Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups

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

Like Art before her, I’m not going to dwell too much on Scarlet. I mean, damn Ru, why you gotta have four people left in contention for the crown? It really makes my life that much more difficult.

In any event, Scarlet well and truly stormed through the competition, served killer looks and well, that pole dancing was damn impressive.

That being said, it would be remiss to not say that her well-known past performances were horrible and as a white man, it is not my place to forgive her or accept her apologies. But I do hope that she is genuine about making amends and learning from the this because the world needs growth and healing with those she hurt so stupid, racist shit just stops happening.

Which is what I told her as I sat down and slammed a plate of Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups in front of her.

Like at the end of a good night, there is nothing I love more than sweetly, sticky balls. Combining san choy bow and ramen influences, these babies are earthy, spiced and most importantly, easy. Which is what I like to hear when I’ve got sticky balls.

Enjoy!

Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli paste
225g water chestnuts, finely chopped
⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 shallots, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
⅔ cup plum sauce
100g vermicelli noodles
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
2 baby cos lettuce, leaves broken off and rinsed.

Method
Combine the mince, ginger, garlic, chilli, water chestnuts, breadcrumbs and shallots with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine with your hands and mix into golf-ball sized meatballs.

Heat a lug of oil in a wok over medium heat and cook the balls for five minutes or so, tossing infrequently. Add the plum sauce with a cup of water, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and sticky. My two favourite descriptors.

Cook the noodles as per packet instructions and drain well to avoid any drippiness.

To assemble, divide a couple of lettuce leaves on a plate, top with noodles and meatballs and garlic with a few slices of chilli. And then, obviously, devour.


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Jason Porkstein Chow Mein

Main, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island, TV, TV Recap

After the longest, darkest off season Survivor is back. No not the Jiffy Pop brand of Survivor but a Survivor, and since Nico my love is super hot, you’re going to buckle in. Whether you like it or not, ok? Because this is Survivor SA.

We opened with my dear Nico, perilously close to a cliff face on the southern tip of Africa, filling me with fear and dread since we’ve all lived through enough in the last 18 months. I mean, that was worse than the Game of Thrones series finale. Anyway, my mood perked up when we met Tyson who is a babe and just like that, I love him. We followed him with Jason who is thrilled to have a homeground advantage being in SA, despite everyone having the same advantage. Though it turns out Amy kinda proved Jason may actually be correct, since she has no idea what to fear IN HER OWN COUNTRY.

Though maybe that is because in Australia, we just assume all bugs and snakes will kill you.

My hair twin Qieän was living for lady Rupert who we learnt is called Santoni. She in turn is scared by how built Marisha is and Anesu was intimidated by a shirtless old zaddy called Shaun. Nicole is looking forward to being underestimated, shirtless zaddy was shirtless so I didn’t absorb much information aside from his passion for backstabbing while sweet Pinty was pumped to be honest – no Queen Pinty. Nico then introduced us to the conceptImmunity Island which appears to be the same as Island of Secrets, which was fun and not overpowered, so I’ll let it slide.

Oh and Thoriso is ready to win, Wardah is ready to practice her mindfulness and Renier is excited to prove himself. And Tyson swung back around to tell us he will win. So I’m going to say he actually will win. As much as I love most of the cast.

The castaways finally joined Nico for an official welcome to the game where Santoni spoke about her weird and whimsical ways and damn, I love her. Tyson again reminded us he is here to win and again, I’ll listen. Until I realised Chappies was showing off his beautiful gams because now he has won something. My heart. Oh and Marisha the strong was charming and iconic, and I feel deep within my waters that I’m really going to enjoy her.

Nico explained that someone will head to Immunity Island after losing an immunity challenge. Once there they will be faced with a challenge offering them advantages and disadvantages. But that is all he was willing to share at this stage.

Nico instead announced that they would be split into two tribes based on random draw with Amy, Anela, Dino, Jason, Marisha, Nicole, Qieän, Renier, Shaun and Thoriso landing on Zamba and Vuna made up of Anesu, Carla, Chappies, Kiran, Mike, Pinty, Paul, Santoni, Tyson and Wardah. Nicole was thrilled to be on the tribe with buff queen Marisha, while Paul was annoyed to be the only buff guy on the weaker looking Vuna tribe. Though Anesu thinks orange is a colour of abundance and therefore, didn’t care. And now, I vote for her to win. Oh and Thoriso was annoyed to be with the buff squad while Amy was thrilled to be with them, as Wardah was loving the energetics of her tribe. And then Jason talked smack about his rivals’ chill ways.

But enough set-up, the tribes were immediately tasked with running into the jungle to grab as many supplies as possible in two minutes. Oh and to make things more complicated, there were two immunity necklaces for each tribe that are good for their first tribal. As they ran off Renier knew not to go for immunity and instead to look out for an advantage amongst the loot, while everyone ran around like mad for the fruit and snacks. While Dino it turns out, was the one to make a run for his tribe’s immunity necklace. And nobody from Vuna snagged one. Dino was thrilled to not become the first boot, though was nervous about what it could potentially mean for his game. Nico then announced that there was also a brown envelope with a tribe advantage in it, but the person had to reveal who they were to receive it. With Renier thrilling his tribe by the fact that he grabbed it, but I can’t help but feel the secrecy may come back to bite him. And you guessed it, I love him.

