Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Pizza, TV, TV Recap

The lights came up on the City of Light – well, I assume, I was just whisked from CDG to set, so I’m not 100% sure – as Nicky Doll narrated the triumphant opening of Drag Race France. And well, Nicky is iconic, she is the moment and gurl, she is truly the Ru of Drag Race France. I mean, she even has her own headshots all over the Werk Room! Speaking of the Werk Room, Kam Hugh was the first one to make her debut giving Aquaria and Veronica Green’s love child, but with Farrah’s general vibe. She was joined by La Big Bertha who could have me any way she wants out of drag, serving sexy bearded queen, dripping in raclette and ugh, crown her now. Because I am crowning. Whatever that may mean. They were quickly joined by Elips giving full old school glamour with the fun of Grey Gardens, so obviously I stan.

Though sidebar, I don’t actually think the Edie’s were living their best lives, were they?

Lolita Banana made a loud and proud entry and well, I love her already. And her skills at deepthroating a banana and showing all her man chest in confessionals. So yeah, my basement is flooded. Despite Bertha feeling she was giving off dachshund vibes. Soa de Muse arrived and was giving me Tayce vibes, in all the right ways. And well, she can sit on my face. Alongside Bertha. Le Grande Dame was up next serving beaded sex and well, I live. As much as she was living for herself during her entry. They were joined by Lova Ladiva who arrived giving Stacy Layne Matthews and Porkchop’s love child, so obviously she is destined to vamp her way into icon status in a matter of minutes.

THEN LA KAHENA ARRIVED AND LITERALLY LIT HER HAND ON FIRE and well, this is the energy I need in my life. She also looked like a beautiful gladiator, so yeah, I love. La Briochée arrived giving camp, cakey delight and well, I live for everything she is bringing, like a love child of BenDeLaCreme and Blair St Clair. Rounding out the cast is the iconic Paloma giving red hot, demon sexpot and well, I am ready for the dolls to turn it out because this cast looks strong.

A cock crowed – yes – announcing the arrival of Nicky Doll to officially welcome them to the competition and announce they’re competing for 40,000 Euros, a holiday courtesy of Tinder and make-up from Mac. Which is pretty iconic, TBH. As is the hunky Pit Crew who joined her, decked in navy and white striped speedos and berets, so yeah, my basement is flooded ten times over. 

Oh and the zaddies would also be joining the dolls for their first mini challenge, a photoshoot celebrating all things France. Soa was up first and gave full glamour and face while cycling through all the emotions as Nicky kicked out the pit crew and replaced them with cancan girls. Briochée was cute and camp, Kahena was wild, Paloma stayed focused on a killer shot, Grande Dame was fun, Lolita was stupid in all the right ways and Elips was adorable. Bertha lived her best life with both the boys and the girls, while Kam gave full Farrah while Lova was just a delight. Ultimately though there could only be one winner, with Lolita splitting her way to the front of the pack and gurl, I live for her confidence. 

Barely having time to recover, Nicky wheeled out the Pit Crew to give her her prize before announcing that their first Maxi Challenge would be a cheeky little Talent Show followed by a Jean Paul Gaultier runway, in front of Jean Paul himself. And well, fuck, that’s a gag. Everyone split up to untuck and claim a space in the Werk Room with Bertha opening up about being insecure about her body in the past and how drag gave her the confidence to take on the world. And again, she can sit on my face. Briochée and Lova bonded with their fellow big queen, given they felt they had similar journeys growing up. La Kahena followed suit and opened up about drag saving her life, giving her and outlet and freeing her from the oppression she has felt from her culture.

We quickly ventured to the mainstage where Nicky was joined by Daphné Bürki, Kiddy Smile, Iris Mittenaere and Jean Paul Gaultier – I’m still shocked – as Lolita opened up the Talent Show with a feisty salsa, complete with wig reveals splits and a sexy zaddy dance partner who easily gives her an extra point. Kam Hugh did a ridiculous banana peel strip before singing a sexy song about how it should be done and well, it was like a less fun version of Blu’s talent show. But I love it all the same. Briochée straight up belted out a song like the second coming of Edith Piaf and it was iconic. Paloma did a little skit about being a hippy and I love it despite it making no sense, because it was ridiculous. La Grande Dame gave sexy golden robot as she lip synced – perfectly – to an original song. And then played the saxophone. No joke. With a champagne flute attached to her head, no less.

Elips slayed a moody lip sync number as she stripped from camo to a flaming bodysuit before Soa stole the damn show with a moody song and well, she is an absolute icon. She hit every note, was camp and delightful and oh so moody and well, I live. I mean, it was like John Leguiziamo in Moulin Rouge! Lova gave an inspirational speech and frustrated her sisters while La Kahena gave a camp, absurd skit and delighted the hell out of everyone followed by lighting her hand on fire again before Bertha shut it down giving a camp little strip, serving comedy and acting, and well, I love it and the pasties flipping the bird and the bare arse.

On the Liberté, Égalité, Jean Paul Gaultier runway La Briochée gave Dita Von Teese butterfly corset in all the right ways and looked like an absolute star. Lolita went with the iconic conical bra, complete with taps dripping in diamond underneath. Lova was perfection in honour of the perfume bottles, Soa gave a conical corset covered in braids and yeah, she looked absolutely perfect. Bertha gave furry conical titties, La Kahena was stunning in a nude gown with red hands around the bodice, Paloma gave biblical realness as a living Madonna before Kam Hugh served icy mint architecture and was absolutely stunning. Elips gave cabaret conical realness made of ties, while La Grande Dame was perfect in a white harnessed look, complete with a keyhole over the butt.

La Briochée, Lolita, La Grande Dame and Paloma were sent to safety before Lova was read for not giving talent, despite being so vulnerable with everyone. Though the judges agreed that they all lived for her runway. Soa received universal praise for everything she served this week, giving camp, stunning looks and absolutely destroyed the talent show. Bertha too was universally beloved, letting them know exactly who she is and for being so damn polished. La Kahena was encouraged to let go and stop being hard on herself because they could tell she was nervous. All the time. Kam’s looks were adored, though her talent show was read for being basic. While they all lived for Elips’ magnetism.

Backstage the safe girls toasted to making it another week, before the tops and bottoms joined them to kiki. Elips opened up about being overwhelmed by the judges liking her, while Lova admitted she kind of just wanted to hide after receiving her critiques. Kahena was just confused, while Kam was simply disappointed in herself. Though bless Briochée, she did give them a sweet little pep talk!

