JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, the tribe swap brought about shifts in the tribal alliances as Dave was reunited with his high school bestie Matt and Dylan found safety in some desperate Chanians who could save him from the evil Khangkhaws. As such, Chani threw the challenge lead by Renee, Dave and Arun, to take out one of the biggest threats. While Renee and Arun pushed for Matt, Dave ultimately worked his magic and changed the vote to Josh who, TBH, is too sweet for this game.

Back at camp Dylan was feeling very happy with himself and the flip, while Matt was completely blindsided by the blindside. Though let’s be honest, it could have been far worse so he should be happy. He and Dylan then awkwardly tried to banter through the awkwardness while Adam continued to play his ignore Dylan game, no doubt waiting for the best time to bitch to us before saying something hilarious and making me confused about how I should feel about him.

We visited Khangkhaw the next day where Tess was terrified to discover a scorpion in the mailbox, much to the amusement of everyone back of camp. This, my friends, is comedy gold. They surmised said mail was for an endurance reward challenge and as such, they got to work carbo loading and preparing for the challenge ahead. Well except Lisa who spent her time worrying about either Josh or Matt being eliminated last night and JT who was feeling absolutely rubbish and felt like his experience was wasting away with his health.

Meanwhile over at Chani, Adam and Renee who caught up on the last tribal council with Adam sick of the villains on his tribe and Renee wanting Matt’s scalp for daring to throw a vote on her at the last tribal. Not to be outdone, Matt vented about tribal council to Dave and shared that throwing the challenge is what upset him. Oh and he obvi told us that he does not trust Arun in the slightest, and he doesn’t know how he can trust Dave while he is still in the game.

Matty Chis arrived on the scene for long gestating reward challenge with Adam walking in with the angriest of faces, while Brad and Tess were completely shocked to see that Josh was booted. Despite it being the most logical move for OG Chani and Dylan from the left right out. The challenge involved one person holding on tightly to a big fat pole – my dream – while two members of the opposing tribe run down and try and pull them off and drag them away. Given it was for a pair of hens, feed and dozen eggs, it was definitely worth. Dave and Adam ran to remove Eve from her post while Brad and Tara attempted to pull Zadam off. The boys completely dominated Eve and she toddled back to her tribemates, leaving Arun and Dave so guilt stricken that they asked Matt to stop the challenge immediately and hand the reward to Khangkhaw. While Khangkhaw were willing to come up with a work around, they stuck to their guns and who would have thought that Survivor NZ would be giving us a lesson about violence against women.

Dylan wasn’t thrilled by the decision to forego the massive reward, while the rest of Chani were happy about their decision. Particularly Arun, despite wishing he did it before literally dragging Eve through the mud. Proving my theory that Dylan and Adam should just fuck, Adam was also annoyed by the fact the boys decided to quit the challenge and said they were just dramatic. Just as a reminder, it was the villains he was talking about earlier that opted to quit the challenge as it sent a bad message about violence against women. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw the chickens were settling in nicely while JT tried to turn the conversation away from gender and instead said it was all about size … and that he would have relished the opportunity to hold on to the pole. But really, who wouldn’t? Tara and Tess quickly boiled up some eggs to give themselves sustenance with JT still too ill to partake.

This is looking concerning, no?

The Outpost rolled around with Lisa hoping for an opportunity to further prove how “loyal”, “honest” and “not in it to win” she is and Dave quickly snatching the chance away from Dylan, hoping for food. Sadly for Dave, they were playing for a reward … though he appeared to have an idol clue on his table, so it wasn’t a huge loss. They both had to use a collection of letters in front of them to form a five word phrase which would advise them of the prize. Almost instantaneously, Lisa spelt out that she can steal a vote at the very next tribal council she attends and she is thrilled to try and reverse the curse of Fishbach and Cirie. Lisa and Dave add a quick chat to get information from each other without giving anything away. Though based on the fact Lisa continued to play the sweet, kind lady schtick, I’d call her the winner of the trip. Despite Dave actually getting an idol clue in his travels.

Lisa returned to camp and quickly tried to downplay her advantage, saying it was simply a piece of information. Sadly JT tore her story apart instantly and continued to back her into the corner, and it appeared, sowed some distrust with Brad. He then literally guessed it was a double vote, could tell he was right by her reaction and damn, WHY HAVE I BEEN SLEEPING ON JT?

Meanwhile back at Chani, Dave made a beeline for the well to find the idol. Which he did, leaving him feeling a heady mix of nerves, excitement and I assume arousal. In any event, he assured us it was Dave’s idol and not a team idol. He then wandered into camp and quickly caught everyone up on the challenge and Lisa’s vote steal reward. Meaning she has definitely made herself appear more distrustful heading into the merge.

