Pheko Phettata

Breakfast, Main, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa 20 castaways from seasons past relit their torches for a shot at redemption and an even bigger prize. Split based on their placement in their original seasons, the post-merge returnees on Masu quickly stamped their name on the contest and easily took out reward. Sadly for them, that was as far as it went as Yontau dominated the first immunity challenge and protected Seamus from going the way of Francesqua. Yontau was nearly split down the middle, with a trio of pairs aligning against the Season 6 castaways. And Tejan. However that was all for nought as Chappies was sprung hunting for a hidden immunity idol in the middle of the night, with his ally Dante leading the charge to send our iconic Nude King Chappies from the game.

The next day his duo Steffi was feeling isolated after being left out of the loop for the first time in her Survivor career. On the flipside, Palesa was thrilled to be in the majority for once. She opened up about her surprise at Tevin giving her the idol, knowing it could help solidify things with the other tribe after the swap. Given she isn’t overly comfortable with the current majority, which is a trademark good read from Palesa. Speaking of which, Marian was catching up with Dante and Meryl and locking in the plan for their original alliance and flipping on the alliance with Season 6. Likely making them wish they only played poker together, rather than getting inked. Shane meanwhile was disappointed by the blindside and almost being voted out, though after Marian caught him up on all the drama – and how she protected him – he was well and truly feeling better.

Over at Yontau the tribe were living their best lives, except for Tania who was disappointed in Pinty and her general selfishness when it comes to food. After she quietly complained to Phil, the tribe went for a walk down along the beach leaving Thoriso to look for the idol. And when Tania and Killarney caught her, she told them not to worry about her given Tevin had already found it as she watched on. Which obviously spread like wildfire and eventually made its way to Tevin who was surprisingly chill, instead only concerned by the fact that perception is reality and he now has to navigate it, rather than say, seek out revenge on Thoriso ASAP.

The tribes reconvened with zaddy Nico for the immunity challenge where Yontau were gagged to see Chappies had been voted out. But back to the challenge. Five castaways from each tribe will race out in the water one at a time to retrieve a fish trap holding balls before the rest of the tribe wheel them back in. And once all the balls have been retrieved, they will shoot them into a trough with the first to land them all jagging immunity and reward, in the form of an epic fishing kit. Pinty got Yontau out to a very early lead while Masu struggled to figure out the winch system. Lucky for them, Tevin struggled in the water allowing them to close the gap slightly but TBH, it was still a blow out despite Shane working overtime shooting half of the Masu balls as Dino secured immunity for Yontau.

More importantly, we won as Dante rocked his speedo during the challenge.

Back at camp Yontau were thrilled to take out victory and while they were all happy, Tevin killed the vibe by calling out people speculating about him having an idol. Tania being the absolute sweetest took the fall and said she had been speculating about it only and while I love her for doing it, I feel like this is coming back to bite her. With that, Tevin pointed out the symbols around camp to everyone and then led the tribe on an idol hunt with Seamus successfully jagging it. Though disappointed everyone knew, rendering it powerless. But you know, at least he has it for the next tribal council should they go, since it expires after then.

Later that day, Pinty snuck off by herself to smash a secret coconut before coming back to camp to cuss out Tania for calling her out for eating more than everyone else. She then stormed off in the darkness to go hunt for mussels while the tribe rallied around Tania and assured her they agreed, though they weren’t really open to calling Pinty out and creating tension. No doubt since none of them want to miss the merge a second time by rocking the boat like Pinty.

We checked in with Masu where Palesa was frustrated by their loss and wanted to focus on keeping the tribe strong, rather than sticking with her alliances. Toni and PK meanwhile were desperate to get rid of Marian given she isn’t overly strong and not open with them about her gameplay. As Toni caught up with Steffi and suggested Marian be the one to go, Marian quietly watched on and knew she had to get to work and prove Toni wrong. Steffi immediately approached an upset Marian, who opened up to her about how she is in so much pain due to her vitiligo and being in the sun. And damn, I am loving Steffi this season as she quietly held Marian and raised her up. Toni meanwhile continued to go person to person talking about how weak Marian is, with Palesa happy to sit back and let her take the lead.

Well, until she disagrees with a decision.

Marian, Steffi, Meryl and Dante caught up to figure out the counterplan, with Meryl wanting to focus on Toni given she can morph into her role within the tribe. Though she was willing to wait it out, given there should be another opportunity and as such, she was fine to tow the line and get rid of PK. Dante opened up about wanting to play a more active game this go around, so led the charge to rally said vote against PK before dropping by to chat to Toni and pretend he was keen to get rid of Marian. 

Oh and then Marian straight up found a diplomatic immunity idol, which just means she can elect to join the other tribe at tribal council – or send someone else from the tribe – before they vote. And while that is risky, that could be super useful post-swap, which is exactly how she sold it to her delighted allies.

At tribal council Steffi spoke about the tribe being struck down with a case of the alphas and as such, every time they compete, everyone is jockeying to lead rather than working together. Shane agreed and suggested that the one true leader needs to emerge and make decisions for them, which is advice that I’m not exactly sure will fix things. Dante spoke about the pre-season relationships playing a role in decision making, which annoyed Toni and PK who fired up and said people need to move on from their matching tattoos they got after their first season (essentially). Palesa meanwhile downplayed past relationships and instead spoke about the real issue being everyone is trying to run from their past games and as such, creating a lot of uncertainty.

Dante spoke about making the decision that will help them win challenges, which doesn’t necessarily mean physical strength. This led to Marian opening up about her emotional breakdown and that Steffi was the only one to comfort her, leading to Toni once again firing up and saying she never even saw it. And the fact Marian also never even spoke to her today, so she wasn’t ostracising her. Meryl admitted she didn’t speak to everyone either, though she spoke to people that were privy to other plans. Shane spoke about making decisions based on sticking with the majority, which everyone agreed was their plan, meaning half the tribe are about to be blindsided.

With that the tribe votes and Shane was one of the people that actually landed in the majority as the Breakfast Club banded together to take out PK. As Toni watched on in tears, kinda proving their decision right, given how close they are. Which is something PK agreed with as he arrived at Loser Lodge and I entered into my usual post-boot peptalk. Like Chappies before him, the odds were always stacked against PK going into the season due to his bonds and being a massive threat. Which seemed to be enough to cheer him up as we smashed a Pheko Phettata (but sadly only a Pheko Phettata).

Light, fluffy and a little bit spicy, this little Mexican inspired frittata is the perfect way to start the day. Or close out your second Survivor journey. Or for any reason, TBH.

Enjoy!

Pheko Phettata
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 chorizo, sliced into coins
1 potato, cut into 1cm dice
1 red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
400g red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
a small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
6 eggs
½ cup cream
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Pop a frying pan over medium heat and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes, or until the onion starts to ooze. Add the potato and onion and cook, stirring, for a further five minutes. Add the garlic and beans and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.

Transfer the mixture into a greased pie dish. Whisk together the eggs, cream, parmesan, hot sauce and a good whack of salt and pepper. Pour over the chorizo and potato mixture, followed by another sprinkling of cheese.

Pop the frittata in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until golden, puffed and cooked through. Allow to rest for five minutes before transferring to a plate and devouring. Joyously.


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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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Nachoey Cheese McCann

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Cheese, Condiment, Dip, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Brawns continued their reward streak and to make matters worse for Andrew, he got whacked in the nads while losing another challenge. Meanwhile Simon found not one but two idols in the space of mere minutes and obviously grew in confidence. Shocking everyone Brawn turned things around, bucking tradition and winning their second immunity challenge. Back at camp George decided his best chance of survival was to target Laura while Joey locked the alliance’s vote on George. Until, you know, he walked into camp wearing an idol, and as such, Joey flipped things on Mitch instead, booting him from the game and flushing George’s idol with it.

We first checked in with the Brawns tribe where spiders were nesting in Shannon’s knickers. While that alone is concerning, the scariest part is the fact they were holding their own shape. Before we could explore that further, Flick explained that the tribe were living their best lives, focused on training to keep their winning streak up. Speaking of winning, Simon was thrilled to secure himself a path to the endgame with his two idols. That being said, Gerald knew about the idols and was extremely focused on getting him out toot suite. Gerald checked in with my Queens Kez and Flick, spilling all the deets on the idol. And just like that, the trio got to work planning to raise Simon up so that he was so confident that they could blindside him.

Over at Brains the tribe were soberly eating their prison food, with Rachel only happy with the fact she drew a line in the sand with George at the last tribal council. And well, let’s just say that George now had Rachel in his sights. His first move was to confront her in front of everyone and when she was unapologetic, they fought. With Laura and Rachel then muttering about him. It was a move, but I never said it was a wise one. We finally go to learn more about Cara, who in addition to real estate and her empathic abilities, is an expert in meteorology. And well, she and George have really been vibing and she is confident in her abilities to temper his worst impulses and keep things tight, hopefully going to the end together.

Joey meanwhile was growing cocky, catching up with Laura and Andrew to laugh about how screwed the minority are now that they’ve taken control. Which is never an endearing look.

Jonathan made his triumphant return to our screen for the reward challenge where the tribes would weave through a series of obstacles while tethered to a rope before digging up sandbags and tossing them to smash six targets. For choccy milk and lamingtons, which again, bloody iconic combo from the reward team. Brains quickly got out to an early lead, given their smaller bodies made it easier to work through the obstacles. Sadly Cara started to struggle, tying things up for the tribes. And well, then George and Wai literally tied themselves into a knot and well, all appeared to be lost for the Brains. As Rachel screamed at George from the side of the course, Emmett started to taste the chocolate milk in his mind. Then Joey and Andrew happened, smashing target after target in quick succession before Brawns had a last minute surge, stealing victory out from underneath the Brains.

Wanting to create some drama, Jonathan offered the Brawns the chance to invite one of the Brains over to share the reward with the Brawns opting for Joey, hoping his big mouth will give them enough information to create drama post swap.

