Dannaan Beard

Bread, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK 12 new dolls arrived in the UK Werk Room to battle it out for Ru’s love and attention. And when they get it, in the form of four badges, promptly lose the competition for being too good. But before we get there, Ru – and for one tragic week, Michelle – had to make some cuts with Just May sadly becoming the Gothy of the season despite being so damn sweet. She was followed out the door by the fashion queen of the season Starlet.

When the dolls formed duos, poor Copper came up short – rather than say, on top – before Sminty sad-twerked her way out of the competition and straight into our hearts, the history books and likely, an All Stars season. The pressures of the competition became too much for Baby who exited the competition to look after her mental health before Le Fil was too Polite for Snatch Game.

It was at that point that Ru chucked a sickie, leaving Michelle in charge who sadly cut the iconic Dakota for being too on brand. After Peppa and Jonbers both saved themselves from elimination with a killer lip sync, the top five put on a roast where comedy queen Pixie shockingly stumbled and landed in fifth.

The top four faced off in the traditional rumix, kiki and performance combination and while the song was an absolute bop with every queen getting a moment to shine, Ru decreed that only two would be lip syncing for the crown, eliminating Jonbers and Peppa tied in third place.

With that the two four badge queens – begging the question, does the UK just require one person with four wins to lose and this is how they got around the tradition? – lip synced to the iconic Shirley Bassey’s This Is My Life. And like the aforementioned rumix, it was an absolute show. Like their runs on the show, both Cheddar and Danny were perfect from start to finish, leaning into who they are as performers and giving classic Drag Race. And while I feel this would have been the most deserving double crowning of all time, ultimately Ru settled on one, crowning Danny Beard as the UK’s Next Drag Superstar and leaving the iconic Cheddar as the runner-up.

While I would have loved to see a double crowning, that in no way means I am any less excited about Danny’s victory. From start to finish she ran a near perfect race, never really faltering and always being a front runner. Plus, she is so damn charismatic and charming, you just know she is going to take the title and run with it to build an even bigger and better career because honestly, she is a born performer. As such, join me in toasting our newest queen with a piping hot Dannaan Beard.

My favourite thing about Indian food is probably a naan and while Spinach and Cheese – dedicated to another winner, begging the question is this the anti-Pizza – is my fave, there is something so damn perfect about garlic. Soft, pillowy and lightly flavoured, it paris perfectly with any curry. Or just as a solo snack, TBH.

Enjoy!

Dannaan Beard
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
450g flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp raw caster sugar
7g dried yeast
⅓ cup lukewarm milk
2 tbsp yoghurt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp nigella seeds
garlic butter, to serve (optional)

Method
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and let it set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast and leave to get all foamy and glorious for 10 minutes or so. Once it smells like a brewery, whisk in the milk, yoghurt and oil.

Using the hook attachment, fold in the flour, garlic and seeds by hand until combined. Pop the attachment into the mixer and knead for a couple of minutes, or until smooth. Remove and transfer to a greased bowl to rest for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size. Punch back the dough and divide into 8 balls. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, oil each ball and using a rolling pin, roll out to form a nice thin naan shape. Place in the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and repeat the process. Brush with a little garlic butter – optional, but advised – and then devour, victoriously!


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Dutch Baby

Breakfast, Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls starred in the brand new chat show, Catty Man. After Pixie won the power to select teams, she, Danny and Cheddar all shone brightly. While she designed a meh team and a bomb team, to kinda guarantee their win. Sadly for her, it only worked out for Danny who joined Dakota in the two badge club. Sminty meanwhile appeared to completely black out during the challenge while Baby was a bit of a mess. Baby though was a phoenix, dominating the lip sync and saving herself. And while it was tragic to see Sminty go, she took out our hearts as she sad-twerked her way into the best exit since Vanjie.

Backstage Baby felt guilty about sending Sminty home, though reiterated that if you come against her in the lip sync, you will be losing. As they sat down to kiki Pixie opened up about always feeling like the bridesmaid, so wasn’t shocked that she was beaten at the final hurdle of the challenge. Dakota and Danny tried to remind her how much the judges loved her and while she doesn’t have a badge, they still love her and she needs to focus on that. Talk returned to Baby with everyone reiterating that Ru gave her some great feedback and she should still be proud of herself. Though Danny admitted to us that Ru is after a superstar and well, she – and Cheddar – is a powerhouse, so they best watch out. Essentially.

The next day everyone had processed the last judging, with everyone ready for another week. Baby opened up about still being a little in her feels and as such, admitted that she is really doubting herself, but best believe she is ready to rally. Pixie led the girls in praising Danny on her second win, with her admitting that she is speechless. Which doesn’t happen often. At the other end of the spectrum, the dolls pointed out Jonbers is the only one without a badge and well, she was not having it and I live. Before the shade escalated to any drama, Ru dropped by – dressed in high street, not H&M – to open the library. Because reading is, what? Fundamental.

Up first was Cheddar who calmly and devilishly savaged her sisters in a sweet, playful way. Baby was witty and nasty in equal, perfect measure, Dakota was hit and miss but so charming while Peppa was a delight. Pixie was smart, brutal and oh so silly, Le Fil owned it calling Jonbers Mr Smithers, Danny was Danny in all the right ways before Jonbers closed the show giving classic reads and being a total cutie. But obviously, victory went to Pixie Polite. For ironically being anything but.

Before Ru departed she announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be singing live in Lairy Poppins: The Rusical. And as the winner of the mini challenge, it was up to Pixie to cast the show before they received some vocal coaching with THE voice, Miselle Visage. The dolls sat down to read through the script as Dakota disappointed everyone with the news she had NOT seen Mary Poppins and also hates musicals. Le Fil was cast as OG Mary, Lick Van Dick went to Danny, The Bird Lady went to Jonbers, Mother Prude went to Baby and Rochelle La Roach went to Cheddar leaving the Prude Twins to be played by Peppa and Dakota. Much to Dakota’s disappointment. All the girls offered to trade out to make her feel better, but she admitted she isn’t really confident about any of the roles, so was just going to suck it up. Oh and Pixie obviously snatched the lead for herself.

Everyone split up to work through the script with Cheddar going method while Peppa tried to perk Dakota up and encouraged her to slay with the role she landed, rather than being frustrated. Pixie meanwhile started to get nervous, realising that Lairy Poppins is not the role for her and as such went to talk it through with Danny. Who graciously offered to swap.

The dolls dropped by the mainstage to work through the songs with Michelle as Dakota and Peppa were a bit flat, while Baby joyously embraced her inner Britney. Danny meanwhile was an absolute disaster given she only just took over the role, and while Pixie fared a little better, she was lacking confidence, Cheddar was pitch perfect which made her feel worse and worse. Jonbers was living her best life and was oh so fun, despite the lack of key. While Le Fil, obviously, was a delight. And given everyone was feeling kinda strong, Baby started to worry that she was not enough. Which is just heartbreaking.

Michelle tagged out with zaddy Giovanni Pernice for the choreography with Dakota getting more and more nervous, while Baby sweetly helped her get through all the steps. While Peppa just wanted her to pull it together and not bring her down. Danny too was a ball of nerves, though given Giovanni was flirty, she worked overtime to impress. Cheddar too struggled to get it down while Pixie nailed it all and Jonbers was ridiculously perfect. And Le Fil was simply a star, but will no doubt be under appreciated.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone full of energy and ready to put on the best rusical of all time. As they split up to beat their mugs, the dolls spoke about their pre-show routines, with everyone agreeing it is just nice to be able to kiki with sisters while prepping on the show. Oh and everyone was desperate and ready for another badge, except for Dakota, who just wanted to make it through and hope for the best.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by the legend herself Hannah Waddingham to witness the spectacle that was Lairy Poppins. And hot damn, was it not one of the greatest rusicals of all time. The script was on point, the lyrics and music were so much fun and the performances were all great. Baby was a diva, Peppa was charming and even Dakota was holding her own. Well until Danny arrived on scene as Lairy and let’s just say, Pixie is probably going to regret swapping rolls because she was demented and sooooo damn good. Jonbers was wacky, weird and living her best life, as the judges laughed hysterically. Pixie was silly and charming, Cheddar was delightful and fun before Le Fil closed the show as the perfect spoil to everyone’s fun before she ultimately let loose and experienced joy, stealing my heart and the show.

