Pfefferlix Godlo

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribe battled it out in an early morning reward challenge for lunch, some family love – via Skype, thanks pandemic – and an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. Phil emerged as a bit of a beast, quickly taking it out before Tejan invited himself along with the advantage Meryl gave him. Phil then parlayed that advantage into his second immunity win of the season, leading to a little bit of chaos back at camp as everyone tried to make the most of the pivotal final 7 vote. Eventually it came down to a battle of Felix and Tejan, with Felix giving an impassioned performance at tribal council, leading to Shane switching his vote and sending Tejan out of the competition.

The next day Marian and Dino caught up to lament their losses, unsure who flipped and voted out Tejan. That being said, Felix felt like both of them had a hand in saving him and as such, that was probably a good thing. While Phil had told them he was in on their final four, they both agreed that there is no way he actually meant it and given he now has a hidden immunity idol, it is even more critical that they weaken him. Phil woke up and grew nervous about people exiting camp, finding Marian and Dino to recap the last tribal council. Phil tried to pretend he didn’t lead the vote against Tejan, despite Marian clearly hearing him telling Killarney to get rid of him. Phil admitted to us that he and Marian are loyal to each other above anyone else, though he didn’t plan on going to the end with her. Which is convenient, as she shared with us that she no longer wants to play the game with him. At all.

Back at camp Felix was asking Shane why the plan was to get rid of him the night before, with Shane admitting to him that he was one of the Tejan votes. And as such, he should now know that he can be trusted. Felix meanwhile only cared about the fact that his alliance with Dino and Phil was clearly done. Speaking of that duo, Phil and Dino were busy catching up solo, with Dino going in on Phil to try and get him to admit that he was the one orchestrating the vote against Tejan. Dino could tell their alliance was done, while Phil was blissfully aware as he went to catch up with Felix and make sure the trio were still tight. Though like Dino before him, Felix did not really buy that Phil was still being truthful with him.

Shane meanwhile was focused on splitting up Phil and Felix, not really caring who to take out. He then shared with us that his current plan was to take Killarney to the end, despite being confident he could beat anyone left in his ideal final four. Said group then caught up to lock in the fact they can’t trust Phil or Felix, with Killarney thrilled to be in on the plan and move ahead. Dino meanwhile was confident that Marian and Shane had his back and that Killarney saw him and her as a pair, making him feel safe about letting Shane and Killarney drive the next vote to split up Felix or Phil and keep the target off his back.

Dino and Felix caught up, with Dino admitting that he was one of the votes against him though that he always had his back and never intended to get rid of him. And while Felix said he believes him and was grateful for the honesty, I am not so sure.

The tribe joined up with Nico where they faced off in a reward challenge in duos where they would need to release sandbags, shoot them at a net, manoeuvre them over said net and then shoot them into baskets. For a full on spa reward, with lunch and drinks included. Killarney and Shane, Phil and Felix and Marian and Dino got to work on the challenge with the last pair quickly falling behind. Phil and Felix started to pull ahead of Shane and Killarney, while Dino and Marian desperately tried to close the gap. Philix made it to the final part of the challenge well ahead, landing three points before anyone even joined them. While everyone eventually made it to the end, the lead proved too much as Philix landed their final four bags and jagged themselves a massive victory.

As they arrived at their reward, they immediately started smashing the food before trying to plot a way to the end. Phil told Felix they can’t afford any more paranoia at tribal council as it just makes everyone paranoid and distrustful. They seemingly were still tight with Dino, as they debated who was the smartest to eliminate out of Shane, Marian and Killarney, ultimately settling on Shane as their number one target. Though given Felix felt something was off between him and Phil, me thinks this alliance is well and truly about to completely implode. After washing away a month of the game, Philix enjoyed their massage before assuring each other they had to stick together.

Back at camp the losing quartet were disappointed to lose out on reward, though were well and truly ready to lock in their final four. Dino pointed out that he is guaranteed a visit to the Outpost the next day, sure that it will give them something powerful to use at the upcoming vote. Killarney admitted to us that she doesn’t trust Marian and Shane, though knows that the four of them all need to work together to move forward, so trusts them for now given nobody wants mutually assured destruction. Killarney pointed out Phil is the biggest threat and while Marian agreed he is a problem, his alliance with Felix makes him another one to focus on. 

At that point Marian spotted Phil’s bag and decided to rifle through it, finding the idol and sharing its existence with everyone. And pointing out that should he be aligned with Killarney, he surely would have told her. Dino then decided to go through Phil’s bag in the hope of finding a note that outlines what his idol is, putting a stop to their fears that it is an idol nullifier or something more dangerous. After the group once again reiterated their final four, Phil and Felix returned to camp and were immediately embraced so everyone could smell their abundance of cleanliness. That night Phil told Dino about his idol, with Dino making him paranoid about people going through his bag while they were out at reward. Dino then pulled Felix aside and assured him they were good, though he wasn’t so sure he could trust Phil. And while Felix also was a bit confused, he knew he could trust that Dino wanted to stay in the game. Which is helpful. To a point.

The next day Dino was sure that Philix were ready to turn on him, while Marian was looping in Phil on the fact everyone wants Felix gone. Though admitted that Dino is always nervous about going home too. Phil tried to convince her to help keep Dino calm, pointing out that Dino is due at the Outpost so should feel safe. Marian took the information back to her alliance, saying that Phil appears to be in on the plan to take out Felix, though the group were still nervous about trusting him.

We finally made it to the Outpost where Dino was gagged to find champagne and strawberries and chocolate, as he watched a video announcing he had won an epic river safari holiday. And an extra vote, meaning this final six tribal council just got even more exciting for them. Oh and he got to take a bowl of fruit back for the tribe, which is helpful to create a lie about having to choose between the extra vote and food for the tribe. But he promised that he planned to tell Marian the truth in the hope of building some trust.

Shane was waiting by the sign as Dino returned, desperate to get any and all intel from the trip to the Outpost. Though given he was kinda intense, if I was Dino I’d consider flipping the vote on Shane instead. Returning back to camp, he unveiled the fruit and nuts and said the only other thing he got was a video from home. Which Felix quickly deduced was bullshit, given they always get something at the Outpost. Phil pulled Dino aside to catch up with him, lying and telling him that he got to practice part of the upcoming immunity challenge, which he quickly bought with both of them trying to assure each other that they trust each other. We then learnt that Dino snuck some chocolates back for Marian and Killarney and while the latter wasn’t sure why Marian got a treat too, she was solid with Dino. Marian then explained that they had implemented a Boston Rob style buddy system to keep an eye on Killarney, given her penchant for flipping and as such, this little pair were going to be spending a lot of time together.

The tribe reunited with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to race to launch balls into a shoot and run through netting to the other end to catch it. Once they’d successfully caught them, they then dig under a log before taking their final balls to solve a puzzle. Felix and Dino got out to the earliest of leads, while Phil nipped at their heels. Felix was first to make it to the puzzle, with Dino and Phil quickly joining him while Shane trailed behind. As the boys worked on their puzzles, Marian and Killarney continued to stumble at the end before Phil put everyone out of their misery by taking out immunity. Meaning they now have one less option on the split vote.

Back at camp Dino was concerned about Phil and his idol, now that he can use it for someone else should he want to make a move. Dino obviously was feeling like the biggest threat, as such caught up with Shane and Killarney to loop them in on the extra vote. As Killarney went to babysit Felix, Dino floated the idea of splitting the vote between Felix and Killarney to Shane. Who was obviously thrilled by the idea, given he won’t get his hands dirty should something fail. Felix and Phil meanwhile caught up, with Phil suggesting their only hope would be to rope in Killarney. Which obviously made Felix nervous that Phil intended to take Killarney to the end before Dino joined and told them to vote for Shane.

Killarney and Marian caught up at the shelter with Killarney assuring her to just play along with any and all plans Felix and Phil pitch to her while they are desperate. Back at the boys club, they floated the idea of a 2-2-2 vote, given everyone would get rid of Killarney in a tie. Though Dino cautioned them not to approach Marian about voting out Killarney, given they appear to have grown close. I mean, haven’t they noticed the girls hanging out together?

Phil and Dino then caught up with Marian, with the former suggesting that Killarney makes the most sense at the upcoming tribal council. While Marian was obviously keen on getting rid of Felix instead. Phil and Dino caught up, with Phil ready to make a move against one of his allies and feeling like getting rid of Felix is the safer option, as Dino going would make Felix nervous. While Dino was just constantly nervous. Phil meanwhile was feeling ready to play his idol, offering to do it for Dino as a way to build trust before blindsiding him next. Sadly for him, Dino was sceptical, given he had previously floated giving him the idol outright, leading to Dino and Marian coming up with a rival plan to play a fake idol nullifier to spook Phil into sticking with them.

At tribal council Dino admitted he was very nervous about the vote again, not wanting to join the jury any time soon. Phil was glad to wear immunity once again, while Felix spoke about his own nerves and the need to figure out who you should face off at final tribal. Killarney admitted that she has a few ideas about who she would like to face – lol – while Marian spoke about keeping her options open, given her priority is still surviving long enough to plead their case. Shane reiterated it is always hard to figure out who to trust, while Dino felt that everyone feels they have a case, while some are starting to feel desperate about needing to make a big move for their resume. Marian mentioned that tonight’s the night to make a move, given all the advantages are due to expire, with Shane agreeing big moves will definitely impress the jury and tonight could get confusing.

With that, Marian pulled out her fake idol nullifier and assured everyone that she knows where the idol is and has a good idea who it will be played on. As such, she will nullify the idol of the person she votes for to guarantee they go home. With that the tribe voted before Phil played his idol on Dino before the votes rolled up three-three between Felix and Killarney. After Nico pointed out there was no such thing as an idol nullifier, the tribe revoted where Felix was unanimously eliminated from the game. While Dante mimed to Marian to get rid of Dino ASAP from the jury. While Felix was disappointed to find himself out of the game, he was thrilled to have a far superior run on his second try. And to play such a solid social game. As such, their were no tears as we laughed the night away, toasting his success over a batch of Pfefferlix Godlo.

While Christmas is still a few months away, I would gladly smash a pfeffernusse any day. Spicy and sweet, they’re the perfect little snack to add a little joy to any occasion.

Enjoy!

Pfefferlix Godlo
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground allspice
⅛ tsp ground cardamom
⅛ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp ground star anise
pinch of ground nutmeg
¼ cup almond meal
½ cup muscovado sugar
⅓ cup honey
75g unsalted butter
3 tbsp double cream
1 egg
2 ½ cups icing sugar

Method
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, ginger, star anise, nutmeg and almond meal in a large bowl and set aside. Then pop the muscovado, honey, butter and double cream in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined before finally folding through the egg. Transfer the dough – which is wet and sticky – to a piece of cling and wrap into a disc. Transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170C.

Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Roll each piece into a 3cm thick sausage before cutting them into 3-4cm lengths. Roll each piece into a ball and pop on a lined baking sheet. Once done, pop the biscuits in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and after five minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To glaze, whisk the icing sugar with a couple of tablespoons of boiling water until smooth, adding more water if you’d prefer a lighter consistency. Dip each cookie in the glaze and return to the wire rack to set. Before devouring, greedily though in a festive manner.


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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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Shea Vindouleé

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, TV, TV Recap

Previously on All Winners just after winning her first star in the ball alongside Trinity, Jaida pointed out that since she blocked Jinkx, now Monet was the only challenge winner who hadn’t been blocked. Which was quickly pointed out to be wrong, since she now also falls into that category. In any event, it didn’t matter to either of them as both Jinkx and The Vivienne absolutely dominated as they improved their way through Judge Judy-spoof, Fairytale Justice. Despite Raja once again delivering another strong performance and Yvie being a sexy Big Bad Wolf. After Jinkx and The Vivienne landed in the top two, The Viv demolished the lip sync and while it is unclear how much influence Jaida had, she blocked Monet.

Who was NOT happy about it.