Particularly since Nico told them that Renier is a game player. Though he did win the tribe camp comfort supplies, so maybe they won’t worry too much.

With that the tribes grabbed their maps and headed off to their camps, ready to start the game. We first checked in with Zamba where Dino was apologising for grabbing the immunity necklace before the tribe went on a group trip through the jungle to get water and to get to know each other. Meanwhile at Vuna they was far more chill about things as they got to work and hanging as a pack, talking about not working too hard and just doing a temporary shelter to get them going. Chappies meanwhile was wooing me as he rubbed two sticks together in his undies to try and make fire.

We bounced back to Zamba where Renier was happy to let other people take a leadership role in the tribe and paint a target on their backs. And given how the tribe grew more and more frustrated as they attempted to build their shelter, Jason girl, you’re in trouble. Well other than Shaun and Qieän who were desperately searching through the supplies for a flint or an idol. Which Amy noticed and immediately reported to Renier, Dino, Jason and Anela. And all of them were thrilled to have a target on someone else’s back. Oh and during the conversation we learnt that Nicole and Marisha were also aligned, apparently.

At Vuna Pinty and Chappie waded in the shores and quickly aligned, Kiran and Anesu aligned in the shrubs due to attending the same university before Kiran roped Carla, Mike and Tyson into their alliance. Oh and Anesu was quick to align with Wardah, given they are both influencers and Wardah thinks Anesu should keep her career as a doctor secret. And then Wardah caught up with Tyson and aligned with him too as Chappies and Pinty tried to recruit Anseu. But let’s be honest the main take away is that everyone wants to align with Anesu. And who wouldn’t because she is now my winner’s pick.

That night Zamba were sleeping under their shelter on the ground while Vuna struggled to stay dry in the rain. Though Carla proved herself to be a damn icon and that truly matters to me.

Zamba woke up dry and comfortable on day two, ready to finish their shelter and make things more comfortable while Thoriso worried about getting herself up from the bottom of the totem pole. As such, she set her sights on Shaun and his brash lack of people skills and turning people against him.

Before she could get to that, treemail arrived tasking each tribe with sending one champion to go and battle creating fire using a flint, with the winner securing a fire making kit for their tribe. Chappies and Jason were each nominated, with Thoriso quickly surmising that by nominating Jason the tribe appear to trust him and as such, she had another target in her sights. In any event, Jason and Chappies joined Nico with the latter trying to intimidate Jason by pretending they already have fire. Which Jason rightly called bullshit on. But more importantly, I think they should date. In any event, both of the boys were quick to get a flame but Chappie ultimately smoked the competition and secured reward for his tribe.

Oh and then Nico gave them diplomatic immunity, meaning both of them now have the power to mutiny from their tribe after losing immunity but only before the merge. Which could be really interesting.

Back at camp Chappies was quick to share his victory with the tribe though wisely kept quiet about his power to defect, should he need it. While Mike pondered whether something else happened at the challenge, Chappies invoked Zaddy John and got naked and ran into the water as a dick-straction. So basically, I love Chappies and would die for him. Meanwhile at Zamba, Jason was heartbroken to have lost and he too kept his mouth shut about his immutinity. Queen Thoriso meanwhile was frustrated by the fact the loss won’t really change anything for Jason and right on cue, he wandered off to align with Shaun.

That night at Vuna, the tribe joyously gathered around fire and basked in the warmth and victory as they roasted their veggies.

The next day Nico returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would swim out to retrieve rope rungs from buoys before using them to build a rope ladder to get to a second level of a tower where they would need to solve a rope ladder puzzle and then venture to the top floor and wait wait wait, I’ve missed this, solve a puzzle. Renier got Zamba off to a slight lead over Chappies, which Paul quickly closed as Jason was felled by knots. Vuna continued to hold on to their lead, building their ladder while Zamba desperately tried to close the gap. Until Santoni struggled and the tribes became neck and neck. Zamba got their start on the second ladder first, getting to the final level while Vuna languished on the second. But then the puzzle happened, as Vuna smoked them and snatched the first immunity thanks to Queen Anesu. As Dino begged Paul to save him and send him to immunity island.

Sadly for him, the tribe went with my Queen Thoriso. Which is the only answer I was willing for them to make.

We followed Thoriso off to Immunity Island where she learnt that she had earned immunity for herself, as well as food, shelter and fire. But obviously there was a cost, where she could face a challenge for another advantage and risk losing her vote at the next tribal. Though if she doesn’t play, she has to return to the tribe and hand over the immunity necklace to someone else. Obviously she opted for the challenge and got digging in a sandpit to find a red ball within a couple of minutes, which she sadly failed at and ended up losing her vote.

Back at camp Shaun was annoyed by Dino trying to align with the other tribe while Amy languished over being the reason they lost the challenge. Dino acknowledged that he was trying to woo the other tribe and Rinna it (aka owning it) to his advantage. Thankfully for him, Amy, Nicole and Marisha didn’t care as they desperately wanted Qieän gone first and were willing to join him. Meanwhile Jason and Anela – aka Smash – were catching up about who best to target and focused on the scramblers, which made Jason nervous given he is aligned with Shaun. In fact, it made Jason so nervous while trying to protect Shaun that Anela started to think Jason needed to go. 