Ultimately Soa took out the first win of the franchise, while Bertha and Elips were sent to safety, with Kam narrowly joining them, leaving La Kahena and Lova to lip sync for their lives. To French Canadian icon Céline Dion’s Prière Païenne and well, it was a show. Though maybe that is because I live for Céline. Kahena was camp while Lova was giving all the emotion and hit every lyric. While Kahena had fire and fought valiantly, wearing a gown kinda felt like it held her back a little, as she couldn’t get into it as much as Lova and as such, she found herself immortalised as the iconic Porkchop of Drag Race France.

Which honestly is the best place to finish if you aren’t going to win any damn season. Which is exactly what I told her as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her how well she truly performed, despite her apparent nerves. Thankfully she wasn’t too hard on herself, taking the loss on her chin and proud to join the international collective of iconic first franchise boots as we smashed a piping hot Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet.

As hot as the fire that she lit on her hand, this chicken puttanesca pizza is breathtaking and iconic. Salty capers and olives pair perfectly with the sweetness of the chicken that by the time you add in the heat, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy! 

Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
1 base as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 tbsp capers
2 tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup black olives, sliced
4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared base and sprinkle with the herbs, capers, chilli, olives and mushrooms, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serve immediately and devour, careful not to burn your mouth on the piping hot cheese.


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Tortelektra Shock

Main, Pasta, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the final six were tasked with making over six sexy gay rugby players, who upon completion, were well and truly feeling their oats. The delightful wacky Kita finally scored her first victory of the season after slaying the makeover and nailing the family resemblance. On the other end of the spectrum, Scarlet well and truly had a fall from grace and bombed, focusing more on her own look rather than the makeover. Sadly for Elektra, she wasn’t down for the count, however, as Maxi landed in the bottom with her and was tragically felled. Likely only because of her track record.

Backstage the queens proudly toasted their iconic sister, delighted by the fact her signature is made up of giant tits. Thankfully Elektra got to gloriously rip on Scarlet for doing the splits in her lip sync and let’s just say, Scarlet was not happy about having to pretend she wasn’t bothered by the comment. Before she could fully unleash her rage, everyone rallied around to congratulate Kita on her victory, with Karen rightly pointing out that she is really the one to beat at the moment. Talk turned to the need to win a challenge to win the show, with Art looking very attacked by the fact she is the only one left without a victory. But where there is a Velour, there is a way and Art isn’t bothered. Which is why she is an icon.

The next day Scarlet was a little bit more relaxed about being in the bottom last week, though was still annoyed enough to be shady about Art’s second chance. Which we all got over weeks ago, right? Like she wants everyone to get over some of her past performances. Kita shared that she journaled who she thought she’d make it to the end with at the start of the competition, admitting it was the rest of the queens. Except Elektra. Which once again fired Elektra up to remind everyone that she is just as talented as them. Her basic outfits be damned.

The potential drama was interrupted by Ru who joined them to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge, the dolls would be putting on a little talent show for the judges. Which should be the perfect way to showcase all the queens before the finale. Right? As the victor of the last challenge, Kita was able to choose the order in which they will perform and damn, please, be shady as hell. PLEASE.

Scarlet nervously tried to influence where she was placed, before Art suggested Kita sit on it before locking in her decision. With that, they split up to rehearse with Kita prepping a magic act as Art appeared to be doing a work out routine in the background. In the most demented way possible. Elektra was obviously going to dance – despite Karen reminding her she needs to remember to look good while doing it – while Scarlet was preparing a pole dance. Oh and then Elektra quietly pulled Kita aside, begging to be the last performer. Which is also where ameteur Demi Moore in Striptease wanted to go.

Kita pulled the girls aside to lock in the order, going with Karen, Art, Kita, Scarlet and then Elektra. And hot damn, did young Scarlet throw an epic tantrum about it! I mean, it almost rivalled Alaska’s in All Stars 2. Before she quickly pretended to be very unbothered by it as Kita really didn’t seem to care, so instead, she vowed to destroy everyone.

Ru arrived with the iconic Raven to chat with the queens. Elektra was up first, sharing that she plans to do a slowed down dance as Raven began flirting with her and to follow from last week, they should start an Only Fans. Elektra pointed out that she has x factor and can always work on the rest – like her outfits and make-up and well, that is very true. Kita shared that she would be doing quick change magic, with Ru admitting that she hates magic passionately, leaving Raven to give her the pep talk instead. Kita spoke about feeling guilty for winning the week before, with Raven wisely reminding her to get out of her head and to stop second guessing herself. Lest she messes up.

Scarlet got the slutty boots out to talk about her pole dancing routine, explaining how dangerous her inverted split will be. Oh and did she mention, she’d never done it before. And ugh, we know where this is heading, don’t we? Boo. Art outlined that she would be doing a serious commentary on the media, using the second most talented hole on the body – her mouth. Art asked Raven for advice about surviving life post drag race, with she and Ru reminding her to never venture into the comment section. Which is wise. Even for a mild celebrity like me! Oh and Karen will be doing some clown work and making balloon animals. Which, lol. Oh and Ru then shadily pointed out that Karen has started to flatline in the competition which hopefully fired her up to step out of her comfort zone and slay the judges.

After they left, Karen started to panic about delivering a sexy balloon artist instead and spiralled. Driving everyone mental, particularly Elektra who wanted Karen to listen to Ru’s advice because that is exactly why she herself has started to succeed in the competition.

Elimination Day arrived with the queens well and truly stressed out about the make or break challenge. Karen meanwhile had decided to change her act, but didn’t want to talk to anyone and instead focused on getting ready. Which obviously meant that Art continued to talk to her, which I think was her trying to help get her out of her head rather than being shady. Elektra spoke about how confident she was before we took a very hard pivot with Art, who opened up about getting death threats after performing drag Christmas carols on Chapel Street. And how her own cousin made death threats against her because they were jealous that Art was living the life that they wanted before they died by suicide. She then told her sisters that she is always there for them all and fuck, I don’t care if she has no wins, give her the damn crown.

At the talent show Ru, Michelle and Rhys were delighted by Karen’s sexy showgirl turn as she violated all the balloons on their way to making poodles. Well and truly leaving the judges wanting more. Art was bizarre and demented while shoving entire foods into her large mouth without chewing. And I absolutely lived. Kita came out ready to win, serving energy and fire as she slowly did stripper-reveal magic. Which is honestly something you can’t describe. Scarlet meanwhile did her pole dance to the theme of House of Drag, absolutely slaying the house down and thankfully not cracking her skull and bleeding out mid-performance. And then Elektra served a moody, contemporary dance routine and was great. But the vibe didn’t feel like it would be Drag Race enough for the judges.