Backstage The Viv was well and truly feeling her oats, thrilled to finally have her star turn, with all of her sisters thrilled for her to get a star. Yvie joked about poor Jinkx not landing her second star, with Jaida adorably singing an apology before Raja rightly called out Ru for not giving her a damn star yet. This was interrupted by the arrival of Monet who was completely irate about the fact that she was blocked though desperately trying to hide it. She then played into Shea’s lie that the platinum plunger comes with a little extra power and I live for the fact everyone is just playing along and adding to the paranoia. The Viv then explained that she only blocked her because she was next in line and well, the other person she wanted to block wasn’t eligible. Which put Jinkx on notice.

Oh and then Yvie got her wang out. Again.

The next day Jaida was jacked up on coffee, though not like Ru on the enema, before Ru arrived to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would write an uplifting commencement address for queer graduates around the world. Oh and Carson and Nikki Glaser would be on hand to help them work through their set AND since Monet was blocked, she would be able to set the order. Adding to the fake-secret that the plunger comes with power. Oh and Ru was in a giving mood, so the winners of this week’s challenge would also receive TWO stars. One to keep and one to give to one of their sisters.

With that, the dolls were thrilled at the prospect of getting two stars as they split up to plan their sets. Yvie was going to lean into her fun side and hoped the judges would laugh along with her, while Jinkx and Raja were brainstorming their ideas. The latter of which was planning to play a mountain top cult leader and while Jinkx was loving the idea, she was worried about whether Raja would be able to turn it out. Trinity meanwhile was sewing away in the corner while Shea was struggling to focus given Jaida was living her best life with a xylophone and generally being loud. As the rest of the dolls were dishing out shade, Monet decided that she was going to work her blockage into a free star, first trying to be kind and asking everyone where they would like to go in the set. And then asking them to consider giving her a star if she followed through. Which she mostly did, giving herself the opening slot, followed by Shea, Trinity, Raja, Jaida, Yvie and Jinkx, while The Vivienne would close the show.

Monet was first to workshop with Nikki and Carson with them living for all her jokes and sass, though encouraging her to add a little bit of heart as well. Shea meanwhile was leaning into the fact she is beautiful, cool and perfect, with a fuck you to society for making her question it. The Viv meanwhile was going to shade her struggles with sobriety, Trinity was just going to have a tonne of fun mocking her struggles with learning growing up while Jinkx obviously delighted them with her set about getting run over in Amsterdam. Or getting a condom stuck inside herself. Then Jaida was just an absolute delight being completely silly and wild. Nikki and Carson meanwhile advised Yvie to add a few more jokes because her concept could be great. But only if she gets out of her head. And then Raja confused the shit out of them with them also advising her to add more funny, despite Raja feeling like it was perfect. Like a fucking icon.

Is this going to be a Katya’s Krisis Kontrol moment? I damn hope so.

Runway Day arrived with Jinkx succumbing to Jaida’s tajin shots while The Viv and Raja were fanging for some wine. As they started to beat their mugs Jinkx admitted that she just desperately wanted to beat The Vivienne, given they truly are each other’s biggest competition and she spends most of her time watching her, wishing she thought of whatever she was doing first. Oh and then everyone shaded Jaida for not being blocked yet.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judges panel by Nikki Glaser as Monet opened the Draguation Ceremony looking stunning in pink and gold. And while she started slowly, losing her comb at the time she praised her Season 10 runways gave her the energy she needed that by the time she channelled James Earl Jones, I was sold. Shea was as stunning as always and slayed her performance, reading her sisters and praising herself for being popular. Trinity was absolutely hilarious as she joked about being unable to read her palm cards before she quickly leaned into the heart before pivoting back into silly fun comedy. And again, she is a star. Raja meanwhile stole the show from start to finish; weird, wacky and oh so fun. And yeah, this is a Katya moment and I am so glad she was smart enough to trust in herself. 

Jaida kicked off the second half with a bang, joking about being from Trump University and just being stupid and packed full of charm. Yvie stumbled onto stage and dropped all her cards in a hilarious bit and while her set wasn’t packed with laughs, it was full to the brim with heart. Sadly for her, she was then followed by Jinkx who once again gave a masterclass, having killer framing devices, hilarious jokes and was so smart with all the genuine emotional beats she added. And while The Viv also gave an absolute killer performance, complete with a face plant finish, coming after Jinkx was always a hard act to follow.

On the Veiled It runway, Monet was stunning in an hourglass baby blue bird in a cage number. Shea was a mash of bright pleated fabric and looked stunning and Trinity was perfect in a red widow slash wedding gown. Raja meanwhile stole the show as a literal covergirl while Jaida was the sexiest black widow known to man before Yvie was bright, beaded perfection. Jinkx looked gorgeous dripping in lavender and butterflies, while The Vivienne gave S&M shimmering stunner, complete with ball gag.

The judges loved everything Monet did this week, particularly for serving glamour on the runway. Shea was praised for her zen vibe and giving complete perfection on the runway. Trinity was praised for showing her heart and having fun, and more importantly, for looking glorious doing it. Raja was praised for landing everything weird and wonderful and for serving something different and intellectual on the runway. Jaida was praised for being fun and charming and for the sexiness she brought to the runway while the judges loved Yvie’s look and her pratfalls. Jinkx once again received universal praise for each and every thing she did this week, with Ru even jumping on the joke and suggesting she was the one that ran her over. While they lived for The Viv’s commitment in the challenge and the sex she brought to the runway. Before the dolls went to Untuck, Nancy Pelosi dropped by to thank the queens for all that they do and ugh, I live for Queen Nancy. With Raja thanking her for her shady clap which has become a masterclass in shade.

Backstage Yvie once again received praise from her sisters for her runway and all the details she added to it. Trinity meanwhile was busy making narratives for everyone’s looks, before Shea turned her attention to Raja and how much she killed the challenge. And completely leant into her own brand of humour and ugh, I love to see everyone living for her. The Vivienne praised everyone for sticking to their brand and shaded Monet for giving her the perfect spot to shine. We then got a flashback to when the girls were getting ready, talking about who would deliver their dream commencement speech. Raja then spoke about graduating in ‘92 and hot damn, again, I want to age like Raja as she is perfect. She opened up about how difficult it was in High School at the time while The Vivienne opened up that yes, they have High School in England and honestly, she lived her best life as a queer kid in private school. And then Jinkx gave all the heart talking about how privileged she felt growing up in a queer friendly environment like America. Comparatively. While Shea was inspired by TV to come out and literally exploded her way onto the social scene.

Oh and then Monet brought up Sum 41 as the dolls read her pussycat wig before Nikki dropped by to kiki with girls. And stop them from stealing the dress off her body.

Ultimately Jinkx and Raja took out victory and were told that they will be gifting their extra stars at the beginning of next week’s episode. But first, the lip sync for that little tip and well, it was stunning. In a fun, they are so cool kinda way. As soon as Lizzo’s Better in Color kicked off the girls were straight up living their best lives. Jinkx was serving stupid white lady dancing while Raja was just oh so cool. Ultimately though, it was Jinkx that took out another win and promptly blocked The Vivienne, because obviously.

Backstage Raja was thrilled to finally have a win for what should have been her fourth one and ugh, I love to see it for the icon. Trinity led the dolls in congratulating them on their win and while Jinkx was clearly the frontrunner, she did point out that someone else will have two stars this week when she gives one away. The Vivienne arrived and admitted that she was completely expecting to be blocked by Jinkx and while she explained she did it because Viv is a competitor, Viv was sure Jinkx was just doing it for good old fashioned revenge. Talk turned to who Jinkx and Raja would be giving their stars to, with Yvie trying to play on their emotions, while Trinity reminded them that she was very helpful when it came to design challenges and the dolls best remember it. And Jaida wanted people to give her a star for her perfect nipples. Which is an argument I can get behind.

The next day the dolls returned to the Werk Room where Trinity was ready to be given a star, while Raja was just thrilled to be in the star club. And once Ru arrived, everyone was in said club as Raja gave hers to sweet Yvie. While Jinkx gave hers to Jaida, proving that nipples can get you everything. With that out of the way, Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be serving ‘00s realness for this season’s girl groups challenge, in throwback appearances on TRL. Ideally without Carson Daly. One group would be performing the love song 2getha 4eva and the other would get Titanic, the ultimate break-up anthem. As usual they would be writing their own verses, recording the tune and then performing live on the mainstage. Oh and Ru said they could pick teams however they want, so they just drew a line in the middle of the room and ran with it.

As they sat down to listen to the tunes Yvie was feeling confident in getting a shining moment, while Trinity was triggered by the fact Justin Timberlake would never love her. As everyone tried to select songs, The Vivienne pointed out that she wasn’t thrilled about people selecting their team and then leaving the dregs together. And while Jinkx suggested they all just pick the song they like best and fight it out if that doesn’t leave equal teams, The Viv ending up relenting and sticking with the original groups. And girl, it is tense. And you know she is going to fight.

The dolls split up to work on their songs, with team Monet, Shea, Trinity and Raja forming M.S.T.R. and planned to position their performance about losing the E of their group M.S.T.R.E. The other girls meanwhile leant into their status as the leftovers, calling themselves The Other Girls and planned to frame their band as all the girls that were kicked out of girl groups and were going to be camp and fucking stupid and ugh, I love it.

M.S.T.R. were up first recording their song Titanic, with Raja admitting she hopes nobody wants her to explain Y2K since she partied through the era while the rest of the girls were at school. Monet was planning to channel Britney, Trinity was working through her passion for JT while Raja wanted to sound young. Shea meanwhile was rapping and living her best life and I love it. When The Other Girls took the mic they were totally bonkers and ugh, I love it. Like Jaida’s rap involved fart sounds and Yvie was doing dial-up modem sounds and it was just delightful.

The teams came together for a quick dance battle as they returned to choreograph their performances with The Other Girls continuing to be fun and bonkers. And while they wanted to intimidate their rivals, they were mainly confused about what was going on. M.S.T.R. meanwhile had varying degrees of skills, with Monet and Shea living their best lives, while Trinity and Raja both would have preferred if they showed off sexy, stripping.

Runway Day arrived with both groups ready to slay, with The Other Girls continuing to be wild and ready to be silly, while Raja led her team in some yoga. Everyone split up to get ready with Shea and Trinity talking about being proud of how far they’ve all come before Shea opened up about worrying that she was blending into the back of the group. As everyone beat their mugs, Trinity joked about being annoyed by Jinkx for giving a star to Jaida over her, with Jinkx admitting she was debating between the two of them, not saying she was avoiding Trinity as she is more likely to score more stars. Monet reminded Viv that she was blocked before Jinkx awkwardly pointed out that she would have made a different decision if she knew they’d be in a group together. Oh and Raja encouraged her sisters to look like Michelle Visage in her Season 3 era on stage.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Tove Lo on the judges panel as Ross dressed as Carson Gayly as M.S.T.R. debuted their song Titanic and well, it was a bop. Monet was perfect, Trinity was manic and fun, Shea was sexy perfection and Raja was perfect, like Paris in the Stars are Blind era. In the best way possible. Then The Other Girls arrived and it was completely ridiculous in all the right ways, Viv was self-deprecating, Jaida was just stupid, Jinkx was fun holding on to her youth and Yvie was all fire from start to finish. As a malfunctioning robot.

Then, on the runway we’ve all been waiting for, Monet kicked off The Night of 1000 Dolly Parton’s runway serving glamour in the coat of many colours gown. Trinity was perfect in a shimmering yellow number, Shea served biker Dolly in the best way possible, Raja was iconic in silver as she played her nails down the runway, The Viv was eerily accurate in a stunning blue number while Jaida was the personification of Dolly and I love it. Jinkx meanwhile gave ‘80s fun and ugh, I loved it too. While Yvie was manic and having the absolute best time.

The judges lived for everything Monet served this week, particularly for how she served something unique on the runway. Trinity was praised for such a likeness on the runway and being silly in the performance, Shea was praised for being smart, fun and full of glamour. And for also doing something special on the runway. They loved Raja for being the worst dancer in the group and living the best life, while she was beloved for having far and away the best runway. The Vivienne received glowing praise for being hilariously stereotypical and for literally inhabiting Dolly on the runway. Jaida was praised for being so silly and fun, in the performance and on the runway. The judges loved Jinkx’s old lady and for her simplistic Dolly runway, while Yvie’s robot was iconic and everyone loved everything she did this week.