The Brawns and Joey arrived at their bush cafe, with Joey continuing to be loud and energetic, unaware that they invited him over solely because of that. As everyone smashed their lamingtons and milk, Simon asked the obvious question, how in the hell did he land on the Brains tribe? While Simon softened him up with compliments, the girls went in for the kill, asking what happened at the previous tribal council and why George didn’t go since he clearly hates him. And well, once he popped he didn’t stop. Making Flick a very happy girl with all the free flowing information.

Back at Camp Brains, the tribe were heartbroken to have come so close to winning again with Wai promising to try her best in the next challenge. As everyone assured her that she is valued, Rachel opened up and said that George bitching about the tribe in front of the Brawns isn’t helpful before a challenge and creates disharmony, distracting from the task at hand. This obviously pissed off George, who stormed off with Georgia sent to follow him and try to keep him in check. The one positive of the scene is that we then finally learnt more about Georgia, who was using her forensic psychologist background to try and understand George a bit better. Sadly for her, all it did was piss him off, making her the new biggest target in his eyes.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the Brains were delighted to see a puzzle was in the mix, while the Brawns were obviously terrified. For the challenge, the tribe would paddle a boogie board out to an apparatus to release five keys before getting wheeled back in, one at a time. They would then use the keys to release puzzle pieces and then, you know, solve the puzzle. Importantly, Simon is in his speedo. As is oft the case, the Brawns got out to a sizable lead at the start of the challenge, powering through the physical side of things. While George reminded the Brains not to worry, given they have a puzzle to sort things out again. Sadly with Wai on the bench they had no real leader in the puzzle which allowed Simon to direct his tribe to yet another victory. 

Back at camp the tribe joined together to lament their loss, while George knew that his luck was about to run out. Joey meanwhile was feeling super confident, joyfully swimming in the billabong with Georgia and Laura, talking about how much better things will be once George is gone. That being said, this is Survivor and when people’s backs are against the wall, they get crafty. George joined with Cara, Baden and Wai, identifying Georgia as their best chance to get out. But to do that, he needs some luck. As such, he and Cara went hunting for idols and while the cool kids mocked them from the billabong, Queen Cara took the throne, finding her first idol. And you best believe she was ready to do whatever necessary to keep her alliance safe.

Cara, George, Wai and Baden caught up again, with George quickly suggesting she play the idol for him given he is their only target and as such, they can take out Georgia instead. That however made Cara nervous that the other alliance could opt to change the vote to her and as such, she wasn’t sure whether it was worth the risk.

Laura meanwhile started to grow suspicious about George or Cara finding the idol, rallying the troops to float the idea of splitting the vote JIC. That being said, there is no way they can do that without flipping someone over. And instead of getting Baden or Cara, Joey decided the Wai was the best idea, given she is logical. He, Cara and Hayley pulled her aside and while they were confident they did enough to charm her over to their side, she wasn’t sure who to go with. You know, since the person that saved her on day two is also the most volatile person in the game. 

She took the information to George and admitted she was thinking about flipping and as such, he emotionally begged her to cast him aside after this tribal council, not before. With that Cara, Baden and George got together, with George assuring her that he wants her to play the idol for herself and only herself. Before they decided the wisest move was to put on a massive display of pass-the-parcel with the idol and once they’re all confused, hope Wai is spooked back to their side.

At tribal council Cara kicked off the proceedings by wearing her hidden immunity idol, with George suggesting he may have something up his sleeve too. Joey wasn’t sure what the plan was with Cara’s idol, though he desperately just wanted to get rid of George. Aka the bad egg. Cara then continued to earn her Queen crown, admitting the tribe have nothing in common and as such, she is struggling to deal with the people that aren’t wanting to work together to let people flourish. As Wai started talking, the theatre commenced, with Cara whispering in Baden’s ear before passing the idol over to him.

While Hayley admitted their game was making her nervous, her alliance have definitely come up with a couple of different plans to counteract whatever they’re doing. George admitted that while he desperately wants to win the game, when watching Wai struggle on day two, he realised that winning at all costs was not him and as such, he is happy to exit the game with his head held high. George admitted there is no hope for him before Wai and Rachel admitted that there is a lot of tension in the tribe, but more importantly, Baden passed the idol off to Geroge. Wai spoke about the alliances changing day by day, admitting it has definitely changed for her from day two to now. This elicited more compliments from George, successfully guilting the hell out of Wai.

With that the tribe voted – Wai for George, calling him out for holding the day two stuff over her head like parents that tell their kids they should be grateful they have a roof over their head – before Cara played her idol for George. And oh God, Queen Cara, no. The votes rolled in for Cara and Georgia, ending in a 3-3 tie. As such, the tribe revoted and poor Queen Cara found her torch being snuffed. But gagatondra, all was not as it seemed, as she found a Brawn buff on her way out the door, directing her to head over to Brawn and join the new tribe.

As she stumbled through the bush in absolute darkness, she eventually arrived at her new camp and proceeded to dive on to her campmates. Startling them awake, either delighting or enraging them. Or potentially a bit of both.

We checked in with team Brains the next day, where George suggested that putting snake skin on a tree was the cause of all of their misfortune. As such, he removed it and tried to stay quiet while the majority rejoiced in their growing power. Joey spoke about the excitement of the last tribal council, despite the fact George was still in the tribe. Joey went to Laura and Andrew, pledging his undying allegiance to them and Georgia, meaning Hayley, Rachel and Wai were just numbers waiting around to be picked off after George and Baden. Speaking of George, he was heartbroken to have lost his best friend Cara, however was immensely grateful that she gave up her game for his.

Oh and now George was over Wai, given she betrayed the good guys.

Despite not being able to look at her for hours and hours, he eventually pulled Wai aside to find out why she turned on him. Wai called him out for being volatile and how it is hard to be around and as such, she opted for the more peaceful path. While George argued that he was iced out by Joey from day one, Wai still couldn’t see the value of realigning with him. Particularly because she doesn’t like to feel indebted to him for the entire game because she is playing her own, damnit. Like a queen.

The next morning Cara was getting a deep dive on the Brawn tribe as Simon sexily walked out of the billabong in a speedo and the rest worked out. Oh and then she got food with flavour, and ate off crockery. There were blankets, dance class and well, the Brains are dead to her. Officially. And she looks forward to spilling the tea on Joey and Laura’s bullshit to everyone that will listen.

With that, she pulled all the Brawns around to talk about how awful they are, while playing up how loyal George is. As she continued to talk smack, Simon quickly deduced that she has no intention of aligning with any Brains and as such, he can pull her in and take control of the tribe. Particularly since she just wants to raise people up. Sadly for him, Shannon also identified her as a priority ally and quickly went walking for firewood for her to bond.

The tribes reconvened to meet Jonathan where the Brains were gagged to see that Cara was still in the game, none more delighted to see her than George. Meanwhile Joey looked ready to kill and Rache continued to try in vain to get George to stop talking shit about the tribe. Cara meanwhile said that she was thrilled to finally be on a tribe with heart, while Simon agreed that she was a very welcome addition. In any event, this week’s reward challenge would require everyone to hold a barrel of water up with a tribe out if any person drops their bucket. Though they can pass their bucket off to others. Oh AND it was for BBQ. As you can imagine, this challenge isn’t overly exciting to write about however after Wai and Shannon tapped out, the latter used it as a chance to woo Cara who was sitting out of the challenge. Sadly for her though, Simon was watching the entire interaction.

Just as I say it isn’t exciting to write about, Chelsea accidently took her hand off a ring while passing one along and got herself eliminated from the challenge. And just like that, Brains were well positioned for victory. She was followed out by Dani before Gerald started to struggle under the weight of two buckets, as did Daini and Flick. After what felt like an eternity of struggle, poor Gerald couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping the buckets and handing Brains their first ever reward. Leaving Cara to once again starve.

Oh and was the snake skin actually cursed? I don’t want to say George was right, but George is probably right.

Back at camp Brains, the tribe were delighted to see their abundant feast awaiting them, quickly firing up the barbie and smashing everything in sight. We then learnt Laura is into angel golden showers, while George was just thrilled by how great he did in the reward. Talk soon turned to Cara surviving the previous tribal council and joining Brawn, with Joey disappointed to not be able to take out another target. As such, Joey followed Baden into the water and quickly got to work teeing up a new alliance. Tragically for the former though, it was right in front of Hayley who decided now was the time to make a move and take control of the tribe.

Slay Queen Hayley.

Over at the Brawn camp, the tribe lamented their loss while Kez encouraged everyone to just keep going. Gerald on the other hand was heartbroken to have lost the challenge for the tribe and as such, felt like a target. Cara tried to rally everyone around, putting her empath powers to use. She then straight up identified Daini’s broken jaw and Shannon’s reproductive concerns and damn, she is a witch. While everyone else was crying, moved by the experience, Simon was more focused on trying to build his own bond with her before they go to the next challenge.

As such, he asked when older women go through menopause, implying she is old and just, no. Simon, no.

My love Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would race up a ramp to collect ropes, build a bridge with them, cross said bridge, climb a tower and retrieve an idol and then work through obstacles before untying a platform which they need to use to lift the idol up and hook it in a cage. Oh and in addition to the challenge, Jonathan announced that a hidden immunity idol is at the end of the course and if they want it, they can go for it. Though risk annoying their tribe, obvi.

While Brains started strong, the Brawns quickly pulled away before George disappeared to make a snatch for the idol. Sadly for him, Hayley and Gerald quickly joined him, with Queen Hayley snatching it and returning everyone’s focus back to the challenge. While Brawn was still out in front, Hayley worked furiously to make up for slowing them down. Again both tribes somehow caught up at the end, but they were no match for Cara who played a calm, critical role in helping Brawn secure another immunity win.

Back at camp Joey was very blasé about the loss before Rachel encouraged everyone to go for a swim to get all the dust off themselves. As she and the alliance of four caught up, Joey obviously suggested they finally get rid of George. As everyone agreed the tribe will be so much calmer without him, Joey suggested that they split the vote between George and Wai just in case he has an idol. Everyone joined back up at camp, with George congratulating Hayley on snagging the idol and cheekily asking if she would play it for him. Which Joey felt was insufferable, though Hayley did slyly suggest that anything is possible.