On the How’s Your Head … Piece runway Karen was stunning as a giant pink poodle, Art was a garden fairy with butterflies flying around her head. Thankfully fake and moving, unlike Asia’s. Kita was a glorious robotic, sexy club kid with a wig of lights. Scarlet was a stunning, shimmering showgirl and Elektra was a Fosse dream, complete with a swing.

The judges lived for Karen’s runway, but felt her talent was good but way too short. The judges lived for Art’s glorious runway and her talent, despite not knowing what she was doing. Kita was praised for her energy, though was read for the bland outfits in her talent. Though they loved her runway. Scarlet received universal praise for everything she did this week, while Elektra was read for not being drag enough in the talent show  – see?! – despite being more than ready to appear in Sia’s next video.

Wanting to make things shady, Ru asked the dolls who they each thought should go home tonight, with Karen saying Elektra should go because she has gone as far as she can go and her storyline is already so epic. Which Art, Kita and Scarlet all quickly agreed with, while Elektra suggested it should instead be Art. Given that Art hasn’t grown in the competition. And you know, since she has already been eliminated once.

As the girls Untucked, Elektra was annoyed that they all piled on her but knew that it was the easiest choice. Art meanwhile was unbothered that she was identified as the one to go by Elektra because she just doesn’t really give a shit. Thankfully The Veronica’s arrived to kiki with the girls before Elektra and Kita could delve into the drama. They shared with the girls that Scarlet will definitely win, and Elektra will be joined in the bottom by either Karen or Kita. Talk turned to who they all thought would win the contest, with Art suggesting Scarlet, Scarlet went with Karen, Karen with Kita and Kita with Elektra. Because if she doesn’t win, the judges clearly aren’t looking for talent. 

Obviously Scarlet won the challenge, while Elektra found herself in the bottom. Somehow Karen narrowly avoided the bottom with Art, leaving Kita to battle it out against her fellow kiwi. Which is totally rigor morris. But you know, whatever. As The Veronicas’ Untouched got started Elektra pretended to quit before the duo absolutely left everything on the floor and fought for their lives. Hard. Kita was demented and hilarious, Elektra felt every moment. Given their track records though, it was Kita who was ultimately saved as she sobbed while holding her sister in her arms.

Backstage Elektra was the same charming, thirsty star I first fell in love with on House of Drag before pursuing as a lover. While I was specifically looking to marry anyone from New Zealand so I could move there and have Jacinda as my PM, I genuinely well in love with zaddy Elektra. The passion was instant, but I was tragically deported for not being friendly enough to live in NZ and our relationship fizzled out. So it was so nice to once again hold her in my arms and share a loving Tortelektra Shock together.

Cheesy, pillowy parcels of pasta slathered in a spicy sauce of sundried tomato and mushrooms, this is such a simple – dare I say basic – dish, but it tastes so damn good. Just like Elektra … ‘s talent.

Enjoy!

Tortelektra Shock
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 pack gow gee wrappers or portion of pasta dough
300g fresh ricotta
1 egg, whisked
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus extra to serve
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil 
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
⅓ cup sundried tomato pesto
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 cup cream
small handful basil leaves, sliced

Method
If you’re not being lazy like me, start by prepping your pasta dough.

If going with gow gee, ignore them for the moment and instead focus on the filling. Combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan and two garlic cloves in a bowl with a good whack of salt and a better whack of pepper. Stir until well combined.

To make the pasta, place a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a wrapper – or a 10cm square of pasta dough – and twist to form a tortellini. Repeat the process until it is all done.

While you get a large pot of water on to boil, heat a lug of olive oil in a medium frying pan and cook the mushrooms for five minutes or until browned and soft. Add the remaining garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes before stirring through the sundried tomato, chilli and cream. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and keep warm while you cook the pasta.

Once the pasta is floating in the top of the boiling water – because you put it in the water, which I’m only just reminding you to do now – scoop it out or drain and stir through the sauce with the basil.

Serve immediately with a good layer of parmesan and devour.


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Harry Phillsy Cheesteak Pizza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Pizza, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the final twelve met Jonathan on the top of a hill where they learnt that they had (finally) made the merge. Despite having the numbers, David decided it would be a good idea to mind-fuck the outnumbered Vakama 2.0 tribe members. After being eliminated early in the reward challenge, he told Brooke and AK how he was at the bottom of new Mokuta and that he should be able to pull Zach over with him to give themselves the new majority. In actuality though, he was all in with Moana and the duo decided now would be the perfect time to get rid of Locky. Since Queen Shonee won the first immunity challenge like the damn boss that she is. At tribal council Locky desperately urged everyone to make a move and kick things off with a blindside, which sadly came to fruition. Just against him as he was booted from the tribe to become the King of the Jury.

The next day Jacqui was whipping up some breakfast and offering to deliver it to David in bed, who we learnt is well and truly falling apart from a chesty cold and a spider bite on his butt check. Which sadly wasn’t shown to us for proof.

Meanwhile by the fire Moana was congratulating Tarzan and Jacqui on the fact that they essentially secured themselves a place in the top seven. She then approached David and Sharn to congratulate each other on taking control and keeping their secret alliance alive. On the flipside, Brooke and Shonee were feeling disappointed to find themselves on the outs, though being the icon she is, Shonee encouraged them to be resilient and positive. Not feeling positive though is their ally Harry, who was back at camp with the Mokuta seven, seething about David and Zach’s treachery. This awoke the ol’ dirty in Harry, who vowed to take his revenge.

Speaking of revenge, David told us that his plan for All Stars has always been about playing a bold game, and taking revenge on anyone that wronged him in his original season. And now Harry is the last name on his Arya Stark list. Remember when Shonee had a revenge list? A list that she efficiently completed in three episodes. Like a damn icon. But enough about the superiority of Shonee, Moana was gossiping with Sharn, Lee, David and Jacqui by the well, telling them that Harry was arrogant about having taken David out on their previous season. While Harry watched on from behind some trees. Continuing to display her epic social game, Moana yelled out to him and told him to show himself and that since they are just doing washing, he is welcome to join them.

Oh and David did some bad math, sharing that getting rid of Harry was critical to his final tribal council, given Harry has currently played 82 consecutive days – which is untrue, given he was voted out one day before the end of a season – and if he makes it to the end, he can say that he played for 84 consecutive days. Which again, is wrong since he was also voted out. Plus, Lee and Sharn played 55 and 50 days in their OG seasons and genuinely can say that the days moving forward are consecutive, given they were never voted out. But whatever.