Shaun meanwhile was busy searching everywhere for the idol.

Renier joined Jason to talk plans and while they were aligned, Renier grew nervous about Jason’s unpredictability. And immediately got to work turning the vote on Jason. The girls quickly got on board, but only if Smash was willing to join them. Then Jason and Renier spoke to Dino about the vote, with Renier earning icon status by pointing at Jason to let Dino know to vote for him. While Jason was confused as to why he was holding his hand up the entire conversation. Meanwhile Shaun was desperately trying to get Anela to protect him, surmising that since nobody has given him a name, he is clearly the name. Which really upset Qieän, given it was a sign that she will be an early boot.

At tribal council Thoriso rejoined her tribe, completely unaware that even without immunity she would have been safe tonight. Shaun spoke about the nervousness caused by the backstabbing of the previous day as people were looking to build their alliances. Jason spoke about the beautiful friendships they are already forming, before Shaun cut in to tell them that friendship is nothing and they need strength to make it to the merge. Amy spoke about focusing on trust as her deciding factor while Shaun continued to try and cut in, this time talking about working hard and being above board with everything. With Anela cutting him off to point out the target was on his back because he was searching through the food for an advantage.

Shaun said he was actually trying to find bad fruit to dispose of it before it ruins the rest of their food. Shaun told them that if they felt he had an idol, they should have gone through his bags or at least asked him. Because that is how you build trust. Thoriso was thrilled to have immunity amongst such uncertainty, while Shaun pointed out that he would always be the target. And then instead opted to remind everyone that Dino is trying to build bonds with people on the other tribe. Thankfully that was brushed over as Thoriso was forced to announce that she doesn’t have a vote at tribal, which didn’t bother Jason because one vote doesn’t really matter should you have the numbers.

Which he tragically learnt he didn’t as he was blindsided – genuinely, I might add – as the first boot. Much to the shock and delight of Shaun, who didn’t receive a single vote. He was gutted but delightful, given he is such a babe and as such, I was thrilled to fill me, hard, to the brim with some Jason Porkstein Chow Mein.

Spicy, sticky and oh so sweet, these noodles are near perfection. A little bit of hit, full of fresh veggies and packed with my other other favourite white meat. Noodles and stir fry are always a winner, particularly if you’re the first boot.

Enjoy!

Jason Porkstein Chow Mein
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
¼ cup shao hsing
⅓ cup oyster sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g pork mince
1 onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
400g tin baby corn
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
2 tbsp minced chilli
440g fresh chow mein noodles
1 cup wombok, sliced
4 shallots, sliced green

Method
Mix the garlic, ginger, shao hsing, oyster sauce, soy sauce and pepper together in a jug and leave to rest.

Place a wok over medium-high heat and add half the vegetable oil and quickly stir fry the mince until cooked through. Add half the sauce and cook until sticky and browned. Transfer to a bowl to cook.

Heat the rest of the oil in the wok and add literally everything but the noodles, wombok and shallots. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add the remaining ingredients and cook for a few minutes.

Remove from heat, serve immediately and devour. Joyously. Because a Survivor is back and Jason is as gorgeous as a stir fry.


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Henry Gorenicholson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor physical battles dominated the game, leading to a focus on strength on each tribe. After going on a losing streak, Vakama were determined not to return to tribal council and came to both challenges fired up. After scoring a fish and chip reward – kinda – Mat found an idol in front of the entire tribe, much to Locky’s dismay who finally wanted to be the person to snag an idol. At the immunity challenge – which was again super physical – Michelle quickly dropped out, putting her tribe on the back foot from the start, which tragically led to their loss. Also Shonee sat out on a bench which featured a clue to the hidden immunity idol which see didn’t see, which is just as tragic as you could imagine. Back at camp Henry pushed to get rid of Sharn, which made Nick decide it was Henry’s time to go. While Abbey and the Athletes – who sound like the world’s shittiest band – opted to focus on strength and sent Queen Michelle out of the game.

The next day Mokuta was feeling mighty miserable, which obviously led to John welcoming Lee into the Australian Survivor nudity club. The self-annointed Dumb Dumb Club frolicked, flipped and showed off their gloriously pasty buns and hot damn, I’m drippin’ more than the Fijian skies.

Meanwhile over at Vakama the mood was just as low, though tragically far more clothed as Locky worked his arse off to keep the tribe afloat in the torrential ran. Add to that the fact he is sitting pretty in the majority alliance AND is falling for Brooke, and you could say that Locky is on cloud nine. Wait, scrap that, he is fixated on the fact that Mat has an idol and as such, he decided to start wearing it around camp to taunt poor love struck Locky. As Mat desperately wants to make him look as silly as possible.

We returned to Mokuta where the rain had stopped, the clothes were tragically back on and the tribe were doing some home improvements like a less chic version of Brad and Monica Culpepper. Well except for Henry, who was busy doing his best Coach impersonation while Nick worried about how to deal with him after spooking him at the last tribal council. With that Nick started to do damage control as Henry ranted and raved about how to save himself and play like he has no other option, while Nick sat in the shelter looking like he is about to shit himself. Based on the conversation Nick decided that Henry’s next target is going to be Shonee, so instead of trying to manage him, approaches the rest of the tribe to warn them how dangerous Henry is, so that everyone manages the situation on his behalf.

