Greg Paneer

Cheese

I tell you, life feels as good as it gets when I’m spending time with my celebrity friends. None more so, than the delightful Greg Kinnear.

While I didn’t meet Greg until he was already an Emmy winner, he always credits me for the stratospheric launch of his career. And that love, support and praise, really speaks to me on a deep level. As such, my ego particularly likes spending time with him.

You see, I was part of Hellraiser Hunt’s entourage on the set of As Good As It Gets, and when I wasn’t busy trying to position myself as the King of the set, I was coaching Greg. He was lower on the totem pole, compared to Hells and Jack so I made it my mission to coach him on playing gay and get him into the A-list.

One Oscar nomination later and a string of hit movies including You’ve Got Mail opposite Megs (Megs, Megs, Megs) and I think you’ll agree I succeeded.

Given he is now an A-lister, out visits aren’t as often as we’d like but he always drops everything when I ask to catch-up.

Fresh off the set of House of Cards, I desperately tried to find out any tea but he told me that he was sworn to secrecy and he couldn’t even tell me. I mean, that is how deep our relationship is that I am the one person he wants to share his secrets with, even though I’m a terrible server like Sheree and always spill said tea.

Anyway, despite not getting any goss we did the usual, laugh, cry, love and then smashed a giant plate of my Greg Paneer for optimal joy.

 

 

Making cheese always seems like it is in the too hard basket, with all the acids, salts and cultures required. Thankfully, paneer is one of the most basic and still tastes oh so good. Soft and creamy, it is the perfect thing to fry up or say, chuck in a Jenneer Saagustin.

Enjoy!

 

 

Greg Paneer
Serves: 2 besties.

Ingredients
1L milk
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method
Line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth.

Combine the milk and salt in a large saucepan and slowly bring to a light boil, stirring semi-constantly to avoid burning on the bottom.

Remove from the heat and gently stir through the lemon juice until the curds and whey are seperated. Which should happen pretty instantaneously.

Pour the contents into the lined sieve and rinse under cold water. Grab the edges of the cheesecloth and twist into a ball to drain all the liquid and leave in the sieve to drain for a further five minutes.

Transfer to a large plate and place another on top layered with some cans to help it condense. Place in the fridge to chill for about an hour, or until solid.

Then slice and serve/fry, and then devour.

 

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Lydia Lassila

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

Previously on Australian Survivor 11 champions, 11 contenders, a three-time loser and a washed-up gladiator were sent to the islands of Fiji and forced to compete against each other in the ultimate game of survival. Thus the name, Survivor. Anyway, Matt D, Russell, Damien, Steve K, Jenna, Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath were all voted out and based on the preview, we’re about to merge yo! Oh and I should explain that Queen Shane was in the power position at the new Champions, while Benji and Robbie had joined the Champion girls on the new Contenders to eliminate Heath at the last tribal council. So yeah, it seems like shit is about to go down.

Getting straight into the action, the tribes met Jonathan in the middle of the jungle where the Champions were shocked to discover that Heath had been booted at the previous tribal council. Mat spoke about his fears for the Champion girls who all seemed awkward about him mentioning it, before Sam tried to downplay the sitch. Thankfully it didn’t really matter, as everyone was told to drop their buffs because this is a damn merge yo! Benji was proud about how he has played thus far, Steve was nervous though thrilled to be in his colour and Shonella were just thrilled to be united as icons deserve to be with icons.

Once everyone was draped in new, fresh buffs Jonathan announced that in lieu of a merge feast they’d be participating in a Survivor Auction, with Shonee thrilled about the possibility of having a burg. Which is super relatable. First up was a choccie milk – not the Choccie Milk – which was purchased by Sam for $80. Sam, Benji and Shane went hard for a covered item, with Shane spending $250 dollars to … exit the auction and sit at a beggars table, forced to request scraps from everyone. And given Sam gave her a sip of milk straight up, it seemed she is the true winner. Poached eggs, toast and tomato went to Fenella for $200 – with Shane going halfsies – Sharn snagged a pav, not parvlova, for $320, Brian also spent $320 on a hidden bowl of rice, $460 snagged Benji a burger, fries and coke, and Shonee dropped $500 on a huge fucking lolly jar. Oh, and a clue to a hidden immunity idol. Brian snagged a bed with Shane for three nights, Lydia evidently got a pizza without fanfare and then bam, it was all over.

The newly merge tribe returned to camp with Shane thrilled to have made it so far and to be that much closer to victory. And willing to get as cutthroat as she needs to be, vowing to do whatever it takes to win. She then bonded with Fenella and hot damn, I hope Shanella are the final three. Shonella went for a walk into the jungle with Fenella spilling the tea on Robbie’s vapid concerns – though if he is nude, who cares, you know – and Shonee whinging about the trauma of listening to discussions about workout efficacy. Meanwhile Robbie and Benji followed Mat around like lost puppies, hoping to throw enough metaphors about battle and sport analogies to win him over. While Mat pretended to want to protect them for protecting Sharn and Lydia, I feel like that is not going to happen.

Mat approached Sharn to see what exactly they had promised to stay in the game, with Sharn pointing out she was desperately but her allegiances have not changed. Lydia checked in with Mat and dictated that Fenella needed to be the next person out, with Mat agreeing and turning his attention on keeping Brian on his side and making sure he doesn’t flip. Sadly he was sharing a bed with Shane and I ship them taking over. Before we got to see if Brian and Shane could take over, Sam and Lydia went for a late night wander to reconnect, with Sam highlighting how big a target she has resting on her back now that the merge has arrived.