Fully aware of how well David has been playing, Harry pulled Shonee, Brooke and AK aside to try and find a way to weaken him. Given he has successfully surrounded himself with buffers, the group decided to get rid of one of the weaker players and as such, decided targeting Jacqui would be their best shot. With that, Harry and AK got to work trying to pull Zach and Lee to their side. Harry handed over a banana to Zach before launching into the pitch and while Zach agreed that he was open to the idea, he also wanted to play smarter this time around. With a semi-committal, Harry approached Lee and well, I just feel like Lee is interested. But maybe I am wrong?

My love Jonathan made an early return for the immunity challenge, which Harry identified as the final immunity challenge from last season as he walked in. But this time, with three sets of stumps to balance on – each smaller than the one before – while holding two sandbags up via ropes. After a short moment of struggle AK became the first person to drop from the challenge before Moana opted to step out, followed closely by Queen Shonee. After 15 minutes Zach fell off his pegs, followed closely by Sharn and Tarzan. The remaining castaways then transitioned to a skinnier peg, which caused Jacqui to drop after 45 minutes in the challenge. The final four each made it to the smallest pegs, with them quickly forcing David to drop out. He then used his time on the bench to suggest to Sharn that should Harry win immunity, they need to get rid of Brooke instead. After more than 90 minutes however, the pain became too much for him and he dropped out of the challenge. He and Shonee started throwing out options moving forward, agreeing that taking out AK and Brooke may be their only hope. However the latter wasn’t an option, given Lee dropped from the challenge and handed her immunity.

After popping immunity around her shoulders, Jonathan announced that they would not be going back to camp and would instead need to scramble on the way to tribal council. With that, the two factions split up by torchlight and got to work identifying their targets. Mokuta quickly locked in their vote for Harry, with a couple of dummy votes on AK just in case. Meanwhile the underdogs of former Vakama were still hopeful that they would be able to convince Lee and Zach to flip to them to get rid of Jacqui. Brooke and Shonee begged for them to be honest with them, asking if there is any chance of them making a move. And given Lee played a minimal game in his first go around, the former cricketer was more than keen to prove himself. And you know, build a resume. Lee and Zach mentioned being nervous about how Dave would react, which gave Harry the chance to be shady about their complete lack of agency in the game.

At tribal council Brooke was repulsed by Locky’s facial hair before AK spoke about how nerve racking it is to have had no time to strategise. Jacqui spoke about the importance of staying calm and sticking with what you know, which is exactly what you do when you’re in the majority. Moana reiterated that she trusts who she trusts and is looking forward to riding with them until the end. Lee was coy about pre-planning for situations like tonight, which Dave agreed with, given he and his alliance all know what they want to happen. Oh and the scrambling was super boring to him. Tarzan quoted Keith Nale and said that he will be sticking to the plan, while Zach agreed that he knows what he is meant to do in the plan. This gave Harry hope, so he pleaded with the people in the middle to make the right decision for their – and his – games and to start building their resume. Lee agreed that he needs to play differently if he wants to win this time, leading to Zach joining the fray and reminding him that you need to make a move at the right time. Which Brooke reiterated is right now.

Sharn tried to slyly counter the pitch, encouraging the people that Vakama are appealing to have a decision to make tonight. Which they can’t come back from. This led to Harry reminding everyone that they need to make a move before there aren’t enough people to help them make said moves. And it is never too early to build a resume, right? With that the tribe voted and despite working hard to save himself, Dirty Harry was vanquished to join Locky on the jury.

While my arms may not have been as cute and comforting as his sweet son Oscar – remember Oscie? – he was thrilled to once again see me in the Jury Villa after he suffered the indignity of being tortured in the challenge from hell.

“I know you’re not my biggest fan Ben, but I’m so glad to see you here – I could really use a big ol’ bowl of that mac and cheese.”

My heart sank. Had I truly made him feel so awful for trying to cross Pia that he believed I didn’t love him? Or did Queen Shonee rightfully explain that my low self-esteem means that a bit of flattery will get you everywhere with me. With that, I put my pants back on – Locky and I were reenacting his famous challenge from season 2/4, and headed to the kitchen to make him something even more triumphant than mac, in the form of my Harry Phillsy Cheesesteak Pizza.

Oh and then I apologised for cursing him for his second game. Damn you pizza!

Delicately charred beef – is that possible? – sweet peppers and the earthiness of the provolone are three of my favourite things. Add to that some mushrooms and you’ve got a sandie-j come pizza that is so damn good, you don’t even care about the fact an ancient curse felled your game while I was recipe planning.

Enjoy!

Harry Phillsy Cheesteak Pizza
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g beef loin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp butter
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
½ red capsicum, cored, seeded and sliced
½ green capsicum, cored, seeded and sliced
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
1-2 cups provolone cheese, grated

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

While Zsa Zsa is proving herself, get to work prepping the toppings. Start by heating a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium and cook the beef strips until medium. Remove from heat and leave to rest.

In another skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the mushrooms until soft, shiny and they have reabsorbed all of the liquid. Remove the mushrooms to a plate. In the same pan, add another lug of olive oil and cook the onion for about five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Transfer it to a plate before adding the capsicum to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To assemble, smear the bases with passata and herbs. Top with the onion, followed by the capsicum, mushroom and steak. Sprinkle with a generous amount of provolone, transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, thankful this recipe wasn’t lined up for Shonee. Or did I deliberately enact the curse?


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Phoebeef Wellingtimmins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the swap left David and Phoebe all alone on Mokuta, forcing them into a tight alliance. Sadly for Phoebe, it was short lived as she decided to also align herself with her fellow season 1 contestant Nick. Feeling slightly, David immediately cut her off emotionally. To make matters worse, he then found a hidden immunity idol and vowed to use it to get some humiliating revenge on her. Thankfully for her though, she found a clue to a hidden immunity idol at the last reward. Despite coming very closing to a humiliating defeat at the immunity challenge, Nick destroyed the puzzle and single handedly sent Vakama back to tribal council once again. With no other option, Mat desperately tried to convince Locky that the tribe couldn’t afford to lose any more strength and set his sights on targeting Shonee. And again, uuugggh. Thankfully Shonee’s charm won out once again however, as the tribe banded together to send Mat from the game.