Preparing for his inevitable boot, George once again wandered around looking for a miracle. He first tried for the boldest, pulling Joey and Laura aside to float other names that would be decent targets given there are weaker people in the tribe. Like say, Wai or Rachel. Joey and Laura caught up with Hayley to reiterate his pleas fell on deaf ears, however that made her frustrated given the hierarchy of the tribe is blatantly obvious and frankly, boring, if someone doesn’t step up with a big move.

As such Hayley approached Baden, suggesting that instead of following along with orders they instead take control and flip the vote on Joey. While Baden felt it was a bold choice, he was also keen to stir up some drama and force the other group into playing. Next up in her plot was talking to Rachel, who felt it was too risky a move to make. Hayley then went to Wai and knowing that she would be a tough sell, told her about the plan to split the vote on her. As such, she wanted to vote for Joey instead. While Wai was scared about burning more bridges, Hayley pointed out that if George goes, she is clearly next and as such, they will just get picked off one by one. But Wai just wanted a little time to figure out her options.

By the fire George made things awkward, asking Wai if she reflected on the last tribal council and how horrible she made him feel. And ugh, that may have been enough to turn her off joining Hayley, isn’t it? And given Hayley didn’t even get a chance to talk to George, there is no way this plan will come together, is there?

At tribal council Hayley spoke about voting Cara out to try and improve the mood in camp, with Rachel agreeing it definitely improved things as they enjoyed their feast. Georgia spoke about it being hard to vote people out, while Baden shared that he wasn’t concerned about being voted out yet and is doing what he is told. That is, until he needs to turn the tables on someone. Joey admitted to having a solid alliance, while Hayley said that pecking orders always change but she hopes her relationships will make the difference.

Laura spoke about not having a pecking order within the alliance, while Jonathan pointed out that that is what the people on the top say. Wai admitted that there is a plan at this tribal council, while Andrew agreed that something can always happen and people can pull something out of their hats. Hayley shared that she believes the tribe will be united after this vote, before George reiterated that he is an asset to the tribe and he doesn’t believe that would be the case if he goes.

This made Laura smirk and while she agreed that he was good in the reward challenge, he doesn’t contribute much in camp. As George told everyone to look forward, Georgia reiterated past behaviour is the best indicator for where things are going. That being said, Hayley tapped George on the elbow and mouthed to vote for Joey, giving him a cheeky grin, while Hayley said that everyone has had the discussions they needed to to make their decision.

With that, the tribe voted, Hayley stood firm and held on to her idol while the cool kids split the votes on Wai and George, before the votes piled up on Joey and he was booted from the game. As Hayley ascended the throne and George dodged yet another bullet.

Joey being the most eager, upbeat and energetic person on the season, he was still peppy and positive by the time we caught up in Loser Lodge. Pulling me in for a hug and ready to celebrate his entertaining, albeit short run. Emphasis on run, which is how we first met. You see, I was formerly a champion marathon runner and had a startling rivalry before my career was derailed by a hit and run – the car hit and I ran away because I wanted to watch TV, true story.

Despite the rivalry, Joey took me under his wing and nursed me back to health to the point I can now go for a bit of huffy puffy at the speed of Kath Day-Knight. Needless to say, that kindness is something I have never forgotten and as such, I was thrilled to be able to celebrate his game with some velvety Nachoey Cheese McCann.

I know American food often gets a lot of shit, but if you’ve read more than five recipes on this patch of cyberspace, you know that I passionately love it. And this gooey cheese is no different! Spicy, creamy and oh so moreish, there is nothing better to eat when you’re down.

Enjoy!

Nachoey Cheese McCann
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

Method
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until fragrant, 1 minute. 

Slowly add milk, whisking until no lumps remain. Add cheese and cook until melted, 5 minutes, then stir in salt and a pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.


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Abbearclaw Holmes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Baking, Dessert, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Mokuta were desperate to not go on a losing streak, thankfully breaking it their current mini-run by snatching victory for an ice cream reward. Sadly however, that was only a brief reprieve as they lost immunity. Heading back to tribal council, Nick tried to rally the troops to take out Henry while Abbey led the athletes to target Shonee. Nervous about losing strength, Lydia pulled Henry aside to advise him to play an idol if he has one, so off he went to make a fake. Unaware that Shonee had found the legit one. Henry tried to grab his fake in front of everyone at tribal, though Nick did not buy it and cautioned everyone that it was a ploy. It did make Shonee nervous enough to play hers, challenging him to do the same if it is real. Thankfully for her, he didn’t bother with his fake and as such, she negated five votes against herself and sent him from the game as the fifth boot.

The next day Zach was busy showing off his strength to the tribe, while Shonee lamented their losing ways. Begging the question, why are they losing if the athletes are as tough as they think they are. But back to Zach and his workout – guess who his biggest fan was? You guessed, team strong herself, Abbey!

Meanwhile over at Vakama the tribe were joyfully playing on the shore, with David still gladly leading the high school clique. Who had taken to squwaking – no joke – while the oldies of Mat, Tarzan, Moana and Jacqui were still feeling left out. Speaking of the minority alliance, Mat was giddily taunting Locky about the idol he had found and potential cracks in the alliance. Playing 4D chess, he even commenced pretending he would be open to working together, but Locky is so loyal, the poor thing couldn’t even entertain it.

Back at Mokuta our queen and savior Shonee was heartbroken to be stuck with a bunch of people that don’t want to be around them. She was particularly annoyed about the lame athlete alliance – preach – so got to work hustling, in the hopes of taking control and getting rid of the head of the athletes in Abbey. After quickly celebrating their win at the previous tribal, Shonee and Nick got to work wooing Sharn and Zach to their side. Shonee took Sharn to the scene of her triumphant idol find, with the icon reminding Sharn that once she is gone, Sharn is the next weakest and as such she needs to make a move ASAP. Sharn agreed and was keen to make a move, but only if Zach was willing to join them. Speaking of Zach, he was feeling on the outs and caught up with Harry about how they could take control. We then learnt from the form misogynist that he was reformed and keen to play a different, more social AF game. As such, he decided to join the little rascals and Sharn to overthrow the athletes.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where each tribe was required to stack a series of blocks along a beam over a trip hazard – while tethered in pairs – to knock over a sign. With the victors scoring a huge Italian feast. Vakama appeared to have a slight lead, however when Jacqui and Moana looked to measure out the spacing, it annoyed Locky for slowing them down. As such Mokuta took the slightest of slight leads, until they knocked over a single block. Which was enough for Vakama to take back the lead. Which only extended when Mokuta knocked over four more. Vakama continued to pull ahead, until they realised they didn’t have enough to make it to the end. While both tribes fiddled with the spacing, mother nature opted to troll them both and the wind blew over multiple blocks from each tribe, leading to a flurry of rebuilding. Back and forth both tribs tried to knock them over before Vakama finally put us out of our misery and scored the reward.

Vakama sprinted to reward where they discovered not only did they score a huge Italian feast, but they also got a tonne of wine and a photo wall featuring everyone with their mums. AK kicked off the tears talking to his mum and damn, it was so sweet and god, do I like AK? Jacqui’s parents had their own tennis court which is super impressive, Tarzan surprised everyone with his sexy short hair and lack of beard, Mat fondly remembered his sweet, sweet mum, Moana was feeling guilty about being away from her mum, unable to help and give her joy and damn, I am crying. Nobody else had overly emotional stories and I don’t want to make jokes because it is so pure. Though Flick worked at Wendy’s and now I want a shake?

My love Jonathan returned for an immunity challenge where each tribe had to swim out to a pontoon in pairs, climb a ladder, jump into the water, run across a net and then release four balls, which the last tribe member would try to toss them in their sack.Mokuta got out to an early lead, in no small part thanks to our Queen Shonee, while Tarzan and Phoebe struggled big time for Vakama. Sharn and Nick started to extend their lead, until we were reminded that Nick is not the best swimmer – shouldn’t have booted Shane – before he and Sharn struggled to release their ball. With that Flick and Mat close the gap and then gave Vakama a huge lead. While David and Jacqui started to struggle, allowing Abbey and John to catch up, my nude king just couldn’t catch his breath leading to Vakama pulling away once again. Locky and Brooke made quick work of the final ball, giving AK a huge advantage, scoring all four baskets before Mokuta even scored their last ball.

Back at camp John was feeling terrible about letting the tribe down, with the athletes conveniently accepting his apology and ignoring the fact Shonee was a star performer. Abbey of course planned to stick with all the strong athletes, and as such, she decided that Shonee – star performer – was the one that needed to go. She pulled Sharn and John aside, with the trio agreeing to stick together and get rid of Shonee with the help of Lee and Lydia. But little did Abbey know, Sharn had zero interest in playing along or getting rid of Shonee and as such, wanted to get rid of Abbey and take away the athlete’s leader. Abbey approached Lee and Zach, with Lee all in however the latter had learnt his lesson from his first season and wanted to stop focusing on strength and as such, save Shonee. And all of a sudden, I find Zach very attractive.

Zach, Harry and Sharn caught up in the jungle, with Zach pointing out that John didn’t do a good job at any of the challenges this season and as such, why don’t they get rid of him instead. And completely shake the core of the majority. With the trio locked in to take out John, Zach pulled Shonee and Nick aside to get them on board. Sadly for all of them, Nick couldn’t see sense in snatching the majority and so instead, approached John to turn the entire tribe on Zach. And tying things up 4-4, rather than giving him and his allies a 5-3 advantage. Nick approached Lee about joining the plan to get rid of John and kind of rationalised his plan, explaining that since John has no solid relationships and therefore there will be no hurt feelings should a tribe swap appear on the horizon.

At tribal council Nick spoke about Henry playing fast and loose, while Harry added that with Henry gone, Shonee is the most in danger given she received votes at last tribal council. Shonee tried to see the glass half-full, encouraging everyone to stick together and reminded everyone that there are 9 people left in the tribe and since only four people that voted for her remain, her five could have the majority. While this was unfolding, Nick started to whisper to the rival alliance that Zach is targeting John and as such, they should join him in voting out Zach instead. Meanwhile John spoke about being nervous because he completely bombed the challenge while Zach alluded to switching up his game and focusing on the long term, rather than solely strength. Lydia spoke about wanting to work with people she can trust and think the same way she does – *coughs* athletes *coughs*. Shonee believed that all but one person is on the same page, before Zach and John nervously countered that there are at least two more that should be in danger.