Speaking of Henry, he was reflecting on his first time in the game and remembering his mother, who passed away just before he went out. Not one to be down for count, Henry channelled his grief and as Nick feared, started working his way round the tribe to show how strong he is and play up how weak our icon Shonee is.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge – sadly clothed – where each tribe would face off one-or-one to knock an idol of the other’s handle with the first to four scoring victory. For a huge pack of cones, so you know Harry is excited. Mat and Henry were first to face off, with Henry chasing him down like prey and quickly snagging the point. Abbey made quick work of Moana, Queen Shonee was felled by Phoebe, Zach destroyed AK before Henry’s tricky juggling skills scored Mokuta the victory over David. Before the tribe headed out to smash their ice cream, Locky and Phoebe interrupted the proceedings and told Jonathan that they would like to use their previous reward and join then at the ice cream shop. Thankfully Jonathan is a messy icon, and asked them which two people they would like to send, outing their lie that it had to be used by them to the rest of their tribe.

At reward Harry was well and truly in his element, making ice creams and running around like a delirious child. Speaking of deliriousness, Henry was thrilled to show off his strength, so was working overtime to make as many friends as possible while they were all sugared up. Meanwhile Locky and Phoebe were filling everyone in on how much better the Mokuta camp is before Locky split up to gather intel from his rivals. While the tribe, smartly, stayed quiet. Making it super awkward, and honestly, painted a target on his back. Meanwhile my queen Shonee was loving the sugar but more importantly, loved finding a hidden immunity idol clue under a log. Redeeming herself for the day before. She bided her time until the tribe cleared out to wash their hands before she learnt that the idol was hidden under the well. She went for a wander into the jungle to find the well and got to work lifting it out of the way, grabbing the idol and then returning the well to its place.

Oh and she was wandering around in a jumpsuit and slides.

Terrified about being caught, she panicked about whether the well looked weird before her best friend Nick stumbled upon her. After confirming that the well looked normal, she looped her ally in on the intel and honestly, their happy dancing was too pure for this world and I ship the hell out of them.

The delicious Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to build a staircase out of heavy logs before collecting a hammer, pounding in some stakes, releasing a tunnel, climbing through a mud pit and some obstacles before shooting some baskets from a deck using a catapult. Mokuta got out to an early lead on the log stairs while Vakama struggled to grip their logs, given they were wet and slippery. I mean, I’m sad I have to use Jono’s smutty puns, but they also make me so proud of him. While I was welling up with pride, Vakama started to close the gap when it came to shooting baskets, thanks to Lee’s extremely steep learning curve. With both tribes even on nothing, Henry swapped in for Mokuta while Locky started to score basket after basket. Ultimately scoring a huge come from being immunity for Vakama while Henry narrowly avoided a nudie run, scoring one basket for the tribe.

Back at camp Nick quickly made it his priority to rally the troops against Henry, however was banging his head against a brick wall given all of the athletes are so passionate about keeping the strength. Thankfully Lee surprised me and was receptive to the idea of getting rid of Henry, and the plan quickly evolved to splitting the votes between him and Zach and getting rid of Zan Hen. Sadly for them however Abbey and Lydia weren’t feeling the plan, and Henry was busy winning over John by the fire. With Zaddy John, tragically agreeing to join him to vote out Shonee. They quickly pulled in Zach before taking the athletes aside to rope them into the plan, unaware that Harry – who invited himself along – is actually aligned with Shonee.

Harry took this information back to his fellow rascals, with Shonee quickly letting him know that she found an idol and as such, she will use it if she gets even a hint of danger. Wanting to keep the idol for a rainy day however, they split up to change the tide of the vote and continue to highlight Henry as the biggest threat. While they started to make inroads, Lydia warned Henry that people are nervous about his erratic gameplay and it would be wise to play an idol should he have one. With that, he decided to quickly throw together an idol and then plant and find it in front of everyone at tribal council. Which hopefully would be enough to force Shonee to play her real one. And given she is the CEO of the tribe, why wouldn’t she?

At tribal council Nick admitted that the tribe is still not really cohesive but hopefully after tonight, they actually will be. He used it as a rallying cry against Henry, highlighting the importance of predictability to the game. Abbey spoke about playing emotionally, Lee said that try as they might, they can’t separate their hearts from the game. Jonathan asked Lydia if they were strictly targeting the weakest, which she tried to dance around and said that she is solely focussed on doing what the majority want. Obviously Zach was all in on keeping the tribe strong before Shonee reminded everyone that they have actually won the same amount of the challenges and as such, they shouldn’t be so focussed on losing two immunity challenges in a row. John lied and said literally anyone could go tonight before Henry weighed in and said that that is a lie and in fact he or Shonee would be going tonight. Though he at least can add some strength to the tribe.

Shonee countered that she has something far more important and that is loyalty and doing what she says. Henry tried to counter it, challenging people to give him a chance. Nick tried to bring things back to making a logical decision and getting rid of the erratic players, while Henry’s eyes darted around looking for his fake idol amongst the trees. Shonee appeared to grow more and more nervous and as they were about to vote, Henry showed off his erratic behaviour, making a huge deal about finding his fake immunity idol. Shonee and Nick were unconvinced about his display and tried to calm the tribe, but they were all extremely nervous as they headed out to vote. Given she was too stressed to be blessed, Shonee played her idol and challenged Henry to play his, should it be real. Which it wasn’t so he didn’t, and as such, he found himself voted out of the game after Queen Shonee negated the majority of votes that were cast against her.