On the West End Wonders runway, Pixie slayed as Tracy Turnblad, serving charm, reveals and of course, hairspray everywhere. Jonbers was so damn sexy, inspired by Singing In The Rain, Black Peppa gave the sexiest Lion King known to man while Dakota gave Funny Girl as done by Sharon Tate. Cheddar was stunning serving Hedwig, Le Fil was full glamour in honour of The King and I and Baby was inspired by the first black Juliet on the West End in And Juliet and was STUN. NING. Oh and then Danny stole the show as The Little Shop of Horrors and well, shut it down, she wins.

Black Peppa and Cheddar – aka Cacio e Pepe – were sent to safety before the judges lavished praise on Pixie despite how poorly she did in rehearsals. Everyone thought her performance was stunning and lived for how she nailed the look on the runway. Jonbers too received universal praise for her demented bird lady and they loved the runway, despite the mismatched cages. Poor Dakota was read for being very nervous, particularly next to how energetic Peppa was. That being said, Ru assured her she was good, just everyone else was also so strong. Le Fil for some reason was told she could have gone further with the role, despite being perfect AND having a stunning runway. Baby too was read for her nerves, though praised for her energy and magnetism. Baby started to break down as Hannah told her she wants her to see how great she is, while Baby opened up about how hard it is to be in the competition and how she doesn’t know she can handle it mentally. But bless, Ru gave her a delightful pep talk.

Oh and then Danny received top marks for everything, from the performance to the runway. And well, condragulations again, Danny.

Backstage Cheddar was thrilled to be safe while Peppa was just glad she avoided the bottom. As the tops and bottoms joined them, Dakota opened up about how disappointed she is to clearly be in the bottom and while everyone tried to encourage her, she admitted it is even harder to process given she was told she was good but clearly, two girls have to land in the bottom. Baby meanwhile opened up more about how much she is struggling with her mental health and admitted that while she will kill a lip sync, it won’t change things. But thankfully, all her sisters rallied around and encouraged her to keep opening up and sharing. Le Fil too was struggling with being in the bottom despite nailing it before talk turned to the tops, with Jonbers giddy, Pixie just glad to have rallied and Danny, obviously, thrilled about nailing the assignment.

Ultimately Jonbers was deemed safe, leaving Pixie to once again be the bridesmaid to Danny Beard who rightly took out her third win of the season. At the alleged other end of the pack, Le Fil narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Dakota and Baby to battle it out to No Way from Six. And damn did they fight. Baby was obviously Baby, a star who hit every lyric and nailed the vibe and all the moves, while Dakota was an absolute firecracker as she valiantly fought for her life and turned the show. Sadly though before Ru had the chance to announce who had won the lip sync, Baby popped up her hand and announced that that was her farewell performance and like Adore and DeLa before her, she would like to tap out of the competition.

Thankfully, Ru didn’t make her feel bad about things, praising her for not only being a star and for knowing when to take herself out of the situation to look after herself. And well, while Ru kinda stole my entire speech to the icon that is Baby, it was so true and necessary, that I didn’t burn Ru’s dressing room to the ground. Instead, I pulled Baby in for a massive hug as she made it backstage and assured it that it was the right decision. And that even in those five short weeks, she proved she is a star. And oh so worthy of a warm, nourishing Dutch Baby.

The light and fluffy boat warmly hugs the earthy, nutty sweet filling to give you a gloriously hearty breakfast. Or a comforting way to work through the trauma of an intense competition series that makes you question your talent, which should never happen because you’re a star. Ok?

Enjoy!

Dutch Baby
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup milk, at room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup flour
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
3 mushrooms, peeled and sliced
6 slices ham, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped

Method
Place a medium cast iron skillet in the centre of the oven and preheat to 200° for about 15 minutes, or until it is a hunk, a hunk of burning love.

Pop the eggs and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the balloon whisk attachment, whisk vigorously until light and frothy. Whisk in 2 tbsp of the melted butter, followed by the flour, salt and pepper until well combined and voluminous.

Pop on some oven mitts and carefully remove from the oven swirl the remaining butter to coat. Pour the batter into the skillet and immediately return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and brown.

Carefully remove from the oven, sprinkle with some cheese, followed by the mushrooms, ham and the rest of the cheese and pop into the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Then sprinkle with the shallots and devour, like a wholesome, loveable, talented icon!


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Lindsay Carmiener Pretzel

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 43, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Gabler continued to struggle with the conditions on the island, leading the girls to continue to plot around his idol. Sadly for them, Sami wanted to be the one to talk to him and when told no, he promptly outed all their plans to Gabler. Karla meanwhile found the Beware Advantage and despite initially leaving it, circled back and bamboozled everyone into giving her the beads and jagged herself an idol. After losing another immunity challenge, Vesi decided it was time to start focusing on strength and despite Noelle being on the outs, they banded together to boot Nneka from the game.

Back at camp Noelle quickly rallied everyone around to thank them for saving her, while the tribe assured her that they believe in her and know that things are about to turn around. Despite Cody feeling like they are running dead last. We pivoted to Baka in the early hours of the morning where Gabler was trying to help his tribe out by putting palm frond blankets on them to stay warm but, sadly, only ended up pissing everyone off. And well, that lack of self-awareness kinda had him running dead last in the tribe. Once the sun came up, the tension was palpable as they tried to get the fire going as Gabler and Elie butted heads over building a fire and the size of the fucking sticks used.

Before you even had time to appreciate my Eliza reference, the tribes joined together for the first solo reward of the season where one person from each tribe would knock blocks of a ledge with sandbags and then roll on two blocks to the end of a field, before handing off sandbags to the other three people who each have to land one on a hanging disc. With the winners getting to go to one of the losing camps and looting an item, in addition to ten fish. Cody dominated the first section of the challenge putting Vesi well out in front as Sami tried to nip at his heels and Ryan completely fell out of it. Despite Baka slowly catching up and Coco getting back in the game, Vesi finally landed their third bag and scored the power to loot (and the food).

After farewelling the losing tribes, Noelle bartered with Jeff to trade the fish for fruit and a fishing kit instead, given they still have no fire and therefore can not eat fish. Back at camp they celebrated by eating her success like royalty – RIP, Liz – as they spoke about who should go to the other tribe, with Cody offering to go and cause a little chaos. Which instantly filled Dwight with fear, given Cody is such a wildcard. Talk turned to which camp they should go to, with Baka having the most gear but Coco having the most people and as such, they wanted to hurt them. After locking in Coco, they planned to go after the machete as the most likely way to hurt them. Or at the very least, open them up to negotiate for the reward they really wanted.

The tribe were heartbroken as Cody arrived at Coco, with Cassidy seeing the choice to rob them for what it is and instantly turned on the charm to protect themselves. Cody too was turning on his charm, while Lindsay freaked out at the thought of losing the machete. Thankfully (kinda) James stepped in and started bartering, giving him limes, fishing gear and some root vegetables. And while Karla could see just how badly they played it, the rest of the tribe were grateful he didn’t take the machete. Which was never even Vesi’s plan. But hey, Cody now is in trouble because Queen Karla is out for blood, so it was a messy trip for all of them, I guess.

The tribes rejoined Probst for the next immunity challenge where they would race to knock sandbags off a ledge to find keys, unlock puzzle pieces, drag them under nets and then build a square. Once said square was built, they would then dismantle it and carry the pieces up a cargo net to build a triangle with the last placed tribe heading off to tribal council. Baka absolutely demolished the sandbags and got out to an early lead,  while Vesi stayed right on their tail, as Coco brought up the rear. Baka swiftly built their square and got it checked off before moving on to the final puzzle while Vesi trailed behind and Coco grew more and more confused. Eventually all three tribes started work on the triangle before Vesi solved it out of nowhere. Before they got to work helping Baka along to force Coco off to tribal council. Which is exactly what happened. And is oh so shady. And. I. LOVE IT.

Back at camp Coco were frustrated by the fact the other two tribes had banded together to send them to tribal council. When it came to the scramble, Ryan was just trying to protect his ally Geo, who in turn was targeting Cassidy given everyone else has a strong relationship with her but him. Cassidy then approached the girls to lock in the vote against Geo for sassing her out, with James quickly on board. And just like that, it was a done deal.

Well, until Lindsay happened, as she decided it was too easy and started to question why people are still running around and talking. She then approached her allies and confronted them for scrambling without her and not talking to her, which made Karla question whether they should actually turn on her given that paranoia is only going to get worse the further they go along. James tried to pull Lindsay aside to talk some sense into her and calm things down and when it didn’t go well – at all – James was on board to get rid of her. Despite Geo’s growing ego frustrating them.

