David and Goliath battle, and while he is kind of a moron, I do believe they will prevail … for now.

Everyone ran around doing chores before Tara prodded Sarah to go reconnect with Michelle and try and work her into a new majority. Sadly Michelle had no interest in moving away from the majority and quickly told Ziggy as much. Henry however was more than willing to make the jump and got to work on Jericho and Sarah to form a new alliance. In the other corner, Jarrad and Ziggy got to work solidifying their numbers – he, Ziggy, Pete, Tessa, Locky and bonus points Anneliese and Michelle – before he suggested taking out Henry, who they acknowledged had definitely flipped.

Thankfully Jonathan returned for the first individual immunity challenge where we learnt the tribe went with the gang-bang naming convention, forming Asatoa. The challenge was another looks simple, sounds fucked scenarios where they have to balance themselves between two rails … to avoid being the next one voted out, and the first member of the jury.

Anneliese quickly dropped out of the challenge, followed by Tara, Michelle, Luke, Sarah and Pete. While everyone appeared to be struggling, Olympian Ziggy and Jarrad both looked solid before Locky dropped, followed by Jericho, Jarrad and Tessa, leaving Henry and Ziggy to battle it out for immunity. Henry’s muscles glistened as the sweat rolled over his tanned skin in the sunlight before dropping out of nowhere and giving Ziggy immunity.

Back at camp Jericho explained that his alliance’s only option was to pull in Locky and Michelle, while the majority debated the merits of getting rid of Henry – who they assume has an idol – and Luke, given he is unlikely to have found one. We then checked in with Henry who decided that getting rid of Jarrad is the best back-up option since Ziggy is immune. Given his numbers aren’t great, Henry pulled Locky aside to talk about joining he and Tara’s alliance to get rid of Jarrad, which Locky didn’t feel was the right thing to do at this time.

Wanting to lock in the numbers, Jarrad then approached Jericho to float the idea of working together, agreeing to underline their votes to prove their loyalty. Tessa then ran us through her numbers, convinced that Michelle was automatically in their pocket without actually trying to include her in anything. Tessa then fumbled the ball and told her that she is the last one in the alliance, so that’s why they weren’t involving her … which inspired Michelle to approach Locky about making a move together. Which of course, leaves me hella confused just as they left for tribal council.

Once there, Locky spoke about the confusion of trying to figure out where everyone stood giving the multiple swaps. Luke was feeling nervous, Henry felt like he was stuck in the middle of his allegiances, Pete was coy and Michelle signalled that a move was afoot, mentioning that she thought everything was locked a day ago, but now, wasn’t so sure. Jarrad then started to feel quite anxious, as is Tessa, while Michelle and Sarah gossiped quietly in the corner. Jericho then spoke about war, which made Ziggy feel grateful about having immunity while Locky was feeling tomorrow would make it clear where everyone stood and where the game would go.

Michelle then gave some more killer tribal grabs, which again sounded like a war-cry as they headed in to vote. The votes started piling up on Luke before everyone zigged – not Ziggy-ed – and voted Jarrad out of the game – with a baller underlined vote from Jericho, FYI – as the first member of the jury.

As an Instagram celebrity slash amateur model, I’ve known Jarrad for years, having bullied him into shooting 7 of my 9 nude portfolios. While he apparently found the experience to be traumatic, I somehow one him over and we became the dearest of friends. Though I think that has more to do with my Jarrot Fengel Soup.

 

 

Sweet, earthy and completely warming, it is the perfect dish to warm you up during that last push of winter … and after a brutal post-merge blindside. Though in the words of the great Abi-Maria, at least he made the jury?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jarrot Fengel Soup
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 kg carrots , peeled, trimmed and sliced
2 bulbs of fennel, trimmed and sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 potato, roughly diced
2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the carrots, fennel, onion, garlic, potato and thyme on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a good lug of olive oil and the maple syrup and bake for about twenty minutes, or until they are all starting to caramelise.

Transfer the gloriously caramelised veggies to a pot and add the bay leaf and stock, and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer for a further twenty minutes, or until everything is tender.

Take the pot off the heat, remove the bay leaf and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the cream, return to a low heat and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of maple and devour carefully. You know soup has a penchant for burning the shit out of your mouth.

 

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Pumpkim Basinger Soup

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Side, Snack, Soup, Vegetarian

While I like to let the lesser celebrity categories shine, I know why you drop by for Oscar Gold and that is my extreme proximity to the A-list.

And there is no one more A-list than my dear gal-pal and past Best Supporting Actress Winner, Kim Basinger.

I first met Kim through her ex-husband – and my ex/oft-lover Alec – but her kind heart and sassy nature won me over and I actually grew closer to her during their split. Thus leaking the pig-daughter tapes.

Kim and I haven’t been able to catch-up lately what with her doing the publicity rounds for Fifty Shades of I-Won’t-Show-My-Peen-and-This-Is-A-Waste-of-Your-Time, so it was such a treat to sit down and chat about the most important categories – Best Supporting and Best Actress.

Given the fact that I have a temper similar to Al’s, Kim was a bit scared to engage in any major disputes so we both landed on Viola for Supporting, despite the fact that she agreed that the previously insufferable Nicky Kid turned in such a beautiful performance that echoed her life and made you love her that it should be her taking out the crown over V’s always consistent scenery chewing.

Also … surely Mish Wills needs an overdue win sometime soon. And the post first scene was damn perfection.

She also agreed that Emma Stone was a lock because she is my friend and was cast in the musical whilst starring in Cabaret – which I saw and critiqued her in – bringing her luck. Though that being said, Isabelle Huppert is the most likely to upset any of the favourites on the night.

So yeah, discussions were robust meaning we needed something hearty that also hugged your soul like my Pumpkim Basinger Soup.

 

pumpkim-basinger-soup-1

 

Earthy, spiced and warm, this is pumpkin soup isn’t what you’d get in a can. In a good way, obvi.

All the veggies are baked first giving a depth of flavour and sweetness that is perfectly cut through by a whack of herbs and a smack of chilli. Dis good, dis real good, ok?

Enjoy!

 

pumpkim-basinger-soup-2

 

Pumpkim Basinger Soup
Serves: 100 people aka all the Baldwins … or maybe just 12 people?

Ingredients
1.5kg butternut pumpkin, cut into 3cm dice
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 potatoes, roughly chopped
4 pieces celery, roughly chopped
olive oil
1 tbsp dried chilli
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp maple syrup, optional
bunch of sage
1L chicken stock
1 cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place all the veggies – and realistically you could use anything you had in the fridge, capsicum is a great addition to be honest – on a lined baking sheet (or two), drizzle with olive oil and chilli, season and bake until golden and tender. About half an hour.

Once the veg are ready, transfer to a large pot, drizzle with maple syrup, add the sage leaves and fry over medium heat for a minute, reduce to low pour in the stock and simmer, stirring sporadically, for about fifteen minutes to half an hour, or until all the veggies are tender and your kitchen is smelling amazing.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for five-ten minutes and blitz thoroughly yet carefully with a stick blender until smooth and glorious. Return to low heat, stir through the cream and coook until heated through.

Serve – immediately if you like to risk burning all the skin in your mouth – and top with a drizzle of cream and some chopped sage, if you are patient enough, and devour.

 

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