The tribe went wandering for pawpaws the next day, much to the disgust of Shonee who used the alone time to snatch her clue and find out if I was right about it being for a hidden immunity idol. While I was tragically wrong, it did allow her the chance to steal someone’s vote at tribal and hot damn, I want Shonee to win. Particularly after she threw out that the prisoners are about to overthrow the guards.

We arrived at the first individual immunity challenge where the new Koro Savu tribe would all be required to hold on to a long hard pole as long as possible. Like Brooke, Parvati, Ozzy and a slew of other icons of the game. As soon as the challenge started, Shane opted out and decided to save her energy until she needed it – iconic – followed closely by Monika who requested a ladder as she was too scared to belly flop onto sand. Brian too couldn’t see himself winning so instead checked out, giving Shane the opportunity to float a Lydia blindside with Brian and Monika on the loser bench and pull in Shonee and Fenella. After an hour the remaining participants moved to the narrower footholds, with Robbie, Steve, Benji and Shonee all quickly dropping out.

After two hours poor Fenella couldn’t hold out any longer, followed by Mat leaving Sam, Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. While they battled, Shane continued to rally the troops for a Lydia blindside with Steve and Mat seemingly buying in and rallying Sharn for the win. After three hours they dropped to the skinniest foot holds with Sam dropping almost instantly, leaving Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. And battle they did, while Sam tried to keep the Champions from blindsiding Lydia. Which is a possibility, since the rain rolled in and she slid down the pole and handed immunity to Sharn.

Back at camp Shane quickly got to work lining up the numbers, concerned about how focused she was during the challenge when she didn’t even need it. Shane and Monika worked on keeping Mat loyal to the plan, with Shonee being looped in and Sam seemingly on board. Despite thinking that Fenella needs to go. Speaking of which, Robbie, Benji, Sharn and Lydia locked in their plan to take out Fenella, leaving Brian concerned about how to spell her name. Feeling like he may not have the numbers to get rid of Lydia, Mat approached Sharn about turning on her closest ally.

At tribal council Benji downplayed day one alliances, Mat admitted to bonded with Fenella over home designs ala Brad Culpepper before Jonathan pointed out the obvious, that Fenella and the OG Contenders are kinda screwed. Mat agreed that old tribes are dead, though couldn’t seem to remember the new tribe’s name. Sam tried to subtly hint at Mat and Shane that a Lydia blindside wouldn’t work out well for them, before Sharn spoke about her pride at taking out the first victory. Lydia on the other hand sold the challenge as fun, and the nails started to go into her coffin. Brian and Mat alluded to the fake Lydia was a threat, Fenella encouraged people to take out threats while they can while Sharn and Sam tried to defend Lydia and keep the Champions strong. Steve, thankfully, pointed out that getting to the end is the goal and it doesn’t matter how you get there and hot damn, zaddy’s home. Sharn and Lydia tried to downplay their dominance, Shane reiterated why her plan to step out of the challenge was the best move and that she is more than ready to take out the threats and make moves.

Then she led the entire tribe sans Benji and Robbie to prove that stepping down from the challenge was a killer idea, with her loser-bench plan to eliminate Lydia going off without a hitch. Given how competitive Lydia is, she wasn’t exactly thrilled to have been blindsided from the game and miss the jury – right Savage? – however her rage dissipated pretty quickly when she lay eyes on my Lydia Lassila.

 

 

Given it is literally her name, it may not be abundantly clear that this is a lassi. Well, except for the image I guess? Anyway, this is sweet, fresh and insanely delicious, and you should defs whip one up next time you’re angry. Or sad. Or happy. The focus is on making one, I guess?

Enjoy!

 

 

Lydia Lassila
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 cups natural yogurt
½ cup milk
2 cups chopped mango
1 tbsp honey
a pinch of ground cardamom

Method
Combine everything in a blender.

Blitz until smooth.

Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of extra cardamom.

Guzzle.

 

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Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe swap gave the Contenders a brief pause from their pagonging, well for some. As the new Contenders dominated leaving Benji and Robbie in power with their interloping Champs. Meanwhile over at the Champions Shane took control of the tribe with the Champion boys and the Contenders girls plus Brian pushing to get her. Sadly for Tegan and Shonee, she stuck with the boys and booted Tegan from the game. Thanks to another twist Tegan was given the opportunity to be saved from another boot by the other tribe, however with this time Benji and Robbie opting to send her from the game. For realsies.

We opened up with the Champions where Mat was surveying the land and found a massive beehive with Steve and Sam. Not wanting to leave it alone, they decided to try and smoke them out to get the honey giving me My Girl PTSD, because Thomas J will never be able to see without his glasses. Steve turned pyro and I got Firestarter PTSD, as the honeycomb eventually fell and the fire somehow didn’t burn out of control, leaving the Champions with a safe snack.

The next day Shonee was feeling left right out with four athletes and a genius, with no similarities to help her bond. I mean, they spoke about how long it too for wheels to be added to things and Queen Shonee was over it. Like, give me a shit tonne of Antiques Roadshow instead of suffering through this shit. Feeling like she should start contributing to the survival aspect of the tribe, she decided to try her hand at cooking, cleaning and doing things the others have done for a month. And the fact she has gotten away with that is why she is the queen, TBH. Particularly since Mat was all in on working with her.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders Heath and Fenella were feeling left out as Benji and Robbie continued to bond with the Champion girls, gloating about taking out Tegan. When really, they only added salt to her wounds technically. Fenella however was ropeable about their stupidity and hot damn it seems like the other side of Shonella is finally going to bring hell. Her new pal Heath meanwhile was confronting Robbie about how getting rid of Tegan was a good idea before hooking up with Fenella to bitch and try to find a way to get out of the mess of their making. Heath floated the idea of beating them at their own game, get the Champion girls and get rid of Robbie ASAP with Fenella decided that targeting Monika and her girl power to find an in. Fenella joined Mon and Sharn to talk about the possibility of doing a girls alliance as a way to find an in … in NUDE ROBBIE, BRB.