At tribal council the tribe were gagged to see Jeff and the set with Ryan opening up about how strong they are and how well they are getting along. James jumped in and praised Ryan for being their provider, with Jeff sweetly praising him for embracing the adventure of the game. Lindsay spoke about the fact they know what works for them, well until today, when everyone started to scramble. And then pointedly said that some people didn’t talk to her. While Ryan pointed out she didn’t give the vibe she wanted to speak to him, with Geo admitting that as long as the vote is not on him, he doesn’t really care. Karla meanwhile tried to explain why you have to continue to confirm the plan is still on and nothing has changed, leading to Lindsay admitting that she did that a little too much and may have made her a little paranoid.

Geo admitted that he wanted to make sure his people were calm, which made Cassidy point out that just because it looks calm on the surface, does not mean there isn’t chaos below. James said that he was just trying to stay calm to make others calm, while Cassidy admitted they won’t really know who they can trust until the vote happens. And well, given they were still talking all the way up to leaving for tribal council, Karla felt there were still way too many questions in the air. With that the tribe voted and despite being excited for them to be read, Lindsay was gagged to see that her allies had deserted her and joined Ryan to boot her from the game.

Making her paranoia prophetic, I guess?

Lindsay was well and truly shocked as she made her way to Loser Lodge, unsure whether she was right to be paranoid or if that is what cost her the game. Which obviously meant I kindly stepped in to assure her that she was completely safe until it got to her but given it made for an iconic (flameout) exit, she will have burned a place in the hearts and minds of fans and as such, she is the perfect candidate for a future Second Chances season. And that is the kind of comfort that is only bested by a Lindsay Carmiener Pretzel.

I love buns, and more importantly, sausages in buns, so you know a weiner pretzel is something I love in and around my mouth. A little bit sweet and a whole lot salty, these giant pretzel-pigs-in-blankets are perfection.

Enjoy!

Lindsay Carmiener Pretzel 
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
1 cup milk
7g dry yeast
3 tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 ¼ cups plain flour
30g butter, softened and diced
1 tsp fine salt
8 hot dog wieners
¼ cup baking soda
1 egg, lightly whisked
maldon salt flakes

Method
Warm the milk in a saucepan until it is roughly 50C and pour into a large mixing bowl for a stand mixture. Sprinkle in the yeast and leave to bask in the warm milk bath for about 2 minutes before stirring in the brown sugar and 1 cup of the flour. Add the butter and stir into the mix. Add the remaining flour and the fine salt and knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 3-5 minutes or until it is smooth yet a little bit sticky. Shape into a ball and leave to prove in a warm place, in a lightly oiled bowl covered with cling wrap for about two to three hours.

While the dough is proving, preheat the oven to 220C.

Punch the dough back and divide into 8 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 40cm(ish) rope shape before coiling each around a weiner, pressing together to enclose as you go, leaving just a little tip of weiner at each end. And honestly, I’m not even trying with the innuendo anymore, I just can’t stop. Pop on a lined baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and leave them to prove for 20 minutes or so.

Pop 2L of water in a Dutch oven with the baking soda and bring to a gentle boil. It will bubble easily, so keep an eye on it the entire time. Working two at a time, pop the pretzels in the boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes, flipping once half-way through. Remove with a slotted spoon and return to the baking tray.

Once they are all boiled, brush each with some egg, sprinkle with salt and pop in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool for ten minutes or so before devouring, alongside your favourite condiment.


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Molly Poppancakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And. I. Live.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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


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Faúdge Fúr

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under ten queens, Ru, Michelle, Rhys and Raven all willingly underwent mandatory hotel quarantine to show off their maps of Tassie. Sadly something went wrong for some luggage, Raven or Ru as lady-Ru didn’t make her debut until episode two and hang on, wait a minute, I’ve become Dr. Zizmore Seuss. While the season may have been a little hit and miss critically, it was still delightful to see the dolls share our local sensibilities with the world. And most importantly, gift everyone Rhys, the greatest Drag Race judge in any franchise. A fact I am willing to fight over. Oh and Kita Mean spread fake tea that she was the first out only to go on to win. That is, in a word, iconic.

Anyway, everyone packed their bags and headed back to the land of the long white cloud for another season. And you know I am excited.

First to enter our little ol’ Werk Room was Hannah Conda who is as polished and shiny as her pillowy lips. She was joined by Faúx Fúr who took a couple of takes to enter due to her massive Dynasty style hat, but she looks stunning and is loud and delightful and fun and I love her. Oh and Hannah is her aunty, which is cute. They were joined by winner of Kita and Anita’s House of Drag Season 2, the doll that beat Elektra, Spankie Jackzon and she is still as wild and charming as ever. Oh and she had her butt and nuts out, so, nothing but respect for my winner.

Brisvegas’ own Beverly Kills was up next giving neon cowgirl sexpot, and well, I am rooting for my local twink! Minnie Cooper arrived coming for Ru’s gig and well, I love everything about her. She is so delightful, hilarious and glamorous. And well, I want to look that good at 40, let alone 50! Molly Poppinz took Bev’s neon cues and made it girly and shiny, and I love everything about her because she is fun. Yuri Guaii arrived as a murderous bride and well, out of drag she can murder my hole. So yes, I love her too and my basement is flooded. Pomara Fifth gave First Nations excellence in the sexiest, sluttiest way and well, I love her with all my heart. Particularly because as a Maori and Aboriginal queen, she intended to willingly declare Pavlova and Crowded House were definitely Kiwi. And bridge any and all other translation gaps.

Aubrey Haive arrived looking like a pastel mod delight, crossed with young Willam and given she is a year in drag, I feel there is hope for anyone starting out because she is polished as hell. Then Kween Kong stole the damn show serving glamour with King Kong’s hand as a cape. And she is hot as hell out of drag and called herself a mother fucker. So yeah, she is my newest winner pick.

Ru dropped by to welcome the new gurls to the family. Oh and address the rumours she wasn’t Down Under last season. And to prove that she is here in person, she asked volunteer Spankie to come stand with her. Before slapping her and making Spankie’s life. Oh and to celebrate the second season, the cash tip was upgraded to $50K for the lucky winner.

We kicked things off with a little sausage fest photoshoot alongside the Pit Crew and well, I am moist. Aubrey was up first and was so sexy and glam, Hannah couldn’t take the biggest sausage due to IBS and gave Ru all the bogan she could dream of and then Pomara oozed sex. Kween Kong was delightful, desperate to snack on the sausage, Spankie was a loving every moment with her hands full, Molly took the big sausage and was damn hilarious, Yuri was stunning, while Minnie was so stupid and had Ru in hysterics. Then Faúx Fúr was all sex and so good, while Beverly Kills lived for her modelling. But ultimately it was Minnie Cooper that rightly took out the first win of the season.

Robert and Bindi Irwin then zoomed in from the Sunshine Coast to help Ru announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would need to design a stunning outfit made out of natural or recyclable materials. As soon as the Pit Crew dropped off their bush-filled boxes, the dolls immediately pillaged the supplies and found a space in the Werk Room to get started on their outfits. Minnie and Spankie quickly formed the old lady gang and set themselves up at the back of the room to kiki, while the younguns Beverly, Aubrey and Yuri hung out and shaded Minnie. Which immediately pissed off Spankie, who wanted them to put some respect on her name as Minnie is a damn legend.

Pomara meanwhile was worried that Art Simone was hiding under the trash for her third try. Which is understandable.

As Yuri got to work on her outfit she immediately panicked trying to sew plastic, while Hannah was overwhelmed and embarrassed by potentially being that girl that hot glues stuff to a mould. Kween Kong was hoping to showcase her outfit, while Molly was just super stressed about how she was going to make things work, even with Faúx helping her and giving her advice. Speaking of Faúx, she was singing a lot and driving her sisters a little bit mad, but I love her and her confidence AND how much she was living for her sequin and wheat number. Which wasn’t it, though it did look better than Spankie’s tubing look, so that is good.

Kween Kong meanwhile started to second guess her look and realised she would need to start over if she wanted to avoid being the first boot.

