Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor my boy Probst met 20 new castaways in the middle of the Fijian for a biblical battle, with the underdog David tribe taking out the first reward of the season. Meanwhile over on the overachieving Goliath tribe hot cop Dan and Kara met each other and instantly fell in love because they are beautiful. Their luck continued, with Dan then finding the first idol of the season. Meanwhile over at the David tribe things were looking bad for Nick, who was left right out and set to be the first boot after they lost immunity. Thankfully for him – and horrifically for everyone – there was a freak accident in the boat after the challenge, doing such a number on Pat that he was evacuated as the first boot.

That night back at camp things continued to be miserable as the weather took its toll on everyone, unable to start a fire or stay dry and TBH. Things were just as bad, if not worse, at the Goliath tribe they too were pelted with rain and their tribe flag was lucky not to blow away. Things were no better the next day as everyone shivered and started to break down as they desperately tried for a fire. Thankfully there were glimmers of hope as Christian and Nick went out in the wet to try and find something to find something to start fire with and/or eat. That obviously led to them talking strategy and lamenting being out of the loop on the potential last vote, and as such quickly aligned. And while I’m already loving this underdog story, Nick then spoke about the fact he was probably meant to be voted out last night and as such he is going to fight to win or die trying and damn there is something likeable about him. Probably his eyes. They then geeked out finding bamboo to reinforce the shelter and naming their alliance, unaware this isn’t Survivor. They arrived back at camp to discover that Bi had dropped by treemail where they discovered a fire making kit and tarp to ensure nobody dies.

The Goliaths too, recieved said kit and tarp and the mood appeared to champ instantly. Dan and Kara took a moment to discuss finding the idol and partake in some generic flirting. Which did not go unnoticed – much to Kara’s chagrin – with Jeremy and Alec plotting to split them up and Natalie warning her to tone it down for her safety. Wanting to work around the situation, Kara approached Angelina and Natalia to assure them that she is interested in forming a black-widow brigade, stringing their respective men along and taking them out one after the other. After taking out Queen Natalie and Mike, obvi. Speaking of Mike, he was keeping watch as Jeremy rifled through peoples drying clothes and found Dan’s idol, which Kara had warned him to be more careful with. As such, Natalia and Kara are not the only two other people that know and as such, Mike and Jeremy’s stock just went up.

Things were looking up at the David tribe too, where Davie had decided to continue providing for the tribe after his epic octopus catch.  Whilst hunting for more food, he inadvertently found a hidden immunity idol and bless him, he deserves it. Particularly for saying this smells like authentic idol leather, begging the question, is that what my couch smells like? Meanwhile Carl was lamenting the loss of Pat and decided that the no longer can afford to lose Nick, instead wanting to take out Lyrsa, who he decided was the weakest. While Nick loved that idea, Elizabeth was pissed that her best buddies name was being thrown about. As was Lyrsa who desperately wanted to scream them all down, explaining she is the reason they won the first challenge.

Over at the Goliaths Jeremy and Alec continued to look sexy in their underwear before Jeremy instantly became my favourite by stripping down. And hot damn, I need a minute. Back in the camp Natalia was getting a nose and teeth booger check from Angelina, under the watchful eye of Natalie who obviously thought it was fucking stupid. Boogers in your teeth? Childish. Queen Natalie continued to lay low, watching everyone work and sassing them as much as possible. Sadly for her, people did actually notice her and were growing tired of her bullshit. Except for King John, the George Bushy of Tushy, who thought she was a great person to work with. John pulled Natalie aside to warn her about her attitude, leading to her approaching people one at a time and questioning their decision to target her, given she is a non-threat. While everyone decided the drama was too much for them, Jeremy pulled her aside to tell her some hard truths about her lack of self-awareness. Which she refused to accept, driving Jeremy mad and locking in his resolve to get rid of her.

Dear Jeffrey finally returned to screen for the immunity challenge where he explained to the Goliath tribe that Pat was injured after the last challenge, and therefore, someone is still potentially going to be the first one out. Anyway, the challenge. One person from each tribe was required to climb up a ladder to release a key, which would be used to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle on a wobbly table. Given that in addition to immunity they would get a huge fishing kit, Davie the provider was totally pumped. Alec got the Goliaths out to a huge lead over Bi and the David tribe, allowing they to go out and grab the puzzle pieces and return to shore before Bi reached the top of the ladder. The Goliaths continued to work on the puzzle while Bi was abandoned at the dock collecting puzzle pieces while their boat drifted away. Given the puzzle seems insanely hard the Davids quickly caught up as everyone dropped their platforms and destroyed their work. Thankfully the Goliaths put everyone out of their misery after an hour, solving their puzzle and snatching immunity much to everyone’s exhausted relief.