Sorry – all I can remember is Robbie getting his buns out and Fenella declaring game on molls. So yeah, episode of the season.

Sensing my desire slowly swinging to Robbie, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to use a rope to drag buckets full of sandbags, which two tribe members would use to knock blocks off a beam which the remaining two people will use to solve a word puzzle. Steve got the Champions out to an early lead while superwoman Lydia showed her first signs of challenge weakness, with Brian getting the second bucket back before Lydia got the Contenders first. Try as Robbie might, Shane and Mat only continued to extend the Champions lead while Benji and Heath finally closed the gap while lobbing their sacks until they found themselves stuck on one errant block. Sam and Shonee had a nice lead on the puzzle, leaving Sharn and Fenella to desperately try and come from behind. Sadly for them and thankfully for Shonee, Brian solved the puzzle from the viewing area and they just got their letters in before the Contenders, winning immunity and saving Shonee from certain doom.

The Contenders returned to camp with Benji once again talking about killing and being melodramatic about the process of voting someone out. Which is less than what I’d be like if I were out there. He and Robbie locked in a plan to get rid off Heath with the help of the Champion women, with Lydia and Monika quickly swearing allegiance. Sharn too locked in the plan with Benji, however his assurance that she was safe sounded shifty and me thinks she is going to do something about it. Heath was not happy about the possibility of going home, so when the Champion girls spoke about being in the minority he quickly assured them that he was on the outs and was more of a free agent than them. He then channeled Sandra and vowed to vote for anyone but him, before pulling in Fenella is another number as he can’t trust Lydia. Not to be outdone, Fenella approached Monika and Sharn to once again float the possibility of a women’s alliance and the three quickly locked in a vote against Robbie.

Given they are floating in the middle, Sharn and Monika went for a walk to discuss which pair would work out better for them. Unsure which would work out top their advantage. Robbie then checked in with Lydia, who told him that Heath was throwing his name out there filling him with rage. He then approached Heath to see what he thought, with Heath trying to get him to see sense and take out another Champion as they head into the merge and deciding that Monika would be the best option. Despite the fact Lydia is the biggest challenge threat and needs to go.

At tribal council Fenella was thankful for sitting in on the last tribal council and the intel they gained. Heath joined her in putting doubt in the Champion women’s mind, saying the cracks were obvious much to the smirks of Lydia. She tried to call him out but Heath straight up said that Mat and Steve – Lydia’s closest allies – were running the game and Sam was looking forward to working with the Champions come the merge. Benji and his rando accent tried to downplay the OG tribe connections, planning to grab whatever numbers he can to make it further in the game.

Lydia admitted to feeling nervous as the odd one out on the tribe, though played up how hard she and her fellow Champs worked to help the tribe. Without seeing that was playing up her status as a threat. Robbie tried to emphasise how close they had gotten, with Monika working the social game to try and make herself less of a target. Sharn was concerned that despite joining to kick out Tegan, the tribe may still be split and would turn on the Champs. Everyone alluded to trust without saying much before Robbie committed that this vote was about who he wanted to work the merge with and Sharn spoke about getting rid of threats come the merge, before Jonathan tried to paint the target on Lydia’s back given she is a beast. Robbie downplayed the importance of strength before Heath and Monika admitted that they are confident they’re in on the plan ala Keith Nale. Sadly like Heath, it backfired as he found himself following his ally Tegan out the door. Just before the merge.

Given Heath is an absolute sweetheart and despite the fact he got nude in episode two, I took him into my arms, well his legs at least – not in a suss way, he is super tall – told him how proud of his game I was, how proud his family would be and how much his friendship means to me. It was oddly platonic, which is unnerving I know, but Heath is a delight and I was heartbroken to see him go. With or without a nude scene. Anyway, the fact that that is so off brand for me makes me nervous so I whipped out a big fat Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins and took it all in my mouth at once.

 

 

While that is totally more on brand, I challenge you to do anything but when faced with these beauties. Caramelly and sticky, lightly spiced and full of nut – sorry – I can’t think of anything else I want to pack into my gob.

Enjoy!

 

 

Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of allspice
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
⅓ cup molasses
⅓ cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 ½ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and line an 8-hole Texan Muffin pan. Because Heath is a giant and you can’t give him a regular sized muffin.

Combine the flour, baking powder, muscovado sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt in a large bowl, and combine the milk, molasses, oil and eggs in another. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold through the walnuts and dates.

Divide your batter into the prepared holes – which wasn’t meant to sound suss, but Steve … I’m always prepared – and transfer to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove to cool on a wire rack before devouring.

 

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Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

So Notorious. I was talking about So Notorious, the hit sitcom based on Tori Spelling’s life starring Tori Spelling and Loni as a heightened version of the divine Candy Spelling. Just in case the tease didn’t make it abundantly clear.

It was such a delight to reconnect with someone as dear as sweet Loni!

She ran through customs with a look of pure joy on her face and while at a distance I assumed it was someone trying to avoid an inspection on account of me needing new glasses, she eventually came into my line of site and jumped straight into my arms.

We both burst into tears, followed by fits of laughter at how emotional we were being and to be honest, I’m shocked our behaviour didn’t get us escorted out of the airport.

After we got home we got to work reminiscing and catching up. While she wasn’t convinced that So Notorious needed to come back and we need to take my ideas to Torz post haste, we still had a wonderful time. Which really just speaks to how deep our friendship runs.