Out of nowhere Jonathan interrupted proceedings to announce that instead of voting to boot someone from the game, this tribal council, the top two vote getters would be sent to exile beach where they will await their fate. This made Harry nervous to make a move, given someone could potentially come back from the game, while Abbey and Nick were both more than happy to stick with the plan. The reforming Zach admitted that he was feeling nervous, reminded of Tegan’s near boot in his season. With that the tribe voted and tragically the athletes banded together to send Shonee to exile, while the little rascals piled the votes on Zach and poor Zach was completely out of the loop and voted for John. Who safely stayed with his tribe as the other two departed for exile.

Zach and Shonee arrived at exile, with Shonee searching her brain to figure out the Fijian word for revenge so that they can name their teeny, tiny tribe. The two marvelled at how ugly their beach was, though Shonee did use the time to assure us that she can and will get revenge on all the athletes, plus Sharn for shits and giggles. The next morning however, she was back to being her zen self, loving being away from the buff people and leading Zach through her island beauty routine. And do I now ship them?

Meanwhile back at Mokuta, Lydia, Lee, John and Abbey were loving themselves and their muscles sick. Which was making Nick sick, given he desperately missed his closest ally Shonee. And he had nobody to blame but himself. Abbey pretended that she was glad Shonee wasn’t alone, before humble-bragging about her perfect voting record (this season) and the fact she has a solid alliance and is controlling her tribe. John then tried humour clothed and TBH, I don’t like it. We checked in with Vakama where talk way centred around soy milk and honestly, I am as bored by the discussion as Mat and his minions. Speaking of that crew, Mat was content with his allies and was glad to be sitting ok with people he trusts and David looking out for him.

And you know what all this talk means!

Jonathan met the tribes by the beach where Vakama learnt two people were voted out the night before and had been sent to exile. Jonathan then announced that like Zach and Shonee, everyone’s games are changing as the tribes are switching up. To a chorus of groans the tribes dropped their buffs before selecting new ones, with Harry, Mat, Flick, AK, Brooke, Locky, Abbey, Lydia and John forming new Vakama and David, Tarzan, Moana, Jacqui, Phoebe, Nick, Lee and Sharn making up Mokuta 2.0. The iconic duo were forced to put a stop to their beauty routine and were wheeled out to discover the switched up tribes. They then learnt that they weren’t in fact exiting the game and instead would each be joining the new tribes, with Shonee joining her nemeses on Vakama and Zach landed on Mokuta.

With the tribes locked, Jonathan announced that they would now be facing off for reward, which was essentially a tug of war challenge, with each tribe pulling in opposite directions until the can get to their end and grab a flag. With the first tribe to three scoring an advantage in the game … which is hidden in a Pandora’s Box, which they can open back at camp. And a grazing plate, which is iconic, like Queen Shonee. First up were Sharn, Phoebe and Moana against Flick, Abbey and Lydia. Despite Abbey and Lydia being straight up beasts, they were no match for new Mokuta, with Moana clawing her way to victory for her tribe. Lucky Abbey and Lydia are strong, right? Lol. Immediately they started to blame Flick, which is honestly just fucked.

The next round featured Jacqui, Moana, Nick and David facing off against Locky, Mat, Shonee and Flick. Instantly Abbey started coaching Shonee through the challenge which would be sweet if she didn’t just vote her out for being weak. At the end of the day, it became a battle of the anchors, with David and Locky fighting tooth and nail until David grabbed the flag and another point for Mokuta. Abbey and Lydia then went up for redemption against Phoebe and Moana, and tragically got it, scoring a point despite some aggressive play of Phoebe, queen. The fourth round featured Locky, AK and Harry facing off against David, Zach and Lee, with the latter trio of beasts making easy work of the point, grabbing the flag and snatching reward for their new tribe.

We followed new Vakama back to camp where Abbey was smarting to have lost the reward challenge, though was embracing the new tribe and trying to find a place for herself and stay safe in the 5-5 split of the old tribe. She and Lydia went for a walk, confident that they won’t be the obvious targets, despite being beasts aka an easy target for the rival OG tribe. Shonee meanwhile immediately went swimming with Flick and Brooke, quickly pledging her allegiance to them and vowing to get rid of the jerks who tried to vote her off. Meanwhile David felt like he hit the jackpot at the Mokuta tribe, a luxury beach and the majority numbers in the tribe. Not to mention the bountiful tasting plate. Given most of his allies ended up on the other tribe, David realised that Zach would be the key to safety, given he likely wants revenge. Before they could talk weights, the tribe opened up a clue which advised everyone to go hunting for one of two keys which could open up the box and release the advantage for one person.

With that, they were off and racing! The tribe searched high and low around the island, until Nick stumbled upon the key amongst a dead log. Quickly he pulled Phoebe aside to let her know that he found it to try and solidify an alliance with his season mate. She assured him that she would keep look out while he slyly headed in to camp to open the box and snatch the advantage. Which he did, just as Jacqui found the other key. With the clock running out, Nick grabbed the advantage and disappeared as Jacqui stumbled into camp to learn that she had been pipped. Everyone returned to camp, with Nick desperately trying to hide the fact he open the box before disappearing to learn that he had found an extra vote. Which never really ends well in OG flavour Survivor.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where the tribes each had to pull a cart through the sand, collecting huge puzzle pieces while two people from the other tribe actively work to slow the others down. Once they make it to the end, they would then solve the puzzle for victory. With that John and Mat go ready to slow down their rivals, while Moana and Jacqui were selected from the rival tribe. Vakama got out to an early lead as Jacqui and Moana desperately tried to slow them down and Mokuta struggled against Mat and John. Vakama got to the end with a large advantage, though sadly for them, they didn’t have Nick, who got the tribe to coordinate the colours as they got them off, so the puzzle would be easy. He confidently coached his tribe through the puzzle, quickly putting it together while Vakama looked at their pieces in confusion. Piece by piece Mokuta continued to close the gap, then pipped Vakama and finally, scored a massive come from behind victory. And a hero moment for Nick. Swoon.

Back at camp Abbey was angry to continue her losing streak, so immediately set her sights on Shonee, who played no part in the tribe losing the challenge. With that, she and Lydia complained about Shonee in the water before approaching AK, Locky, Brooke and Flick to join with them to get rid of Shonee and keep the tribe strong. While the logic is solid, given it keeps threats around to take the heat of her, eventually she is the weakest in the tribe, and at what point do they stop voting out the weak. Abbey and Lydia were confident that they had locked in the vote for Shonee as the tribe reconvened by the fire, and they then saw Shonee working her magic in front of their very eyes. Shonee charmed her way through the OG Vakama tribe members, while pointing out that Abbey was the leader of Mokuta and as such, they need to weaken Mokuta by getting rid of her instead. Locky, Brooke and Flick genuinely seemed locked to join Shonee, so Shonee approached Harry to get him up to speed – perfectly downplaying their alliance – while Harry then worked on AK.

Oh and then Shonee pulled in Mat, assuring him that they will control this tribe and then come merge, get revenge on Sharn.

Abbey and Lydia were none the wiser, happily sitting around the fire while Shonee and Locky confirmed their alliance. Before Shonee gave herself a quick sand facial to celebrate. She then went deep into the jungle with Flick and Brooke, with the girls assuring her that they are with her 100%. However Brooke grew anxious about getting rid of muscle mass as they headed off for tribal.

At tribal council AK spoke about how well everyone was getting along at camp, given all the grumps had been moved to the rival tribe. Lydia agreed that everyone was getting along, while Mat was a little more realistic, admitting to being nervous to find himself on a tribe with Lydia who he blindsided with Queen Shane. This time Lydia seemed to be more open to moving forward, conveniently when she has to let go of her grudge for her own safety. RIP Shane. Abbey pretended that she was thrilled to see Shonee stay in the game, as she is such a great girl. Thankfully this led to peak Shonee, where she spoke about Abbey needing to wait and see whether she would let bygones be bygones. And then spoke about loving her new tribe with lots of new friends.

Mat reiterated that Shonee was just voted out by people that are sitting on the tribe, so revenge is the obvious course of action. Harry diverted things to the future, talking about how pivotal this moment is to all of their games, as it sets the direction heading into the merge. Locky spoke about the importance of keeping the tribe strong, though was glorious coy about what strong means to him. Lydia then complained about being at her fourth tribal council in a row and as such, she is sick of it and wants to win. This bored the hell out of Shonee, who was fed up with hearing about the importance of strength. Out of nowhere Locky and Brooke whispered about being nervous before Lydia tried one last ditch effort to keep strength. With that the tribe voted and Locky did keep the tribe strong by joining with Shonee, Harry and Mat to blindside Abbey and send her from the game as the sixth boot.

As much as I loved Abbey in her first season, she crossed Shonee and as such, I was thrilled to see her go. Which I told her as soon as she walked into Loser Lodge. While she tried to explain that Shonee’s social prowess and likeability reminded her of Pia – meaning she was her biggest threat out there – I was having none of it. And as such, I told her that I’m not mad – despite totally being mad – just disappointed, then handed her a tray of warm, sweet Abbearclaw Holmes.

 

 

Given how much I loved the Queen that saved us from the horrors of an athlete alliance just last season – bye Steven, Nova, Susie and E.T.! – I wanted to make something special for her second, victorious go around. And there is no pastry/cookie better than a bear claw – crunchy, melt in your mouth and baking an aggressive almond crunch. These are victorious … and I guess Abs deserves them, despite crossing Shon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Abbearclaw Holmes
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1 batch David Croissant dough
2 egg whites
1 ½ cup marzipan, cubed
1 ½ cup icing sugar
blanched almonds, to taste slash greed
milk, for brushin’
½ cup demerara sugar

Method
Make the croissant dough as per the instructions, all the way up to the part where you’re rolling, cutting and shaping.