Backstage the dolls were living their best lives as Raja opened up about how much Dolly means to her, with Monet admitting she didn’t even know about Dollywood. That being said, she loves her as the dolls spoke about how iconic she is. As she deserves. Jaida continued the love, talking about how great her team worked with everyone agreeing they knocked it out of the park. And had so much fun doing it. Talk turned to who they think will be in the top with everyone agreeing that The Viv will be in the top alongside either Monet or Yvie. Though not that it means anything to Viv since she is blocked. Raja then led the girls in a communal scream – as Monet pretended to participate – before Tove Lo joined them and looked to be having the time of her life as she gushed over all of them. As everyone got ready to return to the mainstage, Trinity took some time to heap Monet with praise and remind her how proud she is to be her twinner and ugh, it truly was beautiful. As was Jinkx awkwardly strumming the ukulele at the end.

Ultimately it was The Vivienne and Yvie that found themselves in the top two, lip syncing to my absolute favourite Dolly Parton number, Why’d You Come in Here Looking Like That. And well, it was just as iconic as I want for that song. Yvie was camp, silly and absolutely killed it, but shit, The Vivienne was absolutely amazing as she gave every single Dolly-ism and well, was perfect. Stunning. I love her so much. Someone that may not love her however was the Jinkx as after she took out the win, she immediately returned serve and blocked her teammate.

Since everyone has taken out a win now, I quickly ran the numbers and was shocked to find that Shea was next for a date. As per the last alphabetically, ranked by wins rule which is SUPER easy to follow. After I quickly yanked her aside while they reset the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her how much of a star she is. And while she didn’t take out the win this week, she was just like Beyonce. And since she knows we’re dear friends, that meant a lot to her. As such, I gave her a quick pep talk for the second half of the competition and fed her soul with a nice, warming Shea Vindouleé.

There is nothing better than a vindaloo! Smooth and earthy, yet packing a wicked heat to it, it can wake you up, warm your heart and clear out your nostrils – which is good with flurona rolling around – all while tasting delicious.

Enjoy!

Shea Vindouleé
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
8 dried kashmiri chilies, stemmed, seeded and soaked in boiling water for five minutes, liquid reserved
2 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp malt vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups beef stock
800g tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp muscovado sugar
500g diced lamb
rice, to serve

Method
Pop the hydrated chillies, half the onion, garlic, ginger, paprika, half the cumin, pepper and malt vinegar in a blender with half the vegetable oil and a couple of tablespoons of the chilli water. Blitz until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the sides and re-blitzing or adding more water may be required.

Place the remaining oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook off the curry paste with the remaining onion, chilli flakes, coriander seeds, fenugreek and salt. Cook for about ten minutes, or until nice and fragrant. Stir in the stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, tamarind paste and muscovado sugar and cook for a further five minutes. Fold in the lamb, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour or until the meat is nice, tender and reduced. And you know, cooked through.

Serve with freshly cooked rice and devour, gloriously.


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Drag Slidlas

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls travelled time – not in the way we do it here, which is legit time travel which again, we invented – as they threw a little centuries ball. As they traversed the past, present and future of drag, most of the girls soared however none moreso than Drag Sethlas, who finally scored a well deserved win. Tragically as the rest of the girls were solid, aside from Estrella’s terrible designed 30th century look, Diamante landed in the bottom opposite her for not doing enough, rather than being a mess. Which tragically led to Estrella destroying the lip sync and sending Diamante home. Again, on a very solid week.

Backstage the dolls were delighted to see that Diamante had left them the antenna from her look, though Estrella did worry that maybe it would bring them bad luck. Which TBH, is not something she could really risk right now. The one thing they could all agree on was that they would miss her kind spirit. Oh and then Estrella pressed her titty on the mirror, which is important. Marina meanwhile told Estrella she was lucky to get the lip sync song she did, before they quickly swept any drama aside to congratulate Sethlas on finally jagging a well earned win.

The next day the queens were butching it up talking about football for some reason, before getting back to normal as they recapped their own ball. With everyone agreeing Estrella’s dumpster fire outfit belongs in a museum. Or to be burnt. Supremme dropped by before they could reach consensus, challenging them to a little itty-bitty mini challenge where they would get into quick drag, write a fighter introduction/poem and get into skydiving suits. And no, that is not something that is lost in translation, the dolls are just as confused as we are.

Given there was a giant gong between Supremme and zaddy pit crew, it should have been obvious that the dolls would be sumo wrestling. For an advantage in the upcoming Maxi Challenge, so you know the dolls were ready to battle. Somehow little Sethlas destroyed Venedita, Estrella quickly beat Sharonne before Marina eliminated Juriji. Tragically. In round two, Sethlas was quickly disposed of by Estrella before she then destroyed Marina. Earning herself the advantage of selecting who everyone would be partnered with in the upcoming Maxi Challenge, where the duos would film Spanish tourism ads. Obviously she selected to work with Sharonne before popping Juriji and Venedita together, leaving Sethlas and Marina to form the third duo.

Supremme departed and left the girls to prep their commercials with Estrella worried about being overshadowed by Sharonne’s talent, though was confident they would continue to work well together. Sethlas and Marina meanwhile looked enraged to be working together, though bless Marina, she focused on writing before they pivoted to shit talking Venedita and Juriji. Who as they predicted were planning to lean into being sexy bimbos and while Marina and Sethlas thought it would be a bad idea, you know they will turn it.

Sharonne and Estrella were first to make it to set with Estrella getting her face sandwiched by the Pit Crew’s butts, so win or lose, she won today. Sharonne then got topped and well, I don’t know if they had a plot but consider me on the next flight. Venedita and Juriji were so fun and stupid, AND had the Pit Crew fucking in their fake dunes, so again, I’m sold. Rounding out the shoots, Marina and Sethlas struggled. Badly. Though maybe because they had a lot less sex in it?

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Marina and Sethlas admitting that they would have preferred to work with someone else, while Sethlas shaded Estrella for taking the easy route of teaming up with frontrunner Sharonne. They split up to prep for the runway with Marina getting this week’s emotional moment, talking about how close she is with her mother and how she is struggling without her and her dad around for support in the competition.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Ruth Lorenzo on the panel as the queens debuted their Raffaella Carra looks for the Night of 1000 Raffaellas runway. Estrella was a vision in red, peeking out of an umbrella and being an absolute delight. Venedita too chose a red look, giving disco diva glamour and ugh, it was perfection. Juriji was stunning in a simple white gown, complete wth shimmering boobs and a phone hidden in her crotch. Sharonne was a golden diva and looked stun-ning while Sethlas was a bronzed beauty in a sea of fabric. Oh and then Marina stole the show in a sequined, cabaret style look.

When it came to the commercials, Sharonne and Estrella were totally demented and showed off pit crew booty, so yeah, that is a win to me. Despite it making zero sense. Though bless their passion for the glory hole. Oh and the judges loved it and both of their runways. Sethlas and Marina’s ad was far more sexed than the taping led us to believe, and somehow, it made less sense than the first one. The judges meanwhile read it for being too filthy and not showing any light or shade. Marina’s runway was praised for playing into her strengths, while Sethlas was read for being too abstract in her approach. Venedita and Juriji’s ad was hilariously camp and culminated in seagulls shitting on them. So yeah, the judges lived for it and them. Particularly praising their chemistry, despite it being quite stereotypical. When it came to their runways, both where praised for looking absolutely stunning and doing Raffaella proud.

Supremme decided now would be the right time to make them all shady, asking who should go home tonight with Sharonne singling out Marina for a lack of personality. Estrella said that Sethlas should go home because of her shitty ad, while Marina said Juriji though couldn’t give a reason. Sethlas thought Juriji should go because she isn’t showing enough diversity, while Venedita and Juriji agreed Marina should go for her sub-par performance in the ad.

Backstage the dolls were well and truly feeling tense, while Sharonne tried to remind them that it wasn’t personal and they need to move on. While Estrella tried to make Sethlas feel better about saying her, she ended up saying that Juriji isn’t versatile which filled her with rage. When she got sassy with the girls, it was Sethlas’ turn to feel enraged as she cussed out Juriji for disrespecting her. Before Marina thankfully pointed out she is the one that was named the most and as such, they should chill out. Sadly it didn’t work as Sethlas continued to bitch about Juriji not being versatile and the judges not expecting the same from her, before they thankfully split up to freshen their mugs.

Ultimately Sharonne and Estrella both took out the win, while Juriji and Venedita were thankfully sent to safety leaving Sethlas and Marina to lip sync for their lives. Obviously, to one of Queen Raffaella’s songs, Que dolor. And while I was expecting Sethlas to absolutely demolish Marina, the latter absolutely slayed. Giving all the camp fun and fancy footwork the song required, embodying Rafaella while Sethlas was kinda just there and while she did give us a surprising glitter reveal near the end, it wasn’t enough to save herself as Marina stayed in the pocket and saved herself.

Despite being heartbroken to have missed out on the finale, Sethlas perked up when we were reunited backstage. You see, as a short man, I have an affinity with the Carina queens, given we always meet up at platform conventions. Which is where Sethlas and I first became friends as little fellas. As such, it was such an honour to be there for her in her lowest momentand reminding her how much of a star she is over a big ol’ batch of Drag Slidlas.

Rich, sticky barbecue pork, mised with the creaminess of the slaw and the tartness of the pickle work together perfectly to deliver a quick and easy snack, that also feels like you’ve put in a tonne of effort. Which, TBH, is important.

Enjoy!

Drag Slidlas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups pulled pork
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 red chilli
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp smoke essence
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
16 slider rolls
2 cups Benjamin Slaw
8 dill pickles, drained and sliced

Method
I’m going to assume you’ve got a favourite pulled pork recipe, or you’ve got some pre-prepped. That is for no other reason than me being lazy and not living for the fattiness of the pork. In any event, get the meat ready first and foremost.

While the meat is getting prepped, combine the vinegar, garlic, chilli, muscovado sugar, tomato paste, dijon mustard, smoking essence, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and pout over the warm pulled pork.

To assemble your sliders, cut all the buns in half and spoon some slaw on the bottoms of each. Top with a couple of slices of pickle, followed bu the pulled pork before devouring, greedily. You could also add some swiss cheese if you want some cheese in the mix, but these are so tasty, you honestly don’t need to worry.



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Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies

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

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls were delighted to play Snatch Game. And while Sharonne slayed the game, there were many a stumble on the panel. While I lived for whatever vocal fry Sethlas was offering up, the rattlesnake noise told he that she was bombing just as hard as Diamante, who followed Trixie’s footsteps and botched RuPaul while Onyx was way too cerebral and didn’t bring any jokes. Sharonne rightly took out her second victory, while Sethlas narrowly avoided lip syncing as Diamante faced off against Onyx, sending my sweet zaddy home.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked to have lost Onyx, while Sethlas in particular was struggling, given they were so damn close. Diamante even had mixed feelings, given she loved Onyx despite the fact she was thrilled to have survived her time in the bottom. Everyone congratulated Sharonne on a very well earned victory, while Marina quietly seethed about Diamante remaining in the competition. Which was only made worse when she admitted to being lazy in the lip sync and turning tricks rather than learning the words. Oh and then Marina’s wig got stuck on her head and Sharonne had to perform surgery to remove it.

Things were a little more chill the next day as Juriji teased Sethlas for hooking up with Onyx, before the girls read Diamante for being so callous in the way she wiped off the mirror message. Which actually delighted Venedita as it showed that she was a little unhinged. Before we were able to explore that further, Supremme arrived with the Pit Crew each wheeling in different bins of materials which they would each have to use to fashion a look. As this week, they’re throwing a ball and the final look would be designed from the materials, ready for the 30th century drag runway. After they stomp the 10th and 20th century runways before them.

Immediately, the Pit Crew opened up their packages of plastic, paper and metal and the dolls absolutely went to town on them … to collect their supplies. Everything was flying, Sethlas was getting swallowed up by cardboard and Estrella was fighting Juriji over umbrellas. It was WILD.