Whether it was in his best interests or not, Henry played his heart out and that is something I will always love about him. Plus, he is a total babe, despite not getting in on the nudity action. I took him in my arms as he arrived at Loser Lodge before sitting him down and berating him like Tyra did Tiffany for daring to try and target the one true Queen of Australian Survivor, my Shonee.


Emotionally spent, the only thing I could do was apologise for being not mad, disappointed in him and serving him a piping hot bowl of you-should-have-aligned-with-Shonee Henry Gorenicholson.

 

 

With as much fire as Henry had right out of the gate, this quick throw together meal appears anything but. Rich, tasty and packing a punch, you can’t be sad with this on your plate. Even if you don’t make the jury and are unlovable.

Enjoy!

 

 

Henry Gorenicholson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tsp peanut oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
2 bunches bok choy, trimmed and halved
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed and cut into 2cm lengths
2 tbsp kecap manis
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
1 lime, zested and juiced
200g thin egg noodles, cooked as per packet instructions

Method
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and once scorching, add the shallot and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for a couple of minutes, or until nice and browned. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and reduce heat to medium.

Stir through the bok choy, capsicum and broccolini, and cook for a further minute or so. Add the kecap manis, sriracha, lime zest and juice, and stir until sticky and starting to thicken.

Remove from heat and toss through the noodles. Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

And devour. Always devour.

 

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Chicken Shomein Fairfax

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

Previously on Australian Survivor Sharn and Shane were well and truly on the bottom, desperate to find a way to save themselves. Thankfully for them Brian voted Fenella out and upset the other half of Shonella, so when he took Monika on reward and left Shonee back at camp, the three of them formed a new alliance. Despite winning a car – a curse as powerful as my pizza curse – and not winning immunity, Brian survived tribal council thanks to his idol, leaving poor Monika to be blindsided by the SH clique who had a feeling he was packing said idol.

The next day Brian was feeling a bit salty, while Shonee rejoiced in surviving this long and being the final Contender standing. The four congratulated themselves on a game well played and were giddy about their only being three days left. Grubby continued to sulk around the camp, while Shonee listed off her impressive resume from surviving the tribal swap, navigating the post-merge flip-flop and most impressively, Benji’s nachos eating. Hopefully this is start of the winner’s coronation and not a send-off, because I can’t handle a Michelle Dougan situation again.

Meanwhile Shane was dolphin-ing it up in the ocean, talking about the complexities of the mind games and her stellar, not to be fucked with social game. She then shared that her ideal final two would be opposite Sharn, despite the fact she is a killer lawyer and would have an easier time against the disliked blindside. She followed Shonee, listing her resume of blindsides and knowing that going up against Sharn would show that she can defeat the barrister at her own game. Oh and obviously pulling off the blindside of Brian, flushing his idol and his ally in one foul swoop. Given she thinks he is villainous and wants to take him down, however isn’t sure whether taking him out next is the best idea.

Sharn and Shane went for a walk, leaving Brian time to approach Shonee to find out why she flipped on him at the previous tribal. While he pretended to trust her and accept her rational, he vowed to take her down and do what it takes. With that, he followed in the girls footsteps and listed his villainous resume and hoped that his final tribal speech would be interesting and exciting enough to hand him the win. Trying to find new friends, he went for a walk to check treemail with Sharn where they discovered a moral dilemma where a meal was sitting in the jungle and they could either choose to share with Shane and Shonee, both split it or if they can’t decide, the person that wants it for themself gets it. While they debated back and forth for a while, Brian chose to keep the food for himself while Sharn opted to split and as such, Brian got it all for himself. Which he ate, giddily and without remorse.

My boy Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the castaways were required to weave discs through a maze suspended on a spring and then stack 12 on top of said maze without knocking them off. Brian and Shonee got out to an early lead while Shane started to close the gap and Sharn took the slow and steady wins the race motto. As you can imagine, this isn’t really something exciting to type about, let alone read … so Brian placed his twelfth and then dropped the stack, as did Shane … and Shonee, leaving Sharn to Steven Bradbury. Wait, nope, she dropped too leaving Brian to snatch immunity on his second attempt. This time with far less arrogance.

Back at camp the ladies congratulated Brian on his immunity win, while Brian was proud of taking out another immunity challenge and quickly identified Sharn as the next boot. He approached Shonee to lock in the vote against Sharn since they were each other’s best hope. Shonee was fairly confident she would be able to turn Shane against Sharn, so approached her to explain how well Sharn has played and how strong she will perform at final tribal. While Shonee would prefer to be taking out Brian, she continued to work Shane hard and assured her that if they are in the final three, she will take her to the end over Brian. Shane and Sharn went for a walk and marvelled at Brian’s luck in the game, before Shane spilt all the goss to Sharn and told her that they were planning to take her out. This allowed Sharn to explain to Shane that if there is a tie between their votes and Brian and Shonee’s, Sharn and Shonee would make fire and as such, they would win out in the end.