Though I mean, when you share an ex-husband like Burt you’ve both got to admit you both have fantastic taste. Which was evidence by how much we both love a creamy Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson.

 

 

Earthy, spiced and dripping in glorious, gloopy cheese, these cannelloni pack a comforting punch. They’re the perfect meal for a cool spring night, while gabbing away with a dear friend over some cheap wine.

I mean, why pretend I drink anything better?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 tbsp butter, halved
2 leeks, thinly sliced
750g butternut pumpkin, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry vermouth
salt and pepper, to taste
10 sage leaves, roughly chopped, halved
pinch of nutmeg, grated
1 ½ cups ricotta
1 cup parmesan, grated
500g dried cannelloni tubes
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Melt half the butter in a large pot and cook the leek and pumpkin over medium heat for about ten minutes. Add the garlic, vermouth and a good whack of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and cook for a further ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Allow to cool slightly before transfering to a food processor with half the sage and the nutmeg, ricotta and parmesan and blitzing until smooth.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and once foamy, whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and cream and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until smooth and thick.

To assemble, pour half of the cream sauce into the base of a baking dish. Pipe the pumpkin mixture into the cannelloni tubes and lay on top of the creamy sauce. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with sage and walnuts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Allow to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring.

 

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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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Angela Pumpkin Scones

Baking, Dessert, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Straight after Donathan’s boot – and the semi-annual Sia award for the favourite LGBT contestant – we arrived at the final immunity challenge where they would be required to balance on a wobbly beam and stack 6 balls using a long pole. Which coincidentally is how Michelle booted Neal from the jury and locked in her victory over Tai and Aubry. Probst then nonchalantly explained that he was not reversing the fire-making final four curse and the final four got down to the challenge.

Wendell and Angela got out to an early lead, followed closely by Angela and Dome … wait, nope. Domenick dropped his stack. Laurel dropped her stack, Angela continued to close the gap with Wendell before he dropped his stack on the final ball. This made Angela nervous, and as such, dropped her stack leaving Domenick out in front. While Wendell started to close the gap, Domenick’s slow and steady approach proved to be the key, snatching final immunity and giving him the opportunity to pick one of his final three opponents. Jeff then handed him a message to open later that day.

The final four were taken away to Ghost Island where Wendell was panicked by the very real chance his dreams would shortly be coming to an end, with Ghost Island feeling like the salt in his wounds. While he knew Dom would not be taking him, he was confident in his ability to make fire. Dom pulled Wendell aside to see what he was feeling, with Dom agreeing that he won’t be handing him a place in the final tribal since he is his biggest competition. Dom then went to Laurel and told her to start practicing fire making, which immediately got her pleading to keep her since she can’t make fire and Angela would be the better option to get rid of Wendell. This in turn made him question Laurel’s motivation, since she seems to have given up. He then approached Angela to see how she felt about making fire with her saying she should be able to do it, though thought that she is definitely less of a threat than Laurel and if Laurel makes it to the end, she will undermine everything he has done.

Dom then pulled Angela aside and coached her in fire making before disappearing to read his final Ghost Island message which gave him the opportunity to pick one of the cursed urns from Australia, Cagayan and Game Changers where the winner of the final immunity booted the wrong person as the final juror with Tina beating Colby, Tony beating Woo and Sarah defeating the worse Culpepper. This made Dom nervous and he decided his best move would be to hand Angela immunity and go toe-to-toe with Wendell in the fire making challenge, either guaranteeing himself or Wendell a win rather than battling it out. He then selected the Cagayan urn and out of nowhere, I started to feel nervous for him.

At tribal council Dom BYO-ed his urn before Chris, Libby, Des, Jenna, Michael, Chelsea, Kellyn, Sebastian and Donathan filed in to fill up the jury. Probst caught everyone up on the new rule and asked Dom how their afternoon at Ghost Island went down. Dom was concerned about making the wrong decision, Laurel pleaded with her loyalty, Angela played a smart game – finally – and pointed out Laurel is more likely to throw mud at final tribal. Wendell then admitted that he was guaranteed to make fire, before Dom tried to bring up his plan to hand over immunity before Wendell spoke about being scared about building fire at the orange table since Malolo have cursed the entire colour.

Thankfully Dom’s nerves made him see sense as he took Laurel through to the final tribal council and threw Angela and Wendell to the fate of a fire making challenge. Angela proved a little bad ass and offered to swap to the orange fire-making table and allow Wendell to take the uncursed table. Sadly for her however, the orange curse seemed to continue, as Wendell built a strong fire and won his way into the final three whilst giving Dom some killer side-eye.

While we didn’t see much of Angela – aside from that killer episode when she won immunity – she is one of my dearest friends and I can assure you, she is hilarious and you missed out. We met whilst I was performing in USO shows and she was backstage for confronting me about joke theft. You see, I overheard her entertaining her fellow soldiers and wanting to be a success, I stole her book of jokes and slayed the performance. She wasn’t thrilled about the idea of forgiving me … until I whipped up a big batch of Angela Pumpkin Scones.

 

 

As Lady Flo is most widely believed to be the queen of the pumpkin scone, I looked to her recipe for guidance. Though obviously, this queen wanted to overtake her and as such I made some changes. A little bit sweet, a little earthy and altogether delicious, this is the perfect dish to wash away the pain of just missing your chance to attend final tribal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Angela Pumpkin Scones
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
½ cup raw caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 cup cooled mashed butternut pumpkin
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
milk, for brushin’

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy before adding the egg and pumpkin and beating for a further minute.