After Supremme exited stage left, the dolls got to work on their outfits, with Venedita confident in her skills, since she went to design school, while on the flipside, Estrella and Diamante were terrified given neither of them have any skills. Marina too was struggling to understand a sewing machine while Juriji just felt stupid. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were calmly working away in another corner of the room, while the other girls dropped by periodically for advice. Estrella meanwhile was going with a different plan of attack, trying to distract Juriji from her outfit before just straight up flashing her bum.

Supremme made her return to check how the girls were progressing with Venedita admitting to being a little overwhelmed by the task and worried it will all fall apart as soon as she starts walking. Estrella meanwhile was not fooling Supremme about her lack of skills or direction, while Diamante shared that she took some sewing classes before coming to the competition. Which don’t appear to be helping her, but whatevs. Thankfully she was faring better than Marina who was sprialling about anything and everything. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were living their best lives, carving away at their cardboard and working with a clear plan. While Juriji was confident in her concept, just not happy with how quickly, or not, she works.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with the dolls speculating that Diamante was lying about her lack of sewing skills given the ease with which she pulled together her outfit. Everyone was equally impressed with what Sethlas could do with a glue gun, while Marina and Estrella were terrified about whether their looks would even make it to the runway, let alone down it. The dolls stopped throwing shade to start prepping their first looks where Estrella opened up to Sethlas about her friend Ivan who left her a letter in her luggage to help keep her motivated. And as is oft the case with the emotional interludes, I love how sweet the dolls are with each other.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by the iconic Choriza May on the judges panel, which honestly, is what she deserves. First up walking the 10th Century was Sharonne who was a bright, theatrical mess before revealing a jewelled bodysuit. Estrella gave mediaeval quest, Venedita was perfection as the moon, Diamante was harlequin chic before Sethlas stole the show as a stunning manuscript. Marina was a harvest earth mother while Juriji went from monk to the sexiest winged Joan of Arc known to man. And stole the show from Sethlas.

For the 20th Century looks, Sharonne went dripping in cash, literally. Estrella served gay Franco, Venedita was a post-Franco bride, ironically enough, Diamante was an architectural  floral delight while Sethlas served the internet. And broke it in the process. Probably. Marina was a slutty, plastic bride, while Juriji was delightfully demented as a liberated, mod Swedish girl.

Sharonne opened the 30th Century runway giving golden architecture, Estrella was a mess as a silver, robotic soldier while Venedita was perfect as a floral, structured delight. Diamante was simple yet effective as a satellite building, Sethlas was serving shaped, geometry realness – and slayed – while Marina was sloppy though did pair it with some nudity, so win. Oh and then Juriji stole the show as Gaultier Barbarella, having the time of her life.

After Sharonne was sent to safety solo, the judges read Estrella for absolute filth despite the fact they loved her personality. Venedita received universal praise for always telling a story while looking perfect, while Diamante was read for being a little safe and not really standing out from the crowd, good or bad. Sethlas was praised for telling a cohesive story over her three looks, and looking perfect while doing it. Marina was praised for selling her looks, though read for the last look being a bland mess. And then Juriji received universal praise for all that she served.

Backstage the dolls joined Sharonne before she went mad from boredom, quickly filling her in on who were the tops and bottoms. Despite it being quite obvious. Estrella was very confident she would be lip syncing, though was unsure who she would be against, while Diamante feared it would be her. Marina meanwhile was fine to be in the bottom, though mainly because she felt she didn’t belong there. Juriji meanwhile opened up about believing in herself before Choriza May swung backstage to kiki with her sisters. Who was just as charming as she was in UK 3, encouraging everyone that they are doing a great job and to not be too hard on themselves.

Juriji somehow was only deemed safe, leaving Sethlas to take out her first victory of the season. Which left Venedita as safe, before Marina’s superior first looks managed to save her from the bottom, leaving Estrella and Diamante to lip sync for their lives. To Se nos rompió el amor by Rocío Jurado, no less. And well, as requested by Supremme, neither queen left anything on the runway as they dug deep into the emotion. While it appeared like Diamante knew all the lyrics this time, and turned the show, she was no match for the charm, passion and raw emotion of Estrella who saved herself, booting Diamante from the competition.

Backstage Diamante was gladly holding her head high, proud of all that she was able to showcase in the competition and for giving it her all. And while that kinda, sorta makes me and my culinary comfort redundant, I gave her a big hug, reiterated how talented she is and celebrated her success with a batch of Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies.

Brownies are one of the safest sweets you can make. I mean, if they are undercooked you are left with a fudgy delight and if they are overcooked, they’re a bit cake-like. While you never want to overcook them, they will do in a pinch. And when they are full of juicy raspberries, well, it doesn’t really matter though, does it?

Enjoy!

Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies
Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 people.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
½ tsp kosher salt
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup fresh raspberries
½ cup slivered almonds

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and leave aside.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars until combined. One at a time, whisk in the eggs until the mixture comes back together before folding in the flour and salt. Followed by the raspberries and almonds.

Pour the batter into a lined 25cm square cake tin and pop into the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. And by just set, just set. Remove from the oven to cool in the pan for an hour before carving and devouring.


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Shayelle Larbjoie

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Poultry, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the final four met Jonathan on a cliff over a watering hole in the middle of the outback, ready to hang over the edge for their final immunity challenge of the season. Because surprise, as we’ve expected, there was going to be a final three this year! As everyone has speculated throughout the season, Shay took out the final endurance challenge of the season, leaving the boys and Chrissy at risk. Despite assuring Chrissy that she had her back, the boys tried to run interference and confusion. Or at least Josh did, as Mark quietly joined the girls to eliminate Josh as the final juror AND Fourth Place Robbed Goddess of the season.

The next day Chrissy was heartbroken to discover that she had burnt her socks while trying to dry them on the fire before Shay interrupted her bickering with Mark to pull them aside for a walk. Mark admitted that he is proud to have made it to the end though is super grateful to Sam, given she played a massive part in him making it all the way. And PREACH, because she was an absolute powerhouse this season. Mark then opened up about his time in the military and how tough it was and that living in the bush had reminded him of some of the situations he had encountered, leading to him breaking down.

And again, congratulations Mark. But damn, Chrissy was so sweet as she told him that he will now have memories of his time on Survivor when he sees a creek, rather than the trauma of war, and helped him process his emotions. So he can win the competition and Chrissy just gets our hearts, I guess?

The trio headed back to camp where they discovered a huge basket of food for the traditional final three feast as we heard from Shay, who was proud to show that women can be strong icons and ugh, I love her. While Chrissy was just completely shocked to have made it to the end, she reminded us that her name has never come up and that proves that she has played a strong game, though the fear is that a jury may not value it enough to reward her with a vote. Though trust and believe she was ready to tell Khanh how bloody good he has looked, rocking his fashions on the jury.

The final three arrived at tribal council where Jonathan introduced the jury and ran through how this evening’s proceedings would go. Each member of the final three would get to make their pitch, followed by the jury asking questions followed by an open forum. Oh and then they will vote for a winner.

Mark kicked things off talking about how stepping out into Samoa changed his life, though lost the game of Survivor, making him and Sam enter this game with a steely focus. He highlighted that he has been playing a strong strategic game from the very first tribal council by taking out Andy as a threat. He then chose to stay away from Sam at the swap before ruining the season for me by taking out Sandra. He then praised Khanh for playing such a strong game which is why he blindsided him at the merge before praising Jesse as one of the biggest threats, which is why he had to go. He then continued the praise game, explaining he has been pumping Josh up all season to have a meat shield at the end of the game and as such, his departure is why he is sitting there.

Shay meanwhile spoke about how she has fought hard throughout the entire season, losing her allies before merge came and at her lowest after being sent to Purgatory. She then fought her way back and has pushed herself all season. Oh and she also won the most immunities throughout the season. Chrissy went a different route, telling the jury that she has played a far stronger game than any of them even realised, relying on her biggest strength, her personality. One by one she formed bonds with everyone in the tribe, before she went against Croc to save Jesse post-swap which ultimately cost him his place in the game, leading to her taking out Ben. She then said that while she loves Josh and sees him as her family, getting rid of him was her big move.

She then finished it off by praising the jury for being icons that taught her a bunch too, just for good measure. And damn, may she will actually take it?

Jonathan then opened the floor to the jury with Khanh questioning Mark over how he felt about screwing his wife over to get to the end with him admitting that they were always playing the game for one of them to win and they had to do what they had to do. Jordie jumped in to question why he made Jordie feel like shit for sending Jesse from the game when he did the same thing, which led to Mark apologising for making him feel a bit shit to get himself further. KJ meanwhile asked Chrissy whether putting the needs of those she loves in the game ahead of herself ruined her game with Chrissy explaining she did end up turning on Josh. In no small part thanks to her kids.

Michelle asked Shay how she would rate her game with Shay giving herself a solid 8 – no 8.5 – explaining that she always played from the minority and as such, she couldn’t pull the big moves like everyone else but she fought tooth and nail to get to the end. Josh meanwhile cussed out Chrissy for voting him out despite the fact he voted against her too. She explained that things felt off with him after the immunity challenge and as such, she knew he was making a move against her. He then asked Mark why he also turned on him with Mark essentially giving him the, too bad so sad, it was what I had to do to give myself the best shot at the win. Since that is why he is here, for his family.

Speaking of family, Sam was up next, who spoke about how much the jury loves the game and while it is obvious she is voting Mark, she wants to know what winning would mean to Chrissy. She opened up about coming into the game having zero clue about the journey she was signing up to and well, yeah, the jury didn’t like it. Jesse followed it up asking Mark how managing his threat level got him to the end, with Mark opening up about trying to make as many friends as possible and then essentially laying as low as possible. And then when Jordie identified him as a threat, he just agreed that he was so that it kind of disarms the issue. Leading to Jordie praising him for being a role model to him and his brother and damn, they really are telegraphing this win, no?

With that the jury voted before Jonathan wheeled out a TV to Skype with their loved ones with poor tired little Harry just wanting to go to sleep while Sam and Mark held back tears over how much they missed their son. Jonathan then wheeled out his dad and stepmother in the flesh before the tears really started flowing. Shay’s parents and Ben arrived on the scene with her mum rocking pink hair like an icon and well, her dad is adorbs, so I love them too. Chrissy’s daughters were then wheeled out and once again, I am crying. I’m also crying to see Croc again, given he was the iconic alpha male winner that we deserve. Most importantly, her daughter Lulu is a Jonathan stan too and well, I love her. Particularly since she felt sad for Chrissy having to sleep in the dirt for almost 50 days.

Chrissy admitted that it is what it is at this point, while Mark was grateful to have his parents here while Shay would be honoured for the jury to crown her as their winner. Sadly for her though, they did not, as the votes all piled up on Mark and handed him the win.

As soon as she wandered out of tribal council, I pulled Shay in for a massive hug and congratulated her on a job well done. While the jury clearly didn’t appreciate her gameplay, there is no denying that she dominated physically and when nobody is willing to play with you on a strategic level, what else do you do? As such, I toasted her success and celebrated her with a piping out Shayelle Larbjoie.

Piping hot and packed with flavour, there is nothing quite like a perfectly cooked larb. And while I may not be perfect (at cooking larb, at least), this is still a glorious punch of flavour. Hot, salty and sweet, it fills your palette with joy. Basically.

Enjoy!

Shayelle Larbjoie
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup jasmine rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 shallots, sliced
500g chicken mince
1 tsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 tsp lemongrass
2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped
½ cup mint, roughly chopped
salt, to taste

Method
Place a wok over low heat and toast the dry grains, stirring frequently, for about five minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, grind and set aside to cool. Add the oil to the wok and fry half the shallots until crisp. Scoop out and transfer to a sheet of paper towel.

Crank the heat to medium and once scorching, add the chicken and cook until browned and crisp. Add in the sugar, fish sauce and lime zest and juice and stir until sticky. Add the ground rice, raw shallots and herbs and cook for a further minute before seasoning to taste.

Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of fried shallots and then devour.


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Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Breakfast, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Jordie, KJ and Shay were languishing at Purgatory as they awaited another friend so they could battle it out for a way back into the game. Speaking of the game, Michelle told Sam people were concerned about the idol theft despite the fact nobody really believed it happened. Mark then won immunity making them even more powerful and while the alliance appeared to start to splinter, they banded together to send Michelle to Purgatory. The four icons finally took the stage to fight it out with Jordie and Shay quickly returning to the game before KJ narrowly pipped Michelle at the post, reigniting her flame and officially sending Michelle out of the game. Ending the drought of eliminations with a tragic cost.