To make the filling, combine the egg white and marzipan in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until cohesive and light. Reduce to low and slowly add the icing sugar, and once all combined, crank to medium and beat for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy.

To assemble, cut the dough into quarters and roll each portion into a 30cm square. Cut each into three equal strips and spread a couple of teaspoons of filling down the centre of each strip. Fold them in half to former filled, long strips and press the edges to close. Cut each strip into three, sealing each join and shape into a slight half moon as you transfer to a lined baking sheet.

Once the dough and filing is all gone, cut each strip four times, going half-way through the dough and split them slightly. Cover and leave to prove for an hour or so.

When they are puffy and beautiful – not like mine – press an almond into each gap on the claws. Brush with milk, sprinkle with the demerara and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crispy.

Leave to cool slightly before devouring, wishing you had more social game.

 

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

Amber Marinara Sauce

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor – which yes, yes, was minutes ago – 20 former champions of the game arrived in Fiji for the 20th anniversary special edition, battle royale, all winners season. While the opening didn’t have the majesty of dislocated shoulders or Sugar running around topless flipping the bird at the heroes, seeing winners like Amber, Ethan and Danni, who I never thought I would see again, was so exciting and grand, my gay little heart almost exploded. Mainly because Ethan is a zaddy and can get it. But anyway, the victors were split into two tribe Dakal and Sele, with the former taking out the opening immunity, meaning Queen Sandra lived to avoid becoming the first boot. Over at Sele, Rob, Parvati, Ethan and Danni joined together to form an old school alliance, taking control and deciding whether to split up Adam and Denise – who got lost together – and Natalie and Jeremy. Given the latter two were such close allies, and Jeremy’s blindside literally pushed Natalie to victory, they targeted them and sent Natalie to the Edge of Extinction.

We followed Natalie off to the Edge of Extinction, which she was now a massive fan of given it gives her the chance to return to the game. Despite following in her sister’s footsteps and getting booted first in The Amazing Race All Stars, she was still shocked to have been voted out of the game, describing the feeling of picking up a torch at tribal as weird.

The next day we checked in with Dakal where Sandra and Sarah were talking to Yul by the well, finding some common ground on their lack of connections and not having family. Sandra told the duo how hurt she was by Rob lying to her about playing, after denying it while spending 36 days together on the Island of the Idols. And honestly, I don’t know if this is a brilliant lie to get the target off her own back, or whether she was genuinely hurt … but I live for my vengeful queen. I just wish it didn’t mean she was likely going to take it out on Amber, instead of her hubby. Seeing a chance to split up the poker pals, Yul asked Sandra and Sarah if they would be willing to split up the marrieds and their card shark chums, which the Game Changers both quickly agreed to. Yul was mainly thrilled that the ladies were trying to pull together the same people he was. Aka the one time players that don’t have any connections on the tribe. Yul took the information back to his allies Sophie, Wendell and Nick and they were obviously keen to snatch the majority.

Over at Sele Michele was smarting over being left out of the vote at the previous tribal council, given she has so much pressure to prove that she deserved her first win and is actually a good player. She and Ben caught up, agreeing that Rob is in control of the tribe, no matter what he says, and that they need to hook up with Adam to make sure the new school kids aren’t led to the slaughter by the oldies. Firmly in the middle of the factions, Jeremy excused himself to a quiet section of the jungle where he learnt that Nat had bequeathed him her Fire Token and as such, he was the richest man in the game.

Speaking of Nat, she discovered the price list for items on Edge of Extinction which was accompanied by a note, offering a chance to earn herself a Fire Token. With that, she went hiking around the island to find the last place you would see the sun set. Where she discovered an immunity idol that is good for the next three tribal councils, which she could sell to someone from the losing tribe at the next immunity challenge for one Fire Token.

Speaking of the immunity challenge, Jeffrey arrived to lord over it. Each tribe was required to paddle out to retrieve a bag of number tiles, race over a series of obstacles, use the numbers to release three rings and then toss three rings to raise three flags. Both tribes were neck and neck getting into the water, until Sele straight up paddled into a pontoon and gave Dakal a huge lead. Which only extended as Sele over shot the dock with the number tiles. Sele desperately tried to close the gap but Dakal proved too strong, extended the lead as Rob single handedly flipped his tribemates over an obstacle. By the time Sele made it to the last obstacles, Yul had managed to release the rings giving Tyson and Wendell a massive head start tossing their rings. Wendell scored the first point before Adam finally released the rings. While Wendell continued to struggle, Jeremy quickly landed three rings in a row and handed Sele a massive come from behind win.

Back at camp Tony decided to simply ask if anyone wants to go keep Natalie company on the Edge of Extinction. With nobody jumping at the chance to exit the game, the tribe quickly splintered to find a target – not calmly, as Yul requested – with Sandra and Nick keen to take out Amber, while Kim, Amber and Tyson suggested those two and Tony to Wendell, unaware that they were aligned. Wendell, Nick and Yul caught up, Amber was feeling confident in her alliance with Tyson and Kim, though the pace made her nervous and she knew that she needed to keep up. Amber approached Sophie to see whether they should be getting rid of Sandra, given she spreads information to keep the target of herself. Speaking of Sandra, she was spreading information to her allies, to solidify the target on Tyson, Kim or Amber.

Sandra was feeling particularly confident, given she discovered and accepted the immunity idol in her bag. Stirring the pot with safe, glee, Sandra told Tony and co that Tyson now wants Tony out, pissing Tony off and getting his allies to change the plan to get rid of Tyson instead. Particularly since Amber isn’t scrambling, and keeping the married couple together keeps the target off him. Meanwhile Yul and Nick approached Tyson to let him know that everyone is terrified about the poker alliance, and as such, Tyson immediately flipped his game from dictating a vote, to assuring them that he will be a loyal number and vote whichever way they want him to. Kim and Amber be damned. Speaking of Kim, she was feeling nervous for the first time in her Survivor career, approaching Sandra and Wendell to find out who the target is, quickly realising that it may just be her.

Knowing that her presence was causing a lot of silences, she desperately tried to find someone to talk to and started announcing herself before entering any populated areas. She felt awful to finally be left out in her Survivor career, and was just hopeful that she wasn’t the one that was punished for the alleged poker alliance.

At tribal council Probst continued to make Amber feel super old, reminding her that she hasn’t played in over 16 years with her admitting that the speed of the game is overwhelming. Tyson spoke about the differences in each of the eras of Survivor, with the oldies sitting back and observing while the newer victors seem to act first, think second. Amber felt that Tony was running around erratically, with he and Sandra defending him because they were going to tribal council. And if she can’t keep up with the pace, she needs to get out of the way. Sophie said that the scrambling dropped off throughout the day, and as such, people should be nervous that their last conversation is correct. Which Sandra agreed with, given it was whittled down to a small group. Kim admitted that she was part of the small group because she played in a poker game which everyone believes is an alliance, which Tyson agreed was also putting him in danger.

Kim desperately tried to convince everyone that she is not close with the poker group and if it is, she isn’t a part of it. Wendell agreed that there are so many connections that the game is a mess, while Amber said that with $2 million dollars on the line, everyone was playing for themselves. Which Sandra gladly agreed with.

With that the tribe voted, Sandra held on to her hidden immunity idol and Kim and Tyson were spared as Amber became the second person and first Mariano voted out of the game to the Edge of Extinction. After bequeathing her Fire Token to Rob, I jumped out from behind the Edge of Extinction sign and unlike Natalie, she wasn’t terrified nor surprised to see me. She simply threw her arms around my neck and told me how glad she was to at least see me in her moment of crushing defeat.

Like Sandra said while voting for her, it was heartbreaking to see Amber’s third chance cut because of Rob’s threat level, rather than her own. And that thought made me start to break down in tears. Immediately, she went into mum/mom mode, pulled me in for a hug and reminded me that everything will be ok. And that while Edge of Extinction sucks, I can at least watch her in every episode. With that thought bringing a smile to my face, she got a fire going and I quickly whipped her up an Amber Marinara Sauce for the road.

 

 

Rich, robust and versatile – am I describing the perfect man or a simply beautiful marinara sauce. Por que no los dos, amirite? Smooth and lightly herbed, this marinara is the basis for all that is good in Italian cooking – from pizza to pasta, this baby has your back.

Enjoy!

 

 

Amber Marinara Sauce
Serves: 4-6 in a Dolognese, or about 1L if chugging.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
2 tsp chilli flakes
800g can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
½ tsp raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped

Method
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the garlic for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant and starting to catch on the bottom. Add the chilli and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Add the tomatoes, and a cup of water that has been swilled around the can to get every last drop of ruby, delicious goodness. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, sugar and herbs and cook – stirring occasionally still, FYI – for a further 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat to cool completely, before bottling.

 

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A delicious Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl waiting for our sixth boot.

Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the poor Champions weren’t really living up to their name, nailing the reward challenges and bombing the immunity challenges. This sent them to three of the first four tribal councils, and while the athletes alliance took early control of the tribe, Queens Janine and Pia, along with David and Luke masterfully played to Abbey and Ross’ sensibilities and flipped them, taking control and sending Susie and Nova out of the game. Janine and Shaun found idols on their respective beaches however they sadly were only good for the other tribe. Janine shared the intel with David who asked to take her note, made a fake idol and traded it with Shaun’s real one, giving him and his two allies idols and poor, beautiful land mermaid Shaun with none. Once again the Champions lost immunity and despite David’s overconfidence grating on his tribe – allies and enemies alike – he managed to convince everyone to get rid of Steven.

We dropped in on the Contenders the next day where John was flooding my basement in a speedo, playing cricket – handling a bat and ball with imense skill – twerking (kinda) and being fucking hot. And that is before he got nude again and oh god, I can’t take it – I love him.

Back at the Champions tribe Ross too was being a total cutie, running around in the shore entertaining the tribe – I think trying to fish – showering by the well and receiving offers to sleep with Janine. Since she loves his smile, which is the oldest line in the book. He continued to make everyone laugh with his positive attitude, and that is before literally burning Steven’s spirit out of his jocks. Not as jovial are poor E.T. and someone called Simon we’re yet to hear from, fetching food and trying to prove their worth while seething about David’s control over the tribe given he is a babe. As attractive as he is, why am I still more turned on by John? Swoon.