Back at camp the Davids lamented their loss before Bi desperately gave them all a peptalk to get their head in the game. Bi and Jessica locked in their vote for Lyrsa, though given how cagey they were being when Gabby approached them to discuss tribal, she decided to go and find a plan she feels safer with. Speaking of feeling safe, besties Elizabeth and Lyrsa desperately tried to find some for the latter, identifying Jessica as the better target. They then approached Gabby who was concerned they wanted to target her, so was all in when they suggested getting rid of Jess instead and taking out Bi and Carl’s closest ally. Elizabeth pulled Christian in with a hug – literally – and locked him in for the vote against Jessica. Christian and Gabby discussed the plan and locked in their alliance together, before Christian approached Nick. Who tragically wasn’t interested and would prefer to take out Lyrsa.

With that we obviously arrived at the insanely beautiful, grand tribal council where Jeff questioned how they could handle the cyclonic weather, which they all said brought them together. Elizabeth admitted that those bonds would make the upcoming votes more difficult, though Lyrsa admitted that you can cut the tension with a knife back at camp. She then spoke about having heard her name for being a weak link, which made Jessica sass her for not playing the game hard enough if that is the case. Gabby suggested people shouldn’t underestimate anyone, Bi said she was voting on performance despite bombing the immunity challenge, Christian spoke about the votes all being organised and Nick admitted that the game was built on deceit so that they need to build trust where they can. After a discussion of the battle between playing a tribal vs individual game, everyone shared our nervous they were though Jessica did admit that it was exhilarating. With that, they voted and it turns out tribal wasn’t as exhilarating as she would have hoped, becoming the second – slash technically first – boot.

To be honest, I shouldn’t be shocked by the turn of events that led to her demise. Despite such a strong start last episode, I had menu-planned for her to be devouring pizza in Ponderosa and as such, she would be doomed to be a pre-juror because of my curse. I held her in my arms while I cried uncontrollably while repeating sorry, which let’s be honest would have been a terrifying experience for our child contestant. Thankfully she took her boot in her stride – no doubt thanks to the extreme pity she felt for me post meltdown – and said that while the curse definitely doomed her, she couldn’t be grumpy when it is delicious as my Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza.

 

 

Just like the majestic Scot Pollartichoke Dip before her, there is no greater culinary pairing that spinach and artichoke. Particularly when in the company of cheese. Add in the glory of fresh, pillowy pizza dough, and it is hard not to be in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza
Serves: a sad second boot and her best-o.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of a lemon
1-2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
200g marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mayo, sour cream, parsley, garlic and lemon in a bowl and generously smear over the pizza bases. Top with spinach, artichokes and parmesan before adding some mozzarella for good measure.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese. Because that would just add too much unwanted salt in your wounds.

 

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Blu Cancheese Dressing

Condiment, Dip

Today marks our fourth anniversary on the interwebs and I feel like I’ve taken to quoting Jonathan Van Ness more and more frequently but … can you believe? Anyway, given it is a birthday that means I needed to organise a little party, so I decided to reach out to my girl Blu Cantrell and asked her to hit me up style and help celebrate.

Which she obviously said yes to, otherwise this would be a total waste of a post, no?

I’ve known Blu for years after meeting while auditioning Puff’s back-up singers for him in the mid ‘90s. I was completely blown away by her talent and told Diddy that he’d be mad not to take her on, whilst secretly working to make her a star.

Fast forward a few years, Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!) became a hit, earned her two Grammy noms and once again, I succeeded. Maybe my lot in life is to elevate people to fame rather than snag an EGOT of my own while winning America’s Next Top Model after losing weight on Survivor in full Drag?

JK, I deserve an EGOT.

As you can imagine, Blu was honoured to be selected to drop by for our anniversary celebrations. And while some people would argue that she is a left-field choice, she has had a rough couple of years and as a dear, sweet friend, I wanted her to feel special.

We laughed, we cried, we reconnected, and most importantly, came up with a way to thrust us both firmly into the spotlight. Though that, my non-famous friends, is a story for another time. While you wait, why not whip up some Blu Cancheese Dressing and see if you come up with the same idea we did whilst gulping it down?