Elimination Day arrived with Kong’s new outfit inspired by Moana and well, my basement is preemptively flooded. Hannah was stressed by the fact her leaves had started to shrivel and die overnight while Molly was worried she would look like a split avo on the runway. Beverly meanwhile was scared by the look Spankie pulled together and concerned that Minnie was stapling her dress together. And that Hannah’s is ugly. As is Faúx and Molly’s. So yeah, Brisbabe is shady and I LOVE her for it. Hannah meanwhile knew her outfit was definitely not it and was terrified of going home.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys reclaimed their place on the judges panel where Beverly opened the Down Under, Naturally runway in a purple plastic delight. It was shiny, well fitting and I love it. Hannah ended up turning it as a green wood nymph and well, on stage it looked good. Minnie was tragically a bit of a mess in a foil bubble wrap number though rocked a computer screen as a clutch, which matters,  Aubrey Haive was stunning in a grey, frayed number, Kween stole the show as sexy Maui and well, when its right, its right. Spankie was a bit messy as a space bug, Molly’s look was a stunning wheat and green number, completely with full bush. Faúx served her wheat mini dress before Pomara rocked a glamorous curled bodysuit, while Yuri served glamour in a plastic mermaid gown. That she couldn’t walk in.

Beverly, Minnie, Aubrey and Pomara were sent to safety before Hannah received universal praise, despite Michelle usually hating glue-gunned bodysuits. They loved Kween Kong’s mug and for serving culture, but Michelle felt she was sloppy around the edges. Spankie meanwhile was praised for the fun, though read for filth for missing something – namely pants – in her look. Molly too received universal praise and given she was inspired by Gina Liano, I love it. Faúx was read for wearing black panties and that everything else was one note. Oh and then Yuri was read for being unable to walk in her look, though they lived for the fact she gave them a full fashion moment.

Backstage the safe girls were gagged to learn Spankie, Kween and Faúx were in the bottom, while Spankie broke down over potentially going home without getting to show off her talents. Kween Kong meanwhile was happy with her critiques, though ready to lip sync her way out of it. Faúx meanwhile tried to downplay her disappointment, though pulled herself aside to sob and admitted to Spankie she felt like a joke. Which lead to a nice pep talk from her sister, who reminded her that neither of them are jokes. While Molly was happy to be high, Beverly and Aubrey tried to sell themselves as the high safe ones. Which annoyed the shit out of Minnie and Pomara, who were just as safe as the iconic shade posse. Oh and Spankie was just terrified of facing Kween Kong in the lip sync.

Ultimately Molly took out the first win of the season before Yuri and Hannah were sent to safety. Kween Kong meanwhile was gagged to be deemed safe as Spankie and Faúx lined up to lip sync for their lives to Kylie’s Get Outta My Way. And well, they both bloody served and I love it. Faúx used every corner of the stage while Spankie commanded all the attention as she hit every letter. Faúx was sexy and charming as she nailed each moment, while Spankie straight up spun into a split and well, I feel like that is what gave her the edge. Tragically sending Faúx Fúr home as the newest Porkchop.

Which as you know, is the best place to land if you can’t win. I mean, Jojo Zaho is still one of my faves from last season, as I assume friend of the blog Faúx Fúr will be too! She was charming and energetic as she exited the season. Eventually, since everything is on the other side on the Down Under set and she got lost. Which isn’t generally what happens in Australia and New Zealand, despite what The Simpsons told us.

But I digress. As she made her way backstage, I pulled Faúx in for a massive hug and reminded her that not only is the first boot always one of the most memorable. But so is getting eliminated for an oddly specific reason, like say, wearing black panties under an otherwise decent design look. And as such, her infectious charm will carry her to greatness and I’m so looking forward to seeing where she goes. No doubt with a belly full of inspirational Faúdge Fúr to carry her on.

While fudge is one of the most simple sweet snack you can make, it is also super-duper delicious. Chuck everything in a pot, stir, boil and essentially, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Faúdge Fúr
Serves: 2 charmingly loud icons of Australasia.

Ingredients
397g can condensed milk
150ml milk
450g demerara sugar
115g butter

Method
Pop everything into a large saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase to medium heat and bring to a steady boil and cook until it reaches 115C on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. 

Once a little chilled, beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until it goes dull and becomes thick and starts to form a ball. Makes sure you don’t overbeat the mixture, as this will make the fudge grainy.

Press into a lined baking tin and smooth with the back of a spoon and leave for a few hours to set.

Then, carve and devour.


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French Miss Moçoa

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race twelve new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to battle it out for a crown. And TBH, our hearts. Barely able to catch their breath, the dolls walked a street style fashion show. Before they had to turn their street clothes into catwalk chic for their mainstage debut. And again, so chic, Jamie. While most of the girls were quite strong, it was Lady Boom Boom who stormed the challenge to her first victory while Miss Moço and Halal Bae landed in the bottom. And after a hard fought lip sync, my zaddy Halal Bae found herself becoming the first boot.

And just like that, my basement started to drain.

Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to have lost Halal, none more so than her baby Bombae, who was now ready to fight for their family name. As was Miss Moço, who doesn’t want to land in the bottom again ever again. Or leave her fellow Toronto queen Jada with only Fiercalicious for company. Everyone congratulated Lady Boom Boom on her victory, while Jada was more focused on the fact that Boom Boom sounds sexy and floods her basement. Which is relatable, but triggering, since Halal Bae is gone.

The next day the dolls were energetic and ready to slay a new challenge, with Irma wanting to show off her comedy chops. Kimmy meanwhile noticed a bag had been left in the Werk Room which was filled with hockey jerseys, making everyone super butch. Or something. Brad arrived to explain that the jerseys were for his new gay hockey team, but first, the dolls would need to design the team kit in the form of a 30 minute quick-drag mini-challenge. First up Jada looked a technicolour mess, Kaos was just wild, Fiercalicious was delightfully slutty, Chelazon looked at the end of her tether, Boom Boom looked absolutely stunning, Vivian was adorable, Bombae wandered aimlessly, Moço flashed her buns – a win in my eyes – Giselle looked like she had seen some shit while Irma Gerd was intense and Kimmy served sex. Not sexy, just sex.

Ultimately it was Chelazon Leroux that took out victory though. Brad then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be nominated for AND presenting at the Who-Knows Awards. And as the winner of the Mini Challenge, Chelazon had the power to partner everyone up. After picking Giselle for herself, she paired Fiercalicious with Kimmy, gave Jada and Moço their wish of being a duo and put Irma and Vivian together, leaving Bombae, Kaos and Lady Boom Boom as the final trio. The latter of which would be presenting Busiest Beaver Award. Jada and Moço were given Frostiest Queen, Nicest Caribooty would be given out by Chelazon and Giselle, Best All Dressed would be given by Kimmy and Fiercalicious, while the Lifetime Achievement in Delusion would be presented by Irma and Vivian.

After Brad exited the dolls split up to start working on their sets, with Bombae confident in their group setting the scene and slaying. Irma and Vivian meanwhile were giggling away and coming up with the stupidest jokes possible. Jada and Moço were confident to be working together, given they do it in their real lives and were planning to leave nerves at the door. On the flipside, Fiercalicious started to spiral, worried about whether her and Kimmy can even be funny, while Chelazon and Giselle were just vibing. But more importantly, Irma and Vivian were absolutely delightful.

As Fiercalicious and Kimmy grew more and more frustrated with each other, Brad returned to check in with the girls, with Boom Boom opening up about being worried about not being funny in English. Jada and Moço were thrilled by how much Brad was living for their script, Chelazon and Giselle appeared to be on the right track while Kimmy and Fiercalicious appeared to make him nervous. Obviously Irma and Vivian were adorbs, despite Brad cautioning them to not try too hard. 

Elimination Day arrived with Kaos super nervous of the challenge, while Fiercalicious was unsure how she and Kimmy will be able to pull things together. Talk turned to everyone’s sense of humour, with Irma using humour to make friends from a young age while Bombae treated it as her lifejacket. Chelazon meanwhile opened up about humour being so important for Indigenous people, sharing that she is two spirit and sharing how laughter has helped her through the tough times. Kaos meanwhile wanted to open up about her own journey as an Indigenous person, though didn’t want it to come off as insincere, given she felt she presents too white. Which is honestly heartbreaking.

Oh and Fiercalicious continued to yell at Kimmy.

Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined by rockstar Carole Pope on the judges panel as the Who-Knows Awards kicked off. And well, as soon as Kaos, Lady Boom Boom and Bombae arrived to give out the Busiest Beaver Award, they were super cute. Albeit a little formulaic. Well, until Kaos and Boom Boom started to read their sisters, then they slayed. Oh and Jada won, because the girls actually voted on these awards. Giselle and Chelazon were camp delights as Kaos took out Best Caribooty, Moço and Jada meanwhile bombed as Frostiest Queen was bequeathed to Chelazon before Kimmy stole the damn show – despite not sticking to Fiercalicious’ direction – giving Best All Dressed to Lady Boom Boom before Irma and Vivian were silly, stupid and so much fun as the Lifetime Achievement Award for Delusion went to Miss Fiercalicious.