After locking in a deal with Sharn, Shane approached Brian to see where his head was at and told him that she would be interested in flipping to them and taking out Sharn as it is their best chance. They roped in Shonee and the three agreed they would vote together, which made Shonee feel even more nervous about the vote ahead. As such, Shonee approached Sharn as she felt she was the most trustworthy person left in the game and floated the idea of joining together to take out Shane instead. Sharn acknowledged that Shane was her biggest competition left in the game and as such was conflicted about which way to go at tribal council.

At said tribal council Brian spoke about only being able to trust immunity at this point in the game, Shane agreed that she doesn’t really know who she can trust, however admitted that she planned to stick with her loyalty and hope for the best. Sharn spoke about being nervous about tribal, though planned to trust her gut, while poor Shonee spoke about not being able to trust anyone until after the votes are read. She hoped that the people she spoke with during the day and felt on the same page as were being honest and things would work out for her.

Sharn acknowledged people needing to play for the jury, trying to sway Shane into staying loyal by painting the jury as not interested in an easy – sorry Steve, giving – win. Shane said that some of the jury actual prefer the villainous gameplay, though admitted that past loyalties would come into play in the final vote. This led to Brian admitting that all the contenders would potentially vote for Shonee and as such, she is a threat. Though he backed the game he played. Sharn spoke about not knowing if she can beat everyone in the end, while Shonee tried to sway her by talking about sticking with her gut. Fellow gut-gal Sharn said that she too would be sticking to hers and with that, they headed off to vote and Sharn and Shane stuck together while Brian and Shonee didn’t, leaving Shonee to be tragically felled in fourth place.

While I desperately wanted to scream at her for essentially 2-1-1-ing herself out of the game and not even trying to go to fire, I couldn’t stay mad at her and instead broke down in tears over the fact that not only were we robbed of a Shonella final two, she follows in the footsteps of Michelle and Flick of being the fourth place robbed goddess. She held me close as I sobbed for all that we, Australia, lost until I was strong enough to serve her a comforting bowl of my Chicken Shomein Fairfax.

 

 

Sweet, spicy and packed full of comforting carbs, chow mein is one of those dishes which look complex but are super easy. So easy you can cook while blinded by the combination of tears and rage.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Shomein Fairfax
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g fresh hokkien noodles
peanut oil
500g chicken mince
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 chillies, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 red capsicum, seeded and sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
¼ cup oyster sauce
3 tbsp tamari
½ cup cooking sake
⅔ cup peas
½ cup baby corn
100g oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 bunch choy sum, roughly chopped
½ wombok, shredded
4 shallots, sliced

Method
Seperate the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water for five minutes or so. Drain.

Heat a good lug of oil in a wok and cook the mince over high heat for five minutes, or until browned, breakin up any lumps as you go. Add the garlic, chilli, carrot and capsicum, and fry for a further minute. Add the curry powder, oyster sauce, tamari and sake and cook for a couple of minutes. Add all the remaining vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the heat, toss through the noodles and devour, piping hot, with plenty for hot sauce in honour of her spicy confessionals.

 

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Jonathan Dan Bennoodles

Main, That Is So Fetch Week

Hey, do you know what day it is? Of course you do! It’s October 3rd aka Mean Girls Day aka the entire reason for this year’s That’s So Fetch Week going public. I know you were probably hoping that Tina or Linds would be dropping by, but they have both already gone here … and Linds is still busy stopping that child trafficking ring. So following in Mands and Dan’s footsteps is none other than Aaron Samuels himself, Jonathan Bennett.

Aka the entire reason we have Mean Girls day.

As I alluded to yesterday, Dan Fran and I had a tragic break-up on the set of Mean Girls due by my infatuation for Jonathan which culminated in our torrid affair. Tragically it ended too – maybe because I am too much like Regina George – but Jono and I have been the best of friends ever since.

Hell, I even forgave him for writing the Mean Girls Cookbook without me, that is how close we are. Though considering he chose to go with an actual chef over someone that tries things he finds only and quadruples the garlic content and adds chilli, I really had no right being offended in the first place.

Giving how busy he has been successfully writing a cookbook and hosting a baking show, Jon and I haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like lately. I mean, as besties we Skype each day, particularly since I introduced him to his Amazing Race-r boyfie Jaymes, but there is nothing like the real thing of hanging out with your friends in the same room. Smashing some Jonathan Dan Bennoodles.

 

 

Once again proving my non-chef credentials, this dan dan was inspired by a couple of recipes I found online though hella simplified. And probably nothing like how it should taste. Rich, nutty, spicy and fresh, this baby will fill you with joy and put a fire in your belly. Given the heaping of chilli, obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan Dan Bennoodles
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
500g pork mince
3 tbsp Chinese chilli oil
1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
½ tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp raw caster sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
400g udon noodles, cooked as per packet instructions
1 cup baby spinach
1 bok choy, quartered
1 shallot, sliced

Method
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat and cook the garlic and ginger for a minute. Add the mince and cook for a further couple of minutes before reducing the heat to medium and adding the chilli oil, spices, sauces, sugar, stock and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce reduces.

Cook the udon as per packet instructions and add a tablespoon of cooking water to the pan if it starts to get too thick. Add the baby spinach and bok choy to the pan, and cook until heated through before tossing through the noodles.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with shallots and devour. Because it’s October 3rd.