 

 

Smooth, creamy and packing a hell of a punch of pungent blue cheese, this dressing is truly the best. Well, to accompany Buffalec Baldwin Chicken Meatball Poppers or any form of buffalo flavoured things.

Buffalo as in chilli wings, not the animal. We’re not Jessica Simpson, though she is a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blu Cancheese Dressing
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g blue cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the blue cheese, garlic, sour cream, mayo and buttermilk in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Decant and down.

 

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Clubbie Sandwicki

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champions and Contenders were no more as the tribes merged, reuniting Shonella and Sharn and Lydia with their fellow Champions. Though not that Mat cared, given they allied with Benji and Robbie in his absence. Things only got worse for the duo as Shane pulled out of the immunity challenge and used that time to rally the troops against blindsiding Lydia. Which she executed to perfection, with Benji and Robbie once again left in the dark.

We returned to Koro Savu the next day where Shonee was continuing her helpful kick, starting fire and keeping Fenella like the queen that she is. Though given she is just grateful to have Fenella back – aka the only person she likes – she is willing to look after her. They then laughed about their ability to float through the game, find cracks and hot damn I want to be their bestie.

The clothed duo of Benji and Robbie were sulking by the shore, worried about what being left out on the Lydia vote means for them. Benji continued his streak of being wrong, identifying Mat as the one in charge and vowing to get his revenge. Completely unaware that Queen Shane is the icon in charge. To Mat’s credit, he knew the boys were pissed and approached them to tell them that Shane spearheaded the move and he had no other option. However once again, Benji chose to be wrong and decided it was a complete lie. Continuing his delusions of grandeur, Benji decided to cause chaos and paint a Survivor masterpiece. He kicked that off by reminding us that Monika is on the island, approaching her about forming an alliance over pawpaws. Which is a shitty omen, given pawpaws are foul.

Sharn too was still smarting about the outcome of the previous tribal council. Knowing she needed to lock in some backup options, she connected with Benji to see whether they were still good. Obviously they still were because Sharn is another dominant queen and is friendly with everyone. Meanwhile Mat and Steve were overcome with some paranoia by the shore, with zaddy Steve concerned about everyone turning on them now that Lydia is gone. Which is totally what is happening in the next few tribals, right? They checked in with Sharn who once again assured them everything was ok and that they could take out Robbie or Benji next.

Robbie and Fenella interrupted the plotting by returning to camp with an ominous note telling them to select one person to go up the path and make a decision for the tribe. Given everyone loves and trusts Sharn, they chose her and she was faced with the decision to take a huge bag or veggies … or a smaller one, an advantage at the next immunity challenge. While she debated about doing the right thing, she did the right thing for her game and selected the advantage, meaning she would only have to hold half the weight required at the challenge.

She returned to camp and told them she chose veggies for the tribe over a plate of chocolate biscuits for herself and one other person. While everyone was quick to buy her story, Sam called shade and needled her in the hope that she’d break. He tried badgering, taking her on an old fashioned guilt trip and hot damn, Sharn is a queen.

My boy Jonathan made his triumphant return to the screen for this week’s immunity challenge where everyone would be required to hold a disc like the prayer-moji with a giant sack of weights suspended from the bottom with the last sack hanging, winning. Monika quickly dropped out as Shonella compulsively readjusted to stay in the challenge, tragically to no avail for Shonee who dropped and was followed quickly by Shane and Fenella. Sam became the first male to drop, followed quickly by Steve. After fifteen minutes Brian dropped, followed by Benji at twenty minutes, leaving Mat, Robbie and Sharn to fight it out. Everyone was struggling and hot damn, how did I only just find out Mat is missing the top of two of his fingers?! Anyway Robbie dropped, followed by Mat who offered to give Sharn immunity despite the fact that she was owning the challenge anyway – having half the allocated weight may have had something to do with that – and has now had it back-to-back.

Back at camp Benji was hoping to make his way back on top with Robbie – which I would obviously watch – while Mat was confident about the tribe banding together to get rid of Robbie, despite the fact that is another meatshield heading out of his game. Robbie approached Mat to see if anyone was throwing his name out, with Mat admitting that he was planning to vote him out. He then ran his mouth further, telling him it would be a split vote and as such, an idol won’t help. Benji decided to join the fray, aggressively checking whether they’d split the vote on him. He then pulled a tearful Robbie aside and vowed to do whatever he can to protect him.