But back to E.T. and Simon, they vowed not to give up and to get in with the other Champs to try and find a way out of their predicament. E.T. then went fishing with Ross and oh shit, I hope that isn’t all that he has planned. We then got a little break with superfan icon Queen Pia, who is so proud of everything that she has achieved in the game so far, despite missing her family. She also outlined her women’s alliance within her larger majority and oh damn, I didn’t think I could love her any more than I do now.

Over at the Contenders tribe Shaun was looking beautiful, even while getting his eyebrows plucked by a random girl who I think is Casey but has been too buried by the edit. Sadly poor beautiful Shaun was so proud of his perfect idol trade out and I worry that is going to come back and bite him. Because he and John need to get together.

Jonathan arrived for the first reward challenge of the week – where David’s nips were looking great – with the tribes playing tug-o-war, with the first tribe to three securing burgers. However not a Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger, which is really a pivot. The first round saw David, Luke and Abbey face off against Shaun, Matt and Sarah, with the Champions taking the first point. Harry, Hannah and Sam were then defeated by Pia, Janine and E.T. before Shaun, Harry, Sarah and Sam got their first point on the board, crushing E.T. Janine, David and Janine. Harry, John, Matt and Shaun – who looked so damn good – evened things up with a hard fought battle against David, Ross, Simon and Luke. It came down to Shaun versus Ross and TBH, I am worried for poor Ross’ health and I hope he is ok. Wait, no, Shaun tripped and Ross won the reward and seeing him lifted over his tribe’s shoulders is honestly the most pure thing I’ve ever witnessed. To make things even more heartwarming, Jonathan allowed them to invite a Contender to join them selecting Baden … who was allowed to select a friend to go with him, rewarding Shaun for his killer effort. Oh and THEN they got beers too.

The Champions arrived at camp, giddy at the site of the burger supplies – and all the fixin’s – except for David who was worried that his lies were all about to come crashing down. Baden was completely adorable, cheering for the Champions and then trying to explain to Ross what he studies … and dare I say it, a new ship is born. Luke then quietly seethed about Shaun getting fed and potentially leading his tribe to victory at the next immunity challenge. Back at the Contenders the tribe were lamenting their loss and missing out on yet another reward, though were thankful that Baden rewarded Shaun for his efforts. Knowing that he will be an asset in the immunity challenge.

We returned to the Champions tribe where Shaun continued to unwittingly terrify David, with the latter deciding to double down on his lies by saying the idol is the only reason that he is still in the game and Steven is out. Poor Shaun truly believed his idol is real, and I am so concerned about his safety. Wait, no, maybe David should be nervous, given Abbey noticed him buddying up to Shaun and thought that maybe he should go sooner rather than later. With Queen Pia backing it up and ready to strike while his ego is at its biggest.

Seriously? Queens.

The tribes arrived to meet Jonathan on a beach where the Tower of Terror was making a return, meaning Casey is about to tap out of the challenge in three, two … wait, what? She is competing as one of the two members standing on a plank over the edge of the tower, with three people tasked with holding each of them up one-by-one with the last tribe to have someone perched atop the tower winning. Harry and Sarah kicked things off for the Contenders, keeping Casey and Baden on top of the tower while David and E.T. were busy keeping Pia and Simon up. Sarah was the first to trade out, giving her rope to Shaun while Harry soon followed, trading out to Daisy who soon gave it to Zaddy John, who tragically found boardshorts. Meanwhile at the top of the tower Casey was trying to get to know everyone, chatting away to Baden and Pia while once again, Simon’s voice was completely ignored.

David then swapped out with Abbey while poor Zaddy John struggled with his rope. Abbey passed off to Luke before Zaddy John couldn’t hold out any longer, dropping poor Baden into the drink. Who was super happy about it, despite the reminder that Kiwi Jeff has moved on to another show while Survivor NZ has been cancelled. Anyway E.T. finally handed his rope off to Janine, who quickly passed it out to Ross leaving the Champions on their last legs, while Shaun still had Matt to support him. Back at the top of the tower Casey was being iconic, asking Pia and Simon whether David actually played an idol at the previous tribal council, outing his lies and making things awks for the Champions. Shaun finally passed off to Matt before Ross dropped Simon in the water mid chat, leaving Matt and Luke to battle it out to keep Casey and Pia up top to gossip. Despite almost dropping, Luke dug deep and pulled Pia up before ultimately dropping handing the Contenders yet another immunity. Though Matt didn’t make himself any friends over at the Champions with his arrogant celebrations.

Back at camp the Champions were well and truly over losing yet another challenge, though did rally around to give each other a hug and congratulating them on trying so hard. Everyone started to feel bad for poor E.T. and Simon, except for David who thought it was hilarious. David then wandered around chatting to his allies, locking in their votes for E.T. and making jokes about him going home. Get it? E.T. going home.

Sadly for him E.T. wasn’t going to take his exit lying down, approaching Abbey to see whether she would be willing to switch back to him and Simon to get rid of anyone else. She then sat with Pia, upset to have to vote out one of the two delightful men that are on the outs before talking to David who tried to keep her calm and then pivoted to suggesting they get rid of Pia instead. This spooked the girls who spoke about turning on David, with Pia not wanting to take a strike at him unless she was guaranteed at him going home. And given how damn confident he is heading off to tribal, he really should be worried.

At the aforementioned tribal David and Abbey were lamenting how strong they were all feeling going into the challenge however still ended up here. E.T. spoke about being on the chopping block, leading to Jonathan pointing out that David said they’d be having a fresh start after booting Steven, making him feel like a liar. E.T. then gave his last pitch to the tribe, highlighting how bloody lovely he is and how he wants to have the chance to prove his leadership to the tribe by giving them the direction in the immunity challenges. David agreeing challenge contribution is important, how given they’ve been losing with E.T. here, it clearly isn’t making a difference and as such, he needs to focus on other things. Jonathan got shady, asking Ross and Abbey whether they’re going to be good foot soldiers and vote out either Simon and E.T. leading to Abbey breaking down about how much both men mean to her.

Simon then got his first monologue, pointing out that he is strong in challenges and would love the opportunity to be a foot soldier for the alliance. Janine then spoke about their alliance being stronger than the athletes because theirs wasn’t thrown together in a rush. Janine than admitted that she trusts people to different extents, while Ross agreed that there would definitely be smaller groups within their alliance while Jonathan finally for David to utter the phrase ‘do as you’re told’ as they headed off to vote. Where poor E.T. was given his marching orders, or escape, if you will.

As you may know, I am quite a big deal in the rugby league community – my dad played three, yes three, first grade games for the Roosters and I am the marketing genius who suggested bringing out Tina for a series of ads with Zaddy E.T. running around in a speedo. Given it was the ‘80s, I never acted on my feelings for E.T. but during the shoot he took my breath away and I did what every closeted kid did, befriended him and became his biggest supporter. While there was a period of a few years when I stopped talking to him as he started Escape – I hate seafood and fishing bores me – we reconnected and have been the best of friends ever since. E.T. was thrilled to see me working away in loser lodge, ran into my arms and gave me the biggest, warmest hug I can remember. He then noticed a purple stain on his shirt and honestly, the smile that appeared over his face was too pure for this world as he realised I had whipped him up a delicious Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl.

 

Andrew Ettinghausen demolishing his Australian Survivor sixth boot Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl

 

While I generally subscribe to the Ron Swanson, all the bacon and eggs breakfast school of thought, I will give E.T. a pass – footy pun, mate – and let him have an acai bowl. I mean, it is delicious after all, despite being healthy, and he is such a sweet, sweet man. Like an acai bowl.

Enjoy!

 

Andrew Ettinghausen demolishing his Australian Survivor sixth boot Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl

 

Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
200g acai berry puree
2 bananas, frozen
½ cup Greek yoghurt
berries, bananas, coconut etc. to garnish

Method
Chuck the puree, bananas and yoghurt in a high powdered blender and blitz until completely smooth.

Pour into a bowl, top with whatever fruit/berries you desire and devour. Smugly, knowing you’re being super healthy.

 

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Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor my boy Probst met 20 new castaways in the middle of the Fijian for a biblical battle, with the underdog David tribe taking out the first reward of the season. Meanwhile over on the overachieving Goliath tribe hot cop Dan and Kara met each other and instantly fell in love because they are beautiful. Their luck continued, with Dan then finding the first idol of the season. Meanwhile over at the David tribe things were looking bad for Nick, who was left right out and set to be the first boot after they lost immunity. Thankfully for him – and horrifically for everyone – there was a freak accident in the boat after the challenge, doing such a number on Pat that he was evacuated as the first boot.

That night back at camp things continued to be miserable as the weather took its toll on everyone, unable to start a fire or stay dry and TBH. Things were just as bad, if not worse, at the Goliath tribe they too were pelted with rain and their tribe flag was lucky not to blow away. Things were no better the next day as everyone shivered and started to break down as they desperately tried for a fire. Thankfully there were glimmers of hope as Christian and Nick went out in the wet to try and find something to find something to start fire with and/or eat. That obviously led to them talking strategy and lamenting being out of the loop on the potential last vote, and as such quickly aligned. And while I’m already loving this underdog story, Nick then spoke about the fact he was probably meant to be voted out last night and as such he is going to fight to win or die trying and damn there is something likeable about him. Probably his eyes. They then geeked out finding bamboo to reinforce the shelter and naming their alliance, unaware this isn’t Survivor. They arrived back at camp to discover that Bi had dropped by treemail where they discovered a fire making kit and tarp to ensure nobody dies.

