Fig James Jones

Condiment, Survivor, Survivor 43, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Jeanine, Noelle and Owen were well and truly on the outs and while Sami wanted to make a move, was trying to play in the middle to avoid upsetting anyone. Speaking of upsetting anyone, Ryan and Cassidy continued their feud as Owen and James started another one. At the immunity challenge, Probst offered up a bag of rice to the tribe if five people were to forgo the challenge and despite James assuring him he was good, Owen knew his nemesis was lying and as such, not only played the challenge but one immunity. With Owen no longer an option, the alliance turned their attention to the girls and tragically booted Jeanine from the game.

Leaving us with just three more women.

Back at camp Sami remained ready to switch things up, despite just going with the easy Jeanine vote. He caught up with Owen and Gabler, with Owen filling them in on his ongoing drama with James and the fact that he lied about Ryan being the target. Thankfully Gabler had looped him in just before tribal and as such, the Baka men were still keen to work together. They returned to camp where James checked in on Owen to see if he wanted to talk through tribal council with Owen hilariously shutting him down and while James said it was all cool beans, he immediately ran to Karla and Cassidy to complain about how rude Owen was to him. Particularly given he wrote down his name two tribals ago. And yeah, these two just hate each other at this point and are openly gunning for the other, I guess?

We quickly pivoted to Jeffrey looking like an absolute dream on the beach for the latest immunity challenge. Where they would be split up into groups of five to compete with one person winning immunity and the other four in danger at their group’s tribal council. Yep, this is double tribal week! But anyway, as for the challenge, they would each hold a bar up to keep a ball balanced above them with the last one standing in each group winning immunity and the last one standing overall winning reward for their group, in the form of PB&Js. Oh and the honour of being the second tribal council. 

Cassidy, Jesse, Gabler, Ryan and Cody formed one group, while Owen, Sami, Noelle, Karla and James were the other. Almost instantly Jesse was the first one out of his group, followed closely by Cassidy and Noelle back-to-back. James was gagged to see his ball drop before Gabler gave out, followed by Owen. That left Ryan and Cody to face off against Sami and Karla and while they were all like statues – Karla with a still injured hand – Sami dropped out of nowhere, leaving Karla gagged to have taken out immunity before she quickly tried to refocus to win PB&J. Sadly for her team, she couldn’t hold out any longer, leaving Cody to ultimately win PB&J for his team after Ryan eventually dropped.

We followed the losing team back to the former Vesi camp where they immediately got to work scrambling. While Owen and James getting water together – lol – Noelle, Karla and Sami talked through the most obvious move, with Karla feeling bad about them clearly having to eliminate Owen. Speaking of the feuders, they were arguing at the well and, given it appears clear that they are all voting for Owen, I guess he is safe. They fought all the way back to camp where James grew more and more frustrated at Owen, with the duo both blaming the other for the drama as everyone else rolled their eyes.

They eventually pressed pause so James could speak to Karla about how frustrating it is to be pushed into drama. James then caught up with Noelle who assured him that she plans to steal Owen’s vote at tonight’s tribal council. Sadly for him however, it was only to lull him into a false sense of security and vote him out with Owen(‘s vote) and Sami. And well, I love Noelle’s 3D chess to navigate around James’ advantage and the potential Shot in the Dark. Sami however didn’t want to blindside Karla and as such, approached her to see what she would prefer and while she was keen to get rid of Owen, Sami got to work convincing her how important it is to get rid of James now and keep the outsiders around as an easy vote in the future. And damn, that is a compelling argument. Particularly since it makes her more of a free agent in the larger alliance.

At tribal council Owen spoke about how difficult it was to go back to an empty camp, while James reiterated that it definitely led to dramas back at camp. Sami spilled the tea to Probst about the boy’s feud and while he tried to be diplomatic, it is still clear they hate each other. Owen spoke about how disappointed he was to see Jeanine go last tribal council, particularly since James tried to make him vote the wrong way. Noelle then continued to charm us, talking about the screaming match and how she just wanted to eat before Owen and James continued to argue. Which obviously made Noelle tell them to stop, given she is over the testosterone. Like an icon.

James spoke about the ongoing importance of building trust while Sami and Karla started to whisper about which way they should vote. Karla then opened up to Probst about how despite being immune, she is still always nervous about being on the outside. Talk turned to the advantages with James wanting to know where they all are, while Noelle wanted to leverage them to build trust. Speaking of which, as Probst sent them off to vote she opted to play her Steal a Vote and snatched Owen’s, setting off the plan to get rid of James as Owen spoke about how nervous he now was. Thankfully it did just end up being a ruse as both Sami and Karla stuck with Noelle’s pair of votes to boot James from the game.

And well, he was salty.

When he made it back to Ponderosa, I assured him that blindsides really are a sign that you were playing a good game and as such, he should be proud. Ignoring the fact that the Shot in the Dark inherently makes blindsides necessary, but I digress. In any event, while he was very salty to have been booted, I quickly turned around his mood with a deliciously sweet Fig James Jones.

While my first introduction to fig jam was the ‘90s social sport team name – why you would want anyone to ask you about how fucking great you are is an aside – this is neither cringe nor annoying, only delicious. A little tart with a hint of vanilla, this jam will have you buttered all the buns, all the time.

Enjoy!

Fig James Jones
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1kg figs, trimmed and diced
500g raw caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 lemon, juiced with the rind peeled into strips

Method
Pop everything in a saucepan, cover in cling film and leave to stand overnight at room temp.

The next day, place the mixture over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce back to low and cook, stirring, for about 45 minutes or until thick and gloopy. Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla pod and rinds, and gently mash the figs to break up.

Transfer to sterilised jars to store, or devour immediately.


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Palesar Taulad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the original Yontau members had their backs against the wall on each of the post-swap tribes. At new Yontau, Dante was busy targeting Dino who was quickly winning everyone else on the tribe over, while his only ally Phil worried about becoming collateral damage. On Masu, Toni took the chance to take control of the tribe, forming bonds with Steffi and Tejan, and pulling in Killarney to get revenge on her Yontaus. Which tragically cost Thoriso the game, despite the fact she knew being loyal to Felix would lead to her demise.

The next day things were very very awkward for Felix at Masu, given he was all alone. And while he desperately wanted to seek revenge, he knew he had to bide his time to really achieve his goals. Toni and Tejan meanwhile were locking in a vote against Killarney should they return to tribal council, with her assuring Felix that she will be protecting him. Despite the fact he is a number for Dante and Co. meaning it may not be in her best interests, given she is so well connected outside of Dante. Tejan meanwhile caught up with Felix and assured him that he will (also) be protecting him throughout the game and while he was super friendly to his face, Felix was ready to smack him and desperate to stop having to be nice to those in power.

Over at Yontau Phil and Dino were just desperately waiting for the merge, hoping it can save them from being on the wrong side of the numbers. Dante meanwhile was busy plotting how to get rid of Dino, even though he doesn’t have any numbers or power. His plan was to get Meryl to tell Dino about the (expired) idol and that he would be playing it, though given he was so strong with how he floated the plan with Meryl, Marian and Palesa, it was starting to become clear that he won’t have any allies left come merge. Oh and Marian was planning to pass off her diplomatic immunity to Steffi should Masu lose the upcoming challenge.

The tribes reassembled with Nico for the latest immunity challenge, this time played as individuals with everyone standing on a perch over the water holding a ball above their head. Last one standing winning tribal immunity, before both tribes attend tribal council and vote someone out of the losing tribe. Oh and the last one standing from each tribe will venture to the Outpost. Everyone was still standing after 15 minutes, leading to Nico upping the ante and forcing them to hold the ball over their heads, rather than balancing it on them. Almost immediately it cost Felix his place, quickly followed by Dante. They obviously started gossiping about their respective tribes and who they should target at the upcoming vote, which could be good news for Dino, given he and Felix are tight.

Shane was next to drop who suggested they vote out Dante, wait no, Dino. Palesa dropped out of nowhere and added to the Dino pile on before the pain became too much for Marian and she joined the pile on. After struggling for what felt like eternity, Killarney finally dropped leaving three per tribe to fight for immunity. Well, until Meryl dropped out of nowhere, leaving Phil and Dino to fight for their safety. While Toni started assuring Dino that he can drop and the Masu tribe will look after him and Phil, and help them take out someone. Dino eventually fell out of the challenge, handing Phil the trip to the Outpost. Marian meanwhile started floating the idea of using diplomatic immunity and guaranteeing another one of their numbers are safe. And while Dante was very against it, Meryl was all for it and suggested they band together to get rid of Palesa, given how close she is becoming with Dante. Out of nowhere, Phil dropped handing Masu immunity before Tejan, Steffi and Toni debated who should go, giving it to Toni as the only one yet to visit. 

After Nico handed immunity off to Masu, Marian pulled out her Diplomatic Immunity and used it to join the Masu tribe and save herself at the vote ahead. As Toni and Phil headed off to the Outpost, Dino was feeling nervous again while Palesa admitted both tribes attending tribal council truly changes things as their fates are no longer just in their tribe’s hands.

Back at Yontau Palesa was growing more and more nervous about the vote, feeling like she had to pledge her allegiance to an alliance ASAP. She caught up with Meryl and Dino about Marian playing the Diplomatic Immunity with Dino concerned about her influencing things at Masu. Which was making Meryl super excited. Speaking of Marian and Masu, everyone was quite sombre which was confusing to Tejan given they are all likely to have made it to the merge. Steffi opened up to us about being disappointed by Marian’s arrival, wanting to have used the swap to build her resume on her own. Which is something Marian picked up on, given everyone was pretty damn frosty since she arrived.

Over at Yontau Dante and Shane were worried about two tribes reconvening at tribal council, particularly given they have no idea what is happening over at the Outpost. Shane suggested they go hunting for another idol, given Dante is unlikely to play the idol for anyone other than himself. Completely unaware Dante’s idol is dead. Felix and Marian were catching up at Masu, with Felix worried about which side to go with between his current ride or die Dino and Dante, his ride or die from their OG season. Steffi meanwhile was disappointed to have let Toni go to the Outpost, with Marian catching up with her to see if she was ok. Which put a target on Steffi’s back, just as she feared, as Felix, Tejan and Killarney speculated why Marian came over and what her agenda could be. Particularly focused on her potentially just being there to gather intel ahead of the suspected merge. With Marian just trying to assure Steffi their OG alliance is still solid, despite Steffi warning her that should there be another tribal immunity, there is no guarantee Marian will be safe.