Thankfully Lisa was back at camp sharing the true details of her reward with Brad and Tara, while JT skulked about in the bushes. Concerned about the closing gap between tribe numbers, they decided it was wise to throw the challenge and guarantee another Chani goes. Sadly for then, Renee and Dylan were also keen to throw the challenge and take out Matt to tie up the numbers, much to Dave’s dismay.

With everyone planning to throw immunity, we arrived at the challenge where each tribe was required to maneuver a box of heavy cubes through a series of obstacles before making a mathematical equation that equals 20. Well, if they were wanting to win. Which they’re not. Despite some of their worst attempts, Chani got out to an early lead and were working on the equation before Khangkhaw were even halfway through. Sadly – or happily, I don’t even know who is doing what TBH – Khangkhaw came from nowhere to snatch the win, despite neither of the problems making sense. Aren’t we meant to do multiplications and divisions first? Anyway Lisa was sick – how often do we see the medics?! – and as such, she wasn’t on her A-game to throw the challenge much to her heartache.

We returned to Chani where Arun was concerned about the fact Lisa’s vote steal lives to see another day, since he is her most likely target. More concerned about the immediate danger, Adam made it his goal to flip Arun and Dave on Dylan instead while Matt pulled Arun aside and tried to see if he could sway him. Sensing Arun’s concern about the extra vote, Matt used that to open the door – is it $10k and he’s Fergie? – and tell him how he can use his bond with Lisa to get the intel and protecting him at the merge. Meanwhile Dave and Adam caught up, with the former starting to get frustrated about having to deflect the vote from Matt. Despite being all in with Dylan to vote out Matt, Adam got to work sowing seeds of doubt with Renee about Dylan’s loyalty and speculated that he will go straight to Lisa because of her advantage. Dylan appeared to get nervous and spoke to Adam – has hell frozen over? – in the shelter, with Adam telling him the others convinced him to vote for Matt. Which totally means Dylan is going, right?

Instead of heading over to tribal, we randomly checked back in with Khangkhaw with Matty Chis dropping by camp to check in on JT’s illness. In the space of me typing that sentence, JT shared that the housecall wasn’t rando and that he was actually quitting the game due to his illness not improving. While his bestie Eve took it in her stride, poor Tara was completely shocked and started to breakdown.

Given she was still in the game, I heartlessly ignored her pain and instead turned my attention to getting JT on the boat and nursing back to health. Whilst also berating him for quitting the game. Picture Tyra Banks screaming at Tiffany, but like 90% angrier. I mean, JT is a superfan and has a killer collection of shirts and I was heartbroken to see him leave. Though not heartbroken enough not to share my JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding which I threatened to throw into the damn lake for Tara to eat.

 

 

Creamy, rich and oh so simple, there is something life-affirming and comforting about a bread and butter pudding. Maybe it is the bread. Or the butter … or the custard. You know?

Enjoy!

 

 

JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
5 eggs
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
8-12 slices white bread, crusts removed like on a toddler’s sandwich
butter, softened
⅔ cup sultanas
demerara sugar, to sprinkle
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Whisk the milk, cream, eggs, muscovado, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl until well combined.

Butter both side of each slice of bread, cut into triangles and haphazardly place into a baking dish, sprinkling with sultanas as you go. Pour the custard over the bread and leave to rest for ten minutes.

Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately with a generous hunk of Vanilla Ice … Cream.

Devour.

 

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Grantbola

Baking, Breakfast, Vegetarian

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Hollywood. I mean, my relationships with the A-list of it inspired this patch of cyberspace … but sometimes it is nice just to hang out with a fellow Australian. And by that, Kiwi we adopted as our own after they became a success.

I first met Granty while working together on Blue Heelers in the ‘90s. You see, I created and wrote for the show, inspired by my experiences in the town of Mt Thomas in the ‘80s. Crime was so rife – 99% of them committed by me – that I knew it would make Aussie TV gold, and a legend was born.

But back to Grant. Grant walked in to audition and I instantly knew that he was the Wayne I had dreamed about and the rest, as I oft say, is history.

Grant was so grateful to me for giving him his big break that he pledged undying allegiance to me and begged me to guide his career. Given he worked on True Blood with Anna and Al, Ugly Betty with Alan Dale, I think you’d agree that my influence truly helped.

No shade to his talent though, obvi.

It was such a delight to hang out together, laugh about the good ol’ days with Sacky, McCune and Johnny Woods, reflect on the tragedy that was the latter seasons of True Blood – minus Skarsy’s peen shot – and devour some nourishing Grantbola for the day ahead.

 

 

Did I not mention we’re both morning people and work out together? We’re sickeningly cute bestos. Inspired by Sarah Wilson’s coconut-nut granola but made infinitely better thanks to the inclusion of fruits and other things you can’t eat after quitting sugar, this is the only granola you want in your life.

Enjoy!