We first checked in with Mokuta where Lee was doing some nerdy-host cosplay, leading the tribe in an island version of Young Talent Time. First up David showed off his best island modelling, stomping through the sand in his leather jacket WITH HIS BUM HANGING OUT. Oh god, I am wet – have mercy! Jacqui did some body building, Sharn did a tongue twister – and got massively burned by Nick, who pointed out that if she spoke like that at final tribal, maybe she wouldn’t have lost – before Zach shocked everyone, stopping my heart for a brief second, with a sultry flamenco.

Meanwhile at Mokuta everyone was clothed, while AK was suffering in his jocks for having kept Mat as long as he did. Harry on the other hand was growing more and more nervous, unsure whether getting Mat was the right move, given he a Shonee are now on the bottom. Harry pulled AK aside and the duo ran through the numbers on both sides and tried to fashion a series of plans to get to the end. While Harry wanted to keep him on side, he was concerned that AK’s mind was wandering even further and needed to be wary of when he started crunching the numbers to get rid of him. But for the moment, he was confident that everyone was trusting him.

Back at Mokuta the tribe were keeping themselves busy doing house work and bonding. Sharn shared that she was thrilled that their winning streak had allowed everyone a little more time to bond, before listing out all the alliances on the tribe – OG Mokuta, OG Vakama, Zach, and lastly, Phoebe and David. Phoebe was well aware that she was on the bottom on the tribe, however, and that Moana will vote her out at the very first opportunity she gets. That being said, Phoebe did find a clue to an idol and as such, was confident that she could snatch that and that she and her only ally David can take back control. With that, Phoebe pulled David aside to let him know about the idol clue and pledge her undying allegiance to him. Sadly for her, while he made her everyone promise under the sun, he has no interest in ever working with her again.

Phoebe ventured off to collect the idol, going from termite mound to termite mound, but alas, she couldn’t. With that, David went to find her and share that her absence from camp was arousing suspicion, so he offered to check for idols for her, while directing her away from the one he assumed it would be hidden in.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge which was simply tug of war over a pool, with the person to pull the other in scoring a point for their tribe. With the first tribe to three scoring a delightfully packed lunch, complete with juice box. First round saw Locky face off against the washed-up gladiator slash reformed misogynist, with Locky easily washing Zach by pulling him straight into the drink. Moana tied things up by destroying Brooke before Lee gave the lead to Mokuta by pulling off AK. Sorry, AK off the platform. Flick tied things up against Phoebe leaving Shonee to battle Jacqui for the win. AND HOLY SHIT, Queen, icon legend Shonee, absolutely destroyed her and won the challenge for her tribe. Because with Mat gone, somebody needed to step up. ICON.

Who’s strong now Abbey, Lydia, John and Mat, huh?

Vakama returned to camp to find their packed lunch, complete with sambo, snack, juice box and a little treat from home. Shonee’s being a sweet pair of sunnies like the absolute icon that she is. We then learnt that Harry proposed between his seasons, with her sending photos while his son Oscar couldn’t be bothered sending him shit. Locky got a letter from his sister, Flick broke down over her message from her fiance, as did AK and then everyone followed suit. Except for Shonee, who’s future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades. Wait, no, Shonee started crying when she discovered the size of her club sandwich. This woman is an icon and needs a GoFundMe right about now.

Back at Mokuta, Moana was doing her best Evil Kermit cosplay which made Phoebe feel super nervous. That and the fact she is quiet and also managed to build a super strong alliance. Meanwhile Phoebe caught up with who she thought was her super strong ally and the duo agreed to hunt for the idol again, with Phoebe venturing into the bush while David quickly grabbed the idol behind their shelter without arousing suspicion. He quickly found Phoebe and continued to help her search for the idol in an ever growing panic, gleefully trolling her.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were forced to pair up once again and hold themselves up, leaning over a mud pit, with the last pair left standing securing immunity for the tribe. Sharn and Jacqui quickly became the first duo to drop, followed by Brooke and Shonee – with the latter body slamming her on the way down – and Locky and AK back-to-back, leaving Harry and Flick to fight it out to protect their tribe. After a long struggle Phoebe and Nick dropped, leaving David and Tarzan to fight for Mokuta. And you just know David has no interest in winning immunity. With that  the two duos put in a valiant effort before Tarzan of all people fell in, handing new Vakama their first immunity win.

Back at camp Jacqui wasn’t overly disappointed to have lost the challenge, more concerned about figuring out how to spend Phoebe’s name. Moana and Tarzan too were worried about spelling, before Moana admitted that she is thrilled to target Phoebe again as she is too bigger threat. And more importantly, underestimates her. Moana then got to work rallying the troops, pulling Zach in to her larger alliance to replace Mat while Jacqui worked on Sharn and Tarzan worked on Nick. Zach then joined the fray, going to Lee to pull him in before Lee suggested that getting rid of Phoebe may not be the best idea given she has allies on the other tribe and as such, should they make the merge, she may be able to protect them.

Moana checked in with Zach and didn’t feel overly concerned to have lost Lee’s vote, while Lee caught up with his season mate to assure her that she does have people supporting her and to go out and rally them. With that, she charmed Sharn and Zach before reporting back to Nick, with him assuring her that they can be trusted. Oh and then she caught up with David, who told her that they need to stop being paranoid and just relax and trust in the people that they trust in. And then vowed to us that he will blindside her in a humiliating fashion.

Deep in the jungle David and Sharn caught up in the hopes of locking in an unlikely alliance before Moana joined them to round out the final three. They trio pledged allegiances, swore on their families and promised to share any intel they collected. After dispersing, Sharn shared that while she wants to align with them, she can’t get rid of Phoebe tonight as it will burn her bridges with Nick and Lee. As such, she pulled them aside and told them everything they wanted to hear before making her final decision at tribal council.

At tribal council Moana spoke loving the honesty of tribal council, while David was just looking forward to finding out where exactly the lines would be drawn. And becoming a bird of prey, or something? Phoebe admitted to being nervous, given she has already been voted out of this tribe once before, though was hopeful to scrape through again. Moana on the flipside was unsure why she was targeted at the last tribal council, leading to Phoebe brutally eviscerating her, sharing that she became a target because she socially isolated herself on the original Vakama and sat alone in the shelter. Oh and she was targeting her. Moana defended herself as being quiet before Phoebe spoke about being swap screwed, thanks in no small part thanks to Moana shit talking her to anyone and everyone. Nick admitted to just wanting tribal cohesion, before Moana interrupted proceedings to assure everyone that she doesn’t have an issue with Phoebe and everyone insinuating it is driving her mental.