Bouncing back to Yontau, Meryl shared her fears about Marian leaving to Dino, opening up about how difficult it is to be aligned with Dante given he is volatile and takes a lot of her energy. Thinking Dante is immune, she then floated the idea of getting rid of Palesa and while Dino was obviously keen for anyone else to be a target, he argued that Palesa is far nicer to him than Shane and would rather get rid of him. Meryl then shared that eventually, sooner rather than later, she will turn on Dante, but right now, she would rather target his potential number Palesa. Speaking of Palesa, she caught up with Dino and the duo put everything on the table, outlining their numbers on either tribe and how they can navigate the merge. With Palesa obviously doubling down on getting rid of Shane in the hope of getting in with Toni’s post merge numbers.

We finally arrived at the Outpost where Phil was desperate for a little bit of safety. Sadly for him, the advantage on offer was for two half idols should they correctly guess who will be voted out at the next tribal council. Which are huge stakes, but could screw over one of them should their alliance not last long. As such, the duo sat down to talk about the upcoming vote and spilled the tea on the rumours floating around each tribe. Their initial plan was to split the vote between Dante and Shane, while Phil suggested getting rid of Meryl to really make Dante feel isolated. Ultimately switching back to Shane at the last minute, while hyping up the hatred for Dante to make him play the idol.

Sadly for their idol chances, it was at that moment that Shane found a hidden immunity idol. Wait, no, it was Diplomatic Immunity and since Marian had already used it, it was null and void. 

The mood around camp in general was very tense, with Shane sharing his Diplomatic Immunity find with Meryl and suggesting that while it is expired, he can use it to create a little chaos. Concerned about everyone being kinda safe based with their idols or the assumptions of people having one, Meryl was considering playing her tribal council pass, given it is likely going to come down between her and Palesa as the safe options. 

Phil returned from the Outpost and told a little half-truth story about the half-idol, before he pulled Dino aside and suggested they get rid of Shane. Though he didn’t give all the truth. Palesa meanwhile was concerned about working with Dino and Phil, though knew she had to make a decision and felt they were safe given they were connected with Toni. As such, they were all planning to load all their votes on Shane.

Toni returned to Masu and filled them in, kinda, on the Outpost and suggested they all vote out Dante. Marian felt she was shifty and Killarney could tell she was lying, while she disappeared to fill Steffi in on the true plan to get rid of Shane instead. Sadly for her, Steffi didn’t love the idea and as such, was planning to mix things up herself. She pulled Killarney aside and suggested they join with Marian and Shane, and along with Felix, can take control of the game.

Over at Yontau Dante was still pushing for the vote against Phil, while Meryl quietly pulled him aside and suggested they team up to get rid of Palesa without Dante knowing. Not only does it keep them both safe, it weakens whatever Dante is planning moving forward and as such, they were both on board. Phil and Dino caught up about Meryl and debated whether they can trust her, with the latter concerned about what she can do moving forward and feeling like she is the far smarter move than the already abrasive Shane. Phil took that suggestion to Palesa, agreeing that she is totally more dangerous come merge and as such, was locked in on taking out Meryl. Shane then caught up with Phil to float the idea of getting rid of Palesa and assured him that he has never lied to him. He then spoke about Dante saying he has an idol, though admitted he is yet to see it. Oh but he has one. Which pushed Phil over the edge, given so many people are claiming to have an idol now.

Back at Masu Marian caught up with Steffi and Felix, worried about the perceived abundance of advantages and suggested maybe they vote for Palesa instead. Particularly since it weakens Shane. They rejoined the rest of their tribe and suggested the idea, which annoyed Toni given she was desperate to get rid of Shane. Steffi made sure that Toni was very vocal about her plan coming out on top, in the hope it would make everyone concerned about navigating around her throughout the season.

Meryl and Dante meanwhile caught up with the latter very nervous about going home, debating who would be best to target to keep them safe, given Marian would be annoyed if Shane goes, while Meryl ws nervous about how dangerous Palesa is. Particularly since she has been playing such a social game this season.

At tribal council Palesa was nervous about preemptively playing a merge game, as Marian mouthed to Dino to play his idol for Shane. Dante was concerned about the previous relationships coming into play and muddying the waters, while Shane suggested the increased prize money would make things more complicated. Relationships be damned. Phil spoke about being a free agent coming in and glad to build new bonds to push ahead, while Dino was nervous about navigating through the future merge phase.

After everyone started whispering amongst themselves, Nico grew sick of it and suggested everyone get up to gossip. Marian rallied her former allies to join the Palesa vote, while Meryl was worried about the votes being split between her and Shane. There were whispers of Shane, Palesa and Meryl and well, it was all confusing. While everyone was just nervous, as Tejan questioned why they are now planning on turning on one of their own. He then blew things up and asked people to clarify the plan, with Shane pulling out his pouch and suggesting he has an idol, while Steffi begged for them to just damn vote already. Tejan talking about being annoyed but feeling like his hands are tied and as such, he was fine to just get it over with.

With that the tribe voted, Dante outed his idol had expired, as did Shane and his expired pass while Dino held on firm to his real one. As Nico read the votes, much to Tejan and to my horror, they piled up on Queen Palesa and tragically booted her from the game. Just before the merge, which officially went down at tribal council.

Palesa didn’t need a map to find me hiding in Loser Lodge, following the sound of my screaming tears, heartbroken she missed out on the chance to take out a well deserved victory. Despite playing a very strong game her first go, she came in and completely changed the way she played, learning from her mistakes and changing strategy to keep everyone on their toes. And without a twist, I firmly believe she would have made it through the week unscathed. But alas, twists twisted and as such, we had to drown our sorrows with a Palesar Taulad.

While I experienced a slight trauma upon the discovery on the abundance of anchovies washing through a caesar salad, I quickly moved on after realising it tastes good. Creamy, salty and oh so crunchy, this salad is a sensory delight.

Enjoy!

Palesar Taulad
Serves: 2 icons feeling the blues.

Ingredients
4 streaky bacon rashers, diced
2 eggs
20g butter
2 garlic clove, minced
3 slices sourdough, cut into a 1cm dice
1 cos lettuce, washed, dried and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved
¼ cup Caesharonne Salad Dressing

Method
Pop a skillet over medium heat and get a pot of water on another hob and bring to the boil. Once the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until nice and crispy. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Once the pot of water is boiling, gently add the eggs and hard boil.

Moving back to the skillet, add the butter and garlic and saute for a minute. Add the bread and cook, agitating frequently, until they become golden brown  – or in my case, brown brown – and crisp.

Combine the lettuce, parmesan, bacon and croutons in a bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Remove the eggs from the pot, peel and cut into quarters and toss over the salad. Then devour, joyously.


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Rocksroy Cakes Bailey

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

Previously on Survivor the tribe came back together after the two-part, time travel extravaganza and were ready to power ahead as the official merge tribe. At the reward challenge, Drea’s distaste for PB&J led to her swapping with Maryanne to sit out of the challenge. Which obviously led to another advantage for Drea. Though thankfully the producers got a little shady and guaranteed she would get caught red handed by hiding said advantage in a pot of red paint. While she tried to downplay it, Tori spotted her and the duo reignited their feud. After Tori won immunity again, the tribe had to pick between the remaining outsiders, settling on getting rid of Chanelle despite Romeo getting super paranoid.

Back at camp Romeo quickly assured everyone that he isn’t bothered about being the secondary target, though behind their backs he was spitting fire and ready to get revenge. Hai meanwhile was spiralling over receiving one vote, with him quickly – and rightly – identifying Romeo as the culprit, though he denied it to make Hai more and more paranoid in front of everyone in camp. And well, it well and truly worked.

The next day Hai was catching up with Rocksroy, Jonathan and Mike, telling them that Romeo still needs to go ASAP. They however could not care less about their petty grievances, given they realised that by being the big providers, they are the likely targets and as such, they need to pull together an all male alliance. Which never seems to work, but go off sis. Rocksroy spearheaded pulling the other males together, though given he had never spoken to Omar before that moment, I don’t think he was the best ambassador for their cause. Particularly since the way he spoke to Hai next was off putting, so yeah, not good.

Kula Kula joined up with Probst out over the ocean where he explained to the tribe that this round they would be split into two groups who would each vote someone out. For the immunity challenge, they would each balance on narrow footholds on a triangular platform with the last one standing from each group winning immunity. And the person that lasted the longest would win kebabs for their group and the right to be the second tribal council of the evening. Given the water was super choppy, Marynne was the first to drop from her group before Rocksroy, Omar and Mike immediately followed on the other team, leaving Hai and Romeo to battle for immunity in their group. Romeo then touched his hand on the platform, handing immunity to Hai who tried desperately to stay in the challenge to win reward. Drea and Tori then dropped leaving Lindsay and Jonathan to battle it out for the other group with Hai and Lindsay dropping, leaving Jonathan to take out immunity and reward for his group.

The losers returned to the old Taku camp where Omar was living for the fact Rocksroy got his all boys group, meaning he already has to turn on them. Romeo meanwhile was assuming he would be the one going home given he isn’t close with Rocks, Mike is 100 – his words – and Hai hates him, ergo, screwed. Rocks meanwhile was very confident in his place in the game given he is already aligned with everyone. Omar quickly pointed out that Rocks is too rigid for his game and as such, he would rather go further with Romeo. When the duo caught up, Romeo was quick to point out to Omar that while he was very keen to make a move on Rocks, Hai hates him and as such, it is unlikely to work.

Omar took matters into his own hands, pulling Hai aside to float the idea of getting rid of Rocks and given neither of them are into the idea of an all mens alliance, he was keen. Though didn’t want to make a move against Rocksroy without Mike’s blessing. With that, Hai approached Mike and while Mike could not care less about voting him out, he was worried that his other allies would view him as untrustworthy for making the move too soon.

And reminder, the game has like nine days left.

At tribal council the group spoke about how awful the cold and rainy conditions are while Mike spoke about how that makes it hard to come up with plans and stick to them. Particularly when they throw massive twists at them, like this week. Hai admitted that what he wanted to do at this tribal council has completely changed after the tribe were split in two, while Rocksroy said everything was super chill as they scrambled and that they quickly came to an agreement. Which, he should at least be paranoid about, given Hai said he changed his mind. Mike admitted it was an easy decision, Romeo agreed that they all just gave each other a nod and locked things in before returning to chatting. With Rocks agreeing that nothing changes his mind or made him nervous back at camp.

With that the group voted and it appears Rocksroy really should have seen something coming as he was unanimously booted from the game. And while he took his boot in his stride as he arrived at loser lodge – more on that one later – he was disappointed to have blindly trust in those he thought were his allies. After I reminded him that he always has the fact he made the jury, he perked right up. Although maybe that was the Rocksroy Cakes Bailey.