On the Goddess of the Ancient World runway, Kaos was a white, winter warrior bride and well, it was hot. Bombae was perfect, giving full glamour, Boom Boom was a sexy little cupid, Moço was vampy – and a little nervous – as the goddess of the underworld while Jada was a sexy snake-fish golden dream. Chelazon was a stunning sky goddess in black, while Giselle was a floral, forest delight, Kimmy was perfection as an orange sun goddess, Fiercalicious was a mirrored, golden delight before Vivian gave black and golden Norse delight and Irma closed the show as a chaotic, rainbow fairy floss delight.

Bombae, Giselle, Boom Boom, Kaos and Vivian were deemed safe and sent to untuck before Moço was praised for looking so glamorous and giving all the emotion. Though she was read for filth for bombing the challenge and missing the mark. Jada too was read for the challenge, though they also loved her runway. Chelazon received praise for powering through the challenge and for having an absolutely perfect mug, though the judges were disappointed she didn’t give enough in the looks. Kimmy meanwhile received universal praise for all that she did, from the challenge to the runway. As did Fiercalicious, despite the fact they were not vibing before taking the stage. And while Irma started strong, the judges felt she got stuck in her head and started to fade while they felt her look didn’t scream chaotic like she had hoped.

The tops and bottoms joined the girls backstage with Fiercalicious excited to be in the top, before quickly trying to rub it in Chelazon’s face, given she was trying to be shady by pairing her with Kimmy. Which is not at all what she was doing. Irma was disappointed to be in the bottom while Jada pulled focused as she broke down over her landing in the bottom. While Moço was more nervous about having to lip sync against her sister.

Ultimately it was Kimmy that took out her first win of the season as Chelazon and Fiercalicious were sent to safety. Meanwhile besties Moço and Jada’s worst fears came to life as Irma was deemed safe and they had to lip sync against each other to High School Confidential by Rough Trade (and you know, Carole Pope). And while they both fought valiantly, Jada had all the fire and emotion and managed to narrowly save herself, sending her sweet sister Miss Moço out of the competition.

As poor Moço caught up with me backstage I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her how talented she is. It felt like she was nervous in her short time on the show, though I reiterated that she is such a star, win or lose, and not to worry. Which quickly perked her back up. Though maybe that was, you know, the French Miss Moçoa we shared.

How does this differ from a regular hot chocolate? More chocolate and cream, essentially. But those two additions truly give you an other worldly experience. Velvety and rich, this is a decadent treat that is perfect for reminding people how talented they are.

Enjoy!

French Miss Moçoa
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
60g dark chocolate, chopped 
45g milk chocolate, chopped 
1 ¼ cups milk 
½ cup double cream 
2 tsp muscovado sugar, plus extra if needed
¼ tsp kosher salt

Method
Pop everything in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring for about five minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and it is piping hot.

Pour into two mugs and down, gloriously.


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Jaida Essence Halloumi

Cheese, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on All Winners Jaida was joyously feeling her oats, out in front with three stars as the girls with only one started to worry about their path to the finale. None more than Monet. In the last Maxi Challenge the dolls acted in the epic scene Santa’s School For Girls, a Christmas, horror, teen movie hybrid. Raja and The Vivienne slayed, Trinity and Jaida were silly and fun while Jinkx did the best she could with the worst part in the scene. Ultimately though it was Raja and Viv who found themselves becoming the top two, with Raja slaying the lip sync and taking out the win. And girl, she was well and truly giddy with power as she joyous blocked former frontrunner Jaida.

Backstage Raja was well and truly feeling her oats, thrilled to not just jag a second star but to claim $10k. While The Viv was glad to finally get her second star on her third win, Jaida arrived and was heartbroken to be blocked while looking so damn cute. While Raja straight up pointed at her and laughed. Like a damn icon. As Trinity asked Jaida if she was happy about learning the secret of the plunger, Raja grew more and more jealous about the fact she isn’t in on the gag. Which obviously lead to Jaida floating the idea of nobody blocking Raja so she can never find out what she is missing out on. Talk turned to track records with everyone but Shea and Monet thrilled to be close to making it to the finale, before it descended into absolute chaos – as it so often does – with the star moment obviously being Shea’s Kevin McCalister impersonation.

Things were decidedly more calm the next day as Monet continued to smart about having only one star. Thankfully before she could get too in her feelings, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be making their own branded viral videos for social media, all to one of Ru’s songs. Because she is nothing if not a smart lady who is going to get those royalty cheques.

The dolls split up to talk through their ideas with Raja being totally relatable, knowing a tonne about TikTok dances but being disgusted by the thought of doing one. Everyone opened up about their brands with Monet starting to feel good about the challenge, which made her nervous, given she assumed there must be a catch. Jaida meanwhile was keeping it simple, Trinity was going to combine her signature three moves while Yvie was leaning into having no bones. That being said, she was super stressed given she hates viral dances and only uses the internet for cat videos. Which is so relatable, except I watch French Bulldogs and Bostons.

Jinkx meanwhile was smashing a peanut butter sandwich into her mouth which WOULD be relatable, except she used smooth rather than Super Crunchy. That being said, while everyone thought she was losing her grip on reality, like Katya before her, she was feeling pretty confident and committing to making a sandwich for her four bars.

Ru made a triumphant return – screaming wagon wheel watusi, no less – to check in with the girls with The Vivienne ready to do a so you can’t dance Viv-eo, Shea would Shea-ke it down to get a star, Trinity was doing THE tuck and Yvie was leaning into the odd by way of Gumby. Jinkx meanwhile was sticking with the sandie-j dance, leaning in to her middle aged mother persona, while Monet was going to be doing the ex-change and while Ru was confused by her explanation, her excitement and energy is clearly going to prove her well. As will Ru’s suggestion to lean into money moves.

When it came to shooting their dances, Yvie was living her best life and so much fun, Jinkx was so damn stupid and I loved every moment, Trinity was in full momager mode with her back-up dancers, Viv was silly, Shea shook it all up, Raja looked stunning, Jaida kept forgetting her lines and Monet thought she lost a nail.

Runway Day arrived with Monet excited to see how their dances turned out and more importantly, grab herself a second star. Finally. Shea meanwhile opened up about dreaming of being a dancer as a child, explaining that she took that vibe into the challenge. Shea and Monet then tried to identify their mononym, which immediately made Jaida want in. Trinity and Jinkx meanwhile kikied about their videos with the latter showing how she clearly understood the assignment, saying the dance was there but whatever, because she truly sold herself. Trinity was also happy with hers. They then spoke about stars, realising everyone either catches up this week or two girls can join Jaida out in front. The Viv, Raja and Jaida were also talking about stars with Raja questioning what she wanted more, another star or to finally learn the secret of the plunger. While Jaida joked about being blocked all the way to the end. And yeah, Raja is totally getting blocked, isn’t she?

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judges panel by Ben Platt as Shea kicked off the What Lies Beneath runway in a stunning, tonal, blue gown, complete with her buns out. Jaida too went with icy shades of blues before revealing a stunning floral gown before serving stripes and a a fiery, floral nude illusion. The Viv went from Wicked Witch to Elsa to Elsa, in pants. Raja was a bright delight, serving hoops, spikes, flamingos and finally, body-ody-ody. Yvie went from a cocoon to a slimily slug, Jinkx was perfect in a Picasso suit to Monet – the artist, not her sister – gown before going Pollack housewife before rocking cubism. And yeah, it was great. Monet went Harriet Tubman, to Black Panther and then BLM and like Jinkx, it was perfect. Trinity meanwhile was a burlesque babe going from mermaid gown to sexy flower.

Shea’s video was hilariously serious giving confused moves and well, she looked fucking stunning. The judges lived for how charming she was in her video and by the fact her dance was totally achievable for a viral moment. Oh and then lived for her runways. They lived for how silly and on brand Jaida was serving the new diva rules. And obviously her outfits were deemed perfect. The Viv gave classic British humour, complete with taking the piss out of internet culture and the passion for repeating the words, The Viveo. And her musical theatre looks were deemed stunning. Aunty Raja gave self-help via dance video and ugh, it was so stupid I lived for every moment. Which is exactly how the judges felt, about the video and her runways.

Coooool.