The next day Chrissy was frustrated by the fact three people they voted out had returned to the game, mainly because it made her feel awks about how they would interact now that they know she is on the other team. Jordie meanwhile was living for his second chance and damn, was he ready to finally get revenge on Sam?! Jordie tried to appear upbeat to his tribemates, joking about going out again soon enough, while he quietly tried to lock in his numbers. While he, Shay and KJ are now a tight trio, Jordie realised their best chance moving forward was to pull in Josh and again, while it looked like their plan could come together, I’m still nervous about getting my hopes up.

He then caught up with Sam, assuring her that while she is his last hope, he would still be willing to work with her. In a pinch.

The tribe reconnected with JLP for the Survivor Auction where Chrissy wisely snapped up a pie for a crisp hundo. Jordan blew all his cash on a parmie and a beer – good idea – David snagged a burger for $500 – aka all he’s got – while Sam and Josh gossiped about keeping the money to get the advantage, which spooked Jordie into going all in on a covered item. Which was enough to spook Mark into putting in all his money too. Which led the boys to go to rocks, with Mark ultimately getting a steak and chips. Though no advantage. While Jordie got nothing.

Shay scored a pizza and wine for $300 before Sam bet $500 on a covered item, getting herself vegemite on a single slice of toast. With the covered items summing up the lack of luck-parity in the Wales-Gashes luck in the game TBH. For $220, KJ scored herself a cup of tea AND a clue to an advantage, which was hidden from all the rest, thankfully. Everyone then fought it out for their letters from home, with Shay buying one for $200. Which obviously made JLP get saucy, giving her the choice to either keep the letter or give up hers for everyone else to receive theirs. As she sobbed, she obviously chose to give everyone their letter and then Jonathan quickly dismissed everyone as the auction came to a close. 

After returning to camp, everyone gathered round to thank Shay for her generosity. Sam and Mark sobbed as they heard about how their son is going and well, I lost it hearing about little Harry waiting for her by the door every morning and ugh, while their dominance has been boring at times, give her the win because she has dominated the game. Jordie started crying before even hearing from his dad again, who opened up about how grateful he was to Jordie and Jesse for carrying him as his wife passed away recently. And damn, I am officially ugly crying.

KJ sobbed hearing about her children, Chrissy’s kids missed her mad hair skills and loud voice while Jordan’s brother and Dave’s daughter Briana were both still proud. We then got special music as Josh opened up about potentially starting a family through IVF before he was gagged by the fact his letter came with the ultrasound of his partner’s surprise pregancy. This is too much. As Josh sobbed happy tears, I just can’t. Let’s just shut down this segment, because my heart is warm and I can’t see the screen through my tears.

With a very warm heart, KJ found a quiet place in camp to read her clue which directed her to an advantage where she could send three people out of tribal council and ideally, overthrow the majority. Which only added to the fire she had after returning to the game and then hearing from her kids. And yes, KJ, arise!

The tribe joined with Jonathan for the next immunity challenge where they would face off racing down a slide and swimming to shore before going through a series of obstacles and then collecting puzzle pieces and solving said puzzle. The same very one Michelle Fitgerald kicked over like an icon after winning it. Twice. Dave got out to an early lead, while Jordie solved his first layer of the puzzle but decided it was incorrect. Shay joined the fray and started to pull ahead, with Josh nipping at their heels. While Jordie and Chrissy openly tried to copy anyone possible, Sam and Jordan were still struggling to snag their puzzle pieces. Thankfully they were soon put out of their misery as Josh quickly solved the next two layers and scored himself immunity. Sadly minus the signature Michelle kick.

Back at camp, paranoid Sam immediately kicked it in to overdrive as she locked in her alliance to get rid of Jordie. For realsies, this time. Jordie, Shay and Kj meanwhile were keen on loading all their votes on Sam to get rid of her instead. To help the case, Jordie pulled Jordan and Josh aside to lock in a split vote with himself at risk to force Sam to play her idol or get voted out of the game. Reminding them they literally have three tribal councils left to get rid of either of the idols.

While Josh, still, just couldn’t believe they have two idols.

Obviously Sam continued to panic, though tried to stand firm and stay calm. She and Mark agreed to leave both the idols back at camp during tribal council so that should one of them go home, the other comes back to both idols at camp. Which again, is genius. Jordie, KJ and Shay caught up to figure out their best way forward while KJ worried about how best to play her advantage. She then caught up with Shay and Sam, with the latter suggesting they need to find a way to move within the majority rather than turning on it. And no, no, NO, KJ, do not side fall for Sam’s highly skilled, talented mist!

At tribal council Josh was thrilled to be safe at tribal council, admitting that finally having immunity makes him feel a little bit powerful. He then opened up about how disappointing it is to have to deal with people that they have already voted out before Jordie admitted he will never stop fighting. KJ outed herself as a woman that has been poked one too many times and as such, she was planning to play her secret advantage. And rather than saving herself and her allies, she wisely stacked the odds in her Purgatory pals favour, sending an already immune Josh back to camp with Mark and Chrissy.

As Mark made his exit, he made a massive show about leaving something for Sam – which is not an idol – while she admitted that she is speechless. KJ meanwhile opened up that she sent those people back to camp, given she knew that going back to camp would have resulted in Dave going home rather than a big player. Which lol Dave, you got saved because you are a non-entity number. Nervous, Sam jumped up and whispered to KJ, Jordie and Shay that she has Mark’s idol if they want to make a move together. Jordie expertly lied and said she told him that she has THE idol, while Jordan and Dave got paranoid by their bickering over which idol she was talking about.

Shay backed him up and agreed that she always felt Jordie was telling the truth, while Jordan was sure only one idol was in play while Dave knew that ONE of them was lying, though was still struggled to figure out which one it was. With that, the tribe voted and despite all the drama and turmoil between Sam and Jordie, Dave flipped to the Purgatory Pals to boot Jordan from the game.

Jordan followed the sound of my wailing sobs to the Jury Villa, where he pulled me in for a hug, wondering what was wrong. He explained that he was ok with going out the way he is and understands it was a game, which yeah, is great and all but now that he is gone, I have no more Speedo Zaddies left in the game. And while I tried to get that out, every time I thought about it, I would start crying all over again. So instead, I quickly whipped up some Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt to eat my feelings.

Pancakes – and all cakes, TBH – can instantly change your mood and fill you with joy. Add in a little bit of warming, gingerbread spice and they take things to a whole new level. Warming and delicious, they are the perfect way to work through post-boot pain or start your day.

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt
Serves: 2 dear speedo bros.

Ingredients
150g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 egg
200ml milk
butter, for fryin’ AND eatin’
maple syrup, just for the eatin’

Method
Combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl, and whisk the egg and milk in a jug. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the eggy milk, stirring as you go until a batter forms. You could add another couple of tablespoons of milk at this point if you prefer your pancakes on the crepe-ier end of the spectrum.

Pop a teaspoon in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot and butter foamy, add about ⅓ of a cup of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface and hold their shape when they burst. Flip and cook for a further minute.

Repeat the process until all the batter is done, sneakily eating the first one ‘since it isn’t up to standard’ as you go.

Then devour the good ones, slathered in butter and maple syrup.


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Kerri Columbines

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ru dropped by to see if the dolls could help her get rid of Miichelle’s leftover Glamazon purchases by upcycling them to create sickening looks on the runway. Jasmine was an absolute mess, Daya felt it was her time to shine after blocking Willow from serving a baby doll look and Maddy was a patchwork delight, albeit a little sloppy. Jorgeous meanwhile threw an outfit together in minutes and took out her first victory of the season, much to the absolute rage of the safe Daya. Who had more than a lot of emotion for being safe. Jasmine and Maddy faced off in the lip sync after a massive fight in Untucked with straight icon Maddy tragically going home.

Backstage Jasmine was super sassy about her performance in the lip sync, gloating about how easy it was beating Maddy. Just like she said she would. Jasmine was feeling her oats after showing off how good she was and while she was in the bottom, Willow did admit she was great. And knew she’d be thrilled to get the last word in the argument with Maddy. As the dolls gathered to reflect on the week, Camden admitted she was fired up for the win and that fire remains given how close she was this week. While Camden congratulated Jorgeous on her win, Daya called her out for throwing it together at the last minute and winning. While Jorgeous shadily told us that maybe she should have steamed her garment and done some different make-up if she wanted to make it to the top too.

As they split up to de-drag, Jasmine and DeJa congratulated Jorgeous on her win and asked if she was ok about the Daya situation, with her opening up about how much it sucked to be made to feel like shit when she should be feeling good. But all of them agreed Daya needed to shut up. And stop giving Crystal in every damn look.

Things were far more jubilant the next day with Jorgeous finally able to feel thrilled with her victory as Daya continued to give a bitter face. While Daya apologised for ruining her moment, it wasn’t a very good one and well, maybe she should have just not.

Before anyone could call her out, Ru arrived to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge they’d be starring in the new soap The Daytona Wind, about the duelling drag dynasties, the Davenports, O’Haras and the Michaels. With the soap directed by Ruple herself and as Jorgeous won, she was allowed to allocate the roles and damn I hope she screws over Daya. And looks after Camden, who is very confident given she went to acting school, and I don’t want that confidence to be misplaced. Like Juju, Gorgeous wanted the dolls to do well and to speak up when they saw the roles they wanted.

As they read through, the dolls calmly put their name down with Kerri suggesting she would pick one with fewer lines given it gives you the chance to go big and steal the scene. Like a more bang for your buck situation. DeJa meanwhile was very relaxed when Jorgeous told her she also wanted the same role, given it was her choice and immediately moved on. Which I hope Baga watched to learn about the concept of grace. They continued through the script with everyone snatching at roles until there was only one left, which Camden got stuck with given she was still on page one. But again, she took it in her stride and just hoped for the best. But given she loves Angeria and their roles get to make out, she was thrilled.

Bosco, Willow and Daya caught up to work through their scene with Daya continuing to be desperate for some face time with the judges and given she and Willow were bouncing off each other well, maybe she’ll get her wish. And well, Bosco is a star so I’m sure she will shine too. Kerri, Jorgeous and DeJa were doing well too, until DeJa told them to try going off book with DeJa immediately forgetting every single one. While Jorgeous was just terrified about bombing another acting challenge.

The dolls met Ru on set to film the show, reminding them to find their angles rather than emotions because that is what Joan Collins would want of them. DeJa, Jorgeous and Kerri were up first with Ru giving some great direction to get them as camp and southern as possible, with DeJa struggling while Kerri was a delight and Jorgeous was a campy, soap STAR. Jasmine served Alyssa Edwards realness and she, Angeria and Camden were perfect. Mainly because Jasmine’s accent was just too much and so ridiculous, in all the right ways. With Bosco rightly describing it as so bad it is the best thing she’s ever seen.

Daya and Willow arrived on the scene and were amazing from start to finish, with Ru wanting to bequeath Willow a daytime emmy. Which you know fired up Daya, making it more ridiculous and so fun. Which is new for Daya on the show. Bosco then knocked it out of the park before Angeria and Camden slayed their love scene. And well, I ship them. Despite Angeria feeling herself fading throughout the shoot.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone but Angeria thrilled to watch the video back, as Willow and Kerri checked in to make sure she was ok with Willow worried she isn’t remembering how damn special she is. Daya gave a far better apology to Jorgeous, with Bosco joining in to casually agree that the competition doesn’t necessarily bring out the best aspects of her personality either.

Talk turned to the chaps runway with Bosco bringing up kinks, asking if anyone is into the leather community with Camden admitting how much she loves going to the Folsom Street Fair. Once again, Angeria had no idea what the fair was and when the girls clarified what it was, she was desperate for a ticket. The dolls brought up Maddy again, with Jasmine admitting she felt bad about the fight though was thrilled to get a lovely note from her before she left. Daya then offered that maybe she could catch up with her next week after she herself is eliminated.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the judges panel by the iconic TS Madison as the dolls rocked the Chaps on the Runway runway. Willow was a sexy, stunning latex wedgie vixen complete with high-pigtails. Bosco was a sexy pink hippy leather daddy, DeJa wore a vibrant blue leopard print chaps bodysuit while Kerri gave a stunning hair chap look and Jorgeous was just shimmering in crystal and lace. Angeria was perfection in a golden shimmering disco chap while Jasmine was a blue and yellow graduate, Camden was a sexy, stunning rocker complete with a fall-on-your-face-fake-out, losing her wig and becoming Freddie Mercury. While Daya gave Carmen San Dieg-ho, again serving Shannel’s eyes.