Fold through the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and transfer to a floured surface. Roll out until it is 1-2cm thick and cut into circles.

Place the scones on a lined baking sheet, a couple of centimetres apart, and brush with milk. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until risen and browned.

Serve immediately, slathered in butter for optimal devouring.

 

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Bougatsabastian Noel

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, twenty castaways were marooned in Fiji – again – with a fresh little twist added into the game called Ghost Island. Some say it is an excuse for more advantages and idols to be thrown into the game, others say it is home to all the cursed artefacts from Survivor seasons past which are waiting to come and reverse the curse. Anyway, Stephanie Gonzalez was first out the door thanks to Jacob being sent to Ghost Island first … which sadly only delayed his boot to second. Morgan was then swap-fucked followed by the continuing decimation of Malolo and my erection with zaddy Brendan, Stephanie – exempt from the erection part due to my aggressive homosexuality – James, Bradley and his teeny mouth, Chris and his ego, Libby, Des and Jenna before true tragedy struck as Michael was booted. While my heart wasn’t in it after that, the game continued and Chelsea and Kellyn followed him out the door, which leads us to here.

The final six features Sebastian is super sweet and looks super stoned, though has the opportunity to reverse the curse of the extra vote. King Donathan is adorable, got island hot, played a wild, oft chaotic game and I hope returns with Aunt Patty. Laurel is still here thanks to ruining everyone’s plans to take out Wendell and Dom, Angela is just here against all odds … I don’t even know what to say. Anyway, it all comes down to either Wendell or Dom, with Wendell amassing idols and friends along the way and Dom collecting idols, fakes and advantages though hasn’t made many friends.

Back at camp after booting Kellyn, everyone was still reacting to Donathan’s attempt to use chaos as a ladder. While Wendell joked about being disappointed not to help him get out Domenick, Laurel – or Yanny – told Donathan he was lucky not to get himself voted out. Because heaven forbid someone plays for better than third. Thankfully Sebastian has opted for the final six to be his moment to start playing the game, so hopefully he puts his extra vote to good use.

The next day Domenick and Wendell reconvened away from the rest of the tribe to see how best to overcome losing Donathan’s vote. While he turned against them, they still felt it was better to take out Sebastian since he is more of a threat – really? – and decided the only way to both make final four, is for one of them to win immunity. Yanny was present for the entire conversation but like this season, didn’t really contribute … though it would be a gag if she actually screwed up the plans which seems to be her thing.

Talk of the challenge manifested Probst for the final six immunity challenge where they would run a skull-maze to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. Everyone but poor Donathan and Domenick seemed to be neck and neck grabbing the puzzle pieces with Sebastian ahead when it came to solving the puzzle, followed by Laurel, Wendell, Angela and Domenick while Donathan wandered around the maze. In any event, Wendell continued his puzzle dominance, screamed for Probst to check his puzzle and didn’t have immunity snatched from him again. In addition, he got to enjoy a steak dinner which he shared with Sebastian and Angela with both he and Domenick ‘she deserves it man’ Abbate playing for those jury votes, much to the chagrin of Laurel who really wanted that steak, damnit.

The final six returned to camp with Wendell celebrating finally snatching an immunity win and guaranteeing his place in the final four thanks to his hidden immunity idol. He then joined Sebastian and Angela to smash a coupla steaks and get them all thinking that Donathan would be getting booted tonight, despite planning to take out Sebastian. Thankfully Sebastian realised he needed to build a resume, so thought it would be a good time to use his extra vote and take out someone big. Back at the camp Laurel continued to rage about Wendell fueling Angela ahead of the next immunity challenge, since she is the one that will need it to survive. Her rage at least made Dom nervous about his getting the boot. Sebastian joined Angela and Donathan to talk about just how many idols Dom has – they agreed one – and to get rid of him next with the help of his extra vote. Angela, bless, was just thrilled to be part of the plans for once. Sadly she channelled Laurel and blew said plans up by taking the information straight to Dom. Don and Laurel caught up with him sharing the fact Sebastian has an extra vote, with her deciding that maybe it is finally within her best interests to get rid of Domenick. Dom then caught Wendell up and briefly debated whether he should play it or keep it until tomorrow.

At tribal council Laurel spoke about the battle between playing big or smart – por que no los dos? – Donathan shared that he still felt nervous following the chaos he caused the night before … which Sebastian agreed with. Dom called shade, sorry, bullshit and said that he thinks Donathan accepting defeat is all an act to get him out in cahoots with Sebastian and his extra vote. Sebastian was shocked he found out, while Donathan said despite plotting against them, he knows they’re packing idols and as such knows he is going. Dom then continued his epic show for the jury trying to make Donathan look bad, though his nonchalance is totally making him look glorious and them look terrible. He then threw some bros around to mock them and it was iconic.

Dom continued to attempt to perform for the jury with Dom handing over his fake idol to Probst ahead of the vote, Sebastian and Donathan played cagey and Laurel seemed confused. With that, the tribe voted and before Probst read the votes, Dom opted to point out the idol he played was fake and pointed out how brave he was. Sadly it appears he was brave and also lucky, as the votes rolled in for Sebastian and sent him from the game.

Given Sebastian is one of the nicest damn people to walk the planet, he wasn’t too bothered to have been aggressively booted from the game. I even mentioned Angela straight-up ruined the plan to get him to bite and it didn’t. When I brought out the Bougatsabastian Noel however, I couldn’t get him to bloody stop biting.