Yvie gave full Yvie, ridiculous, camp and all limb. And well, I totally see her dance going viral within the next 24 hours. And the judges once again felt her runway was stunning, but her make-up was even better. Jinkx meanwhile stole the show, polished, wild, dumb and hilarious from start to finish. And had Ru nearly wetting her pants. And her art received universal praise for her work of art on the runway. Monet’s video oozed charm and personality as she leaned into Ru’s suggestions and like Yvie, will be viral in the next day. When it came to her runway, they all lived for how great she looked while serving such a powerful message. Trinity rounded out the show serving stupid in her video, being wild, sexy and so bloody fun. And rightly received universal praise for her stunning runway.

Backstage the dolls were loving their turn on the runway, mainly because Ben was flirting with all of them. Everyone praised each other on their looks, gushing over all the details and honestly, once again, I love seeing how much the dolls all clearly love each other. And how the competition has given them the space to show another side of themselves and try new things. Talk turned to their videos and who the girls think will be in the top, with Monet thinking it is down to her, Shea, Trinity and Jinkx.  That in turn lead to talking about getting blocked with Raja talking about how fun it was to block one of her sisters, likening it to Monopoly. While Jinkx obviously didn’t like the concept of blocking, though mainly because she is one of two people that have had to do it twice. While Yvie and Monet felt left out, given they’ve never gotten to block.

After a detour about selfies, Ben Platt dropped by to kiki with the girls. And let me tell you, he was just so great as Dear in Dear Evan Hansen.

Ultimately it was Monet who landed in the top two alongside Jinkx before they competed for the ultimate win in a spoken word lip sync to the icnoic scene from Designing Women. Which was every bit as fun and delightful, and wild, as you can imagine. And while I will stan Jinkx until the day I die, there was no denying this was Monet’s moment. Just like the night the lights went out in Gerogia. She was silly, sassy and honestly a star, earning her $10k before she promptly blocked Raja. Who you just know is going to be pissed when she discovers there is no bloody secret next week.

As they were filing backstage, Jaida was shocked as I whispered at her to come and follow me. Given she has the most stars, alongside Jinkx. I then had to explain that Ru hadn’t shared the intel re. the star system before I set this season’s rules and as such, based it on wins. And tragically, she has the least amongst the dolls I have left. Which is a very long-winded explanation she didn’t care for, given she looks so cute in her runway. Which is the most Jaida way to explain that she doesn’t care for explanation and just wants some fuel for the final three weeks. Fuel in the form of some Jaida Essence Halloumi.

Yes, this is just a recipe for making cheese. But as you should know, halloumi isn’t just any old cheese. Salty, firm and gloriously squeaky – whether you like it or not – halloumi is the MVP of any meal. And it is even better when freshly made.

Enjoy!

Jaida Essence Halloumi
Serves: 1 person and a delightful icon.

Ingredients
¼ tsp rennet
5L unhomogenised milk
100g salt
clean cheesecloth

Method
Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a bowl and leave to cool before whisking in the rennet.

Meanwhile pop the milk in a pot over low heat and cook, stirring, until it hits 36°C on a candy thermometer and try to keep it at that temperature for as long as possible. Whisk in the rennet mixture for a few seconds before stopping the liquid completely. Cover and leave undisturbed for an hour, or until set. You will want to grab a curd and pull it apart, if it leaves a crack, it’s done. Otherwise leave for another half an hour.

When the curds are nice and set – and the temp is still at 36°C – use a bread knife to dice into 1-2cm cubes. Leave to rest for ten minutes before reheating to 40°C. Line a colander with the cheesecloth and place over a pot. Drain the curds from the whey and wrap the cloth tightly to form a block of curds. Pop a plate on top and place a weight on top before leaving for an hour or so to set.

Transfer the whey into a saucepan that is just a little bigger than the block and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 tbsp of salt and scoop any solids that form on the top (this is ricotta), then add the block of curds and poached gently until it rises to the top. Then drain.

To brine the cheese, mix the remaining cheese for 1.5L of water in a sterile jar until dissolved. Pop in the cheese and leave in the fridge to brine for a day.

Then, drain, slice and fry. Or whatever you want to do with halloumi.


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La Briochéesecake Ice Cream

Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the dolls were tasked with starring in a parody of Call My Agent. While France trended closely to Espana – aka showing the entire, lengthy scene – every time Paloma was on screen, she lit it up and stole the show. Which is saying something, given Briochée gave an iconic turn as Marion Cotillard possessed by Edith Piaf. Everyone turned delicate, beautiful looks on the Dites-le avec des fleurs runway which meant that Soa and Lova’s slightly muted acting performances landed them in the bottom, with Soa demolishing the lip sync and sending sweet Lova home.

Backstage the dolls toasted to how kind and lovely Lova was, with Lolita particularly going to miss her. On the flipside, Kam was just glad to see another girl home and was ready to power through the competition. Soa meanwhile was feeling her oats after slaying the lip sync, ready to send other girls home but also not loving the vibe of being in the bottom. Bertha meanwhile was just in her feels to have lost her fellow big girl. The next day the dolls were energised and ready to turn it as the speculated what challenge they’re likely to be up against, with the dolls agreeing they either want to dance or sew. 

Obviously that manifested Nicky, who arrived to put them through their paces in a Mini Challenge where they would have to film a video about making a baguette in teams of two. And while I feel like Nicky was trying to come for my gig, I am willing to look the other way. Because the other way saw the return of the zaddy pit crew and they seem to flood my basement more than any pit crew that has come before them. Soa and Bertha were up first and appeared to be having a ball, making a total mess and being so stupid. Lolita and La Grande Dame saw their stupidity and raised it as Lolita ended up with flour all over her face as Grande Dame’s arms flailed about. La Briochée gave an acting masterclass as Elips created as much chaos as possible before Paloma and Kam literally added tits to their dough. Though obviously victory went to Elips and Briochée.

Nicky then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be throwing a little French Ball, with them first stomping the runway in a Ma France à moi look while the second look would need to be about French Clichés. And well, Elips and Briochée were both feeling confident. Even after Nicky announced they would also be modelling a third dress which they would have to make in a day, ready for the red carpet of the Festival de Cannes. And they would be made out of a minimum of three beach toys. Which obviously filled everyone with dread. Even Elips and Briochée who won a headstart in the ransack for taking out the Mini Challenge, which proved quite a prize since everything soon disappeared once the other dolls got involved.

Everyone split up to go through their haul with Bertha looking to give a Gaultier and Galiano hybrid. Briochée had a detailed plan for an asymmetrical dress. And for everything she couldn’t do, she would go get advice from Elips. Kam and Grande Dame meanwhile were busy kiki-ing about their hometowns, with Kam admitting it was difficult growing up in a small town, while Grande Dame had to leave Nice after experiencing a hate crime. A crime so violent she doesn’t even remember what happened. Which was a story that broke Lolita, Bertha and Soa’s hearts who were all ready to defend her till the ends of the earth.

Nicky dropped by to check on the girls’ progress with the one and only Kiddy Smile to give them advice on stomping the runway. They lived for Bertha though wanted her to not fear being serious, Kam was reminded to walk tall, Elips was perfect, Paloma kinda gave Ramona in RHONY, Briochée was read for looking down, Lolita stripped so was great in my eyes, Soa was perfection from the walk to the attitude, as was Grande Dame. And well, the dolls are ready for their ball.

Nicky then dropped the bomb that Véronique Philipponnat and Chantal Thomass would be joining them on the judges panel before she departed and well, the dolls were now far less ready and far more nervous.

As Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy took the stage with the duo of icons, Paloma kicked off the Sweet France of Mine runway, looking like a caged, camp delight in honour of cheese. Lolita was a netted, locked delight in honour of Paris, Grande Dame gave all the drama in a massive haute couture black widow gown, while Elips went from black widow to glamour pride and it was gorgeous before Briochée served glamour in a blue and pearl gown. Soa was perfection in a tartan and white delight in honour of her mother, Kam sold suited sexy pigeon and well, it was amazing before Bertha closed the category with a glamorous blue jean gown before she straight up flooded herself, the stage and my basement.

When it came to French Cliches, Paloma was stunning as a white suited artiste, Lolita gave the sexiest chartreuse protester known to man, Grande Dame was a white ruffled delight, like if Jerry’s shirt was glamour, before Elips served red wine. Which obviously is a win in my eyes. Briochée gave gingham glam with baguette arms – aka Baguette Bardot – while Soa read all the basic white women of France and well, I live. Though maybe it is because her arse is hot? Kam served sexy maid and then revealed a bodysuit covered in croissants. Which again, is a win in my eyes. Oh and then Bertha gave an accordion gown and well, it was so damn cool. Complete with a light bulb up her arse.