Ru announced that while watching the dailies, she felt something was missing in all of their performances so she asked the editors to work overtime in post. And by that, the name The Daytona Wind made a lot more sense as Ru’s heavy-handed additions of farts elevated the script and frankly, was perfection. Jasmine’s ridiculous acting was joyous, Angeria was delightful as always despite how she felt while Camden was an absolute star. While Willow gave perfect bimbo, Daya truly did get her moment in the show and well, it was stunning.

DeJa, Kerri and Angeria were sent to safety, leaving Daya to finally receive critiques for the first time since week two. When she was eliminated. Backstage the trio were absolutely gagged to be deemed safe, unsure how they avoided being the bottoms of the week. Admitting they all struggled with the challenge, they quickly deduced that those left on the stage were the top six of the week and that there must not be any bottoms (we’re all bottoms). Angeria opened up about how being in the top each week made the pressure get to her, though was grateful for Jasmine getting her out of her head before filming. Kerri felt she was going to slay, but realised the judges just wanted to challenge her and push her out of her comfort zone. Admitting that being pretty, you really don’t usually have to work as hard.

Back on the mainstage, Ru announced they were the top six and that because everyone did such a good job this week that nobody would be going home. Instead, the top two will lip sync for the win. Jorgeous received universal praise for the look despite not giving much chap, though Michelle felt she could have given more in the show despite hitting every damn beat. Jasmine received universal praise for her runway and demented accent before the judges gave Camden even more glowing praise, particularly for the best runway reveal ever. Daya finally got her moment in the sun, with the judges living for everything she did with Ru decreeing this the week she finally showed up and that she is so proud of her. As always Willow was universally beloved, though Michelle read her for being too similar to Moira Rose. Oh and once again, Bosco was beloved for knocking it out of the park with her ending role.

The top six returned to the Werk Room and immediately confirmed the safe girls’ suspicions, with Angeria admitting she was gagged since she knew she belonged in the bottom while Jorgeous was ready to get grumpy. Daya opened up about her glowing praise, grateful for her moment and taking another in Untucked as she monologued about her skills. Jorgeous finally got to step in and talk, glad to finally not bomb an acting challenge while Kerri asked Camden if she was ready to lip sync for her win and ugh, I love them both.

Camden opened up about how gagged the judges were by her reveal with Jasmine agreeing that like Jorgeous, she was glad to finally slay an acting challenge. Which irritated Daya, despite the fact she wouldn’t shut up. Daya continued to get frustrated, asking the safe girls who they felt would be in the top and when they agreed Bosco and Camden should be lip syncing for the win, she got even more annoyed. They then made things worse by saying it could be Jasmine, pissing off Daya since they were once again overlooking her.

Angeria thanked Jasmine for getting her out of her head with Angeria opening up about how much she is missing her mum. Camden opened up that she wanted to lip sync to the song because it was one of her mum’s faves and was even wearing one of her mum’s chokers. DeJa spoke about feeling horrible for how she has treated her mother in the past before TS dropped by to kiki with the girls, agreeing that for the LGBTQIA+ community, the support of your family is critical.  TS asked the dolls what they want out of the experience with Jasmine opening up about wanting financial stability and how the pandemic left her struggling to put food on the table. She then told Jorgeous she was fierce and then left.

DeJa then asked the dolls if anyone had considered transitioning, with Bosco announcing that yes she has thought about it and definitely thinks she wants to push the dial a little more to the feminine side of non-binary (which she did post-filming!). Jasmine started to sob as she opened up about the fact she was going to start hormones before the competition, though got scared, however seeing Kerri thrive just made her feel like she couldn’t hold it in anymore. She then came out as trans, grateful to feel safe enough to talk about it and like Bosco, have a supportive partner to go on the journey with. She spoke about how Kerri is an inspiration for her and who she wants to be, leading to Kerri sobbing over how happy she is for her sister.

After that deeply personal, empowering conversation, the dolls returned to the mainstage where Jorgeous and Jasmine were sent to safety while Camden was announced as one of the Top 2 queens. Bosco too was sent to safety, leaving Willow and Daya for the final spot, as Daya was placed in the top while Willow was sent to safety. As soon as One Way or Another kicked off however, it was clear the Top 2 was as far as Daya was getting because Camden was absolute fire. She was charming, camp, stupid and splitting and kicking all over the stage and ugh, it was just an absolute joy to watch. And rightly handed her her first win of the competition.

Backstage Daya was thrilled to make it to the top, despite the fact Camden demolished her out of the win. Camden too was rightly feeling her oats while DeJa congratulated them both on a job well done, as Jasmine suggested she should have been in the top two over Camden. She was proud that once again Ru told them how good they are which made Willow joke that eventually there will be a challenge they will all bomb. And oh God, is that a premonition? As the dolls de-dragged, DeJa checked in with Jasmine to see how she was doing, as Jasmine admitted she felt she did a better job than Daya in the challenge though given she came out in Untucked, it probably was best she didn’t have to lip sync after such a cathartic moment. While everyone once again reiterated how proud of Jasmine they were.

Then Kerri and Angeria started wrasslin’ and well, I love the dolls!

The next day Willow was shocked by how real the competition was feeling, with Bosco admitting that she now wants the money and will gladly become their friends AFTER the show. Which was the perfect transition as Ru arrived to open the library. Which is what Bosco feels she was born for. Kerri was up first and was surprisingly cutting and hilarious, Angeria was brutal, Camden called Jorgeous a waste of time and Willow a hunchback while DeJa went in on Kerri’s safe streak. Jorgeous went in on Jasmine for proving white do crack, while Jasmine read Kerri for a lack of dancing skills and Daya’s two-faced ways. Willow was hilarious as she called Jorgeous Serena ChaCha, Daya was solid and then Bosco stole the show with smart reads including the dolls being Ru’s pallbearers on the mainstage so they could let her down on the runway one last time.

Obviously Bosco took out victory, though Camden was commended for being super shady too. But more importantly, Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be forming ‘60s girl groups with everyone allowed to form the three bands themselves. The dolls split up to listen to the songs to decide what they wanted, with Daya desperately focused on getting the Bad Boy song. Sadly four of the girls wanted that one, leading to a stand-off for the band. And guaranteeing Daya does not win fan favourite or Miss Congeniality. Eventually DeJa took a step back, leading to Bosco and Willow sticking with Daya in one band, while DeJa joined Jasmine and Jorgeous as the Ru-nettes while Kerri, Camden and Angeria formed the Ru-premes.

While Daya was confident in their chances of taking out a win, DeJa had already moved on and was ready to slay with the Ru-nettes. Shang-ru-las be damned! Though given Jasmine is straight up tone deaf, DeJa you may be in danger girl! While Kerri was just excited to knock it out of the park and get her first Grammy.

We first followed the Ru-premes as they joined Michelle to record their song, with Angeria selling confidence and giving all the Diana Ross. Kerri meanwhile was pitchy on her first run, leading to her getting in her head and damn, I hope this is a fake-out. When the Shang-ru-las stepped up to record, Bosco was hilarious while Daya was super confident and tragically seemed to knock it out of the park. None of the Ru-nettes were singers however, filling Michelle with nerves for them. Though when DeJa slayed from start to finish, things looked up. Wait, no, Jorgeous and Jasmine could not sing. At all.

Thankfully they were better when it came to choreography, though not by much as DeJa got stuck in the details as they ran through their moves and frustrated the hell out of her dancer sisters. Willow, Daya and Bosco were super together, nailing it from start to finish while the girls finally realised that Willow is a damn dancer! Camden meanwhile took control for their band, choreographing a simple routine so everyone could shine and while Angeria struggled anyway, I am confident their charm will sell the shit out of things. Despite the other girls looking on in fear for their chances.

Elimination Day rolled around with the dolls splitting up to get in their ‘60s looks, while they kikied about their favourite songs, with the dolls mainly focusing on Destiny’s Child while Camden spoke about her love of Spice Girls. And how girl power got her through high school. Angeria spoke about her love for En Vogue, while Kerri opened up about how her family didn’t let her embrace any music and she was forced into listening to church music only. Which made her even more obsessed with that kind of music.

Talk turned to the reading challenge and how amazing Bosco was before Daya confronted Jasmine for calling her two faced. And while she was super cut, Jasmine straight up listed all the things she said behind her back and how she had never said anything to her. With Daya admitting she would have, but Jasmine was preparing to lip sync for her life at the time. And while Daya was getting pressed, Jasmine reiterated that she never even tried to apologise, just make herself the victim.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the panel by Alec Mapa as the girl groups took the stage with the Shang-ru-las up first. And as much as I hate to say it, Daya did a killer job. Though not as good as Bosco and Willow, thankfully. The Ru-nettes did well, in no small part due to Jorgeous getting to speak all her lyrics instead of singing. That being said, this was well and truly DeJa’s performance. Closing the show the Ru-premes were so, so charming with Angeria and Camden in particular knocking it out of the park.

On the Heart On runway, Willow was stunning as she dropped all of her panties, Daya looked a mess as Jojo Siwa and Pink’s daughter, while Bosco was perfection in all white with her hole out and a heart in her hand. DeJa was a sexy nurse in an episode of Sailor Moon, Jorgeous was full on Victoria’s Secret realness, though made it carnivale. Jasmine gave a red, velvet gown with some hearts pinned on her hips while Angeria was a star as a high-headed checkerboard while Kerri was a dripping heart and veins while Camden was perfection as cupid, shot by her own arrow.

Willow, Bosco and Jorgeous were sent to safety, leaving Daya to receive universal praise for her performance as the one that stole the limelight. Which is not how I saw it. They also lived for her runway. DeJa too received universal praise before Jasmine was read for not finding a key, though praised for her commitment. Angeria returned to her place in the top as the judges loved everything she served, before Kerri was read for being too churchy for the challenge rather than giving girl groups. And well, she wasn’t very fun and they felt her outfit needed work. Camden meanwhile was read for blending into the background, though praised for looking like a star on the runway. Though reminded to bring the energy she served last week, every week.

Backstage Bosco was just thrilled to definitely not be lip syncing, given her outfit is quite immobile. Talk turned to the reading challenge with Bosco happy with everything people said about her, while laughing about how pressed Daya Betty was about being called two-faced. They agreed that Daya clearly is feeling the pressure of the competition, though were glad she is in the top to get praise. And to hopefully take the edge off. They speculated about the dolls placements, agreeing DeJa may be in the bottom as would be Jasmine. Unsure whether Kerri or Camden would be joining them, unaware that both were in the bottom, while DeJa was high.

Talk turned to Jasmine’s coming out, with Bosco and Willow talking about how hard not being able to do drag was throughout the pandemic given it was an outlet for their gender expression. Willow admitted that after years of focusing on her health concerns, she finally feels able to explore who she really is and what she loves about her body, including how she identifies.

The tops and bottoms joined the party and gagged the dolls with the fact DeJa was one of the tops. Kerri shared she was read for being too churchy and that she will definitely be lip syncing. Daya was thrilled to share that she was definitely in the top, thanking Bosco and Willow for helping get her over the line. Jasmine praised Daya for breaking through, though Angeria joked that it was all anger. Camden agreed she was in the bottom, though hopeful she would avoid the lip sync with Jasmine assuring her that she will be the one lip syncing, not Camden. While Angeria was once again thrilled to be in the top, further cementing herself as THE front runner.

Jasmine and Kerri once again caught up with Jasmine thanking her for being such an inspiration, ready to slay and be the woman she was born to be. The tops and safe dolls caught up, with Daya admitting she was deliberately selfish this week because she wants to win and well, she doesn’t care what anyone has to say about it.