 

 

As you could probably tell, I’m craving a bit of Greek at the moment so it was kind of convenient that Seb’s boot meant I could roll on from my ball party with some sweetly, spiced custardy goodness. Add in the flaky filo case and I was in absolute heaven. Heaven, I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Bougatsabastian Noel
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
125g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup semolina
pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp
375g filo pastry
icing sugar, to dust

Method
Place the sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir through the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg before slowly adding the semolina while stirring. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir through the tablespoon of butter, transfer to a bowl, cover and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter and  brush around the base and edges of a springform pan. Press a couple of sheets of filo into the tin and repeat the process of brushing the inside of the tin and added a few sheets of filo at a time, moving them around the tin, leaving about five-ten sheets of filo aside. Spoon in the custard and smooth the top. Trim the remaining pastry and place over the top of the pie, one at a time, brushing with butter in between. Fold the overhanging pastry in, brush with more butter and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before dusting with icing sugar and devouring.

 

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Kaytshu Whakaurrau

Main, Poultry, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Chani broke their losing streak – and Liam, a fence – snatching a much needed reward of fishing gear. Sadly said gear included a clue to the hidden immunity idol, which Eve stupidly shared with the entire tribe before ultimately grabbing it for herself. And insighting idol envy amongst her fellow castaways. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw poor Dylan continued to be left right out, though thankfully for him, Chani went back to losing and returned to tribal where Franky and Eve’s idol war resulted in Franky’s blindside.

Back at camp Chani went through the usual motions of being dejected following the loss of a member, none more so than Renee who felt bad about how kind she was on the way out the door. Oh, and she felt super concerned about the boys club ruling the tribe. Thankfully Dave was also disappointed by the outcome, so there just might be hope for her yet. Things were looking up slightly the next day as Liam, Renee, Eve and Dave joined together to brush their teeth using charcoal. Renee then continued to boost spirits, cooking up a delicious snack out of the rice.

Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Dylan acknowledged that despite living the Survivor dream so far, he is under no delusion that he will go when they go to tribal. To confirm this, Adam ran us through the many faces of Dylan and really highlighted the fact that they aren’t friends. In turn Dylan confirmed that he has noticed that Adam hates him and I’ve just realised that they need to make out and cut the sexual tension. On camera, preferably. In any event, he has Kaysha on his side … though sadly not Lisa and fellow outcast Tara, as they’re less concerned about taking out the ‘jocks’ and more concerned about joining Josh and the zaddies to throw the challenge and finally get some freedom from the gloom.

Matty arrived for this week’s reward challenge where Sassy Dylan – as predicted by Adam – arrived to shade Chani for being sexist before Matt shared that they’d be competing in a muddy sumo challenge for drinking chocolate and biccies, aka smoko. Which TBH, I would love in the 40C heat. Josh – zaddy – made quick work of JT, as did Renee over Tess and Arun over Dylan. Out of nowhere Adam destroyed Dave, followed by Kaysha annihilating Eve before Liam and Matt battled it out and made me wish this challenge had more skin because it was glorious. Before my mind could wander too far, Josh beat Dave, Tess dominated Eve, Arun took one back over Matt, Liam beat Dylan, Kaysha beat Renee, Adam destroyed JT, Liam beat Dylan again and Kaysha bested Renee again before Josh secured victory for Khangkhaw against all odds over Arun.

The victorious Khangkhaw returned to camp and made quick work of the biscuits with Brad and Matt practically creaming their shorts thinking about how good they were. Meanwhile over at Chani everyone was feeling sad about missing out on said biscuits, though vowed that winning immunity is what matters and they need fight. Particularly Renee who feels way down the bottom and doesn’t feel like she has anyone that she can trust.

The next day we joined Kaysha who ran us through the alliances of Khangkhaw which seems eerily like they may be losing immunity. While she was concerned about Brad and Josh’s bromance, it is Tess and Adam that concern her. Feeling like Matt is on the bottom of the five-person alliance, she pulled him aside to continue building their relationship in the hope that she was parlay that into an alliance. That party was put on hold when Brad returned to camp to announce this week’s draw for a visit to The Outpost. Despite insinuating that Kaysha was rigging the draw, Josh pulled the short straw from Khangkhaw while JT did rig it for Arun to go for Chani.

The boys arrived at The Outpost to discover that this week’s visit didn’t come with a challenge and instead issued them a dilemma. They would each select one person from their tribe to not to attend the immunity challenge which in turn, would make them immune should their tribe lose. Josh and Arun then started talking with Arun making quick work of finding out what was going on at Khangkhaw and trying to form an alliance with Josh for down the track. Going one step further, Josh they identified everyone he wants to boot on Khangkhaw, while Arun stayed mum and tried to throw him off the scent. With the excitement out of the way, Josh suggested they both sit themselves out of the challenge with Josh following through and taking himself out, while Arun decided to stick with strength and sit Eve out.

Arun returned to camp and proceeded to share the dilemma with the rest of Chani, throwing Josh under the bus for taking himself out and telling Eve that she would be left out of the challenge … and would be immune should they lose. While Renee felt even worse about her place, Arun reiterated that Josh seemed not to care whether they win or lose and he felt they were going to throw it. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Josh shared that he was resting himself, filling his alliance with glee and making Kaysha realise just how little she meant to the rest of the tribe.

Everyone but Eve and Josh arrived for this week’s elaborate immunity challenge where the tribes were required to run an obstacle course while tethered together to grab balls. Once they had collected all their balls, they were to then use said balls and the chains from their legs to form bolas which they would use to toss at a ladder for victory. Chani got out to a huge lead, though it kind of seemed like Tess wasn’t hiding the fact she was throwing it, so it isn’t much of a surprise. Khangkhaw caught up at the first obstacle where they focused on hindering Chani’s progress. Sadly it was all for nought as they escaped the obstacle and managed to collect all the balls from the second obstacle before Khangkhaw arrived allowing Arun to snag his three bolas before Brad even had a chance to start tossing. Handing Chani their first victory.