Sharn calmed things down and shared that her vote was all about building relationships before David decided to put on a bit of a show, pulling out his idol – well, one of – and telling everyone that he is out of play tonight and that he would burn his tribal and play it tonight. While Phoebe called him out given he was safe, Nick reminded everyone that pulling it out doesn’t necessarily mean he will play. With that the tribe went off to vote, Nick cast his second vote and David held on to both of his hidden immunity idols. As the votes were tallied, they piled up at five apiece on both Mo and Phoebe, much to the confusion of the tribe, given there are only nine people in the tribe. This meant that everyone had to revote and with Nick’s second vote out of play, Sharn flipped her vote to avoid rocks and joined David, Jaqcui, Zach and Tarzan to boot Phoebe from the game pre-merge. Again.


I honestly think this is the worst reaction that I have ever in the history of my reality TV commiseration meals. As soon as I saw her walk into Loser Lodge, I dropped the glass I was holding and screamed for what felt like an eternity. I then threw my arms back, started spinning on the spot and asked the ether what they were waiting for.

I then realised that I had gone full Jennifer Love Hewitt, asked Pheebs to slap some sense into me and then collapsed into her arms and sobbed uncontrollably. I mean, Phoebe, icon of the game and killer player, once again found herself booted pre-merge again. AGAIN?! It literally took all the strength I had in me to make my way into the kitchen and plate up a deliciously crisp,medium-rare – and what I assumed would be the victory meal – Phoebeef Wellingtimmins without making the pastry soggy with my tears.

 

 

Delicate and flaky on the outside, rich, robust and full of flavour on the inside, there is nothing better than a beef wellington. The perfectly cooked piece of beef, generously slathered in mushroom and wrapped in prosciutto? It is simply put, perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Phoebeef Wellingtimmins
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 x 200g beef fillets
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
50g butter
250g mushrooms, finely, finely diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
100ml dry white wine
12 slices prosciutto
4 slices puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat oven to 200C.

Place the fillets on a lined baking sheet and rub with olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and leave to cook for fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven to cool, then transfer to the fridge while you prep the rest.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil and the butter in a large skillet and cook the mushrooms for about ten minutes, or until very soft. Add the thyme and cook for a further minute before adding the white wine, bringing to the boil and reducing to a simmer for a further ten minutes. Remove from the pan to cool completely.

Once both components are chill, lay the prosciutto out in overlapping groups of three on a chopping board. Spread with half the mushroom, top with the fillets and smear with the remaining mushroom. Roll each group into a tight bundle, leaving you with four, meaty mounds. Is this Drag Race?

Place the sheets of puff pastry on a work surface and top with the aforementioned meaty mounds. Brush the far end of each with the egg and roll and fold until you have a beautiful little pastry pocket, using as much or as little creative flair as you like. I was sad to see Phoebe go pre-merge – FUCKING AGAIN –  and as such, channelled my pain into some creativity.

Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with egg and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Allow to stand for five minutes before devouring, with some comforting Gabriel Mash.

 

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Mushroom & Turka Pattitis

Main, Poultry

Not only is Taika one of the most beautiful men I’ve been lucky to have a fling with, he is also insanely talented, intelligent, hilarious and caring. And now the man has a freaking Oscar? I can’t. Honestly every time I dwell on that thought for more than a second, I started to well up with pride and joy, in equal measure. Despite his victory costing Greta Gerwig – who I really need to see ASAP – once again.

As soon as he landed in Brisbane, I ran onto the tarmac, jimmied open the plane and pulled him in for the biggest, most celebratory hug you could imagine. While I was then detained by police for breaking hundreds of security protocols, Taika being a total babe, bailed me out and drove me back to my house while I made out with his Oscar like Bong had gotten a hold of us.

Once inside, I broke down in tears and told him how proud I was. And how grateful I was that The Suicide Squad production could be paused to celebrate with me.

That being said, I didn’t tell him that it was actually Margot that hooked us up with the down time. But anyway …

Once inside, we laughed, we cried and I desperately tried to get him to write a new gay, weak and chubby version of Thor to debut in the next movie. While he may have been non-committal, he was still so kind and asked me to send him videos of me fleshing out the character – sicko – before we sat down to demolish some Mushroom & Turka Pattitis.

 

 

Light and fresh, packing a very herby punch, these patties are the perfect accompaniment to a salad. Or thrown on a burg. Or topping a garlicky mash and drowned in gravy. Or paired with a muffin, egg and cheese. It can do anything. And by that, it is versatile … like Taika and I.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mushroom & Turka Pattitis
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil, to taste
250g mushrooms, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g turkey mince
2 tbsp chives, sliced
1 egg
1 cups breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp ground chilli

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool slightly.

Once cooled, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and scrunch together with your hands until well combined. Shape into 8 patties, place on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with a salad. Or all of the potential options I listed earlier. I’m too lazy to list them again.

 

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Veal Tatiana Marsala

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After catching up with Chris and Riz to kick off this year’s Emmy Gold celebration Golden Family, I got to thinking about how sometimes the Academy just truly gets it right. When it isn’t given Modern Family Best Comedy for way too many years, for instance.

One of those right times is when my dear friend and mentee Tatiana Maslany finally snatched gold for Orphan Black. I mean, she straight up slayed multiple roles for five years on Orphan Black and honestly could have been nominated against herself for each damn performance.

As you can guess from the mentee comment I’ve known Tatiana for years, first meeting when I was a primary school teacher in Regina, Canada. I immediately saw a ferocious talent and encouraged her to give drama a try.

Given that advice gave her a lifetime of happiness, we stayed in touch – you could say I was a cool teacher – and I have been guiding her career ever since.

While we haven’t caught up in a hot minute, Tatiana was honoured to join this patch of cyberspace and help me run a myriad of Emmy odds to help me get out of debt with my bookie. As Drag Race superfans, we both firmly believe Ru will take out victory for Best Competition Program again. She was too scared to disagree when I said that it was Amy Lou Sedaris’ DAMN TIME and she will win Outstanding Variety Sketch Series whether they like it or not. A game of eenie meenie saw her backing Colbert for Variety Talk, while I landed on Samantha Bee.

Then we got to the pointy end of the show with the female Drama categories. While I desperately tried to convince her that Lena Headey MUST win for literally drinking wine and gazing out a window for three episodes – “People need to know that is a real fucking career option, Tatiana!” – she believed that Gwendoline Christie will instead take Supporting for her heartbreaking portrayal of Brienne of Tarth. We both agreed once again, however, that Jodie Comer is likely to follow in her co-star Sandra Oh’s footsteps to claim lead Actress in a Drama.

It was an exhausting and at times fiery discussion, which desperately took it out of us and as such, we nearly screamed for joy as a popped some Veal Tatiana Marsala on the table in front of us.