With that, Benji approached Sharn to float the idea of taking out Mat first as he’s a far bigger threat and Robbie really has nothing going on. He then checked in with Shonee to see whether she and Fenella would be open to voting out Mat instead, as taking out the leader would cause the Champions to splinter and potentially give them other options. Shonella regrouped to talk options, unsure whether keeping Robbie around as a shield would be beneficial and whether they could hijack the split vote to get their own way. Robbie and Benji continued their attack, approaching Sam who was feeling well and truly left out. Given his vulnerable state, he was open to the plan and speculated whether now was the right time to make a move against Mat. Speaking of whom, Mat approached Benji as they were planning to head to tribal council to confirm that they would be voting for Robbie and that they would be interested in keeping Benji around if he joined them.

At tribal council Jonathan reminded everyone that while someone will be voted out tonight, they’d get the honour of becoming the King or Queen of the jury which is pretty much the next best thing. Benji agreed it made everything even more complex moving forward while Brian felt confident that he was making bonds to keep him in the game, and I assume, get some votes at the end. Sam spoke about the people on the bottom of alliances needing to flip eventually, while Robbie smugly smiled to himself. Mat tried to reiterate the importance of loyalty … before Robbie went in, pointing out how big of a threat Mat is and that he and Benji are free and ready to make a move. Monika agreed that people on the bottom would need to flip, but only if they could see the benefit of it for their game. Mat spoke about threats, Benji struggled to articulate what the vote meant to him, eventually spluttering out that he hopes to help people along as far as he can, smartly pretending he doesn’t think he can win. Robbie reiterated that he and his allies are willing numbers, if people want to make a move.

With that, Jonathan sent the tribe off to vote and he tragically discovered that he had no allies in the game, as the tribe banded together to take him out and make him the King of the Jury. Which I hope sees as increase in his nudity. While poor Robbie was gutted to find himself checking into the Jury Villa, my aforementioned and oft referenced too thirst kept me from pointing out that he only has himself to blame after sharing too much information and being hella obviously while painting a target on his back. Instead, I giggled like a school girl and madly tried to shake our beer cans so they’d spray all over us while we sat down for our a Clubbie Sandwicki or two.

 

 

Like Rob, these babies are stacked so full of meat that you’re left salivating and begging for more. And if said more is referencing more Survivor recipes, you’re in luck because hot damn this is a gangbang of franchises with NZ and US joining forces with us to serve a killer sandy-j.

Gangbang. Sandy-J. Robbie.

Enjoy!

 

 

Clubbie Sandwicki
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
800g chicken breasts, sliced in half
8 rashers streaky bacon
12 slices Paige de Keragne, toasted
8 cos leaves, rinsed
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
Jud Beerza Battered Fries, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil over medium heat and cook the chicken for 5 minutes each side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from heat and keep warm while you fry the bacon in the same pan until crisp.

To assemble, place four slices of bread on a chopping board and smear over the mayo. Top with lettuce, bacon, tomato, chicken and another piece of bread. Smear with mayo and top with lettuce, bacon, tomato, chicken and the remaining bread. Secure sandwiches with toothpicks or something similar to maintain structural integrity.

Serve with fries and devour.

 

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Chicktina Big McDonald

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Burgers, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra and Co celebrated pride. Well, except for Liberty who was struggling with the culture shock since she is used to the bias against gay people in her community. Christina continued to create drama and Brendi K was overwhelmed by the thought of representing her community. The models posed with Drag Race royalty – Manila, Katya and Valentina – where Khrystyana slayed, and Kyla and Liberty bombed, with Liberty ultimately sent back to her small-minded community. Hopeful to change minds.

The models returned from panel where Erin contemplated slipping Khrystyana a little something to bring her back in line with the other girls. JK, Kimora – Erin is a saint and would never do that. Kyla reflected on the humbling experience of landing in the bottom two before she accidentally bumped into Brendi K, setting off some mild rage before stewing in her sadness. Thankfully Christina was on hand to give some solid advice about Brendi maybe just stopping being poor and not being offended by the judges critiques.

It is hella meaningful, since Christina is so good with human interaction.

Erin, Rio and Jeana took time out by the spa to talk about their lives, their choices and how people view their modelling dreams. Erin then broke down about her ex, who she left while he was dying from cancer … WHICH IS WAY TOO HEAVY FOR A MODELLING SHOW.