 

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Udonathan Hurley

Main, Side, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Following Sebastian’s boot we opened up straight at the next immunity challenge where Probst told them they’d be required to once again complete an obstacle course to collect puzzle piece before solving said four-piece pyramid puzzle. Yep – four piece. Laurel and Wendell got out to an early start – and we got Wendell crack, swoon – followed by Dom, Don and Angela, the latter proving steak isn’t actually helpful. Wendell and Laurel remained neck and neck throughout however everyone managed to catch up and work on the puzzle at the same time before Wendell took out immunity out of nowhere.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Wendell on winning immunity while Dom was gagged by the fact pyramids are not in fact flat on top. Given that Wendell has clawed back two wins, Dom was concerned about needing to find an edge over his rival. He vowed that Angela was a non-event, so decided to see what Donathan would do if he wins the next challenge with him immediately vowing he’d take Dom. While Dom didn’t exactly trust him, he feels that Laurel is more of a threat and decided it may be best to take her out. She joined Wendell and Dom to talk about moving forward, with Dom admitting she is more threatening than the others. Once again she reiterated that her only game plan is to hope they split the votes and she was scrape a win together thanks to the stragglers. Dom and Wendell then pulled himself away to decide what to do, with Wendell suggesting it may be best to get rid of Laurel but he will definitely be using Erik’s Micronesia idol to save someone and he hopes it is a big enough move to snag him a win.

At tribal council Probst shaded Dom’s performance at the last tribal before Yanny lamented the fact that Dom and Wendell are safe thanks to immunity and idols, meaning she, Donathan and Angela were unsafe. Angela admitted they looked like they spent the day decided who to take out before Donathan spoke about his inability to win a challenge. Dom then spoke about the fear of picking the wrong person to take to the end and Wendell brought up his idol and the fact he was undecided whether to play it for someone. Laurel reminded them of her loyalty and hoped it was enough, sparking Don to once again point out he is shit at challenges.  With that, the final five voted before Dom played his idol and Wendell took the chance to showboat for the jury, playing his immunity idol for Laurel since she reminded him of his sister. They then hugged it out, exchanged the idol, played it and sent dear, sweet Donathan from the game as the ninth boot.

Given it was the wonderful most experience of his life, he was pretty damn happy when he arrived at Ponderosa, despite his boot. So after quickly catching up, discussing his game and sassing about Laurel’s ability to ruin all moves, I quickly whipped up an Udonathan Hurley and celebrated his experience.

 

 

Spicy and comforting, this is the perfect representation of sweet Donathan – aka the second recipient of the Sia LGBT player of the season. The sassiness of his tribal council performances are like a whack of chilli in a sea of kind, loving udon noodles. And that is exactly why you love him.

Enjoy!

 

 

Udonathan Hurley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g pork mince
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 long red chillis, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
5 shallots, sliced with some green reserved to garnish
¼ cup red miso paste
2L chicken stock
500g udon noodles
4 eggs, at room temperature
200g silken tofu, cut into four slices
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

 

Method

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over high heat, add the pork mince and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes while breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the ginger, garlic chilli and sesame seeds and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, sake, soy, chopped shallots and miso paste and stir for a minute or so, before slowly stirring through the stock. Bring to the boil before reducing to low and leaving to simmer.

 

Prepare the udon noodles as per packet instructions, soft boil the eggs and peel.

 

To serve, place the udon noodles in a bowl, add a slice of tofu and the eggs cut in half and top with a generous heaping of the pork broth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and the green of the shallots, and devour.

 

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Winona Spyders

Dessert, Snack, Stranger Feasts, Sweets

Given the fact she is the reason we’re holding this entire Stranger Things slash Halloween celebration, Stranger Feasts, it should come as no surprise that I’m wrapping things up with a date with my dear, dear friend Winona Ryder. Nevermind the fact that Joyce’s love for her son is the heart and soul for the entire show.

It feels like only yesterday that I caught up with Shan, Mil, Gats, Cal, Noah and Finn. Well, it was yesterday for Finn, but you get what I meant!

And by that, I meant to shamelessly cross promote.

I’ve known Winona forever, after we met on the set of Beetlejuice with my other dear friends Alec and Geens. As I was her stunt double slash stand-in we were inseparable on set and thankfully that developed into the closest, dearest friendship of our lives.

Given how long we’ve both been in Hollywood, we have a shit tonne of mutual friends – Leo, Kirsten, Claire, Pete, Al, Brit, Whoopi, Jeff, Simon and Retta, but to shamelessly name drop a few – so it was great to catch-up on all the gossip and throw some shade at their lesser career trajectories.

I mean, not even our biggest scandal could hold us down.

As you would all know, Winona was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. What you may not know but surely would have guessed by now, I too was caught up in the arrest … and may have been the cause of the entire thing (I wanted a new wardrobe, sue me). And our flimsy ‘method acting’ excuse.

In any event my nemesis Mark Geragos – aka half of the inspiration behind Piper Perabo’s horrid Notorious – did not help the case and Wins completed her community service with me by her side. Despite the fact I wasn’t even convicted thanks to my lawyer John someone? He said something about being shocked that referencing a glove not fitting getting his two worst clients off, but I digress.