 

 

The kick of marsala with the smooth, melt-in-your-mouth veal and the rich punch of cream are a trio that make me infinitely happy. Add in the perennially delightful nature of pasta and you’re on a winner with this.

Enjoy!

 

 

Veal Tatiana Marsala

Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g fettuccine, cooked per packet instructions
50g butter
500g veal, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, to taste
flour, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup marsala
¾ cup cream
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups baby spinach

Method
While you’ve got a pot of water rolicking for the pasta, place the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook until foamy. Add the veal, garlic and flour and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to brown. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Pour the marsala into the pan in one go and stir as it simmers and thickens. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sporadically, for a further five minutes.

When the pasta is cooked, add the parmesan and spinach to the creamy veal pan and cook for a further minute, or until wilted.

Serve immediately on a bed of pasta and devour.

 

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Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles awaiting my dear Sarah Ayles to eat while I rant about Andy surviving.

Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Jonathan threw a spanner in all of the works, forcing everyone to drop their buffs – sadly not John’s speedos, though – and switched up the tribes. The three Champion women lucked out and stayed strong together in a Champ majority on the new Contenders tribe, while David and Luke were royally screwed as the only OG Champs remaining on the Champions tribe. Oh and Daisy and Shaun’s alliance was also split up, though that only became relevant after the new Champions continued in the tradition and lost immunity. You see Shaun had told Andy about his idol, who then spread the information to the rest of the Contenders on the Champions tribe, with Daisy overhearing and deciding that he is no longer to be trusted. With that, she approached  John and Baden to flip to David and Luke with her and blindside Sam – who never got a freaking confessional – which they did, leaving the OG Champs alive for another episode with an idol in each of their pockets.

We opened up with at the new Contenders tribe where Abbey, Ross and Pia were still lamenting the downgrade of facilities from what they were useful at Camp Champ. While the girls struggled in the squalor, sweet angel Ross tried to find the bright side and honestly he is too pure for this world. I just get the goofiest grin whenever he is on screen and I hope he knows how much I appreciate him.The tribe sat around bonding and downing coconuts, while Janine was thrilled to have the majority on her new tribe. Though was struggling big time when it came to remembering Casey’s name. Or was it Cassie. Talk then legit turned to eating Harry, despite his fake child at home. Pia’s serving suggestion was to turn him into a kebab. Harry then vowed that he will be taking control of the tribe and was thrilled that Luke or David likely went home at last night’s tribal.

Speaking of the new Champions tribe, Andy – who looks more like Sonic the Hedgehog than the original movie version that they’re currently fixing – was still shell-shocked by the blindside while David was thrilled to have found his way into the new majority so quickly, thanks to Daisy’s vendetta against Sam. Desperate Andy approached David to pretend that he was trying to protect David at the last tribal and honestly, the desperation reeks of insincerity and I need him out ASAP. And if that performance keeps up, I think I’ll get my wish. Sarah too was seething after the previous vote, so approached Hannah to float the idea of wooing Baden back to their side to get rid of Daisy in a revenge plot which sadly seems shortsighted given the Contenders early domination. Shortsighted but good TV.

Jonathan summoned the tribes to a rolling river where the Contenders were shocked to find Sam was booted the night before, none more so than Harry who had just felt confident enough to get arrogant. But back to the challenge where someone from each tribe who swim against the flowing river, with the last person staying in the marked zone winning a point for the tribe. First to three winning a Survivor cafe experience, so everyone was as thrilled as I was given swimming calls for speedos. Once again Luke and Matt faced off against each other, with Matt making quick work of Luke. Again. Leading to even more arrogance from Matt. Ross and Baden went next and despite starting strong, poor Baden wasn’t a chance against the surfing champ. Janine got out strong against Andy, until the current washed her away and Andy – urgh – got the Champions on the board. Abbey and Daisy proved an interesting match up, with both women working hard as Daisy drifted into Abbey’s lane and Abbey almost wiped Daisy off the course before ultimately, Daisy won the point and tied things up. The final match-up between Hannah and Casey was far less interesting, as Hannah washed right out of the field giving Casey the point and handing victory to the new Contenders.

The Contenders arrived at their cafe reward where Shaun was thrilled to finally take out a reward, Casey got her first confessional and Matt was struggling to understand why he wasn’t miserable. While everyone was frothing over the food, King Ross smashed four coffees and quickly started to lose his mind before having a power spew and coming back for seconds. Harry meanwhile wasn’t so thrilled and couldn’t move past the fact that Sam was voted out, while Abbey and Janine quickly got all of the information out of Harry and Casey, finding out Sam and Daisy didn’t get along, meaning Harry likely won’t work with Daisy or her ally Shaun. While Harry desperately tried to make in rounds with the former Champs, he didn’t look to be having much luck and felt on the outs with his new closest ally Casey. The latter however had other plans, leaving him for dead and buddying up to Janine, Pia and Abbey to try and save herself while Harry wandered around until he found the damn idol.

And while it is exciting for him, I just want to know what happened to his eye and if it is what happened to Benji’s last year as it looks angry.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where two people from each tribe would be placed in chambers while their remaining tribemates would race over balance beams to collect buckets of water from the ocean to fill up the other tribe’s chambers. Given poor Sarah can’t catch a break, she was submerged in one of the Champion chambers with Hannan in the other while Casey and Pia were the potential drowning victims for the Contenders. It is pretty hard to tell who is leading at any given moment, so let’s focus on the fact Hannah seems super fun and entertaining and I hate that she is the last person remaining without a confessional. Pia was the first to be completely submerged, followed closely by Hannah while the two desperately tried to keep their noses above water before Hannah and Pia dropped out one after the other, leaving Casey and Sarah to battle it out. Tragically Sarah fought valiantly however it wasn’t enough as the Contenders kept a steady flow of water going into her bath forcing her to bow out, handing victory to the Contenders.

Back at camp the Champions assured each other that they did all that they could at the challenge before Andy tried to find a way to live to see another day. He then approached David as, to quote him, David is smart for a model and he himself is scary smart, so he thinks they will make good allies. Sadly for Andy, David could see through all of his lies though given he holds the power, he doesn’t really mind. Yet. He rallied his allies and suggested they get rid of Sarah, given she isn’t as agile as Hannah with everyone jumping on the plan quickly. Andy left the group and approached Sarah to see what she was thinking, with Sarah suggesting going to the top of the totem pole and get rid of Daisy. Andy then ran back to the shelter, lay next to Daisy and told her what Sarah and Hannah were planning, filling the icon with rage.