Tess was feeling responsible for the loss, which she was, though her mild sadness didn’t fool Kaysha who was livid that she threw the challenge. While she desperately wanted her gone, she knew she didn’t have the numbers so was just hopeful she could flush her potential idol. Adam and Tess caught up to run the numbers with Tess starting to freak out while Adam tried to calm her down and assure her that worst case, they will play the idol to protect her. Meanwhile Dylan tried to do anything to survive just another day, approaching Josh to save him on account of being a superfan which truly is the worst thing you could try and sell. Brad joined Tess and Adam to lock in their vote for Dylan, while Kaysha and Dylan were hoping to convince everyone that he has an idol to force them to split the vote and muster up enough votes to take out Adam. Kaysha joined Matt, Brad and Tara to float the idea of a contingency plan in case Dylan plays his imaginary idol, slowly working them around to targeting Adam which they all appeared to agree with despite saying they couldn’t trust her. While Kaysha went to comfort Dylan, Brad took the plan to Lisa and then assured her that it wouldn’t happen and to still vote Dylan. Which works for her because she is an icon and getting rid of him bring some calm to camp which will allow her to continue laying low.

At tribal council Matt acknowledged their shock to finally arrive at tribal while Lisa said she’d rather not be ticking this off her Survivor bucket list. Dylan was quick to verbalise the fact that he is royally screwed and went in on the tribe for pretending they have been playing the game since day one. Adam mentioned he felt the tribe had one bad egg, whilst not actually saying it was Dylan whom he was sitting next to. This lead to an iconic moment, where Dylan turned to share everything he hated about Adam followed by Adam telling Dylan just why he hated him. In my head, they then made out and it was angry and sensual. Instead Adam shared that Dylan has been trying to get rid Tara, Tess and/or Brad, everyone, since day one. Adam then called him a snake, which Matty Chis shared that that is kind of the point. Adam quickly pointed out that he needs to be smarter about it, thats all and that he is playing the game too.

Lisa joined the fray saying she felt it was just 18 years of super-fandoming exploding in ten days and it may be too much for Dylan to overcome. Kaysha jumped in and broke down about how Dylan was being attacked before acknowledging that she too was feeling nervous. Sadly said nerves were well placed as the tight-five or whatever they’re calling themselves turned on her and sent her from the game as the fourth boot, much to the shock and horror of Dylan.

I was still struggling to comprehend what I was watching via the little camera feed Matt patches me from tribal when she arrived at Loser Lodge. I mean, sure, I should be used to losing one of the strong women based on the way things are going this season … but damn, that was a blindside yo. I continued talking like this for a good hour or so before I realised that Kaysha too was struggling to comprehend what just happened. While she was upset to lose the game, she is such a sweetheart that she couldn’t hold it against any of her tribemates. Though she definitely wanted Dylan to prevail in the battle, somehow. In any event, we were both so sad that we needed something hella comforting which led to us smashing a couple of bowls of Kaytshu Whakaurrau.

 

 

Rich creamy curry heaped over fresh, crispy katsu chicken and served on a bed of the fluffiest rice possible. What is there not to love? That, my friends, is comfort food.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kaytshu Whakaurrau
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2-3 chicken breasts
½ cup flour
salt and pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tbsp milk
olive oil spray
vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
500g chicken thighs, roughly diced
2 carrots, cut into rounds
1 potato, finely diced
¼ cup flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp ketchup
1 cup long grain rice
pickled daikon, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Beat the chicken breasts using the back of a frying pan until they’re roughly 1cm thick. Combine the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper in one bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and the egg and milk in a third. Coat the chicken in the flour, dusting off any excess before coating it in the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Spray the chicken with a generous amount of olive oil spray and transfer to the oven for twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and keep warm while you work on the rest of the components.

Place a good lug of oil in a pot over medium heat and sweat the onion, garlic and ginger for about five minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring, until just starting to brown before adding the carrots and potatoes and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Add the flour, curry powder, garam masala and cayenne with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to come together. Stir through the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the rice as per packet instructions.

When the curry is starting to come together, stir through the honey, tamari and ketchup and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the heat and stay warm.

To serve, place a generous dollop of rice in a bowl. Slice the katsu into diagonal strips and place on top of the rice before topping with the curry. Serve with pickled daikon and devour, greedily.

 

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Chelsea Lamingtownsend

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Probsty boy dropped a bomb on the top ten announcing that they’d be competing for immunity in two groups with a winner and a trip to tribal council for each. At the first tribal council Jenna tried to play Donathan, though her shady behaviour made him nervous and he played his idol for himself, ensuring she was booted from the game. Meanwhile tribal council number two didn’t prove anymore successful, with Kellyn playing her extra vote to boot Laurel which tragically failed when Michael didn’t jump on board, sending him from the game.

Back at camp the two groups reconvened with Kellyn coming clean about playing the extra vote on Laurel, which Laurel was obvi not keen on. Though neither were the editors it seems as we quickly transitioned to Probst on the beach the next day for the reward challenge for a huge feast AND loved ones. With that, everyone started to breakdown before anyone even arrived on the beach – thought when Wendell’s dad arrived, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Nor my pants, given Wendell’s hungry jocks. Anyway, he was followed by Kellyn’s brother, Donathan’s Queen Aunt Patty – ugh, my heart is breaking. I love Donathan – Angela’s daughter – again, crying along with Probst – Chelsea’s sister – hang on, which one is the castaway? – Laurel’s brother, Sebastian’s booty-short baby sister and Domenick’s wife, who is an icon TBH.