Returning to the stage, somehow Daya Betty took out her first victory, proving tantrums do pay off, while Angeria and DeJa were deemed safe. As was Camden, narrowly, leaving Jasmine and Kerri to lip sync for their life to a weird remix of Toni Braxton’s iconic Unbreak My Heart. And well, it was a show. Jasmine kicked off a shoe and didn’t even bat an eyelid as she served with only a shoe, jumping and splitting all over the stage. Kerri meanwhile gave all the charm and emotion, and while I lived, it proved to be not enough against Alyssa Edwards Jr, leaving the iconic and powerful Kerri Colby to sashay away with only her chocolate bar for company.

Kerri was heartbroken to be eliminated from the competition, though was accepting that she did the worst in the challenge. Plus, Kerri had such a strong impact on so many of her sisters, it was hard for her to not feel the obvious love the world has for her. Which I reiterated to her backstage before sharing a fresh bowl of Kerri Columbines to sweeten her power. 

While Columbines were tragically discontinued in the early ‘00s, they have such a special place in my hearts. Sure, they are just chewy caramels but the memories attached are so joyous. You see, every time my grandparents would come to visit we would arrive home from school to discover a bag of the pink and blue wrapped delights at the foot of our beds. It was such a small thing, but it still makes me happy so I was glad to make a copycat for the iconic Kerri.

Enjoy!

Kerri Columbines
Serves: 4 excited grandkids in the ‘90s or 2 dear friends in the (20)20s.

Ingredients
225g butter
450g muscovado sugar
395g can sweetened condensed milk 
1 cup light corn syrup 
½ tsp kosher salt 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method
Pop everything but the vanilla extract In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it reaches 112-116C on a candy thermometer. Cook for a further couple of minutes at that temperature before removing and gently stirring in the vanilla.

Pour the caramel into a lined baking tin and leave to cool completely at room temperature. Once set, use an oiled knife to cut into squares before wrapping in waxed paper or you know, devouring greedily.


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Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, while Blood and Water were still battling it out, Jonathan switched things up and offered an individual immunity for each tribe. As both of them were attending tribal council, meaning hijinks were guaranteed to ensue. On the Water Tribe, things came down to Khanh and Sam, with the former promising his necklace to Sam, who quickly fainted when stepping out of the challenge. On Blood meanwhile, Shay completely dominated her tribe while Jordie tried valiantly to bring her down. With their main target immune, the sausage fest opted to take out Mel over on Blood, while Sam and Jesse were owning Water and ready to finally get rid of Ben. Sadly for them, he had one last shot at redemption as Mel and Ben were able to battle in a fire challenge to return to the game. With Mel ultimately smoking the competition and sending Ben home. For realsies, this time.

The next day the Blood tribe were thrilled to be waking up on Day 26, particularly Mel since she had suceesfully won her way back into the game. Jordie spoke about how great the last 26 days have been, exhausted and overwhelmed but so happy to have made it this far. He encouraged everyone to celebrate their successes given everything could change in a minute and oh God, my newly minted villain king is going, isn’t he? Shay meanwhile was missing Ben though thrilled he is getting some breakfast sausage – OMG, swoon – while Jordie was more focused than ever to get to the end with his brother.

And again, Jordie is toast, isn’t he?

Both tribes joined Jonathan in the middle of the bush where he quickly announced that their tribes are no longer as they have officially merged. Which is convenient as Sam literally brought all her belongings, including a fishing rod like it was 6 year-old me taking my maths book in a fire drill. But I’ve digressed. After everyone hugged and traded out their rancid buffs for fresh, clean numbers, Shay shared she was ready to kick things into overdrive, while Jordie was thrilled to actually be hanging with his bro and Sam was just grateful that she and Mark finally made it to the merge. I assume because it means they can stay together.

With that out of the way, they were tasked with competing in their first individual reward challenge where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and then walk back and forth to collect blocks which they would use to build a pyramid on the balancing board. Oh and the winner would score $60k. Like, what?! That is more than Sharn won over two seasons as the runner-up. Madness!

Madness, but also lols.

In any event, this sort of challenge is never exciting to read about, so I will spare you the they dropped, they dropped commentary and instead will tell you that while Mark got out to an early lead, Shay was playing it fast and loose while Chrissy was surprisingly dominant. Though none of them were competition for Khanh and his steady chef hands, who defied everyone dropping around him and jagged the mega-jackpot reward without dropping once. And sadly made that target on his back just that little bit bigger.

The newly merged tribe arrived at a sandbank in the middle of the river – which TBH, is a bit triggering in Brisbane ATM – for a celebratory feast where they quickly congratulated Khanh on taking out his massive prize, which he was thrilled about despite now being the foremost challenge beast of the season. He was thrilled to be a single in the newly merged tribe, given he doesn’t have to worry about anyone else when playing his game. While everyone was thrilled to be smashing their food, Jordie pulled his brother aside to focus on the game, looping him in on Mark’s idol and catching him up on his sausage fest alliance.

The tribe ventured back to the camp formerly home to the Water Tribe where we finally met Mel and Michelle, who are iconic identical twins who are ready to come and dominate the game. By putting their twin powers to good use, obvi. Sam and Mark too were thrilled to finally redeem their first runs, ready to get some idols and take some names. While Mark oddly stayed quiet about his idol, despite the fact they are straight up married. Sadly for him, Jordie and Sam then caught up by the shelter with Jordie telling Sam about her husband’s idol and well, let’s just say she was pissed. And while Survivor may have brought them together, it may also be the reason for their divorce.

Sam eventually confronted her husband, who thought it was absolutely hilarious she found out from someone else. Giving his mate a smirk on the way out of camp to fight about it. While Sam was happy that Mark’s little snafu had proven himself loyal to Jordie, I can’t help but feel like it makes him look like he has some hardcore trust issues. But whatever.

The tribe reconvened at the shelter to come up with the merge tribe name with both Glitter and Bin Chicken thrown around before they settled on the even worse option of Lava. Which, yuck! Thankfully though Chrissy was well and truly ready to fight for her place in the game, which makes the shit name feel better. Mark caught up with his alliance of five men – the four J names and him – thrilled that with the addition of his wife as their sixth member, they can take control. And with Sam, comes Khanh meaning they should be unstoppable. But you best believe that while Mark was willing to use Khanh, he was still focused on getting him out ASAP. Meaning, maybe not?

The Lava tribe joined Jonathan by a dam for the first individual immunity challenge of the season, the iconic ‘When it Rains it Pours’, most famously won by Shi Ann in All Stars as she briefly blocked Romber’s dominance. You know they one, they hold on to a rope tethered to a bucket of water with the last one standing, dry, winning immunity. Out of nowhere Chrissy was the first to drop out of the challenge, quickly followed by Michelle while Jordie was talking shit at everyone before he and Khanh dropped together, followed by Mark. 

After ten minutes, Mel and Josh dropped back-to-back, leaving the rest to battle it out. Five minutes later, KJ fishing for compliments led to Shay dropping out of the challenge, followed by Jordan, while Mark and Jordie grew bored as they waited around and started strategising, debating the merits of voting either Khanh or Shay out. Sam and Dave were next to drop, leaving Jesse and KJ to fight for immunity. Despite putting up a strong effort, poor KJ couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping her rope after 50 minutes and handing immunity to Jesse.

Back at camp Jesse was well and truly feeling his oats, thrilled to be immune though definitely concerned about how exactly he would be taking control of the tribe. He caught up with his former tribemates, with Sam, Mel and Michelle thrilled to band together as the couples to take out the singles. Sam’s husband Mark meanwhile was still solely focused on blindsiding Khanh. He and the boys were thrilled to lock in the vote split between him and Mel, given they can eliminate another pair at worst case. Meanwhile Sam and Jesse were focused on getting rid of Shay instead, locking in their plans and ready to dominate the tribe. After Khanh was looped in, he pulled KJ aside to lock her in as a number against Shay before moving on to Mel and Michelle.

The latter then approached Sam back at camp, with Sam assuring her the plan is still to get rid of Shay though she did think she should check in with Mark. Who then straight up shat all over her plan when they caught up. Mark then went in on Sam’s loyalty to Khanh, ignoring the fact Mark and his alphas are all the more threatening than Khanh and leaving him as a target could help their longevity. Their bickering was interrupted by the arrival of Khanh, who quickly pointed out they were having a domestic and offered to help counsel them. Sadly unaware that Sam was fighting to protect him, while Mark was stubbornly wanting to get him out.

Sam moved on to Jordie to question why nobody is considering Shay as a viable boot option, with Jordie admitting that turning the tribe off voting out Khanh simply seems near impossible. But boy did Sam continue to fight, bless her. Jesse meanwhile had given up fighting Khanh, approaching his brother with each agreeing to stay loyal to their alliances to get the maximum amount of information for them as a pair. And maybe they will be a formidable duo after all?

At tribal council Shay spoke about how difficult it already is to navigate the merged tribe given she hasn’t even had a chance to talk to everyone before firmly calling all the pairs out as threats. KJ agreed that being outnumbered by the pairs is scary, particularly since they’re all so strong. Jesse tried to downplay their advantage, talking about the fact there are so many ways the tribe could split things. Mark spoke about how he and Sam have not seen eye to eye so far, but out of the spirited discussions, the best ideas have risen to the top. Aka his, in his mind. While Sam tried to downplay the fact they were having a domestic and assured everyone she will stick to who she is loyal to. Mark agreed that tonight is a big vote for everyone to prove their loyalty.

Khanh fully accepted the fact he is a massive target, particularly since he just won $60k in a challenge. While he wasn’t sure he could truly trust anyone in his tribe, he opened up to Jonathan about how trust is always a risk in life and sometimes you just have to take the risks to build something great. Shay meanwhile wasn’t having much faith in the tryibe though reminded everyone that she is a safe single vote that can be added to any alliance. Which led to Mark continuing to gloat about how much better his alliance and plans are than Sam’s and ugh, yuck. Khanh meanwhile was just hoping his trust wasn’t blind.

With that the tribe voted and Khanh held on to his idol while Sam tragically sided with her husband’s alliance and booted him from the game. Thankfully to become the King of Jury, which honestly is the only worthy finish for him if he couldn’t take out the win.

As he arrived at the fresh, clean and very empty Jury Villa, Khanh was still taking his shocking blindside in his stride but given he will be the person taking home the second biggest prize of the season, how could you not be happy? Given we’re both highly respected members of the queer cooking community, Khanh and I have long been the best of friends so he was thrilled to see me waiting for him. While normally my meals are a step down from what he makes for himself, after a month in the bush, he was thrilled to see me whipping up something other than rice and beans. This time in the form of my – Diana Chan inspired – Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs.

As you’ve probably noticed (or definitely will have by the end of the season), I am almost as obsessed with dumplings as I am about burgers. I don’t know if it is the fact they are essentially little mouthfuls packed with flavour, but these babies are so good you’ll forget you just got booted and are now responsible for the entire jury.

Enjoy!

Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
6 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp muscovado sugar
40 gow gee wrappers
vegetable oil, for frying

Method
Combine the chicken mince through muscovado sugar in a bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for an hour to rest.

Once things are nice and chill, place the wrappers on a clean board and cover with a damp cloth. Working one-by-one, spoon a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of your dumpling wrappers and crimp and fold as desired. Given my lack of skills, I try and hide behind a pleat to cover my bad joins.

Once they’re all done, heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Cooking 6-8 at a time, pop the dumplings in the hot oil to fry on the bottom and cook for a few minutes. Add about ½ a cup of water and immediately pop on the lid, cooking for a further five minutes or until cooked through.

Repeat the process until they are all done – they can be frozen uncooked, but I am greedy – before devouring. Ideally with some Nam Jimbo Dressing.


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Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sophie was feeling her oats as the cockroach of the season, despite the fact she only miraculously dodged the boot twice in a row due to a twist and Alex quitting rather than skill or gameplay. Identifying Khanh as a big threat, she realised aligning with him could be mutually beneficial and approached him about aligning. Which he sadly had zero interest in. With Sophie gone from the tribe, the alphas were outnumbered on Blood, though after losing the immunity challenge miraculously were able to make some new friends. After Amy found an idol, she was ready to make a strike on Sandra and take control, however the Queen had already sadly scooped them up as they banded together to boot Amy’s bestie Jay.