Tyra Mail arrived the day announcing that this week, everyone would be getting manicures. Thankfully Tyra arrived to offer some clarity … no, nope, no clarity. She just wanted a manicure and to spill some tea. Once again Christina proved adept with human interaction, sharing that she was trying to open up to the girls and form bonds. Then she shared a sad story about her dad’s heart stopping, being put into an induced coma and the fact he should have died. To reiterate, TOO DAMN HEAVY FOR TOP MODEL. Give me a booty tooch while smizing.

Ty-Ty continued to act as Oprah with Kyla sharing her nerves about being in the bottom, Sandra and Erin spoke about never wanting to be a part of a nude shoot and Khrystyana spoke about being molested. Once again and I know I sound like a broken record, THIS IS WAY TOO HEAVY FOR A MODELLING SHOW. Won’t someone bring Tiffany back to get yelled at? Thankfully for Sandra and Erin, Tyra wasn’t going to make them face their fears instead this week’s raw shoot is actually just make-up free … while being cradled by the hands of the other models.

Christina seemed to be in her head throughout the shoot, Brendi K felt the process was cathartic, Kyla put the judge’s’ advice into action and Khrystyana’s soul was captured by Tyra. While we didn’t really see much, it seemed like literally everyone nailed it.

The next day, the models met Drew and Director X to film videos standing up to bullying with the winning one forming part of a National Crime Prevention Council campaign. The models split into three groups, with Brendi K electing to work with sworn nemesis Christina and Shanice as the referee, while Erin, Rio and Jeana, and Khrystyana, Kyla and Sandra were the less dysfunctional groups. Stacey McKenzie arrived to provide advice to the girls while filming the commercial, with Christina wasting no time to bringing up her experiences being bullied in the house. Obviously without naming names.

We were then treated to a screaming montage while the models filmed their videos, and once again, it was way too emotional to actually throw any shade at. All the videos were powerful, well maybe not Christina, Shanice and Brendi K’s, with Kyla, Sandra and Khrystyana’s ultimately taking out victory.

At panel, Kyla received universal praise, as did Sandra, and Shanice … and Brendi K. Khrystyana shared her experience being molested, and explained it fed her release in the photo which was perfection. Hold up, literally everyone was beautiful and their photos received universal praise. Well except for Erin, whose face was completely covered by her hair and Christina who once again argued with the judges, making Tyra question whether she is in the competition to learn or get attention. For the first time in Top Model history, Brendi K, Jeana, Khrystyana, Kyla, Rio, Sandra and Shanice tied for best photo, really putting salt on the wounds of Erin and Christina who really had it driven home to them, that their photos were balls. Despite arguably having the worst photo – wait no, Tyra said it was definitely worse – Erin was saved, while Christina was eliminated because of her bad attitude and the fact she isn’t willing to learn.


Make no mistake, Christina continued to rail against the judges and her fellow models by the time she met up with me backstage, and despite being a lifelong friend … all I could do to shut her up, was smack a Chicktina Big McDonald into her gob.

 

 

The Chicken Big Mac has been a hallowed thing popping up on Aussie Maccas menus for the last year or so. Essentially, it is our McRib. And this little number is as close as you can get, when they aren’t trying to lure your into stores. Crispy chicken, the tang of mac sauce, pickles, cheese and iceberg? I damn near creamed my shorts just thinking about it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicktina Big McDonald
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
1 egg
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp French dressing
1 tbsp sweet gherkin relish
1 onion, finely minced – ½ for the sauce, ½ for the burgers
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder, plus a pinch for the patties
8 slices American cheese
pickles, thinly sliced
4 sesame seed Kirsten Bunst
iceberg lettuce, chopped

Method
Place the chicken mince in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Divide into eight patties and place in the fridge to set for at least an hour. While you’re refrigerating things, combine the sauce ingredients and refrigerate until needed.

Beat the egg and stir with the water in a large, shallow bowl and combine the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and a pinch of garlic powder in a second bowl.

Grab the patties out of the fridge and coat each with the flour mixture, remove and dredge each filet in the egg mixture, before coating in the flour mix again. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for an hour.

Remove and repeat the flour and dredging process again and leave to rest for about ten minutes.

Heat a generous lug of oil in a large frying pan, I mean crazy generous but not enough to technically consider it shallow frying as you know it scares me. Cook the patties for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until light brown and crispy.

Combine the mayo, French dressing, sweet gherkin relish, half the onion, white vinegar, sugar, smoked paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl with a good season, stir and place in the fridge to chill.