I know, I know – the name makes them sound hard, dry and inedible. But there is something so fundamentally soothing about a rock cake. While they are dry, the also delicately crumble in your mouth and are filled with little bursts of sultanas. And, are super basic to make.

Enjoy!

Rocksroy Cakes Bailey
Serves: 6-10.

Ingredients
2 cups flour 
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup raw caster sugar 
1 ½ cup sultanas 
125g butter, melted 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and sultanas in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and mix in the butter, followed by the eggs with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the baking sheet and pop in the oven to bake for 15 fifteen minutes, or until golde brown. Then devour.


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Jorgeousoufflé

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls were put through their paces putting on a little roast of the hilarious Ross MatthewsRu’s weekly intro-roast of the rotating judge. While Bosco slayed, Willow and Camden were hilarious and Angeria was charming as hell, the other three bombed and ended up in the bottom with not one but two queens told to sashay away. While DeJa was far and away the weakest in the lip sync, I gay gasped to discover that Daya Betty was deemed safe as the pocket-rocket lip sync assassin of the season was finally felled.

Yes, Ru’s favourite. The born-to-do-drag person of the season (usually a signifier of an upcoming winner). A queen Ru would literally give her left lung to keep alive. Jorgeous. Jorgeous was sent home.

While I agree that Daya’s performance made the most sense for the song – which is something I admitted to Jorgie – I was shocked that Jorgeous did slide through on charm. Because as villainous as Daya as been – which I live for – Jorgeous has been equal amounts charming and I thought she was going all the way to the finals.

Backstage I pulled her in for a hug, thrilled to finally be in the presence of someone shorter than me, and congratulated her on a race well run. And reminded her she has all the right chops to make it far on All Stars. With that, we did the requisite laugh, cry and chat before toasting her status as Ru’s favourite with a Jorgeousoufflé.

I honestly don’t think there has ever been a better connection between a recipe and their namesake. Sweet, fluffy and always ready to stop the show, souffle is a light, delicious delight that always impresses.

Enjoy!

Jorgeousoufflé
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
unsalted butter, for smearing
1 cup raw caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
6 eggs, separated
1 tbsp lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
pinch of salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and butter 6 ramekins. Sprinkle with some sugar and spin around to coat the edges. Remove the excess.

Whisk the yolks with ¾ cup of the sugar until light and think, almost looking like soft butter, until it forms a ribbon. Beat in the lemon zest and juice until it comes back together and set aside.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Add a spoonful of the whites to the lemony yolks to loosen them, before folding through all the whites until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the ramekins, pop on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 15-25 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, devouring with a sprinkle of icing sugar.


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Dejate Skye Loaf

Baking, Cake, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls bombed Snatch Game, putting on the most awkward version the show had ever seen. While I would argue Angie’s version of Tammie Brown was delightful and Camden’s smutty Skakespeare had its positives, DeJa was the only queen that truly managed to shine. As such, everyone but DeJa had to lip sync for their lives in a lip sync lalaparuza smackdown. One by one, Daya Betty, Willow and Jorgeous managed to save themselves before Camden defeated Bosco and Angeria bested Jasmine. In the final round it came down to Bosco and Jasmine with Bosco getting a song that played into her strengths, slaying the performance and saving herself as one of the lip-sync assassins, Jasmine, was finally felled.

The next day the dolls were thrilled to still have a place in the competition but were emotionally exhausted after everything they went through after disappointing Ru and Detective Visage. And Bosco more specifically was exhausted after having to rub off Jasmine’s extensive mirror message, which is very on brand for the chatty queen, TBH. While Daya was still enraged by Jasmine. This time because she was rooting for her friends, which did not include Daya. Surprisingly, since she is a delight and was always kind to her sister with such lines as, I want to hit her head on the sidewalk. 

Before Daya could have a full meltdown, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they’d be starring in the romantic musical Moulin Ru! Which obviously had Camden excited, given that is 100% what she does. The dolls would star as Saltine the fading showgirl, Mama Z the bearded queen owner of the club, the Green Fairy aka Kylie Minogue as an absinthe trip and the four Moulin Ru girls, Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Oh and they’d once again have to fight for their parts amongst themselves, rather than anyone assigning roles.

After Ru departed, Bosco was confident in her abilities, before Daya snatched Uniqueness without any battles. DeJa took the role of Nerve, Willow went for the Green Fairy while Angeria and Jorgeous fought over Talent with Angie backing down and taking Charisma instead. Saltine then came down to a battle between Bosco and Lady Camden, with them both digging their heels in until Bosco started reminding Camden that she has the skills to pull off Mama Z as well, while she does not. After DeJa suggested they were just wasting everyone’s time, Camden suggested flipping a coin before Bosco suggested the queens vote which they ultimately went with leading to Bosco getting the part. After a torn Willow was forced to break the tie.

Leading to Camden threatening Bosco that she has to turn it out, otherwise she will be pissed. And damn, both of the girls are fired up!

Things were very tense after the battle, with Jorgeous telling everyone that they need to get rid of the bad feelings because taking that energy into the rehearsal will ruin things for all of them. Bosco and Camden each went into their corners to sulk, with Bosco getting eaten up by guilt before Angeria joined Camden and encouraged her that she also didn’t get a part she wanted. Which did nothing more than fire Camden all the way up to slay Mama Z, as she realised that she really could turn any damn role.

The dolls headed to the mainstage where they learnt Leslie Jordan was their extra special director and argh, he is so cute and I love him! After regaling them with tales of her time as drag queen Baby Wipes in a time before even Ru had started drag, Bosco stayed on stage where she nailed rehearsal as Camden looked on angrily while also trying to stifle a smile. Angeria meanwhile was on struggle street but got there in the end. Willow was starting to regret her choice when she realised how quick her moves were going to become while Jorgeous and Leslie compared height before she slayed the moves. While Daya, obviously, questioned Joregous’ skills. At dancing. Because she hasn’t proven to be one of the best all season.

Oh and then Camden slayed from start to finish. 

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to beat their mugs while Angeria assured us that she had well and truly rehearsed and was ready to slay. Camden meanwhile was opening up to DeJa about how embarrassed she is over how tense she let things get the day before, though given she was feeling her new role pretty hard, that is a very easy feeling to have. Daya opened up about being a theatre queen, while Jorgeous read her (and musicals in general) for filth for being boring, OTT and too happy rather than ratchet like she likes. Angeria asked Bosco if she is nervous, with her opening up about learning to dance through her grandma who is a former (almost) rockette. Jorgeous admitted that she learnt how to dance from watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which Daya had never heard about. While DeJa admitted she also had never taken a dance lesson in her life, with Jorgeous joking that it showed.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the panel by the iconic, Academy Award nominated musician-actress Andra Day for the premiere of Moulin Ru! Angeria, Daya, DeJa and Jorgeous started the show strong, though I was honestly more focused on the sexy dancers in corsets with exposed nips. Camden then joined them and bought all the fire; she was camp, giving perfect lines and was a little demented. On the flipside, while Bosco started super strong, Leslie Jordan arrived to play the Duke and well, then my eyes were pulled in only his direction. Oh and Willow stole the show as the green fairy.

On the Mirror Mirror runway Camden was a perfect star nymph, Bosco was an intergalactic, spiky sex-pot tin wo-man. Willow was a ‘70s rock goddess, Angeria was a stunning, shimmering blue mosaic, Daya looked like Lady Kiss – in a good way – while DeJa was a nude-illusion, shimmering, caged Queen as Jorgeous was a shimmering ribcage and looked a dream.

Camden received universal praise for elevating the MC role and totally stealing the show, while her outfit was great, Ross didn’t love the bottom. Bosco meanwhile was read for not taking the roll as far as it needed to go while Michelle just wanted Bosco to show diversity on the runway, despite looking perfect. Willow received universal praise for everything she served this week while Angie was beloved for doing a lot with a small part. Oh and she looked perfect on the runway. Daya was praised for combining performance and energy, and for slaying the runway while the judges felt DeJa started slow, she came to life in the rap. And well her look didn’t meet the criteria. Jorgeous meanwhile was read for losing energy throughout the performance though they loved her runway.

Ru then got shady and asked everyone who should go home this week with Camden casting her vote for Bosco for being the weakest in the rusical, while Bosco suggested Jorgeous should go home for her track record. Before everyone else voted for Bosco to go home. Particularly because she fought so hard for the role and didn’t deliver. Oh and Jorgeous then doubled down and reminded Ru that Bosco was in the bottom three times in a single episode, so maybe they should take that into account too.

Backstage Bosco opened up about being shocked to be in the bottom, though didn’t have any issue with her sisters saying she should have gone home. Before she ran off to prep the lip sync, Angeria and Daya just told her they only said her because of the critiques, while Joregous reiterated she voted for her for how she treated Camden to get the role. She then pointed out that her runway was actually on task, which is what Jorgeous identified as the reason that she too would be lip syncing. Though DeJa felt she could also be there. 

Angeria meanwhile worried she would somehow land in the bottom – um, no – while the dolls congratulated Camden on a job, very well done! Though Angeria felt Daya could snatch victory for making the most out of such a small role. While Willow was thrilled to once again be in the top, but knew she wouldn’t be taking out the win. Camden then opened up about the fight with only Daya telling her she was a little bratty, which, lol girl. She was interrupted by a video from her mother who was equal parts creative and sweet, which gave Camden that much needed boost for the rest of the season.

The nervous girls split up to get prepped for the lip sync, leaving the tops to kiki. With Camden wanting them to come up with a strategy for not making things awkward again when assigning roles. Jorgeous asked everyone who they felt was their biggest competition, with DeJa scared of Angeria, Jorgeous and Angeria were nervous about competing against Willow, while Camden was threatened by Bosco – which was reciprocated – though Camden was also nervous about Jorgeous. Distracting from the potential rage from Daya for not being viewed as a threat, Andra Day dropped by to chat with the girls and ugh, she is just so damn cool.

Ultimately Daya and Willow were sent to safety before Camden was handed her second win of the season. Much to her absolute delight. Angeria too was deemed safe before DeJa’s performance saved her from the bottom, leaving Bosco and Jorgeous to battle it out. To my dear Whitney Houston’s Heartbreak Hotel, no less! While Bosco had all of the fire and turned it out, Jorgeous knew she was fighting an uphill battle and well, she scaled said hill and back. Gagging her sisters as she eliminated Bosco from the competition. Well, until she unwrapped her chocolate bar and we finally, FINALLY, struck gold as everyone celebrated her second chance. While she broke down with joy.