When it came to the designed looks for the Cannes Festival, Paloma was pink perfection. Lolita gave a polished yellow and teal gown looking like The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica. Grande Dame was stunning in bright blue with red rope detail – a description which doesn’t do it justice – while Elips was suited in lime and black. Briochée was kinda messy, giving more Marilyn impersonator rather than Cannes, while Soa looked more Studio 54 in gold lame. But again, her butt was out. Kam was stunning in a pink and orange stripe as sexy Nemo. While Bertha was stunning in navy, despite the gown being an absolute mess construction wise.

Paloma was praised for being so funny while serving three stunning looks. Lolita was praised for her bold design, they lived for Grande Dame’s commitment to being the fashion queen of the season while Elips was read for her designed look, given there was absolutely no tailoring. Which led to Briochée pointing out that she spent most of her time helping everyone else, which may have contributed. Before Briochée’s designed look was read for absolute filth for having a giant rip on the leg. Soa’s brought looks were praised, though she was read for not giving enough on the third. Kam meanwhile received universal praise for everything she did in each category. From the polish to the concepts, they lived for every damn moment. While Bertha similarly received praise for her bought looks, while her designed look was deemed an absolute mess.

Backstage everyone congratulated Kam on her obvious win, while she pointed out Paloma and Grande Dame were just as good. Soa, Briochée, Elips and Bertha weren’t sure which duo would be lip syncing, with all of them feeling like they had let themselves down and well, I hate to see it. Particularly Elips who looked broken, while her sisters reiterated how grateful they were for all that she did for them this week. 

Obviously it was Kam that took out her first victory of the season before Bertha and Elips were narrowly saved, leaving Sea and Briochée to lip sync for their lives. And once again, Soa was not going down without a fight and absolutely slayed from start to finish. As soon as Pookie by Aya Nakamura kicked off, she pulled all the focus and while Briochée was cute, charming and hitting every lyric, Soa’s fire was just too much to come up against as she once again dominated and saved herself. Tragically felling sweet Briochée.

Backstage Briochée was so kind and upbeat about her elimination, I almost ran into Nicky’s dressing room and screamed at her until she agreed to reinstate the icon into the competition. But alas, I was mature. And instead, I pulled her in for a massive hugged and thanked her for not only sharing her talents with the world, but also for being so open with her story. Given she is a delight, she took it all in stride as we laughed together before smashing a massive bowl of La Briochéesecake Ice Cream.

Just when you thought I was going to zig, I zagged instead. Straight into an epic bowl of deliciousness. This barely tweaked take on the Milkbar classic is so damn delicious. So delicious, in fact, that even a cheesecake hater could be converted.

Enjoy!

La Briochéesecake Ice Cream
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
1 gelatin leaf
240ml milk
45g Lauren Graham Cracker crumbs
25g milk powder
¾ tsp raw caster sugar
¾ tsp kosher salt
15g butter, melted
15ml double cream
½ batch of Liquidita Von Däshcake
1 tbsp sour cream

Method
Pop the gelatin leaf in some water for ten minutes to bloom. While that is getting soft, transfer some of the milk into a saucepan and lightly warm. Drain the excess liquid from the gelatin before adding to the warmed milk and whisk until completely dissolved.

Meanwhile combine the graham crumbs, 5g of the milk powder, raw caster sugar and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl until well combined. Fold through the melted butter and double cream until well combined and small clusters form.

Transfer to a blender with the gelatine milk and remaining milk, the liquid cheesecake, sour cream, remaining milk powder and salt, and blitz until smooth. When you think it is blitzed enough, leave it going for another couple of minutes.

Pour the liquid into an ice cream churn and cook as per instructions before transferring to an airtight container. Pop in the freezer for a couple of hours to set, or just smash straight out of the churn if you want it soft-serve style.


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Liquidita Von Däshcake

Baking, Cheese, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the top four made over older gay men from the Fundación 26 de Diciembre. One of whom was famous fashion designer Petro Valverde, meaning the pressure was well and truly on Sharonne to do well. Thankfully she did as the duo formed a tight bond and pulled together a killer performance. Estrella and Marina meanwhile landed in the bottom for not having their details down pat. Ultimately though it was Venedita who won the challenge and went straight through to the final alongside Sharonne, leaving the duo to battle it out for the final slot. The gag of the season however was that both of the girls slayed the lip sync and as such, Supremme had no choice but to have a top four this year.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to stay as the top four, particularly Estrella who was sure that she was the one being eliminated. She opened up about how she was trying so hard to put on a brave face on stage, so was overwhelmed by the fact Supremme saw something in her that was worthy of saving. Sharonne reminded everyone to focus on the fact they are the first top four in Drag Race España history and that is because they are all icons. While Venedita continued to try and woo the audience to her side by subtly hashtagging in the background. Estrella on the other hand was ready to Showgirls her way to the end, while Sharonne was going to try her best, which is arguably the strongest track record ever.

The next day the finalists returned to the Werk Room feeling nostalgic about the experience and emotional that it is ending. Venedita reiterated that she would love to be the first bearded queen to win, while everyone agreed it is currently Sharonne’s crown to lose. Though that doesn’t mean anyone is going to make it easy for her. Speaking of which, Supremme eventually arrived to announce that for their final challenge the dolls would be performing alongside her in a music video, including writing and recording a verse and learning a tonne of choreography.

Oh and everyone would get to join her for a light lunch, with Venedita first on the guest list, opening up to Mama Supremme about how happy she is to make it to the end and that it was like a dream to her. She opened up about the explosion of social media leading to her starting drag and inspiring her to play with androgyny in her performance. Estrella was next and couldn’t believe she had made it to the end and how much the judges loved her. Hilariously she got her start in drag by befriending three queens in the street when trying to avoid someone picking her up. Which is as wild and iconic as you’d expect from her.

Sharonne opened up about the pressure that comes with going into the competition as an already successful, famous queen, though was proud of herself for continuing to evolve throughout the season. She opened up about being inspired to do drag by listening to her dad’s old records and wanting to perform like them. Marina meanwhile spoke about how drag to her is conceptual and creative and hard to explain, though she was proud of the character she created and looked forward to reflecting on the experience to see just what she has learned and how much she has grown.

With that out of the way, the dolls finally got to work writing their verses with Estrella and Venedita working well together and agreeing it is good to play into their strengths and keep it on the safer side. Marina and Sharonne were being a bit more creative and sensual with their approach and honestly were living their best lives as they bounced off each other. One thing all four of them could agree on is that they all have a massive challenge ahead of them and that this season truly has upped the ante. As has Marina, who the dolls were living for as she continued to drop killer lyric after killer lyric.

The dolls ventured to the mainstage to work on their choreography with Drag Race choreographer Carmelo and a series of flexible daddies. Venedita was feeling the pressure of pulling everything together at one time, while Sharonne was well and truly feeling her oats. Despite worrying about the complexity of the choreography. Marina was encouraged to give more confidence before Carmelo decided that their eliminated sisters should join them for the final performance and well, the reunion was sweet to see. Despite it distracting from the sweats-clad Pit Crew.

Speaking of sweats, Estrella’s had a massive hole in the crotch and well, I live.

It was family only on the panel as Supremme, Ana y Los Javis took their places at the table as Carmen arrived to drop off her crown – please tell me she doesn’t actually have to return it – and kick off the film clip. The dolls all turned it out, though it truly was Sharonne’s show as she gave it her all and hit every damn note. Marina was sensual, Estrella had all the personality and Venedita looked stunning. More importantly, why weren’t the Pit Crew wearing jockstraps?

On the My Best Drag runway Venedira was a sumptuous, blue belle, serving glamour and sex and looking oh so expensive. Marina was a dramatic black flower and was completely stunning. Estrella was full pastel perfection, camp and fun as she went back to the 19th century. And then Sharonne shut it down in a shimmering gown complete with a massive heart on her chest, ready to rebirth and take flight as a phoenix.

The judges lived for Venedita’s versatility and for alway bringing fashion to the runway and looking stunning. Marina meanwhile was beloved for always being smart and thinking outside the box and giving them something different. And for serving some of the most iconic looks on the runway and always telling a story. Estrella was praised for constantly evolving and being present, serving not just comedy but for doing it in the right way thanks to her impeccable instincts. She was fun, warm and smart, and well, the judges clearly love her. When it came to Sharonne, she received universal praise for being a star and being versatile enough to succeed at anything and everything she put her mind to. And for her ability to keep her ego in check.