To assemble, cut each bun in three and place the base on a plate. Smear generously with special sauce, top with a pinch of the reserved chopped onion, add the lettuce, top with a slice of cheese and a chicken pattie, followed by the middle of the bun. Then smear with more sauce, top with onion, lettuce, a few pickle slices, cheese – because I believe it needs two slices – a chicken pattie and the top of the bun.

Smoosh as thinly as you can and devour, greedily.

 

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Vecepia Baowery

Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor: Marquesas

Just like the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, I’m about to be back, back, back, back, back again on a remote(ish) island in Fiji to cook-up some culinary commiserations for the 19 soon to be losers and 39 days, one sole survivor, of Survivor: Ghost Island. As has now become traditional, I am counting down to the premiere by spending time with past victors. And we’re kicking things off with one of my favourites – Vecepia Towery.

Now hold up – did I desperately want Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien to take out Marquesas? Without a doubt. But does that take away from the low-key brilliance that was Vecepia’s win, the likes of which we had never seen up until that point? No.

I mean, not even the kite flying challenge could diminish my love of the underrated Marquesas.

Not only did Vecepia land on the worst tribe in Survivor history at that point, but she overcame a three-seven disadvantage at the merge to lead (with Sean and Kathy, yes) the first ever shake-up in Survivor, rallying the minority to turn on the majority and overthrow the game. For that alone, you can’t count out Vecepia. Particularly when you take into account the journal she kept, that helped her snatch victory in the fallen comrades challenge.

Anyway, as you should probably have guessed by now, V is one of my dearest friends and I will defend her to the end of the earth. Knowing that, she was thrilled to answer my call and drop-by to honour the 36th season of the show … which Marquesas kind of set up to become what it is.

We laughed, we cried, we strategised about ways to get more people from early seasons brought back for returning player seasons and most importantly, we absolutely annihilated some four-weeks-to-go Vecepia Baowery.

 

 

I love me some bao buns. So, so, much. And these spicy little numbers do nothing to reduce said love. Spicy, sweet and a bun slathered in white creamy goodness? Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Vecepia Baowery
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm piece ginger, sliced
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 long red chillies, chopped
½ cup Chinese rice wine
⅓ cup dark soy sauce
1L chicken stock
4 chicken thighs
½ cup rice flour
2 tsp Chinese five-spice
vegetable oil
8 buns and the cucumber from Bret LaBao Buns
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
small handful of coriander leaves, to taste
kewpie mayo, to taste

Method
Prep your buns and cucumber as per Bretty’s recipe.

Place the garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, chillies, rice wine, soy and stock in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, reducing heat to low when rollicking. Add the chicken and simmer for twenty minutes or so. Remove and allow to cool before cutting across the thigh into short 1 inch wide strips.

Combine the rice flour and five spice in a bowl and toss through the cooled pieces of chicken to coat. Place enough vegetable oil to fill a pot up to 1cm and place over a high heat. When shimmery and starting to get that weird dancing appearance, reduce heat to medium and add half the chicken, cooking for a couple of minutes – flipping once – until they’re gloriously crisp. Remove to a paper towel and repeat the process.

To assemble, spread open your buns, slather with some kewpie, top with cucumber, capsicum, chicken, more kewpie and some coriander. Devour immediately.

 

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Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip

Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack

My time back in, time, got me thinking about all of my old Hollywood friends. That in turn reminded me of the rapidly approaching double anniversary of doom of Deb and Carrie, reminding me that I really need to put in more of an effort with my dear friend Connie Stevens.

While my relationship with Joely was so adversarial – in a friendly way though – enough to inspire the hit film Drop Dead Gorgeous, my bond with Con has been nothing with diamonds. Though sans rosé, that is reserved for the VanderpumpTodds.

Anywho, I first met Con in ‘69 – giggity – while touring with the Bob Hope USO tour to Guam and Southeast Asia. While my sexually aggressive boylesque wasn’t as well received as it would be today, Con took me under her wing and we became the best of friends.

Despite the fact it was my affair with Eddie that ruined her marriage.

Thankfully Con is hella forgiving, and currently hella available, so forgave me and continued our dear friendship … meaning she was super keen to reconnect post-thanksgiving slash pre-Christmas.

While we had a huge falling out in the late noughties – since she refused to cast me in her directorial debut – our mutual losses of the last year melted away the ice between us. Enough to reconcile this holiday season. And boy am I thankful for that.

We laughed, we cried, we lamented why we let such petty things get in the way of our friendship – particularly when me wrecking her home didn’t ruin it – over a big fat bowl of my Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip.