Backstage Bosco was thrilled to have been saved by a candybar, particularly since she truly believes she deserves to be here. While she was thrilled, DeJa was annoyed that none of them have a shot at immunity while Jorgeous was just annoyed that there are still so many girls to send home. Bosco assured everyone that she holds no ill will against them for suggesting she should go home, before apologising to Lady Camden for the drama between them. With Camden thankfully copping to her part too and once again, all was harmonious.

The next day Daya continued to be horned up while Angeria praised Jorgeous as the lip sync assassin of the season which for some reason, enraged DeJa, who felt she was the one true assassin. But before we could get answers to who would truly be the best, Ru arrived with Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills for a mini-challenge where they would each paint Ru’s face. On a brick wall. Not her mug. Oh and Dolly’s, with DeJa, Gorgeous and Angeria together painting Ru, while Willow, Daya, Camden and Bosco would paint Dolly. And well, they benefited from having an extra person because theirs was drastically better. While Ru was gagged by how busted the girls made her look.

Before departing, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge, the dolls would be roasting the one and only Bossy Rossy. And for winning the mini-challenge, Bosco, Willow, Daya and Camden would decide the order. Which did nothing to ease Jorgeous’ nerves. Trying to make up for last week, Bosco asked the losers where they would like to perform, wanting everyone to do their best. After taking their requests, the victors pulled themselves aside to decide the order with Bosco offering to go first, letting Joergeous have second like she wants with Willow taking third, knowing she would look better after Jorgeous. They then put Angeria in fourth, Daya fifth before Camden debated about risking it and going last. Particularly since DeJa didn’t want that place. Ultimately, she decided to risk it for said biscuit, which made everyone very happy. While Bosco was just glad no one could complain.

The dolls split up to work on their roasts with everyone feeling particularly terrified except for Bosco, who was quietly righting away. Willow threw out some hilariously bad jokes, Daya was charming – gay gasp – as she wrote nothing while DeJa reminded them all to go in hard, then wrote terrible jokes while cracking herself up.

Bosco was first up to rehearse with Dulce Sloan and Michelle with her struggling through with both of them reminding her to go hard and come out guns blazing. Though I hope it is all a massive fake-out and she slays. Willow was too rambling for their liking while Angeria was charming as hell despite the girls not loving all of her jokes. Daya’s fears were allayed as the judges chuckled at the few jokes she had written while DeJa’s jokes were not landing with anyone but herself. Oh and then Camden proved it was the right choice to take a risk as she was hilarious before Jorgeous tried to win them over with compliments rather than telling any jokes. But she was living her best life over her own jokes, despite pretty much just being ready to lip sync.

Backstage Jorgeous opened up and explained she was well and truly over things, and while her sisters tried to remind her she is talented and just needs to get out of her head. She truly just felt defeated and it was hard to watch.

Elimination Day arrived with Camden feeling her oats, focused on trying to keep her confidence and deliver a good set. Bosco meanwhile opened up about feeling good about opening the show while Daya was hoping her second half would be as successful as the half she rehearsed while Jorgeous was only getting further in her head. Bosco tried to remind her that she has proven herself to be a star and as such, she needs to take that energy into the challenge. While DeJa was confident that her track record would continue to improve. Oh and Bosco borrowed one of Daya’s sponges which straight up looked like a chopped off testicle.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Dulce Sloan on the judges panel for the Ross Matthews Roast, with Bosco slaying from start to finish, reading anything and everything in sight. Jorgeous was iconically bad from the very first moment. It was incoherent and bizarre and I LIVED for every second. Willow was hilarious, smart and such a star, Angeria was solid and super charming, Daya took so long to get anywhere it was an absolute mess before DeJa said hold my beer and was even worse. Which only made Camden funnier than she already was, slaying from start to finish.

On the Tu-tu Much runway Bosco was a star as a bladesaw ballerina covered in blood. Jorgeous was a mess as a biker ballerina, Willow was a camp, judgemental old queen and OH SO PERFECT. Angeria was rocking a beautiful gown made of tutus while Daya looked stunning as a rose gold stilted ballerina – though only because she is so damn tall – while DeJa looked like an extra from the Season 8 promo before Camden was perfection as a classic ballerina.

The judges lived for everything Bosco served up this week, from slaying the jokes and giving such a bold runway. Jorgeous received praise for her runway though was read for struggling in the roast, despite giving a good energy. Willow’s look was beloved and while they loved her roast, they felt she could have gone even further. Angeria was praised for having fun on the roast despite not being the best. Though they lived for her runway. Daya’s look received universal praise though she was read for being bad in the roast. DeJa meanwhile was read for everything she did this week and then when she tried to explain her at-home schtick she was even worse. Thankfully Camden received praise for everything she did. Except for the echo arsehole joke.

Backstage DeJa was ok with the fact she would clearly be lip syncing, though felt bad for putting in jokes that Michelle and Dulce told her were shit. She broke down over messing up so badly and for not delivering what the judges see in her, though more so she was heartbroken to clearly be lip syncing against Jorgeous. Despite the fact that Daya is right there and bombed just as badly. Jorgeous reminded everyone how hard the challenge is though was feeling good given it is over. Angeria meanwhile was worried that Jorgeous was losing her confidence and starting to fade away.

As DeJa continued to sob, Camden tried to remind her how good she is and how she has appreciated how hopeful she has been throughout the season. This snapped DeJa out of it, thanking her sisters for being so kind and grateful to have gotten to know each and every one of them.

The dolls congratulated Camden on clearly making it to the end while looking like such a star on the runway. Angeria meanwhile felt it was awkward to not really know how you were going on stage while Jorgeous just hated every moment of it. Willow was thrilled to have performed ok and for looking amazing on the runway, despite the fact she could barely speak due to her lip prosthetics. She then received a video message from home and ugh, her family are so damn cute and charming, praising Willow for being a star and just making them all so happy and proud. While she laughed and cried, she couldn’t move her face at all because of her lips and it was great.

Dulce dropped backstage to talk to the dolls, congratulating them on performing so well and reminding them that they are lucky to be here. And to just celebrate making it. She then immediately bounced as Willow kissed everyone with her massive lips.

Ultimately Camden was sent to safety before Bosco took out her third win of the season before Willow and Angeria were sent to safety. Ru then gagged Daya, Jorgeous and DeJa with the news that they would all be lip syncing for their lives and not just that, only one of them would be surviving the lip sync. Despite looking terrified, as soon as Olivia Rodrigo’s good 4 u started Daya was ready to save herself. She sold all the emotion, had the lyrics down and made sense with the song. Jorgeous meanwhile gave her usual performance though the style didn’t seem to work with the song while DeJa was just kind there. Despite reminding us she was the only one Ru called a lip sync assassin. As such Daya was deemed safe, leaving both Jorgeous and DeJa to sashay away.

Things started a wee bit more awkward than usual, as DeJa questioned how the lip sync assassin and her apprentice – Jorgeous is nobody’s apprentice – were felled by Daya. And while yeah, we all hated Daya until this very episode, the judging was fairly on point this week. Which is obviously not what I told her, as I cried about them being robbed of their place in the rumix and begging them to come back and slay on All Stars (which both DeJa and Jorgeous could easily win). After perking her back up, I distracted her with a delicious Dejate Skye Loaf and all was right in the world.

I once started a cafe at home in the middle of the suburbs when I was five after whipping up a packet mix version of date loaf. While I literally fled the business before seeing whether it was a success, date loaf won my heart and as such, I dedicated my life to perfecting a recipe. And well, this is it! Sweet, moist and oh so moreish, there is nothing better!

Enjoy!

Dejate Skye Loaf
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 cup boiling water
⅓ cup butter, melted
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ½ cup flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 pinch kosher salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a loaf pan.

Pop the dates in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water, leaving to rest for 5 minutes or until nice and plumped. Stir in the butter, sugar and vanilla before quickly beating in the egg.

In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, mixed spice and salt. Fold into the wet ingredients until well combined and pour into the lined loaf tin. Tranfer the cake to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool complete.

Or, serve a little bit warm with a thick smear of butter.


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Pralina Twine

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor with Sandra gone, Josh and Jordan decided now was the right time to take control of the Blood tribe. And while things appeared to be on the up and up for the tribe, Jordie was messy in the immunity challenge and left Jordan to officially lose the challenge for them. Despite two of the big boys causing their loss, the tribe was keen to get rid of Mel for being clumsy. Except for Amy, who wisely decided it was time to split up the cousins as the last couple on the tribe. Sadly though, she looped in Shay who immediately went to the boys and spilled the beans. While Nina was keen to make a move with Amy, the numbers weren’t there and as such, she stuck with her allies to get rid of sweet Amy. Who just wanted Khanh to know he loves her.

Speaking of Khanh, he was living his best life over at the Water tribe however Chrissy was frankly sick of the masterchef’s cooking given there are only so many meals of rank rice and beans you can handle before you stop pretending to be grateful. Even to a professional chef.

Meanwhile over at Blood Nina was happy with her decision to stick with her alliance at the last tribal, however when the boys started to throw out the idea of getting rid of Shay as casual morning chat, she immediately started to feel a bit uneasy. She shared that she and Shay have grown really close, even beyond the game, and while the boys may want her gone, Shay is the one she wants to navigate the post-merge with. We then learnt a little bit more about Nina’s life and how she has been feeling unhappy in her job and wanting to do and be something more than she is. And to prove to her mum that she has learnt so much from her. And this emotional content is really making me more and more nervous. To counteract the Shay whispers, she caught up with the boys and instead slyly suggested they get rid of Mel instead. Which, just never seems to happen despite the fact she is their go-to target.

We went back to Water where Jesse was living his best life, being in the majority and rocking his bright speedos. But that zen, happy go lucky side of Jesse was soon to be coming to an end, as he focused his attention on making some moves and taking some names. And the first person on his hit list was Ben, who entered camp wearing a sarong which obviously makes me hate the idea. Ben opened up to Sam and Michelle about how he is struggling with the lack of food, unaware that that contant talk is fuelling everyone to turn on him. Particularly since he keeps scraping dregs off the pot and taking everyone’s crispy treats away from them. With the target growing, Jesse pulled Sam aside to float the idea of getting rid of him which she immediately jumped on. Mainly because she and Khanh had the same discussion last week.

The tribes joined up with Jonathan for the reward challenge where Khanh was heartbroken to see his baby sister had been eliminated. As he started to cry, he thankfully avoided spitting rage at the rival tribe before Sam jumped in to talk about how hard it is to arrive at each reward, worried to find out whether their loved ones were still in the game. With that sweet interlude out of the way, we focused on the reward challenge which Jonathan decided to complicate by splitting each tribe into two teams. One person from each team would then slide down a waterslide to grab a ball then shoot it into a basket. With the first two teams to score two baskets jagging a picnic reward. Which immediately makes the entire thing more interesting. 