The next day things were very zen over at the Water tribe as Nina shared how well positioned she was in the tribe and how she was excelling at the game. While I would have loved to hear more from Nina, I was just as distracted as the cameraperson was when her ally Jordie started to repeatedly flash his bum. And just like that, I was back to stanning our overall king. Despite the excitement and the joy of hearing how well Nina is playing, I couldn’t help but become filled with dread as she opened up about being confident in her chances of making it to the end.

The two tribes reconvened with Jonathan where Sam spoke about how united their tribe was, which perfectly cued up JLP to tell them to drop their buffs. Yep, it’s tribe swap time! Given there were 19 people remaining, Sandra, Amy, Dave and Jordan were joined by Shay, Nina, Jordie, Josh and Mel on Blood, while Khanh, Chrissy, KJ and Sophie welcomed Sam, Michelle, Croc, Ben and Jesse on Water, leaving poor Mark tribeless. Well, for a moment, as he was given the right to choose which tribe to join, ultimately selecting to join Blood. Much to the absolute rage of his wife Sam, who was SO ready to play with him. Not wanting to play with their loved one however was Nina, who was heartbroken to be on a tribe with her mother given she now has a huge target on her back. And once again, dread.

Before we could enjoy any drama, Jonathan explained that to take out the reward four people at a time from each tribe would battle in a boat tug-o-war competition to capture a flag, with the first new tribe to three scoring a reward of hot dogs and soda, so you know I would have died to win if I was out there. First up Ben, Croc, Chrissy and Sophie faced off against Mark, Jordan, Mel and Sandra, with the new Water tribe quickly scoring the first point. Josh, Mark, David and Jordie methodically then worked together to tie things up over Croc, Khanh, Jesse and Ben. Sandra, Mel, Shay and Nina worked hard on the third round though were eventually overpowered by Sophie, Sam, KJ and Michelle who scored the second point. Oh and then Ben, Sophie, Croc and Chrissy blitzed through the next round, jagging reward for their tribe. And most importantly, we got to see Ben cheering in his speedo, so everyone is truly a winner.

Back at camp the new Water tribe were delighted to find their hot dog cart, quickly getting to work smashing their snacks and soft drinks. While Sam was thrilled they proved themselves as a new tribe, Chrissy was just thrilled to finally have Croc by her side before talk turned to the fact that Mark was given a choice to join the tribe with Sam and instead opted to keep themselves separated a little longer. Which Sam admitted was a strong strategic decision, despite it hurting. After Croc spoke about feeling bad for those that couldn’t reunite with their pair, Sam and Sophie went for a walk to clear the air and while Sophie promised there were no hard feelings, Sam was very sure that she couldn’t be trusted.

Chrissy interrupted the calm celebrations when she noticed a clue hidden in the side of the cart, quickly rushing to it to snatch it without anyone noticing as she shoved it up her pants. Successfully managing to keep it there, unlike Sharn. Well, until she and Croc awkwardly hugged and she handed it off to him. Back at camp, they went for a walk together where they read their clue and upon Chrissy figuring out where their idol would be, darted off to the river to jag it without anyone noticing. With Croc planning to keep it secret, given that is the advice Sandra gave him and ugh, I now love Croc.

We finally checked in on the new Blood tribe where Jordie was thrilled by how the swap played out for him, keeping him with all of his closest allies and in the majority on the new tribe. And well, to say he was confident is an understatement. Jordie immediately identified Sandra as the biggest threat and vowed to get rid of her ASAP. Essentially. Mark opened up about deciding to stay away from Sam, knowing it was the safest option for them, despite it not being what he truly wanted. As everyone washed off in the water and formed quick bonds, poor Sandra was left alone with Dave back at camp and attempted to try and start over with him, given it is her only option. While she was hopeful Nina’s strong bonds and likability would be able to help her out, she was still very nervous.

Speaking of Nina, she was thrilled to still be on a tribe with all of her allies but sadly – though wisely for her – she approached them to assure them that should they want to vote out her mum, she will be ok with it. While she quietly wondered to us whether she could really bring herself to break her mum’s trust, she also felt it would be hard to cross her allies too.

The tribes reconvened for the immunity challenge where Jonathan explained they would chop through a rope to release a net, climb said net to cross a tower, collect some boxes on balance beams, climb up another tower where they would drop the boxes over the side in an attempt to release a ball. And then use said ball to solve a table maze. Josh got Blood out to the earliest of leads, though they were quickly overtaken by Water who whipped up the nets. After Michelle fell on the balance beams, Blood managed to pull ahead again. Well until they struggled to smash their boxes, giving Water a huge lead while solving their table maze. Sadly, they couldn’t get it together as Nina started to talk her tribe through the puzzle. Though not quickly enough, as Water narrowly took out immunity.

And left Sandra to contend with her Day 16 curse. Much to my mildly simmering rage.

Back at camp Nina quickly apologised for choking while calling the challenge while the rest of the tribe tried to rally and raise her up. Sandra meanwhile stressed about having to go to tribal council on Day 16, though she was hopeful Nina’s connections may be able to keep around for another few days and break said curse. Not wanting to rest on her laurels though, Sandra caught up with Mark and pointed out she has issues with Dave should they be looking for a target, while Dave, Jordie and the cousins hung out to lock in the vote for Mel. Nina went for a walk with Shay and Josh with them filling Nina in on the plan to get rid of Mel, given she is clumsy and may be a liability in future challenges. Which was music to Nina’s, and importantly my ears. 

Sandra meanwhile was back in the water with Jordan, Dave and Amy, with them shocked by the fact Water are willing to get rid of one of their own despite being in the minority. Sadly it was at that moment that Jordie decided they really should have some fun with the vote and instead take out one of the weaker OG Blood women in the form of Sandra, and then at a whisper, Amy.

Jordie, Josh and Mark giddily locked in the vote for Sandra given she is not only weaker and from the rival tribe but most importantly, a massive threat. While Jordie and Josh wanted to give Nina a heads up, Mark assured them it was too dangerous given she could get Shay to play her idol to save her mother and ruin not only their plans but their alliance. Speaking of which, Nina, Sandra and Shay were catching up and well, this better end with an idol play otherwise I’ll be heartbroken. While the trio felt the vote was still going Mel’s way, Sandra worried about what would happen after that given there is nowhere else for her to hide. Even though she isn’t even hiding anymore.

Mark, Jordie and Josh caught up with the other former OG Blood members and Mel to float the Sandra plan and tragically everyone seemed thrilled to jump on board. Thankfully though Nina could tell that Mark and Mel were acting weird with her and as such, felt like something was up. While Jordie caught up with Sandra and assured him the plan was still on Mel, desperate to claim the scalp of Sandra in a blindside.

At tribal council Sandra spoke about being happy with the new tribe, reiterating how proud she is to still be in the game. Mel opened up about being nervous about the upcoming vote, while Mark tried to downplay the fact the original Water tribe hold the majority in this new tribe. Which Jordie reiterated, though far less eloquently. Shay mentioned that she would be voting on strength, given she is desperate for some food and to get another win. This got Sandra fired up, announcing that is not how Survivor works or how it is played, given one person is not a deciding factor in losing a challenge. Sandra then doubled down and pointed out that alliances are more important because come merge, the weak will outnumber the strong and once the strong people start losing immunity, they are immediately booted. Unless they have allies willing to protect them.

This speech spooked Shay, given she thought she knew what would be playing out while Jordie spoke about every season being a clean slate and kinda pretending like Sandra isn’t a damn icon that could wash each and every one of them any day of the week. And well, he better moon us tomorrow if he gets his way tonight because I am growing tired. Nina admitted she is nervous about the upcoming vote, with Jordie pretty much saying he isn’t looking forward to facing a loved one back at camp which narrows down the boot to one of four people, but really only Sandra. Speaking of the Queen, she admitted that she is definitely expecting to receive a couple of votes at tribal council, though continued to speak strongly, reiterating that being a pair is strong and as such, made Josh and Jordan nervous about potentially being the only pair left in the tribe.

Jonathan then asked Nina whether she felt being a pair was important and when Sandra tried to look her in the eye, she told her to look at Jonathan instead as her eyes welled up. This well and truly got Sandra nervous as she spoke about knowing what she signed up for, though she still looked gutted. Before reminding us that the queen stays queen.

With that the tribe voted and tragically, there were no miracles as Shay played her idol for herself – not sure why, though – and Queen Sandra was unanimously booted from the tribe. Once again swap-screwed on Day 16. Which is why I threw the most epic tantrum Charters Towers had ever seen when I got word that Sandra’s curse had completed its hat trick before she claimed her triple crown. 

My tantrum wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t cute, though I would argue it was completely justified.

Sandra is a complete and utter icon and if her new tribes would only stop losing the first challenge after a swap, she should be a lock for the merge after enough time to endear herself with her new people. Instead, we’re left with the brutal tragedy that one again, Sandra is not on a jury at the worst but more ideally addressing one.

While I was heartbroken by her placement on paper, her run on Australian Survivor has only managed to cement her status as the best to ever play the game. Her strategy is simple and logical, but one that not many people could pull off season after season with her finesse.

As soon as I saw her enter the Pre-Jury Villa – no Loser Lodge for MY queen – I immediately started sobbing and ran into her arms. While she wasn’t receptive to my ideas for her to disown Nina and adopt me in her place, or to find Jonathan and production and force them to re-shoot tribal council, or even add a new version of Redemption Rock where Sandra is automatically given the win; she was grateful for my enduring love and support and glad that I was once again by her side on Day 16 to eat our feelings, this time with a Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine. A meal I had tragically thought would manifest the third win, rather than enacting her curse for a third time.

Now I can not take ownership of this recipe – that is Jock Zonfrillo, with some minor tweaks for my preferences – I knew Sandra’s return from retirement needed to be marked with something decadent and regal, worthy of her legacy. This very baconny, very cheesy number is near perfection – smokey and umami, sweet and salty, it is the only glorious meal worthy of someone as glorious as the Survivor GOAT.

Enjoy!

Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine
Jock Zonfrillo’s original recipe
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
50g thinly sliced smoked pancetta
25g smoked salt
25g dark muscovado sugar
10g ground black pepper, to season
10g hot smoked paprika
10g ground star anise
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.2kg pork belly
1 cup cloudy apple juice
150g sourdough, blitzed to form crumbs
230g sharp aged smoked cheddar, coarsely grated
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
120g unsalted butter, diced
60g flour
2 ½ cups milk
130g blue cheese, diced
130g Fontina, coarsely grated
130g Talleggio, coarsely grated
salt and white pepper, to taste
400g smoked bacon lardons
1 bunch shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
3 x 400g cans sweetcorn, drained
¼ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Start by working on your bacon rub by placing the pancetta on a lined baking sheet and cooking in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to remove grease and allow it to cool. Once chill, combine the pancetta with the smoked salt, muscovado sugar, black pepper, paprika and star anise in a food processor or blender and blitz until crumbed.

Next, score the skin of your pork belly and rub it with oil followed by all but 2 tbsp of the bacon rub, getting it on the meat and skin until it is gorgeously marooned. Pop the pork belly on a rack in a baking dish, skin side up, and pour the apple juice into the dish. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, before reducing the heat to 180C and cooking for a further hour. Keeping an eye on the apple juice in the pan and topping up with more, or water, should it run dry. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

While the pork is getting gorgeously browned, combine the bread crumbs, 100g of the smoked cheddar, parsley and the remaining bacon rub in a bowl until combined.

Next step – FYI, there are a lot of steps and it is what Sandra deserves, so deal – melt half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour, whisk and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk to combine before returning to the heat and bringing to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining cheeses and cooking for a further couple of minutes, or until well combined. Season and keep warm.

In another saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and cook the lardons for five minutes or until starting to caramelise. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for further five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the corn and stir until warmed through.

When the smells have you more than ready to eat, cut the pork belly into a dice, reserving the crackling for a side or to top. Combine the corn and lardon mixture with the cheese sauce, before folding through the pork belly and sour cream.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with the crumb and pop in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately and devour, eating all your feelings away before the next episode.

And remember, the Queen will always stay Queen. Day 16 curse be damned!


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