The Goliaths too, recieved said kit and tarp and the mood appeared to champ instantly. Dan and Kara took a moment to discuss finding the idol and partake in some generic flirting. Which did not go unnoticed – much to Kara’s chagrin – with Jeremy and Alec plotting to split them up and Natalie warning her to tone it down for her safety. Wanting to work around the situation, Kara approached Angelina and Natalia to assure them that she is interested in forming a black-widow brigade, stringing their respective men along and taking them out one after the other. After taking out Queen Natalie and Mike, obvi. Speaking of Mike, he was keeping watch as Jeremy rifled through peoples drying clothes and found Dan’s idol, which Kara had warned him to be more careful with. As such, Natalia and Kara are not the only two other people that know and as such, Mike and Jeremy’s stock just went up.

Things were looking up at the David tribe too, where Davie had decided to continue providing for the tribe after his epic octopus catch.  Whilst hunting for more food, he inadvertently found a hidden immunity idol and bless him, he deserves it. Particularly for saying this smells like authentic idol leather, begging the question, is that what my couch smells like? Meanwhile Carl was lamenting the loss of Pat and decided that the no longer can afford to lose Nick, instead wanting to take out Lyrsa, who he decided was the weakest. While Nick loved that idea, Elizabeth was pissed that her best buddies name was being thrown about. As was Lyrsa who desperately wanted to scream them all down, explaining she is the reason they won the first challenge.

Over at the Goliaths Jeremy and Alec continued to look sexy in their underwear before Jeremy instantly became my favourite by stripping down. And hot damn, I need a minute. Back in the camp Natalia was getting a nose and teeth booger check from Angelina, under the watchful eye of Natalie who obviously thought it was fucking stupid. Boogers in your teeth? Childish. Queen Natalie continued to lay low, watching everyone work and sassing them as much as possible. Sadly for her, people did actually notice her and were growing tired of her bullshit. Except for King John, the George Bushy of Tushy, who thought she was a great person to work with. John pulled Natalie aside to warn her about her attitude, leading to her approaching people one at a time and questioning their decision to target her, given she is a non-threat. While everyone decided the drama was too much for them, Jeremy pulled her aside to tell her some hard truths about her lack of self-awareness. Which she refused to accept, driving Jeremy mad and locking in his resolve to get rid of her.

Dear Jeffrey finally returned to screen for the immunity challenge where he explained to the Goliath tribe that Pat was injured after the last challenge, and therefore, someone is still potentially going to be the first one out. Anyway, the challenge. One person from each tribe was required to climb up a ladder to release a key, which would be used to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle on a wobbly table. Given that in addition to immunity they would get a huge fishing kit, Davie the provider was totally pumped. Alec got the Goliaths out to a huge lead over Bi and the David tribe, allowing they to go out and grab the puzzle pieces and return to shore before Bi reached the top of the ladder. The Goliaths continued to work on the puzzle while Bi was abandoned at the dock collecting puzzle pieces while their boat drifted away. Given the puzzle seems insanely hard the Davids quickly caught up as everyone dropped their platforms and destroyed their work. Thankfully the Goliaths put everyone out of their misery after an hour, solving their puzzle and snatching immunity much to everyone’s exhausted relief.

Back at camp the Davids lamented their loss before Bi desperately gave them all a peptalk to get their head in the game. Bi and Jessica locked in their vote for Lyrsa, though given how cagey they were being when Gabby approached them to discuss tribal, she decided to go and find a plan she feels safer with. Speaking of feeling safe, besties Elizabeth and Lyrsa desperately tried to find some for the latter, identifying Jessica as the better target. They then approached Gabby who was concerned they wanted to target her, so was all in when they suggested getting rid of Jess instead and taking out Bi and Carl’s closest ally. Elizabeth pulled Christian in with a hug – literally – and locked him in for the vote against Jessica. Christian and Gabby discussed the plan and locked in their alliance together, before Christian approached Nick. Who tragically wasn’t interested and would prefer to take out Lyrsa.

With that we obviously arrived at the insanely beautiful, grand tribal council where Jeff questioned how they could handle the cyclonic weather, which they all said brought them together. Elizabeth admitted that those bonds would make the upcoming votes more difficult, though Lyrsa admitted that you can cut the tension with a knife back at camp. She then spoke about having heard her name for being a weak link, which made Jessica sass her for not playing the game hard enough if that is the case. Gabby suggested people shouldn’t underestimate anyone, Bi said she was voting on performance despite bombing the immunity challenge, Christian spoke about the votes all being organised and Nick admitted that the game was built on deceit so that they need to build trust where they can. After a discussion of the battle between playing a tribal vs individual game, everyone shared our nervous they were though Jessica did admit that it was exhilarating. With that, they voted and it turns out tribal wasn’t as exhilarating as she would have hoped, becoming the second – slash technically first – boot.

To be honest, I shouldn’t be shocked by the turn of events that led to her demise. Despite such a strong start last episode, I had menu-planned for her to be devouring pizza in Ponderosa and as such, she would be doomed to be a pre-juror because of my curse. I held her in my arms while I cried uncontrollably while repeating sorry, which let’s be honest would have been a terrifying experience for our child contestant. Thankfully she took her boot in her stride – no doubt thanks to the extreme pity she felt for me post meltdown – and said that while the curse definitely doomed her, she couldn’t be grumpy when it is delicious as my Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza.

 

 

Just like the majestic Scot Pollartichoke Dip before her, there is no greater culinary pairing that spinach and artichoke. Particularly when in the company of cheese. Add in the glory of fresh, pillowy pizza dough, and it is hard not to be in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza
Serves: a sad second boot and her best-o.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of a lemon
1-2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
200g marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan
mozzarella, to taste

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

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mayo, sour cream, parsley, garlic and lemon in a bowl and generously smear over the pizza bases. Top with spinach, artichokes and parmesan before adding some mozzarella for good measure.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese. Because that would just add too much unwanted salt in your wounds.

 

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Boanana Hope Pancakes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Breakfast, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders continued their losing streak with Paige leading the charge, while the Champions continue to flourish under the leadership of Queen Moana. After lapping up some pies and pints at reward, the Champions dominated in the immunity challenge while Paige was telling them about how everyone hates her, rather than attempting to win the challenge. Luckily for her though, Jenna’s injury proved too much for the tribe to overlook as they joined together to boot Miss Congeniality.

Things were looking zen at the Champions the next day as Lydia and Steve did some tai chi, Brian dried his foul jocks and Shane swam laps, rather than feeding the chickens. Feeling that she isn’t well placed on the tribe, she used the time to fashion the plan to hunt for an idol to assure herself some protection. She also spoke about hating fame and living an interesting life, and TBH she is a kooky iicon and I love her.

Meanwhile over at Camp Contender, the tribe reminisced about the tribal council and how angry Jenna appeared on her way out. Anita particularly was feeling upset, given like Red, she likes to protect her girls. They then spotted a rainbow and everyone felt positive. Well, everyone but Paige who Anita was still seething about her attempts to spill secrets to the Champions. Zach too was feeling pissed about their lack of reward wins, so decide to share his misogyny and wish for a dishwashing challenge so their girls could stand a chance. I mean, a month of F45 isn’t enough for his white male privilege.

Back at the Champions Queen Moana was feeling sick and was struggling to keep any food or drink down, concerning everyone in the tribe. Her BFF Mat pulled her aside to give her a pep talk and try and distract her from the thoughts of home that are lingering to make her misery worse.

My boy Jonathan returned for a cheeky battle-esque reward to allow Robbie the opportunity for another schooling from Mat. How will this episode’s schooling for bacon and egg rolls and iced coffee work? Each tribe will put one person up to balance on a barrel over the water holding a rope between them and their opponent. The last person standing wins a point for their tribe. Mat and Robbie put their rivalry on show first, with Mat quickly coming out victorious again. Zach faced off against Steve to show the girls how it is done, with Steve finally putting the git in his place pulling him straight into the water. Which pissed Zach off, leading to him splashing the girls on his tribe in a fit of anger. Poor Shonee was schooled by Lydia, Sam beat Benji, and Zach continued to flip out on the shore, yelling at everyone on his tribe. Thankfully Fenella proved adept at something other than washing up, quickly beating Sharn. Heath continued the comeback schooling Brian, before Monika beat Anita and pissed Zach off again before Shane rubbed salt in the wounds destroying Tegan. Sadly we missed out on a complete meltdown as Paige fell to Moana and handed them reward.

Robbie was legit crying before Jonathan interrupted with an extra reward, with the Contenders allowed to pick two people from the Champions to battle it out for an individual big breakfast reward. Mat and Steve were selected to compete, with Mat ultimately taking out victory. Not to rest on his laurels, Jonathan added another twist allowing Mat to select a Contender to join him. Not wanting to give the males any strength, he selected Paige to stir the pot and keep her on the bottom of the tribe. As they all headed back to reward and/or camp, Shane showed the Contenders that she was definitely on the bottom, searching for an idol on the sit out bench in their full view.

On Mat and Paige’s private reward, he quickly got to work asking her about the Contenders tribe dynamics. She then outlined all of her plans, told him how everyone on the tribe was aligned and TBH, just totally screwed herself and the tribe. Meanwhile back at the Champions camp the tribe smashed their rolls before Brian set up a game of ten pin bowls using the empty iced coffee bottles, much to everyone’s delight. With everyone distracted, Shane went for a wander to try and find an idol. And while everyone laughed about the fact she was once again on the hunt in their full view. This time she actually found something, as everyone applauded and congratulated her on the hunt finally paying off. Actually find the idol made her nervous however, and she tried to play it off as just a clue. Though given the threats from Brian and Lydia that she will be the next to go, I don’t see the idol lasting long.

Meanwhile Paige returned to the Contenders tribe and was thrilled by her newfound popularity as everyone wanted to find out about the dynamic of the Champions. Given he isn’t trying to kill his own game, she had nothing to share … which succeeded in making everyone nervous about what happened on that reward that she isn’t sharing with them.

Back at the Champions tribe Sharn appeared to have lost her mind, doing a demonic Lord of the Rings tribal dance. Before we got answers about her sanity, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge which required two people from each tribe to be locked into a cage and pushed through an obstacle course before releasing the tribe members and breaking three suspended glass balls. The Contenders got out to an early lead with their caged Anita, while the Champions struggled with Monika and getting over a large wall. The Contenders continued to pull away, getting to the end of the course before the Champions had even managed to get Shane and Jackie over the aforementioned wall. The Contenders made quick work of Tegan and released both her and Anita, while the Champions flailed with their caged Lydia. Heath and Zach each knocked out a ball before Brian tried to pull things back. It was all for nought though, as Robbie finally had a hero moment and secure victory for the tribe.