The teams ended up with Khanh, Ben, Chrissy and KJ versus Michelle, Sam, Jesse and Croc against Shay, Mel, Josh and Dave battling Mark, Jordan, Jordie and Nina. Mark, Josh, Croc and Ben were the first four to face off, with Mark quickly scoring the point for his team while speedo king Ben missed his ball altogether. Mel, Michelle, KJ and Nina were up next with the latter terrified about the slide before tragically injuring herself as she landed, wincing through the water as Mel scored the point for her team. While she celebrated, Sam and Jordie were the first to notice Nina’s injury and asked Jonathan to pause the challenge. After her competitors carried her from the water, medical arrived and checked her out, diagnosing her with a twisted ankle and clearing her to wait it out for a few hours before they make a final decision on whether she can continue in the game.

Mel, Michelle, Jordan and Khanh were next up, with Jordan securing reward for him, Mark, Jordie and Nina, leaving the other three groups to fight it out. Kate faced off against Croc and Dave and while KJ battled valiantly, Dave shot his basket and secured reward for his group, meaning despite the twist, only the Blood tribe were enjoying the reward.

The tribe arrived at their picnic by the river with the tribe giddy by the sheer amount of food in front of them. As they spoke through full mouths, they vowed to take out immunity the next day while Mark was just grateful the food would help them think clearly for a day or so. As he caught up with Jordie and Jordan, the trio spoke about the likelihood of a clue, all agreeing to share it should they find one. Which is obviously not what happened when Mark found the clue and pocketed it in his shoe without anyone noticing. Or so he thought, given Jordie spotted him and planned to use his little secret to his advantage.

Reward was interrupted by the medic for a follow-up assessment of Nina, who was trying to put on a brave face as the doctor eventually told her that she had to be removed temporarily to go and get an X-ray and dear god, please don’t let this be the way our rightful winner Nina goes out?!

The tribes reconnected with Jonathan for the immunity challenge the next day where Nina was driven in and unveiled a moon boot and crutches. With tears in her eyes, Jonathan announced that Nina had an avulsion fracture and as such, she had to be pulled from the game to receive the care she needs. Though THANKFULLY, she has an invite to a future season which doesn’t stop me from crying watching her and everyone else break down. As she said her goodbyes, her fellow castaways praised her kindness, strength and killer gameplay and again, I am crying.

Once out of shot – for some reason, Channel 10 don’t want my gorgeous mug on the screen – I popped up from the floor of the Isuzu and pulled Neens in for a massive hug. As a close personal friend of the Diaz-Twine family (fun fact: I was Sandra’s family visit for Game Changers and Winners at War), I’ve seen Nina grow into the impeccable woman that she is and I was heartbroken to see her game finished in such a cruel fashion.

Which I obviously told her, reiterating she is a star and destined to be one of the great Survivor players and carry on her mother’s mantle. Given an injury is arguably the most bitter pill to swallow, I knew Nina needed something sweet for her journey home and as we laughed our way to the airport, trying to distract from our shared disappointment, we smashed some Pralina Twine and started to talk about how best to prepare for her second season.

Just as sweet as it is easy, praline is such a gorgeously versatile confection. A snack, a garnish, a gift or just good old comfort, there is nothing praline can’t do. Including fix your injury and get you ready to dominate next season.

Enjoy!

Pralina Twine
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup water
⅔ cups slivered almonds, lightly toasted
pinch of salt

Method
Start by lining a baking sheet with some baking paper and popping it to the side.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over low heat, cooking, stirring for 5 minutes, or until dissolved. Increase the heat to high, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes, or until golden. 

Remove from the heat and leave to settle for a minute or two before folding through the almonds and salt. Pour on to the lined baking sheet and leave to cool completely.

Break into shards and devour, greedily.


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Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top five were put through their sped-up paces in a timed, yes timed, Fugly Ball. To rub salt in Krystal’s Snatch Game-sized wound, the second category even featured an appearance by Charity Shop Sue who lent them some of her charity shop wears to turn their looks. Vanity’s first look wasn’t loved while Scarlett’s last two were deemed way too boring. On the flipside, Kitty was living her best life from start to finish and was finally reward with her first victory of the season. Vanity and Scarlett meanwhile were forced to lip sync, with the latter sadly going home. Screaming like Bimini in Beastenders (which aired after this was filmed, so no hate).

Backstage Kitty was literally shitting her pants with excitement, proudly strutting back in while Vanity screamed about the fact she got rid of Scarlett. Kitty meanwhile was shocked that Scarlett wasn’t going to be in the top while Krystal was proud about how damn killer Vanity was in the lip sync. Kitty pulled focused back to herself, thrilled to no longer get shade for not having a badge and ready to get another. She then asked who they think will be the next to go, with Kitty suggesting Vanity should start packing her bags though she rightly pointed out that she can definitely turn a lip sync and save herself, should she bottom again. Which Ella told her didn’t scare her because she has two badges and no bottoms, and girl, be careful, Ru doesn’t care about track records anymore. Just call my love Bimini.

The next day the dolls celebrated the fact that they are officially the top four of the season, thanks to the fact they dumped three in the last two weeks. Ella admitted that she was surprised she didn’t win last week, though was tolerating the fact it went to Kitty. After Krystal pulled a me and reminded everyone how young she is, Ru dropped by and surprisingly didn’t murder her. Instead, she tasked the dolls with starring in Ru’s low budget sci-fi blockbuster Bra Wars: The Fempire Claps Back. And given Kitty is the current reigning Miss Fugly, she was able to assign the roles to her sisters.

With that, Ru disappeared and the girls gathered round to read through the script with Vanity thrilled to show some diversity. Ella and Kitty meanwhile vied for the role of Brabara-ella, which Kitty obviously snapped up for herself. Krystal was debating between Darth Shader and Baby Yolo while Vanity desperately wanted the latter. Kitty then dropped the bomb that she was debating between being casting the dolls in safe roles or being shady. Instead though, she decided to open a casting agency and got the dolls to audition for her. Ella was obviously great, Krystal was a bit of a mess until she started doing accents while Vanity had zero accent game. As such, Darth Shader went to Ella with She-3P-Ho to be played by Krystal and Baby Yolo went to Vanity.

The queens quickly split up to run their lines and get ready, with Ella thrilled to be doing her day job though knew that that meant she would really have to bring it because the judges will be harder on her. Vanity meanwhile was terrified upon discovering she is just a head while Krystal was worried about getting her lines down as she has dyslexia. While Kitty and Ella were praising her on the other side of the room given she was essentially born to be a drag queen and they are confident she will do well.

Our thesbians joined Michelle on set to film the first scene with Kitty just hoping they do better than the commercials where nobody won. From the start Vanity struggled … to stick her head in the baby carrier. Kitty meanwhile struggled to get the line, ‘space nut milk’ which was delightful and hilarious. Poor Vanity was in her head until Michelle encouraged her to give more and ugh, I really hope it’s a fake-out edit and she is great. Ella meanwhile couldn’t hear or breathe, flubbing her lines and starting to get in her head and well, now I hope this is the fake-out edit. Krystal too struggled to get her lines down with Michelle stepping in and talking her through her concerns, telling her to take a breath and relax. Begging the question, whatever happened to Michelle Visage-berg?

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls sharing how difficult filming was before Krystal reminded them that half of them will be in the bottom and as such, they really need to bring it on the runway. As they split up to get ready, Kitty shared how safe she feels with the dolls while Ella opened up about feeling terrified about walking down the street in drag. She spoke about a few weeks earlier when somebody threatened to beat them up on their street, leading to the girls opening up about how they have been conditioned to not do PDAs and their traumas of people behaving badly towards them in drag.

Ru, Graham and Michelle were joined by zaddy Russell Tovey on the judges panel as the queens walked the Scenes Stealers Runway. Krystal was in a stunning black and white Cruella inspired number with a gorgeous red coat. Ella was the sluttiest Oompah Loompah known to man, Vanity gave us stunning BAPs realness while Kitty was gorgeously demented as Kate Winslet’s entry scene in Titanic. And well, it was iconic from start to finish. I mean, she dropped the necklace and Michelle questioned whether Jack could fit on her wood. Perfection all round.

We then watched the premiere of Bra Wars and gurl, there were fake-out edits galore because the foursome killed it. Kitty was demented and charming, Krystal was hilarious, Vanity was gloriously OTT and Ella was a campy delight.

The judges loved Krystal’s willingness to listen in the challenge with Michelle praising her growth while filming. And obviously they felt her look on the runway was perfection. Michelle pointed out that Ella started off nervous in filming but ultimately killed it, while the judges lived for her killer Wonka look. Vanity was praised for throwing everything at the wall in the role and making it a moment. And again, they lived for her runway despite the fact Michelle wanted more diversity from her. Rounding things out, Kitty received universal praise from start to finish, giving it her all and injecting all the comedy she could. In the challenge and on the runway.

Backstage the dolls toasted to their killer performance in the challenge with Kitty ready to hook up with Russell. As was Ella. And Vanity. Krystal meanwhile felt uncomfortable watching her performance, worried that while she got good critiques, she will likely be in the bottom. The dolls spoke about who would be lip syncing with everyone agreeing that Vanity and Krystal will be in the bottom, including Vanity and Krystal. Ella pointed out that Vanity has given a few similar runways but Vanity was still proud of how she performed. Ella and Kitty then started debating which one of them will take out victory and while Krystal felt it was rude, she wasn’t bothered because it was very obvious they did the best.

Given the judges were feeling all the love, Ru announced that instead of a bottom two this week, the top two would instead lip sync for the win – yay, finally its a good surprise to reward them for slaying! Well, after sending Vanity and Krystal to safety and making Kitty and Ella’s eyes bug out of their heads for shits and giggles. As such, Kitty and Ella were beckoned to the front of stage and forced to battle for victory to Girls Aloud’s Something New. And damn, did they fight! Ella was popping and dropping, selling sex all over the stage while Kitty was a damn fucking star. She hit every lyric, was camp and ridiculous, giving us everything we could want and more. And then Ella did a series of splits before humping the ground. And then Kitty rocked some death drops. And well, it was all perfect and I can totally understand why Ru gave them a double win. 

Because. They. Slayed.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have all survived the challenge and ready to continue slaying as the top four. Kitty and Ella admitted that they were shocked as the other dolls got called safe, though were glad to have a pleasant surprise. Ella rightly directed the dolls to their track records, pointing out that she has three wins to their 2-2-1, though Kitty did argue that her sash should count for something. Kitty then posed nude for Ella to draw her and damn, this is the Titanic I would have loved.