Wendell was first across the pole – again, I wish – arriving at the balance beam first for the puzzle pieces. Sadly Laurel, Chelsea and Kellyn overtook him at the next obstacle and commenced digging their hole to slide under a log. Sadly for them Sebastian came out of nowhere and quickly slinked his twink build under and landed his sandbag on a podium just after Domenick arrived, securing the win. Given Sebastian isn’t an idiot or heartless, he selected second placer Dom to share the reward … followed by Wendell and Donathan. While the girls stood around glumly, Probst dropped another bomb on Sebastian saying that an advantage awaited someone on Ghost Island and he could either snatch it for himself, give it to one of his boys … or it will go to random draw for the girls. While Sebastian had no interest, Wendell jumped at the chance to snatch the advantage, pissing off the girls – particularly Kellyn – in the process.

At Ghost Island Wendell rationalised dropping his father like a newborn giraffe before discovering his advantage was to have a redo of the balance the ball on an ever-expanding pole challenge, like Malcolm in the Philippines. You know, the one that led to his first tragic loss? He also got to practice, so hopefully that makes perfect. Meanwhile out on the reward Domenick assured Donathan and Sebastian’s loved ones that they’d be going to the end together. Though that doesn’t seem to be something Donathan is interested in, given they’re both threats. Back at camp however, Kellyn was burning with fiery rage for Wendell dropping his dad for the reward. She then immediately pulled Chelsea, Laurel and Angela aside to form an alliance, pull in Donathan – because us gays always get along better with girls, right? Eyeroll – and take control and split up Domenick and Wendell. Which despite making Laurel extremely nervous, given their advantages, is super tempting … since they would crush her at final tribal.

With all that excitement out of the way, the final eight arrived to discover they’d be competing in the final immunity challenge from Philippines – swoon Malcolm and Denise … and Lisa – and that Wendell has the chance to reverse Malcolm’s curse. Kellyn quickly dropped out of the challenge, before Angela couldn’t even get it up in the second round, followed by Wendell who used his advantage to stay alive. Sadly it was all for nought, dropping again and losing the challenge. Sebastian dropped soon after the final round kicked off, followed by Laurel and Chelsea, leaving Donathan and Domenick to battle it out for immunity. The boys shook their way for a couple of extra minutes before Donathan dropped the ball and handed Domenick his second immunity win.

Everyone arrived back at camp to kick off the scrambling, with Domenick pulling Wendell aside to share that he kept the boys in line at reward before they locked in the vote for Chelsea. Meanwhile the girls connected by the fire to confirm aligning to break up the boys, with Angela confident she’d be able to pull in Donathan and take control. Which he was keen on. Sadly Laurel seemed open to the boys plan to take out Chelsea, though didn’t make Wendell feel confident and therefore, he planned to play his idol. Laurel and Donathan then joined together to lament the pain of being in the middle, with them both terrified of crossing people they trust just because they can’t be beaten for people they can’t trust to get them to the end. FYI – the latter is always the better option, because the other way is a guaranteed loss. But I’d probably suck and be overcautious if I were there too.

At tribal – gaaaah, MICHAEL?! – Kellyn quickly mentioned dropping two votes on Laurel at the last tribal, I assume to impress the jury. Sadly for her, Donathan stole her thunder announcing that Naviti are at breaking point and he and Laurel would be taking advantage of it … TONIGHT. This made the two factions look around with crazy eyes, denying their scrambling and trying to play innocent. Donathan continued to cause chaos, outing both the girls and boys for coming to them and trying to take control. While everyone on Naviti tried to deny the obvious scrambling, no one was being fooled by anything anyone else had to say. Channelling Tai-nerves-of-steel-Trang, Wendell opted out of playing his idol with his bravery rewarded – you missed your chance and handed he or Dom the game, guys – and him narrowly avoiding the boot while poor Chelsea banished to the jury. Which I can confirm is her name, after getting to meet her at Ponderosa … on account of her having less that five confessionals all season.

Anyway she took her boot like a champ and was an absolute delight while we reconnected. Turns out, I didn’t realise that Chelsea is one of my dear friends – we met whilst in cheerleading camp together – on account of her barely being on the show despite a brief immunity run. After realising our bond, I held her close, apologised for the producers shafting her and whipped her up a big batch of Chelsea Lamingtownsends.

 

 

The Australian – or Kiwi, TBH – classic is one of those baked treats that are perfect, sweet and delicious … but I always kind of forget exist in favour of something showier. Like the pizza curse that Survivor NZ couldn’t reverse, I feel like bequeathing Chelse with the confection kind of cursed her edit. Though thankfully, the light sponge, rich chocolate and shit tonne of coconut are so good, she didn’t seem to notice.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chelsea Lamingtownsend
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
125g butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for the chocolate icing
1 cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup milk
3 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 cups desiccated coconut

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cream the butter, raw caster sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Still running, add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come together before adding the next.

Remove from the mixer and fold through half the flour and baking powder until well combined, followed by half the milk until well combined. Lather, rinse and repeat until the batter is just combined. Pour into a lined lamington pan, smooth the top and place in the oven to bake for half an hour, or until just cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

While it is working its way to chill, combine the icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl with half a cup of boiling water and the remaining butter, and stirring to form a smooth chocolatey liquid.

Cut the cake into 16 squares and place the coconut in a dish. Working one at a time, dip the cake in the chocolate icing using a fork until coated. Shake off the excess and dip into the coconut to coat. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to set for a couple of hours.

Then devour.

 

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