We also got a close up of Benji’s nip and hot damn if I’m not moister than an oyster.

The Champions got to scrambling as soon as they arrived back at camp, with Sharn quickly ID-ing Jackie or Shane as the next to go. Throwing a spanner in the works, Moana continued to feel sick and seemed ready to give up. Though thankfully Mat appeared to turn her around. Jackie realised that she would be a target given the fact she struggled in the challenge, deciding that taking out Moana would be her best option. Shane joined Moana in the shelter to share that she heard she wanted to quit, given she feels terrible. Moana discredited her intel and shared that Shane needs to find her idol, if she hadn’t already. Meanwhile Jackie and Monika continued to scheme against Moana, though dangerously close to being within earshot. Sam checked in with Lydia, who was wanting to vote based on weight to strength ratio – aka split the votes on Jackie and Shane to flush the idol and blindside Jackie.

At tribal council Mat brought up the weight to strength ratio, which Steve agreed was their major issue in the immunity challenge. Jackie spoke about having strengths other than hauling herself through obstacles, though felt she was definitely improving as the game went on. Shane too was on the defensive, quickly reminded everyone that there is more to the game than strength. Sam called out Shane’s idol hunting ways and the fact it finally paid dividends, and told her that she needs to play the idol if she wanted to survive. Jonathan addressed Moana’s ailing health before Moana and Sharn quickly jumped in to say that there is no way they would be writing her name down that night. Mat went one further and said Mo at 50% was better than some other tribe members, which while savage, was kinda true.

Monika headed off to vote before Moana interrupted proceeding and asked Jonathan to call off the vote and let her check out – aka quit – rather than cause any drama for the tribe. She spoke about how she wasn’t getting batter and was letting her team down. Sharn and Mat jumped in and tried to talk her out of it, assuring her that she is better to let tribal council play out rather than quitting. While she had completely given up, Moana decided to trust her allies would respect her wishes and trusted in them all to vote. While Lydia and Sam loudly voted for Shane – actually, Sam trolled her and that is iconic – the rest of the tribe joined together to send Moana out of the game and into my loving arms to recuperate.

After making her way to Loser Lodge, Mo’s illness got to her and she collapsed in my arms leading to the heroic moment where I carried her across the room singing Whitney Houston’s cover of the Dolly classic, I Will Always Love You. While she didn’t say that I was her hero, she didn’t not say it either. Well … until she saw the shit tonne of Boanana Hope Pancakes I had waiting to heal her.

 

 

Was Moana happy that I draped bacon on her pancakes, given her staunch vegetarianism which led to her finding an idol? Hell no. But she was hungry enough to eat around it. Like Jack Johnson probably sang in the hit song I forget, banana pancakes are probably the best kind of pancakes. Moist, sweet and perfect for nursing you back to health.

Enjoy!

 

 

Boanana Hope Pancakes
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g flour
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
2 eggs, whisked
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ⅓ cups buttermilk
3 tbsp melted butter, plus extra for fryin’
8 rashers streaky bacon … relax not for Mo, guys
maple syrup, to serve

Method
Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl, stirring well to combine. Make a well in the centre and slowly stir through the eggs, banana, buttermilk and butter until smooth.

Heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan over medium heat and cook until foaming. Add ⅔ cup of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook further a further minute, or until cooked through. Discard/devour the first one – because they are always the worst, no? – and repeat until done.

While you’re cooking the pancakes, fry the bacon in a second pan until crisp.

Divide the pancakes between the plates, top with the bacon if you’re like me and like all the bacon, drizzle with maple syrup and devour.

 

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Jacob Dipwin

Bread, Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, thirty-five seasons of bad decisions culminated in a new island chain popping up in Fiji known as (the) Ghost Island(s). Twenty new Americans were marooned on the island, challenged with one task … reverse the curse of these epic fails. Oh … and the usual battle each other until only three are left to fight for the chance to become the sole Survivor. After forming two tribes, Naviti and Malolo, they competed in a reward challenge. Well, until leader Chris from the Naviti tribe felt they were going to lose, making the Malolo tribe rich by Survivor standards. Tragically that didn’t translate to victory in the immunity challenge, after which Jacob saved himself by becoming the first inhabitant of Ghost Island and Gonzalez made a speedy exit from the game.

Over at Naviti, Dom was staying awake and creepily watched over his tribe as they slept. Feeling paranoid and on the outs, he used his alone time to search for idols which he miraculously did. Well he thinks, since he couldn’t read the note in the middle of the night. The next day however, he discovered it was authentic. In fact, it was authentically the idol that Andrea was blindsided with in Caramoan.

Feeling a little bit more secure, Dom used the time to get to know Morgan, Sea Bass and Bradley, while they discussed Ghost Island and how best to play it. Morgan excused herself to find the legacy advantage that Jacob willed to her during his stay on the aforementioned island.

Speaking of which, Jacob was using his solo time to do some arts and crafts to fashion a hidden immunity idol that he could use to bluff his way through the next tribal council, should he attend. He returned to camp where Donathan looked adorably happy to see him, and he was shocked to discover that Gonzalez had become the first boot. He then got to work sharing news of his (fake) idol with the tribe. Obviously no one believed his story that he lost the note that accompanied said idol on Ghost Island, with Brendan and Jenna leading the charge to take him out ASAP. Stephanie however, bless her, decided that him knowingly being on the bottom provided her with the opportunity to add him to her brood of reliant allies.

Over at Naviti Dom was showing the tribe his power snatch – no joke – and used his new found safety to continue forming bonds. Further still, he decided to pull Chris aside to clear the air and wipe the slate clean between them. Chris asked if he had found the idol, which he quickly bought. Wanting to solidify their keep your enemies closer alliance, Dominic made a fake idol, hid it with his real note and showed it to Chris. Surprisingly Chris did not buy it, though I think was more concerned about him lying about not having it earlier more so than realising it is fake.

Wanting to keep things moving, Jiffy Pop returned for the second immunity challenge of the season where they would be required to race through some watersport obstacles, release some balls and shoot them into a basket. Sounds fun, no? In addition, the victors would win a tonne of comfort items, which I assume Wendell has already fashioned for his tribe from reeds and grass as he is the best.

Once again, Naviti got off to an early lead and continued to extend it bit by bit. To the point where poor James was left to struggle to release Malolo’s finally batch of buoys, while Naviti started shoots their hoops. Donathan was beckoned back to at least try to release the balls for his tribe and after a motivational pep talk from Probst, pulled it out and got Malolo back into the challenge. Tragically though it wasn’t enough, as Naviti continued to shoot their baskets and secure immunity before Malolo even got one. After his heroic moment, Naviti opted to send Donathan to experience Ghost Island … which is good, since his defeatist attitude could have bitten him and he is too cute.

At Ghost Island, Donathan smashed the second urn to discover there would be no chance for him to win an advantage today. He then shared about his upbringing and being an outcast as an out gay man in the south, though he was proud for people to see his performance in the challenge and living alone on Ghost Island.

Meanwhile over at Malolo, James was quick to own the fact he blew the challenge for everyone and hoped that people would be able to look past it. Stephanie, Brendan and Michael discussed the merits of voting out Jacob or James, ultimately deciding to throw votes on the latter to protect against Jacob’s potential idol. Wanting to play the game, Stephanie approached Jacob about mixing things up, with Jacob throwing out Michael as potential boot to protect against a potential tribe swap. Jacob was confident that he had found an allie, so then spilled all the tea to Stephanie – the idol was fake, he found a legacy advantage and gifted it to Morgan. So now, Stephanie is all powerful and while he trusts her and that is good for her, being the only other person to know about the legacy advantage would be good for her.

Stephanie then floated the Jacob alliance with Jenna, who was open to the idea if that is what she wants but would rather keep strength, rather than booting Michael. Meanwhile Jacob approached Laurel and James who seemed open to taking out the beautiful people, while Michael, Brendan and Libby noticed all the talk and started to get anxious before heading off for tribal.

Once there Jacob received his torch and then got confused about which show he was on, lip syncing for his life to Probst’s introduction. James quickly took the chance to own his challenge loss again before Jacob continued to talk about his advantage he was trying to pass off as an idol. While James didn’t love the information imbalance – like Jiff, I loved the phrase – he was glad it was his tribe that held the knowledge and not Navitit. Jacob still believed his tribe where the greatest, earning an eye roll from Michael, before they started to talk about the shifting alliances.

Jacob, unwittingly or not, spoke about feeling like the tribe could have conspired before he returned to camp to make him feel good and blindside him, which appeared to make Stephanie feel guilty. Meanwhile Brendan said he wasn’t feeling safe despite being BUILT, and Michael just wanted to reverse the curse that is fast becoming their tribe. As the votes rolled in, Jacob elected not to play his fake idol … and tragically found himself becoming the second boot.

While Jacob was completely bummed to be out of the game so soon, as a super fan he was thrilled to be living out his dream of having me whip up a commiseratory meal. Seeing me, obviously, perked him right up. Though maybe it was the sight of the Jacob Dipwin.

 

 

There is no way that any cob would ever be perceived as terrible, so this is no shade to the others. But hands down, this is the best you will ever eat. Creamy, rich and tangy, this is the perfect way to sop up your post boot pain.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacob Dipwin
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
300ml sour cream
500g frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed of all moisture
1 packet French Onion Soup Mix
1 cup tasty cheese, grated
1 cob, hollowed out
1 breadstick, sliced

Method
Put the cream cheese, sour cream, spinach, soup mix and tasty cheese in a large saucepan over low heat and cook until thick and juicysludgey.

While that is cooking, hollow out the cob and slice the breadstick.

Pour the dip into the hollowed cob, scatter the chunks of bread around it and devour, greedily. Thankful no socks were harmed in the making of this cob.

 

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