Note to self, is there a gay porn parody of Titanic? Because I need it.

The next day Ella was still feeling Kool Aid man with herself now that she has three badges, while Vanity pointed out that while she only has one badge she is killing it. Kitty joked that she plans to get to the end by winning challenges, while Vanity told her that she will always win a lip sync while Ella knows she will get to the end based on talent. As poor Krystal admitted that she is feeling a bit under the weather.

The dolls then had a clothed orgy which was interrupted by Ru who arrived to task the dolls with a roast for this week’s Maxi Challenge, where they roast themselves and the panel including guest judge Kathy Burke. Oh and they will be performing in front of their eliminated sisters, meaning they’re fair game for a reading too. And because Ella has the most wins, she is allowed to decide the order. As the dolls sat down to kiki, Krystal admitted that she is shitting herself while Kitty is ready to slay, while Ella is nervous about writing jokes and Vanity is ready to read herself and the colour orange.

Kitty asked the girls how hard they are going to go in during the roast, with her encouraging everyone to go hard because at the end of the day, they need to make people laugh. Oh and Krystal is ready to go in on Ru because she is always a good sport. Which you know is going to backfire. Ella asked the girls where they would like to go in the run before admitting to us that she plans to put the worst first so she can go second and slay, followed by the next worst and then close the show with a stronger person. Which is convenient since Krystal wanted to get it over with, Vanity requested a middle slot and Kitty wanted to open or close. As such, she decreed the order as Krystal, herself, Vanity and Kitty, which didn’t go unnoticed by the latter.

The dolls split up to start working on their sets with Kitty taking the role of cracking herself up, while Vanity admitted that she was struggling to go in on the judges as she only likes to tear herself down. Ella meanwhile was ready to lean into her dad jokes, which she finds hilarious and oh god, is she in danger?! Kitty turned everyone’s attention to the fact this challenge is what gets them to the final with her admitting that she will be destroying everyone because she is hungry for the win.

As they split up to beat their mugs, Vanity and Ella bonded over their childhoods with the former talking about how confident she was as a kid. Ella admitted that she had a very supportive upbringing, however dance school made her try and act more masculine. She then shared that Ella is how she taps into her feminine side and makes up for lost time. Vanity admitted that her femininity gets clocked all the time but she is grateful that her parents instilled confidence in her and were so supportive and ugh, I love them.

Meanwhile Kitty was loving how gorgeous she was looking.

But before we could explore her charming confidence, we headed to the mainstage where Ru, Michelle, Alan, Kathy, Anubis, Elektra, Victoria, Veronica, Charity, River, Choriza and Scarlett were waiting with bated breath for the roast. Krystal opened The Pearly Gates Roast by going in on Charity in a cute, charming way. She then made a tonne of age jokes that went over well before opening up about being a virgin, and then explaining what a virgin is to Michelle which should have been an easy laugh but was NOT. Krystal then made more age jokes at Veronica’s expense which opened up the audience roasting her as Veronica started heckling with Ru quickly jumping on the bandwagon.

Ella was charming and hilarious from start to finish, reading Anubis with glee and calling Veronica a threat to society. It was brutal, polished and damn, I love her. IT. WAS. PERFECTION. I mean, is this the best roast on Drag Race ever? Yes. The answer is yes. Scone or scone, the debate continues! Talk about being typecast?! They were stupid but so funny and charming. Poor Vanity never really stood a chance following Ella’s performance, though her read about her fellow sisters being the white supremes was great. Kitty completed Ella’s nefariously brilliant plan by also knocking it out of the park – she was self-deprecating, upbeat and hilarious. And brutal. So damn brutal.

On the Oh My Goddess Runway Krystal was stunning as a sun-crowned dream, golden and perfect. Ella was a frosty, icy delight in a constellation bodysuit. Vanity wore The Bodyguard version of Krystal’s look, Cleopatra and Queen of the Damned rolled into one. While Kitty was a flowing, Greek goddess in the most Kitty way possible. Krystal received praise for starting out strong and being charming, though read for sticking to age and whore jokes. And obviously, they loved her runway. Ella rightly received universal praise for literally everything this week, because there is no way she is damn losing this challenge. On the flipside Vanity was read for not going hard enough though both her looks were beloved. And then Kitty too received universal praise for killing the roast, despite being so reliant on her notes. And again, they loved her opera diva does Hercules look.

As the dolls untucked backstage they all agreed that Ella clearly has her fourth win in the bag as they toasted to making it to the top four. Kitty was thrilled by her feedback while Vanity and Krystal were proud for pushing through despite being so nervous and outside of their comfort zones. Their kiki was interrupted by a siren where we got a message from Ella’s boyfriend and more importantly, their gorgeous, angel pupper, who is now my lovely prince. Kitty’s parents were sweet and more importantly, their dogs are great and not interested. Krystal’s mum looks my age, so that is that and now I feel super old. Then Vanity’s sweet husband came on the screen and ahh, I ship them, he is so damn cute. Oh and then Ella told them all that they are family now too and argh, it is so lovely and sweet and I love it.

Obviously Ella took out a very well-earned, fourth victory with Kitty joining her to battle for the crown next week. That left a fired up Krystal and Vanity to lip sync for the final place to Dua Lipa’s Hallucinate. And damn, they were ready to earn their spot in the finale. Vanity was her usual killer self while Krystal was flicking her hair and serving the judges everything. There were synchronised splits, they hit every lyric and ugh, they proved why they made it to the top four. Though obviously, somebody had to go and poor Vanity’s luck finally ran out as Krystal went through to the finale.

Backstage, sweet Vanity was so thrilled to see me and to celebrate making it to the top four. I mean, yeah it sucks to know that you made it so close to the end, but that, as they say, what friends are for. You see, Vanity and I have been dear friends for years – I painted my bedroom orange when I was ten and she wore a couple of orange looks on the runway – so knowing that she had the love and support of one her closest was more than a win to her.

We laughed, we cried and then frankly, we got to work smashing the recipe of the season in the form of the gorgeously talented and stunning Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice.

Velvety smooth custard, the crunch of the pastry and the punchy flavours of baklava combine to form the greatest of desserts. Sweet, earthy and honestly, stunning, there is no better way to honour such a talented queen.

Enjoy!

Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
⅓ cup pistachio kernels
⅓ cup walnuts
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
20g butter, melted
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup cornflour
6 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp honey
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp rosewater

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 10x20cm loaf pan, and lined the sides with baking paper, leaving an overhang. Finely chop the pistachio and walnuts and place them in a bowl.

Place the pastry on a baking sheet and brush with the butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon, followed by half of the nut mixture. Then a drizzle of the rest of the butter. Place in the oven and bake for five minutes. Remove from the oven, stab with a skewer and top with a second baking sheet to keep flat. Return to the oven to break for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.

While things get as chill as Cynthia Bailey post-wedding, stir the cream, vanilla, ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer before removing from the heat. Then combine the cornflour with the egg yolks and remaining milk in a jug. Whisk the two together and return the saucepan to a low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for five minutes or until nice and thick.

Cut each piece of pastry in half and place a rectangle, nut side down, into the loaf tin. Top with custard mixture, followed by pastry, custard, another slice of pastry, the rest of the custard and finishing with the pastry. Cover and pop in the fridge to set overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, combine the lemon juice and zest in a saucepan with the honey, cloves, cinnamon and ⅓ cup water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves before cranking to high and simmering for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Strain and allow it to cool.

To serve, decant the slice, carve, sprinkle with the remaining nuts and drizzle with the lukewarm syrup. Then, devour.


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Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak

Main, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribes officially merged into the new Viakana tribe where instead of the smaller OG tribes joining forces against the dominant Luvu group, Shan whipped a mega-alliance together leaving Evvie, Xander and Tiffany alone on the bottom. Well, that, and the fact that the drama of the previous tribal council made them all targets and they were willing to throw each other under the bus to get further. At the immunity challenge Probst offered up a bag of rice for the tribe should four people step out of the challenge, which Shan, Naseer, Xander and Ricard were willing to do. As such, Evvie destroyed the remaining competition and since they were immune and the tribe feared Xander’s idol, poor Tiffany was booted from the game to become the Queen of the Jury.

Though not before Heather created chaos at the second tribal council in a row.

After tribal council Heather was trying to run damage control with Deshawn after setting things off rather than just sticking with their alliance’s plan. While Deshawn assured her that he loves her, he does need her to stop being messy given it is now causing problems between him and Shan. Deshawn then went to Danny and questioned why he didn’t speak up when Shan suggested Heather be the new target, as Shan bitched to her alliance about how Deshawn needs to stop being difficult and put the alliance first. Evvie meanwhile was just thrilled because any time chaos occurs in the game it only can benefit those on the bottom. Like say, them.

The next morning the tribe rallied together to watch the sun rise as Shan and Deshawn finally cleared the air, explaining why they had been hurting each other. And then Shan immediately brought up Erika and Heather being dangerous again and suggested they should get rid of them, making Deshawn nervous again. WIth that, he checked in with Evvie to try and rebuild their relationship so that he has options for when the alliance with Shan inevitably explodes. You know, if it hasn’t already.

We then returned to the camp where Naseer was approaching Heather to assure her that there are no hard feelings about her voting for him the night before, which she vehemently denied. Xander watched on relishing the chaos and staying mum over the fact it was in fact him who cast the vote for Naseer before Heather tried to rope Evvie in to back her up. Who immediately threw her further under the bus. And then backed it up and ran her over again.

As the drama subsided the tribe sat down to feast on their rice where Ricard shared that he is hard of hearing, while sharing with us that it is advantageous in the game, given he is used to reading lips and body language. Sadly Shan is so obvious with her moves, that anyone can see what is happening as she pulled Liana, Deshawn and Danny aside to talk strategy directly in front of Xander and Erika. Which immediately made the duo decide to try and rally the rest of the tribe to take control rather than feuding.

The tribe met Jeffrey on a beach where they were gagged to learn that for this week’s twist, they will be split into two groups with one winner from each being immune at their group’s tribal council. Oh and the person that sticks it out the longest also wins stew for their group. Yes, stew. Wait, I missed the main point – for the challenge, everyone would need to stand on a small perch and hold on to a bar behind their head, with the last one standing winning. Erika, Heather, Shan, Ricard and Naseer were set to face off against each other while the rival group consisted of Evvie, Danny, Deshawn, Liana and Xander.