 

 

Grantbola
Serves: 12-ish. Maybe? A soft maybe. I’m not sure, let’s call a shit-tonne and be done.

Ingredients
¼ cup coconut oil
3 cups coconut flakes
½ cup almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup cashews, roughly chopped
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup macadamias, roughly chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
½ cup apple puree
½ cup craisins

Method
Preheat oven to 120°C.

Combine everything but the craisins in a large bowl until everything is coated and combined.

Spread across two lined baking sheets and cook for 10 minutes, toss, and cook for a further 10 or so, or until golden. Remove, toss through the craisins and allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, devouring daily with yoghurt, fresh berries and, if you want to upset Sarah further, some Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

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Heel bluey

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Name a town more riddled with crime and corruption, particularly on a per capita basis, than the (thankfully fictional) Mt. Thomas. You can’t, can you?

Anywho, Blue Heelers is one of the best shows to ever exist, ever. Fact. If only for giving the world Maggie Doyle, and me, my dear friend Grant Bowler.

What says I’m glad Blue was your launching pad to hosting 90% of Australian versions of reality TV series?

Image source: Channel 7.

 

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Joe Del Campho

Main, Soup, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Yeah, yeah – previously on Survivor, Jason couldn’t pull off the impossible and was sent to Ponderosa despite everyone in the alliance trying to turn on each other. But this episode, seriously? Again! Another freaking medevac!?

Poor little Joey, Joe-Joe aka Rudy 2.0 found himself experiencing some severe #GastrointestinalDistress and was swiftly pulled from the game in fifth place. Confirming to Tai that, despite his fears, he goes home with his idol in his pocket.

Game, set, match editors – well played!

Anyway, let’s rewind. We got back to camp and again Joe spoke, before Michelle and Tai butted heads over Tai’s late-game villain turn after he once again flipped on his alliance for the third time.

We then headed straight to reward where Joe shocked everyone and won the reward, proving that slow and steady wins the race, and ended his anti-Anglim streak in the process.

Damn straight he #GetsItDoneAt71!

I first connected with Joe about four decades ago when we worked for the FBI together. Joe is an absolute gentleman and acted like a mentor to me, despite my questionable relationship with the law.

We stayed close throughout the years – despite my many scandals, arrests and stints in rehab – and Joe has remained a constant in my life and has always tried to help me be the best version of me. Could you imagine how bad I would have been without him?

Anyway, poor little Joe overindulged in the delicious meat at his Hef reward, despite not being a big meat guy, and sadly that was his downfall.

We heard all about Cydney upping her game (by downplaying the fact that she could literally crush everyone left in the game), Joe, Cyd and Aubry formed a final three alliance, Tai and Michelle joined forces, Aubry and Tai reconnected while Michelle and Cydney solidified their bond … all for nothing after Joe was done in, I assume, by an extreme case of meat sweats!

Having zero respect for the fact that he was just medically evacuated for stomach issues – and the fact that he is 71, to boot – I decided to go with a (potentially) digestively aggressive Joe Del Campho to welcome him to post-hospital Ponderosa.

 

joe-del-campho-1

 

In my defense, pho was Joe and my go to meal after cracking a case / defeating the bad-guys / whatever it is we did in the FBI back in the day (I was way too high to remember those days) – it was to us, what shawarma is to the avengers, you know?

So yeah, onion, par cooked-meat and chilli isn’t a good thing on paper – but it was the ultimate comfort food for my dear old friend. Despite that, the fresh flavours, delicately cooked meat and the kick of heat and lime work together to bring you a pho that dances in your mouth.

Plus, ginger is good for you … so there is that, right? Enjoy!

 

joe-del-campho-2

 

Joe Del Campho
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 cups beef stock
3cm piece ginger, finely grated
2 star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds
cinnamon quill
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
dried pho noodles, softened in boiling water for a couple of minutes
250g beef sirloin, finely sliced across the grain
1 onion, finely sliced
4 shallots, green part only, finely sliced
⅓ cup chopped coriander
black pepper
lime wedges, to serve
sliced chillies, to serve
Thai basil leaves, to serve
bean sprouts, to serve
sriracha sauce

Method
Place stock, ginger, spices, fish sauce, soy sauce and 2 cups of cold water in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Place a handful of pho noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to rest until cooked through or about fifteen minutes, drain and leave to rest.

Thinly slice the steak – it helps if you freeze it for about 20 minutes before.

Remove the spices from the stock mixture with a slotted spoon.

To serve, place pho noodles in the bottom of a bowl, layer the raw steak and onion over the top and cover generously with the piping hot stock. Season generously and sprinkle on some coriander.

To eat, season to taste with lime juice and chilli and add in some basil and sprouts. As I like heat and disregard Joe’s health, I topped it up generously with some sriracha.

The heat may have got things moving?

 

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