 

 

While it may not be the best for my gastroenterological system, caramelised onion is damned near perfection. Sweet, tart and earthy, this dip is the perfect accompaniment for a mournful, or triumphant day. Aka it is versatile, which is what everyone wants in a date.

Enjoy!

 

 

Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Method
Heat  a good lug of oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 15 minutes. Stir through the sugar, Worcestershire, Sriracha, paprika, sage and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

When cool, combine everything in a bowl together and chill for an hour or so before devouring.

 

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Zinggy Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Burgers, Main, Party Food, Poultry, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara finally realised that my dear Locky needs to go if she has any shot at the end. She then discovered some lollies to sweeten the deal with Ziggy to flip, joining literally everyone else to get rid of Locky. Sadly for them – and great for my hope he’ll give us buns again – he then won immunity, causing everyone to scramble leading to (self-proclaimed) King Luke to exit the game and give someone else some screentime.

Jericho was devastated when he returned to camp, though harking back to his first confessional vowed to bring chaos to the tribe. He then went in for Tara, telling Locky all of her plans to turn on him to get further. Locky felt it sounded true – because it is – so pulled Tara aside to clear the air. While she seemed to get herself out of the mess, Locky still seemed paranoid.

The next day Ziggy replaced Luke as the manic person that oft appears to be a junkie, as she reminded us that she and Tara are the lolly bandits. She then spoke about getting a hit and the fact it is constantly on her mind which makes me extremely concerned for her welfare. Are we getting a sugar crash medevac tonight?

Tara continued to try and do damage control at camp, while a sadly clothed Locky told us he was still feeling anxious about what Jericho said, despite believing Tara. He then told us all how he was dominating the game, and I didn’t love the look on him. To put his mind at ease, Locky and Ziggy caught up in the jungle, with Ziggy convinced that Tara wasn’t flipping on them … because, sugar rush? YAAAAAAAHHHHH.

Oh wait, sorry, sugar-junky Ziggy made me forget she was completely onboard with getting rid of Locky.

Given the fact Locky was still feeling uneasy, he tried to forge a connection with Jericho to break the alleged 3-3 split. For the second time this episode, Jericho appeared to be smarter than I gave him credit for, barely humouring Locky and throwing some epic shade in his confessionals. I mean, I don’t want to like him, but the sass is glorious.

Sensing defeat, Locky moved on to Michelle who proved that she is truly the biggest threat left in the game, because if she makes it to the end, she would Kristie the shit out of the questions. His attempt to woo her quickly became a fight, gaining the attention of Jericho and Pete with the latter deciding he needs to reconnect with Tara and pull her in to get rid of Locky or Ziggy. But let’s be honest, Locky is winning immunity again, right? Otherwise we are Alecia Holden-ing our way straight from immunity, to tribal council.

Putting me out of my misery JoJo returned for said immunity challenge which required everyone to keep their balls in the air … by keeping a single ball spinning within a circular track. As quickly as it started Michelle was out, followed by Tara as the rain arrived to give us some JLP wet T-shirt action. I mean, if he keeps this up, Locky is expendable. Oh Ziggy then dropped out, followed by Jericho leaving the hopes of the tribe weighing on Pete’s shoulders. Sadly for him, the weight became too much and Locky once again took out immunity and crushed the hopes and dreams of the tribe.

Side note: how good did JLP’s nips look while handing the necklace back to Locky?

Back at camp everyone was pissed, with Tara particularly concerned about his immunity run continuing and the fact she needs to fashion a plan B. Meanwhile Pete already had his plan B lined up, deciding that Ziggy needs to go as she is the second biggest threat left in the game. Tara was not sold on this, rationalising that Ziggy is the best person to end Locky’s immunity run. Tara took the Ziggy plan back to Ziggy and Locky to see what they should do, with Locky wanting to target Michelle and bully someone into flipping with them for fear of going to rocks.

Locky tried to work his magic on Jericho and Pete to spook them into flipping rather than playing rocks, with both of the boys hilariously preferring to go to rocks and put their game to chance rather than voting with Locky. Pete then pulled Tara aside to run through the competing plans, trying to sway Tara to their side to avoid rocks.