Despite being the last two standing in the last immunity challenge, Evvie and Heather were the first two out after ten minutes. They were followed by Liana and Shan in quick succession, before Danny and Ricard fell out of nowhere, leaving Erika and Naseer fighting out for one immunity and Deshawn and Xander the other. Naseer suddenly dropped, handing Erika immunity, who just as quickly gave up trying for the stew, giving their rivals a feast as Deshawn and Xander continued to fight. As Liana willed the latter to drop, she bitched about hating his face, which is some passionate language for someone you’ve known for 17 days. Which made it all the more funny when Deshawn dropped after 33 minutes handing Xander victory.

Heather, Shan, Naseer, Ricard and Erika were swiftly sent to the former Ua camp to strategise prior to their tribal council with Naseer feeling firmly in the middle of the duos. Shan meanwhile was frustrated that their easy target was now immune. She approached Naseer to get him to join her and Ricard to get rid of Heather, giving she is Erika’s number two. Naseer being too kind, he approached Heather and Erika to let them know that Heather will be going home tonight and while Erika tried to float different options, he continued to give her a big old hell no. Which made Erika decide that the better plan may be to get rid of Naseer.

As Naseer caught up with Ricard, he was puzzled why people are actually thinking of getting rid of a non-threat like Heather out when somebody threatening like Naseer is still around. This led to Ricard catching up with Heather and Erika to float the idea of working together and making Naseer feel calm enough to not play his idol and get blindsided. And while they were down with the idea, Shan was NOT happy about it given she thinks Naseer is a solid number for her and as such, wanted to keep him around. Which made Ricard grow more and more frustrated as the afternoon progressed.

At tribal council Ricard played up how tight he is with Shan and Naseer, with Heather joining in to point out that she is clearly the only option to go and as such, she knows she is going home. Erika jumped in to point out that having no advantages creates barriers to moving forward before Jeff questioned why everyone knows about all the advantages before Shan and Naseer reminded him that they had to say stupid phrases to activate everything. Ricard spoke about the madness of navigating around all those advantages while Naseer spoke about how hard it is going to be to vote out Heather given they are so close.

Heather then gave the performance of a lifetime, breaking down about not being ready to go given she has learnt more and more about herself each day, eliciting sympathy from Erika and an unwitting Naseer. With that the tribe voted and everyone held on to their idols as the votes piled up 3-3 between Heather and Naseer after Shan used her extra vote. They then revoted between the duo with poor, sweet Naseer blindsided from the game. Begging the question, what exactly inspired Shan to waste her extra vote if they were all working together to eliminate him.

In any event, after Naseer exited the jury bench he was awkwardly sent to after his boot and officially entered Ponderosa, I pulled him in for a big hug and sobbed over losing him from the game. But, you know, given he is a total sweetheart he quickly told me that he has had the best time on the show and I shouldn’t be sad. Because he is so happy. Though did admit that he would be happier if I were able to whip him up my famous Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak.

I’ve had a long, difficult history with steak. As a kid, all I wanted in the meat-family were sausages – and look at me now! – but after a traumatic three week recovery from wisdom teeth surgery without eating (and missing the 2005 Big Day Out), all I wanted was steak. This led to me successfully having my first. I then moved out of home the following year and since my dad is the only person that can cook steak well, I never made it myself. Well until this. Buttery, crusty and packed with flavour, this is the perfect way to try cooking your own steak (if you’re still a child like me.

Enjoy!

Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 ribeye steaks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
75g unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
6 sprigs rosemary
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Method
Get your steaks out of the fridge a good half an hour to an hour before cooking, to come to room temperature.

Pop the oil in a heavy-based skillet and place over high heat until scorching hot. Dry each steak with paper towels, season generously (or to taste) and place in the skillet for cook for two minutes or until the seasoning forms a gorgeous crust.

Flip the steak and cook for a minute before adding the butter, garlic and rosemary. Baste the steaks with butter and cook for a further minute or two, depending on doneness.

Remove the steaks from the pan to rest for ten minutes, covered in foil before serving with mash (or your favourite sides) and with the crisp garlic, rosemary and a generous heaping of browned butter.

Then, obvi, devour.


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Georgia Ray Julep

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes switched up, shunting the previously liberated Cara back to the Brain slums though thankfully stacking it with her friends. She and the Brawns first planned to take out Georgia, but Cara messed things up  – or cooked it, if you will – and booted Daini by mistake. Meanwhile Hayley was very busy being a boss after blindsiding Joey, threatening the Brawn majority that she will happily idol out one of the OG Brawns if they don’t join her and the Brains. And since Wai and Andrew were both immune at the double tribal council, the Brawns had a 50:50 shot of getting things right. As such, Simon and co jumped ship and booted Shannon while Laura was the victim on Brains given Georgia was on medical leave and Rachel was also immune. But Laura got lucky, given the two tribes were solely booting one person and SImon went to town turning everyone on Shannon and she exited the game.

The next day things were relatively calm over in Camp Brawn, with Simon grateful to have won the battle with Shannon. While Flick was the only one to not vote in the majority, she was quickly bonding with Andrew and Wai, perfecting their shelter and keeping the camp functioning. Like a social Queen. Meanwhile Simon and Dani pulled Hayley aside to solidify their bond, with Simon sharing that he is so glad that she didn’t waste her idol because they’re all solid and Flick is screwed. Essentially. Sadly for him, the Brains are not on board with things as Hayley got to work building a bond with Flick to lock in the majority instead. And you know, get rid of Chelsea, Dani and Simon.

While Flick was obviously gutted to lose her ally Shannon, she had already moved on and was ready to jump ship and lock things in with the Brains. And well, the way she and Hayley spoke about the stupidity of Dani and Simon thinking an alliance of seven is better than their new one of five was just peak Survivor slash Queen players. Long may they rule, despite Simon’s speedo.

We checked in with the Brains where Kez was busy brushing her teeth with charcoal while Laura was just shocked to still be in the game after the last tribal. Laura clearly saw the breakdown of the alliances within the tribe and while there were no ins, she was ready to continue building relationships until one appeared. And well, maybe something is, as she and Kez went for a walk to chat. Which immediately made Cara and George very nervous, particularly the former given she straight up made a mistake and cost Daini the game. Something that enraged Kez.

My love Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where three people from each tribe would have to hold a pole across their shoulders with weights routinely added throughout the challenge. For tacos and margs, so you know the rewardless Cara was desperate for the Brains to pull something out. Gerald, Emmett and Kez stepped up for their tribe, battling Baden, Simon and Chelsea for the Brawns. Under George’s orders, the Brains opted to load most of the weight on Chelsea to eliminate her early, while Gerald was weighed down by the Brawns. After George decided Chelsea was struggling enough and likely to drop soon, he directed the tribe to focus on Simon to eliminate another threat. Which was wise, given Chelsea was the first one to drop at 35 minutes. She was quickly joined by Baden, leaving Simon as the sole person fighting for Brawn. Proving that George truly is an asset. Kez was the first one to drop for Brains, followed by Gerald who dropped out of nowhere after a lapse in concentration. Emmet and Simon continued to fight for over an hour, reaching 90kgs until Simon dropped and handed Brains victory.

And Queen Cara, the first bit of luxury in over two weeks.

The Brains were thrilled to discover their taco cart back at camp, with Cara in particular grateful for actual food. George meanwhile was just thrilled to knock back some margies, like the iconic Shonella themselves. While everyone joyously ate their tacos, the tribe got an even more joyous surprise to see Georgia return to camp, delighted that she was feeling better. Before plying her with tacos and margaritas, two of the worst things for an upset stomach. She reunited with Laura and Rach, ready to fight for their lives while Emmett, Gerald and Kez doubled down on the fact that one of them needed to go. ASAP.

Jonathan returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would need to push a sled through obstacles and fill it with sand bags they collect along the way, before using said sand bags to knock down a series of targets and snatch immunity. Brawn got out to the earliest of leads, collecting all of their sandbags and barrelling to the end while Emmett desperately tried to collect them, practically single handedly, for the Brains. While Emmett continued his heroics for the Brains, Dani slayed on the slingshot, knocking out two tiles before their rivals even made it to the end. As Gerald desperately tried to close the gap, Simon traded in for Brawn and cracked their third. Then Emmett traded out for Gerald and damn, he is a beast, knocking out three of the tiles just before Simon took out immunity for the Brawns. Just.

Back at camp things were feeling a little bit tense with Emmett frustrated to lose again, despite being immensely glad to be in the majority. Which really helps to dull the pain. He pulled the Brawn plus Cara and George majority aside and decided that since they continue to fail at taking out the minority, they will just vote for one person and hope for the best that it is the right one. Quickly locking in Georgia as the easy vote.

Returning to the camp, Georgia pulled Emmett aside to see what she could possibly do to save herself. She immediately questioned why he aligned with George and Cara, with Emmett admitting that they are volatile and as such, she proposed he joined with the Brain girls to take one of them out instead. Georgia continued to play into all of their fears and stroked their egos, with Kez joining and agreeing that she’d prefer some more stability in her allies. Particularly given Simon will come for her eventually. Sadly for the ladies, Emmett was having none of it and told them as much, apologising and wandering off while they prepared for their inevitable doom.

This infuriated Georgia, who was ready to do anything to tear him down and beat the patriarchy. The Brains girls opted to try and get Cara out no matter what, with Rachel deciding their best hope would be to pull Kez over to their side to at the very least, tie things up. Rachel and Laura pulled her aside, with Kez admitting that she is annoyed to be aligned with Cara given she ended Daini’s game. And just like that, the girls went in, playing on all of Kez’s fears and desires to try and pull her over to their side.

Emmett meanwhile started to worry that something was up, so pulled Kez aside to play into all of her fears of ruining the Brawn majority. Though given Kez gave zero fucks about taking out Cara since she isn’t actually Brawn, she shared that she would rather go to rocks than let Cara survive.

At tribal council George spoke about intra-tribal divisions as opposed to the fact there are alliances. Rachel obviously called bullshit before Emmett smugly spoke about not breaking when the girls came to him to make a deal. This infuriated the girls with Laura and Rach going in on his arrogance, calling him out for hating on George and Cara but solely sticking with them for the numbers. This irked the hell out of Emmett, who assured George and Cara that he never talked shit about them and wanted to go to the merge strong with them. Which Cara and George ate up.

Rachel spoke about the frustration of putting it all on the line to win despite being on the bottom, with Emmett telling her that if she really tried to win they wouldn’t be back here. Which is both smug and infuriating. Cara started to feel bad, telling Rachel that if maybe they approached someone else, like her, they would have had a different outcome. Laura pointed out that they went to the people who they actually thought would be open to something with them, while Kez said that she was always willing to jump the fence should it be beneficial for her. She spoke about being playdough and while Jonathan suggested Laura try and mould her, Laura calmly pointed out that she is not willing to tell a woman what to do with her autonomy.