Backstage the dolls were overwhelmed by all the love from the judges, despite the fact they were all completely exhausted. Estrella was emotional about the fact it was all coming to an end, while Marina shared how proud she was to be sitting alongside her three sisters with Sharonne agreeing that she is leaving the competition with a family she will treasure forever. Talk turned to who they thought would win with Venedita feeling like Sharonne is still the front runner, while Sharonne admitted that they are all stars though that she always felt like Venedita would be a worthy winner. While Estrella praised Marina for bringing mystery.

The eliminated queens walked the runway one final time with Marisa serving red-hot arse, Ariel gave sexy Ariel, Samantha was ravishing in red, Jota gave drama in shimmering bondage black, Onyx gave alien queen, Diamante was a black and white delight while Sethlas brought all the papal drama you’d expect from the Canary Islands while Juriji was sexy in a gorgeous mulberry tulle number.

Ultimately though, the top four were the stars. Well, top three as the judges opted to cut Marina just ahead of the final lip sync to Ni tú ni nadie by Alaska y Dinarama. And well, all three were desperate for the crown and ready to fight. Estrella leant into comedy and gave many a gag, Venedita gave burlesque beauty, though it truly was Sharonne’s victory lap as she hit every lyric and gave drama and emotion. And even a wig reveal, followed by showering herself in confetti followed by exploding her heart in glitter. And well, it was only correct that she took out the win.

That being said, Venedita was impeccable throughout the entire competition and well and truly deserving of her place in the final. From the very frist moment she entered the Werk Room, it was clear she was a star which is exactly what I told her as we caught up backstage. While she was disappointed to not take out the crown, she knew that she had done herself proud so after a big hug from a dear friend like me and a bowl of Liquidita Von Däshcake, she was well and truly ready to take on the world.

Another Milk Bar delight – actually the filling for Jonathan’s bun (pie) – this velvety smooth confection is hard to describe. Packing the flavorful punch of cheesecake but with the texture of custard, this versatile sweet is perfect spread on cookies, baked into a pie, turned into ice cream, or better yet, eating solo, gladly.

Enjoy!

Liquidita Von Däshcake
Serves: 1 runner-up and her bestie.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
150g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp milk
1 egg

Method
Pop the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and beat for an additional couple of minutes and scrape down the sides.

Combine the cornstarch, salt, milk and egg in a jug and whisk together until smooth, before adding to the mixer and beating for another 3 or 4 minutes, or until beautifully smooth.

Pour into a lined square cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until the outside is just setting, but it is still jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven to cool. Then devour, greedily.


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Cinnamon Bunathan Young Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, Sweets, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor the final five appeared to be neatly split into two pairs or Jonathan and Mike on one side and Lindsay and Maryanne on the other with Romeo left right out. Before heading to the immunity challenge, treemail arrived with a puzzle which they had to solve for a clue to an advantage in the challenge and while Lindsay jagged it, it didn’t help as Mike powered through the puzzle and snatched it out from under her. Back at camp Maryanne was confident Mike would play his idol for her despite the fact he literally promised everyone by Romeo the exact same thing. Ultimately though, his idol play for Maryanne – who sat on hers – didn’t matter, as she joined with the boys to take out the biggest threat left in the game, Lindsay.

The final four arrived at the final immunity challenge where they were all feeling exhausted and nervous about what lay ahead of them. Speaking of which, the challenge is the iconic simmotion one that famously cost Wentworth the game in Second Chances, and many other icons throughout the years. The tribe would each have to drop balls into a metal contraption, slowly adding more throughout the challenge with the last one still juggling balls taking out the win.

Everyone spoke about what was driving them to take out the challenge, though it was Maryanne who gave us all the heart, opening up to Probst that she is just grateful to be there in that moment, because she knows it means that everyone in her family will be watching along at home, cheering her on. And since there is a bit of a feud in her family, she is hoping the power of Survivor brings everyone back together, and that would mean more to her than a million dollars. And well, give her the money too please.

Almost as soon as the challenge got under way, Mike dropped his ball out of his hand in a lapse of concentration. Everyone else made it to their second ball before Maryanne tragically dropped hers. As she broke down in tears, Romeo and Jonathan continued to fight through as they added a third ball followed by a fourth, which was enough to end Jonathan’s game, handing Romeo – yes, ROMEO – individual immunity. Like a damn icon. He opened up about how his entire game has been completely exhausting, constantly on the bottom and everyone’s plan B, but not only is he now safe, he has made it to the final tribal council.

Back at camp Romeo was well and truly feeling his oats, ready for everyone to finally treat him with a bit of respect as they tried to make their way to the end. Mike pulled Romeo aside to assure him that he knows he will be making fire, but it is important that he makes the right decision of who exactly he needs to face, given Maryanne is more of a threat to win than Jonathan. Speaking of the duo, Maryanne was coaching Jonathan on how to make fire, given she would far prefer to sit next to him than Mike in the final three.

Mike and Romeo returned, with Mike taking Jonathan to the shore to convince him that it is critical that should Romeo offer to take him to the end, he takes it. Because he needs to take his place in the final however he can get it. Which Jonathan could tell was just him trying to get into his head before the unsafe trio split up to continue practice making fire.

The jury were shocked as Romeo arrived at tribal council wearing the immunity necklace before he spoke about finally having his star moment and how proud he is to take out immunity. Maryanne admitted that she is very much ready to vom, despite how confident she is in her firemaking skills. Jonathan too was busy hyping himself up while Mike admitted he knows he is making fire, though is worried about who his opponent may be. Romeo meanwhile spoke about second guessing himself and worrying about who to save, though that he ultimately is sticking with his gut, taking Maryanne along for the ride and leaving the boys to battle it out in fire.

With that, Mike and Jonathan took their place at the fire making stations and while Jonathan made fire with ease back at camp, he struggled to get a meaningful flame. Mike meanwhile quickly got his flame and started to build a stack, burning through all the husk as he built an epic teepee. Jonathan soon got a flame and quickly worked to close the gap as Mike’s flame started to lick at the ropes. While Jonathan was methodical as he built his fire, Mike literally threw everything on the table and despite the chaos, he managed to burn through the rope and secure his spot at final tribal council.

Jonathan was very zen about his exit, accepting that there is nothing he could do to change the outcome and he reiterated that loves everyone in the tribe very much. He held his head high as he became the final juror to enter Ponderosa for the season and I quickly pulled him in for a hug to congratulate him on making it so far despite his massive target. Which coincidentally is why I pulled him in for a massive hug, because I wanted to feel the warmth of all of that man mountain. And then smash a celebratory Cinnamon Bunathan Young Pie, shirtless in each other’s arms.

Like everything else that comes out of Milk Bar, this little number is near perfection. Kinda like Jonathan’s body? Delicate creamy filling, earthy browned butter and super spicy, it is the ultimate celebratory dessert. Which is good for all occasions.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Bunathan Young Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
‘Mother Dough’
3½ cups flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 ¾ cups water, at room temperature
Liquid Cheesecake
250g cream cheese
150g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
Cinnamon Streusel
¼ cup flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter melted
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Assembly
¼ cup brown butter
¼ cup brown sugar tightly packed
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Method
To start, get to work on your mother dough by combining the flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and stir with the dough hook by hand until just combined before transferring it to the mixer and kneading on low for 10 minutes, or until a smooth, soft ball forms.

Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to prove for an hour or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Next, get to work on the liquid cheesecake – which you will learn about its sole majesty very soon, I promise – by popping the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beating on medium for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and beat for an additional couple of minutes and scrape down the sides. Combine the cornstarch, salt, milk and egg in a jug and whisk together until smooth, before adding to the mixer and beating for another 3 or 4 minutes, or until beautifully smooth. Pour into a lined square cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until the outside is just setting, but it is still jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven to cool.

While that is chill and the dough is busy proving itself, turn your attention to the streusel by tossing the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar until combined. Fold through the melted butter and vanilla until clusters start to form.

Turn the oven up to 180C.

Punch down the dough, dust a surface with some extra flour and roll it out to form a 25cm disc that is about 1.5cm thick. Press into a large pie pan and place said pie pan on a lined baking sheet. Brush half the brown butter over the dough before pouring half the liquid cheesecake over the top in an even layer, followed by the remaining brown butter and the brown sugar, gently pressing into place. Sprinkle with the salt and cinnamon, followed by the remaining cheesecake and finally, the streusel.

Transfer the pie to the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until the centre is slightly jiggly while the edges have set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for fifteen minutes or so before serving. And devouring, thrilled to be back in the land of 6000 calories a day.


As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.