They arrived at tribal council where the tribe struggled to pretend to be happy about Locky’s hat trick. Jericho threw some light shade, Pete admitted he wanted Locky to lose so they could vote him out, Tara gave a better acting performance pretending she doesn’t want Locky out, Ziggy said she wished she had immunity before Michelle brought some excitement to the festivities. Channelling Ciera ‘she voted out her MOM’ Eastin, she then announced that the vote is currently deadlocked and that they will be voting for Ziggy. Pete then joined the fray, promising Tara that they will stick with her if she flips to their side to get rid of Ziggy. Locky and Ziggy tried their best to talk Tara back but Michelle and Pete went in hard, tag-teaming her – not in a good way – until she had a throbbing headache as she joined them in sending Ziggy to the jury … with an extra large side of shade.

I don’t want to say Steph Rice is a jinx, but it is hard to ignore the fact that she kicked off a hat trick of my catch-ups with my favourite female aquatic Olympians. It really should come as no shock that I worked for the AIS coaching the Australian water polo teams how to be extremely aggressive and rip off their rivals’ swimmers. While I far preferred working with the men’s team – for obvious reasons – I quickly bonded with Zigs and we became the fastest of friends.

While Zigs was disappointed when she arrived at the jury villa, she was thrilled to see me – one of her favourite people – waiting to give her a hug and huge platter of my Zinggy Burger.

 

 

Tragically this recipe arrived two episodes late to coincide with the popcorn chicken alliance as it is my blatant rip-off of KFC’s Zinger Burger, which totally ruin my plans to sell myself as a psychic. As I oft say when making Burgers or Pizza, there is nothing better than a homemade version – succulent chicken, a big kick of heat and a crunch that could burst an eardrum, these babies are perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Zinggy Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large chicken breasts, sliced in half
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp rice flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup vegetable oil
4 Kirsten Bunst
4 slices high-melt cheese
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup iceberg lettuce, sliced
Kent Nelsonion Rings, to serve

Method
Combine the Worcestershire, chilli and mustard powders and a good whack of salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss through the chicken, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

When the chicken in almost done, combine the flour, cornstarch, rice flour, baking powder, egg and milk in a bowl. Combine the corn flakes, bread crumbs and teaspoon of salt in a second bowl.

Remove the chicken from the fridge, dip in the batter, followed by the coating and place on a plate. Cover and return to the fridge to chill for a hour.

Once that is done, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add the chicken fillets and fry for about five minutes each side, flipping once, or until golden and crisp.

Split the buns, smear the mayo on the bottom, top with lettuce, followed by the fillets and topped with some cheese and a little extra mayo. Close the burger and devour, like an Olympic champion.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

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

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

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

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

 

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Chicken Ellen Barkin and Cheese Burger

Burgers, Main, Party Food, Snack

Where do I start with my girl Ellen Barkin? I know I shouldn’t have favourite characters within my favourite movie, but Annette Atkins is an icon and she even inspired my life’s mantra, once a carnie, always a carnie. Sure it doesn’t make sense if you don’t know I have a carnie fetish … but I guess I just told you? Blame The Simpsons.

Anyway, I’m now well off track.

I first met El in the early ‘80s while visiting my boy Steve Guttenberg on the set of Diner. While I was too busy obsessing over the divine Kevin Bacon, to form a lasting relationship with El, we reconnected on the set of Sea of Love – I was visiting Al Pacino – and our friendship was finally able to blossom.

When it came time to cast the role of Annette in Drop Dead Gorgeous, I knew that El was the only person I could trust. While she was a little hesitant to have a beer-can fused to her hand for half a movie, I was quickly able to win her over … and the results truly are beautiful.

She has been super busy with season 2 of Animal Kingdom lately, but jumped at the opportunity to celebrate her crowning cinematic achievement and witness my told-you-so- dance in all its glory.

Given how much I love her and how much I love burgers, my dinner choice was clear – my delightful Chicken Ellen Barkin and Cheese Burger!

 

 

Shamelessly inspired by the greatest thing on the KFC menu – well, outside of the Zinger Bacon and Cheese – this burger fills me with unending joy. Fresh, zingy, crisp fried chicken, bacon, cheese and a shit tonne of mayo and lettuce? You had me at zingy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Ellen Barkin and Cheese Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, halved into bun sized fillets
½ mix of Farrahed Moan Chicken spice mix
8 rashers streaky bacon
4 slices high melt cheese
1-2 cups iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
¼ mayonnaise

Method
Prepare the chicken breast fillets as per the Farrahed Moan Chicken Recipe until crispy and glorious.

Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, until crisp.

To make the burgers, half the buns, slather the base with mayo, top with lettuce, bacon, cheese and chicken fillets. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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