Given that very pointed dig, Emmett started to panic, reiterating how important it is for them to stick together if they want to make it to the merge together. But Rach and co continued to be iconic, pointing out that Emmett is controlling things and to paraphrase them, is dominating decisions as the dominant, white heterosexual male. Again, to paraphrase. With that, the tribe voted, Queen Kez stood firm and poor Georgia found herself booted from the game mere moments after making her triumphant medical return.

While I was heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander Georgia walk into Loser Lodge, I was thrilled that she was able to see out the game rather than medevaced. Despite being joyously reunited and catching up, things got super awks between us when she asked where her Georgia Cheeseburgers were and well, I didn’t bother to make her any. Instead, we downed a couple of Georgia Ray Juleps, which thankfully washed away the post-boot pain and the awkwardness.

Despite being well-known as someone who would suck the alcohol out of a deodorant, that doesn’t factor in when I say that this little baby is a pure delight. Sweet and fruity with a punch of mint, this is a refreshing way to bring a little life back to your soul.

Enjoy!

Georgia Ray Julep
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
90ml cognac
20ml peach liqueur
1 tsp sugar syrup
a dash or two of bitters
8 mint leaves

Method
Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and give a quick shake.

Pour into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice.

Down, triumphantly.


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Ellie Diamonte Carlo

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the top four were cast in the iconic new soap Beastenders. And despite many a wobbly bit during the shoot, everyone slayed. Of course that didn’t stop Ellie and Lawrence from fighting with each other, given they are giving off big sibling energy. When it came to judging, Tayce was read for being too sexy on the runway, while Ellie didn’t take comedy far enough. Shocking nobody, Bimini won her fourth badge, while Tayce and Ellie landed in the bottom, before Ru deemed them all too good, saving them and sending them through to the final as a foursome.

The top four returned to the Werk Room after the shocking non-elimination, giddy to officially be the final four. Tayce was particularly thrilled to survive lip syncing four times, while Ellie was proud to make it to the end despite no wins. Lawrence congratulated her on making it, despite the fact she tried to throw her under the bus on the runway. Ellie thanked Lawrence and admitted that she inspired her to start drag and as they all hugged, all appeared to be right in the world. We then got a supercut reminding us that Bimini fought her way to the top and grew the entire time, Ellie was proud of herself, Lawrence was desperate to be the first big girl winner and make Scotland proud.

And Tayce, she knows she is an icon and is simply ready to show it.

The next day the queens were still on cloud nine about making it to the end, with Bimini worried about her chiropractic bill post show given she is holding up FOUR badges now. Ru interrupted their kiki to announce that for their final challenge they would be writing their own verse for the rumix of A Little Bit of Love, then learn choreo and you guessed it, perform it live on stage. After lunching with Ru and Michelle on the mainstage, of course. After Ru departed the girls quickly started writing their verses, with Ellie going the shady route which made Lawrence very concerned, given it is completely against the ethos of the song. Thankfully she got Tayce and Bimini involved and they agreed the song needs to be positive and fierce. Read: cohesive. Speaking of Bimini, she was very confident – as she should be – given she can perform the house down and can turn a funny verse.

And Lawrence meanwhile was stuck in his head trying to write the lyrics.

Tayce was up first for her tic tac luncheon, charming her way through the interview and dropping the epic reveal that her dad is the guitarist of mother fuckin’ WHAM! No wonder she was always encouraged to rock a wig and turn a look like the iconic toddler she no longer was. Talk turned to what she has learnt in the competition, with Ru admitting that she has grown so dramatically from the start of filming, through lockdown to now. Ellie was up next, still gagging Ru with how young she is. Ellie admitted that she has always wanted to make life fun and not stick around in situations that suck. She then taught Ru and Michelle the Ellie Diamond 8-count choreo and the judges were both living. Not to mention the fact she played the game strategically in the comedy challenge with the judges telling her not to feel bad about it for a minute.

It was clear from the first moment Lawrence arrived that he is still Ru’s favourite, with Ru looking on proudly talking about her first time in drag and the overall transformation it has built in her. Lawrence admitted that she loves Scotland and wants to make them proud, particularly since Scottish people often end up being the brunt of jokes in movies. And ugh, then came the queen of my heart Bimini with her admitting that she surprised even herself with how well she has done in the competition. She admitted to struggling with self-doubt through the break, but built herself up and after re-starting filming on a very special day for her, she vowed to fight. Michelle spoke about seeing the moment in Snatch Game where she realised Bimini was in it to win it. Oh and then she spoiled how we met each other – at journalism school, but we’ll get to that later – and spoke about her history with depression and how she has overcome it through yoga, meditation and Oprah.

And again, give. Her. The. Damn. Crown.

The queens they met Jay Ruvell to work on the choreography with two beautiful dancers who had all the girls’ basements floodin’. Or drippin’ if you will. While Lawrence was shitting bricks, Tayce was living her absolute best life and served that rehearsal like it was the opening ceremony of the Olympics and she was Nikki Webster. Bimini obviously destroyed her solo moment, reminding me of Katya in the finale of All Stars 2. Ellie was confident in her own choreo, Lawrence warmed into her performance after a little bit of encouragement from Ellie and fuck, how can you not love all of them? Particularly Tayce who was DTD (dance, duh) and seriously was soaking in every moment and her joy was SO DAMN INFECTIOUS.

Coronation Day finally arrived – I mean, they had a damn seven month lockdown – with the girls excited to have made it, despite the fact Lawrence’s body was completely falling apart. Bimini asked the girls what they all thought of each other when they arrived, with Ellie intimidated by Tayce and Lawrence, and wanting Bimini to brush her wig. Tayce and Bimini praised Ellie’s level of polish for such a young girl, while Bimini was just thrilled that she has earnt people’s respect and they now believe she deserves the crown. Lawrence spoke about the power of having two Scottish queens in the finale and being able to prove that someone from a small town really can dominate. Tayce meanwhile was thrilled to show the judges what she does best, though pointed out Ellie’s final boy outfit pants are the lowest point in her mind.

When it came time for the dolls to perform, I was barely distracted by the sexy dancers because the top four came to slay. Bimini looked stunning, rapped like a professional and hit every moment of choreo. Ellie proved she can own the stage, spinning all over and mesmerising the judges. Even Lawrence’s fear of dance wasn’t visible, with a verse that fit with the song and a charming performance. And Tayce? You know she owned it, with sharp moves and on point lyrics and well, can we just do a four way crowning? Wait, no – the eliminated queens joined them all on stage for the final chorus and NOW I want a 12 way crowning. Because this cast was absolute fire.

On the Final Four Runway Eleganza Extravaganza, Bimini looked stunning in a slutty white bridal gown. I mean, her make-up was flawless. Ellie was gorgeous in a blush Glinda number, and even twirled her skirt out and squatted in the exact right moment. Lawrence went for Ru’s heart, dressed in purple Drag Race eleganza, complete with her badges used as earrings. And then Tayce slayed in a nude illusion, bird number with a face inspired by Naomi Campbell.

The judges praised Bimini for her epic run, going from bottom two week one to absolutely dominating the competition. They lived for her performance and thought her outfit was glorious. Ellie was praised for her stunning, polished looks and the heart she injects into every one of her looks. Everything Lawrence did, the judges completely ate up despite being a little behind on her steps. Not that they cared, given her personality will drive her career. Tayce FINALLY got the glowing praise she deserved for annihilating the verse and her performance. And looking stunning. Ru then gave her a special shoutout for destroying every lip sync she did in the competition, particularly for injecting herself into such vastly different songs.

Bimini then advised lil’ Tommy to not dye his hair and not let people’s bullshit diminish his shine. Ellie wanted to tell little Elliott that despite his relationship with his father, to not stop believing in finding your Oz. Lawrence encouraged himself to not close himself off because of the bullies, relax, laugh and believe in yourself. And then Tayce told a glorious story about taking a wig from her neighbour as a kid, skateboarding down the street and to enjoy the Maccas she had after it. And then gave a charming speech about not giving trolls time and to practise.

Ru asked the girls to detail why they should win, with Bimini focusing on wanting to be a beacon of queer weirdness and to make everyone she knows proud. Ellie spoke about her ability to do literally everything and never bottoming (except that one time, which she slayed). Lawrence gave a heartfelt speech about wanting to be an escape for people and given Ru beaming as she looked on proudly and the stirring music, I am starting to worry Bimini may not actually have this in the bag. Tayce spoke about never letting people get to her and that she will take that strength into the crown, perform her tits off all over the world and FINALLY put beans on toast with ketchup and butter on the map. Direct quote.

The top four returned backstage to meet the eliminated queens with us finally learning that Veronica survived her rat bite fever – though I knew that already – with Lawrence disappointed she couldn’t make the top with them but knowing she will slay Season 3. Cherry asked them to chat about the biggest gags of the season, with Ginny Lemon getting up and trying to walk out again. She explained she is an icon and has never been eliminated, so the move made sense to her. Bimini was gagged that Joe left twice, A’Whora was shocked by Ellie’s track record and Tia, bless, loved that they all bonded and got to become the best of friends.

The dolls returned to the mainstage where Ru announced that only three of them would be moving on to lip sync for the crown and as such, Ellie Diamond was eliminated in fourth place and sent to the back of stage to join her fellow eliminated sisters. As the crew reset for the final lip sync, I quickly pulled her aside and gave her a massive hug, praising for such a killer run. I mean, look back at everything she served and you see a cohesive point of view that was never anything less than perfection. And as such, she is destined for greatness. Even more greatness than an Ellie Diamonte Carlo, TBH.

While Monte Carlos aren’t my favourite of biscuits, my passion is creating copycats of any and all ones I can find on the shelf for the inevitable day when they are discontinued like my beloved coffee scrolls. And well, these are pretty delish. Coconutty and sweet, they are the perfect substitute for the real thing. Or maybe even better.

Enjoy!

Ellie Diamonte Carlo
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g butter, softened
100g muscovado sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
320g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
45g coconut
120g icing sugar
2 tsp milk
½ cup strawberry jam

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets.

Using a stand mixer, cream 190g of the butter and the muscovado sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and 1 ½ teaspoons of the vanilla extract and beat until just combined. Turn off the mixer and fold through the flour, baking powder and coconut before beating on low until just combined.

Roll out teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and pressed onto the lined trays. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the biscuits get chill, cream the remaining butter and vanilla extract with the icing sugar and milk until soft and creamy. 

To assemble, dollop a small glob of jam into the centre of half the biscuits before piping the buttercream in a ring around to enclose. Then sandwich with one of the naked biscuits.

Leave to set for about five minutes before devouring, triumphantly.


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