Sarah then wandered over to Baden and Luke at the well, telling them that Andy threw her under the bus before David and Hannah joined them. Sarah asked David what his plans were, with him admitting that he was going to vote her out … though would happily turn on Andy instead. David then said Andy was playing so badly he was planting landmines, forgetting where they were and then blowing himself off all up the beach and I LIVE. Daisy and Sarah then caught up with Daisy suggesting that she would be willing to get rid of Andy instead. The only certainty as they headed off to tribal council, is that once again David and Luke are safe and their two idols will remain in the pockets for another episode.

At tribal council Andy tried to downplay how shocked he was by Sam’s blindside before Jonathan congratulated David on surviving the insurmountable odds. David downplayed the OG tribes, reminding everyone it is a new game and they are one unit. Sarah admitted that the lines were well and truly blurred, while Daisy reminded them it is eat or be eaten. Hannah admitted it is too hard to trust anyone in a long term way, while Sarah alluded to Andy continuing to play the middle and Luke blurted out that there was some madness back at camp. Andy tried to be coy about the situation, where he shoved his hole leg in his mouth which everyone was aware of, before Sarah verbalised that she is the one that walked up on Andy’s dick move with the Sonic impersonator getting more and more nervous. Wait, no, cocky, as his fuck-up is only an issue for Sarah. John told everyone to pull their heads in, Andy spoke about the importance of trust – much to John’s disgust – while Sarah sounded defeated, warning them to all keep one eye open.

With that the tribe voted and despite me crossing everything in my body, praying to a wide range of deities and promising not to cuss anyone out tomorrow for asking stupid questions, it was my dear Sarah who was booted from the game as low-rent Sonic sped to smug another day.

Once again, I was a giant ball of rage as Sarah entered Loser Lodge and fearing that I was on the brim of freaking out, she took me in her arms and told me to breath through the pain. She assured me she was proud of the game she played, and glad to prove herself and while I fought back tears thinking of all the ways the game has tried to bring up memories of the tsunami for her and the fake that yet another woman was booted over a smug, beige male, I realised that all we needed – Sarah, I and the world at large – was a big comforting Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles to dull the pain.

 

Sarah Ayles joyfully eating Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles while I rant about Andy surviving.

 

Thankfully this rich casserole is glorious enough to wipe away some of the pain of seeing this icon leave the game. Earthy lamb, the tang of ale and the sharpness of some gruyere work together in perfect harmony to honour the ultimate survivor of this season who deserved so much better. #Justice4Sarah

Enjoy!

 

Sarah Ayles joyfully eating Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles while I rant about Andy surviving.

 

Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1.5kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 tbsp flour
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp tomato paste
345ml bottle ale
2 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette, sliced
100g gruyere cheese, grated
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to serve

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and carrot for five minutes, or until your kitchen is hella fragranced. Add the lamb and cook for a further five minutes or so before adding the flour and cooking off for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, mustard, tomato paste, ale, stock, bay leaves, muscovado sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Once the casserole is thick and gloopy, top with the baguette and all of the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is golden and glorious.

Sprinkle with parsley, serve and devour.

 


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Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto

Main, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water

I know I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to the twist of the upcoming season of Survivor but I am still excited because, well, it is Survivor. And for every One World or Redemption Island, there is a China or Heroes vs. Villians, which is something I am eternally grateful for. Plus – One World gave us Kim and Redemption Island gave us Russell’s pimpled, ingrown-haired armpits.

But I’ve been waylaid – I am here to celebrate one of my favourite Sole Survivors slash two-time The Amazing Race contestant and the cherry on top of San Juan Del Sur’s twinnie bookends, my girl Natalie Anderson.

Like Bob before her, I didn’t meet Nat until after her first reality TV stint – I am a close, personal friend of the Beekman’s – however the friendship quickly blossomed. And I played a critical role in getting her a spot on San Juan Del Sur and her well deserved win.

While people tire of the constant bartering and handing out rewards as treats, San Juan Del Sur is an unpredictable season and Natalie’s arc from wounded surviving Twinnie to vengeful powerplayer after Jeremy’s boot is one of the greats.

Add to that a beautiful idol play, a masterful ‘accidental’ blindside to save Keith and dragging him along as a meatshield to guarantee a path to the end puts her in my top ten favourite winners. And more than worthy of a hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto whenever she damn wants!

 

 

There is nothing quite as comforting and glorious as a risotto. I don’t know if it is the creamy rice or the liquor, but it always fills me with joy when I’m feeling blue. Add in mushies and bacon, and I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat and heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Once nice and foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant and glorious.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get translucent around the edges. Working a ladleful at a time, add the stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, waiting until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Once all the stock has been used up, add the mushrooms, spinach and thyme, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir through the parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, slathered in more cheese and then devour.

 

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Novak Gnoccovich

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Novie is just the sweetest damn thing in the world.

He ran into my arms at the secret security exit of Brisbane Airport – the one made famous by Schapelle Corby, FYI – and said, “I’m so glad you invited me to appear on your anthropological study! I feel like time spent with you will be what pushes me to another grand slam victory.”

I mean, come on. That is adorable and brings a tear to my cold dead heart.

I’ve known Novak for years, meeting in 2005 at the Australian Open. As you know, I am well respected in the tennis community and I was on hand to offer unsolicited advice to people that lost their matches. To help them be better, you know?

While most people balked at my advice and labelled it useless, ill conceived and offensive, Novak appreciated my efforts and we became the best of friends. Well second-best of friends, because Rog.

Nov hasn’t had the best run at the last couple of Opens so was excited by the prospect of my magic touch helping him to glory and hand him the Male Singles record outright. And given how magical my Novak Gnoccovich is, I have a good feeling he’ll be taking out the win.

 

 

Earthy mushrooms and delicate gnocchi bathed in a rich creamy sauce … and THEN covered by a tonne of parmesan and cut by lemon juice. It is heaven. HEAVEN I tell you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Novak Gnoccovich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter
500g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup ricotta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
500g fresh gnocchi
parmesan, to garnish

Method
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally for ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Add the remaining butter and flour and cook for a minute, or until it has lost its flouriness.

Remove from the heat and slowly stir through the chicken stock. Return to heat and bring to the boil, before reducing heat to low and simmering for ten minutes. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, sage and chilli, and cook for a further five minutes.

At this point, cook the gnocchi as per the packet instructions or recipe. Once done, drain and add to the creamy sauce. Serve immediately and top with a generous handful of parmesan.

Devour!

 

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