I haven’t seen Wins in the last few months, so I am thrilled that she picked up the phone and asked for my promotional skill. Slash to help her celebrate Halloween slash her birthday. Given how many slashes were involved, I knew there was only one thing I could whip up – a big batch of (Chang’s) Winona Spyders.

 

 

While these are quite possibly the most basic thing you could ever make, they are also one of the most delicious. I mean, peanut butter and chocolate. Does it get any better? Yes, yes it does – crunchy noodles.

Enjoy!

 

 

Winona Spyders
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
400g milk chocolate
200g Chang’s Fried Noodles

Method
Place the peanut butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave until combined.

Fold through the noodles.

Spoon a tablespoon (or two) of the mixture into muffin cases and place on a baking sheet. Once done, place in the fridge and chill until set.

Then devour, greedily.

Happy Halloween!

 

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Saramen Lacina

Main, Soup, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Ciera exited first – not able to throw the target on to her mother, followed by Tony, Caleb, a screwed but-not-in-the-way-I-want-to-screw-him Malcolm, J.T., Queen Sandra, and a desperate Varner. Hali was once again Queen of the jury, quickly followed by Ozzy, Debbie, Zeke, Sierra, Andrea, Michaela, an eliminated by default Cirie, Aubry and Tai, leaving Troyzan and Brad to round out the final three with my girl Sarah Lacina crowned our newest Survivor.

From the very beginning, Sarah knew that she needed to change up her game if she wanted to have a chance … giving us close to 6000 separate quotes about Officer Sarah playing like a criminal. But hey, when it works, you can’t really mock her!

While Sarah was also lucky to avoid most of the pre-merge tribal councils, if they did attend she was well enough positioned that she likely would have survived all the carnage.

When some members of the jury weren’t thrilled with the way she made personal connections only to turn on people, I started to fear she was about to get the Dawn Mehan treatment. Thankfully the new jury format allowed for people to jump in and defend her, and also allowed her more time to address these issues and help win people back to her side.

Despite the heartbreak of not being able to celebrate Sandra’s third win (yet), I was super excited that my dear friend Sarah had learnt from her mistakes was able to convert that into victory. While our friendship started in a questionable manner – she arrested me during one of my wild phases – she took me under her win and tried to do the opposite of her game changers game, turning me from criminal to cop.

Sadly for her, my prior arrests nipped that in the bud … but we always stayed friends and try and catch-up as often as we can for a Saramen Lacina.

 

 

Hot, spicy, sweet and fresh – ramen is always a delicious option. Throw in barbecue pork belly and you can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Saramen Lacina
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
600g pork belly, skin removed (by that … 600g sans skin)
⅓ cup char siu sauce
peanut oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp Sriracha
200g ramen noodles
4 eggs
2 baby bok choy, quartered lengthways
100g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 long red chilli, thinly sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Brush the pork with half the char siu sauce and place in the oven for half an hour. Reduce heat to 120°C and bake for a further twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest, brushing with the remaining char siu sauce.

While the pork is resting, heat a lug of peanut oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the shallots, garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes, or until super, duper fragrant.

(It is now that you should also bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over high heat).

Back to the fragrant pan, slowly add the stock, tamari, fish sauce, Sriracha and 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, add the noodles, bok choy and mushrooms, and simmer for about five minutes.

With the ramen simmering, the saucepan should be boiling, at which point you should add the eggs and cook for four minutes, or until soft boiled. Peel the eggs.

Then, slice the pork into 1cm thick pieces.

Transfer the ramen to a bowl, top with pork and an egg sliced on top. Probs avoid drizzling Sriracha over the top if you’re wanting to photograph it … but otherwise, that’s the only addition I’d suggest … before devouring your victory meal!

 

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Spencer Bledsoba

Main, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

Spenny Bleds, I can’t say I am sad to see you go from Second Chances – despite our pivotal role in your creation as the robot/human hybrid that you are.

You see, SpenBot, as his prototype was named, was the subject of an undercover experiment Ben and I conducted during our mid 1980’s mad scientist phase (doesn’t everyone have one?).

We were tasked with designing a higher level robot being, with the emotional and intellectual might to save mankind from themselves. Unsurprisingly, as Ben and I actually aren’t legit scientific geniuses, we took a few shortcuts and ended up with a strange hybrid of trusty educational robot 2-XL and toy-of-the-moment Jennie Gymnast.

While we may have built Spencer with the emotional capability of a 1990’s remote-control gymnast (oops), thankfully he also inherited Jennie’s physical prowess. He was able to hold his own during the season’s physical challenges, making it all the way to the final tribal.

Unfortunately for SpenBot, his inner robot really shone out this seasoning, rendering him a seemingly insincere, unlikeable jerkwad worthy of approximately zero votes.

 

IMG_6958

 

As you can imagine, Spencer was his usual 7/10 emotional flatline when he saw our angelic faces back at Ponderosa. That said, he was hungry and wanted to tuck into something both comforting and healthy. The Spencer Bledsoba is the perfect meal to shed robotic, emotionless tears into.

 

IMG_6963

 

Spencer Bledsoba
Serves
: 4.

Ingredients
1 x 270g pack dried soba noodles
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 spring onions, finely sliced

Method
Boil a large saucepan of water and cook soba noodles as per packet directions. Drain and run cool water over them to separate.

Heat a large fry pan with some cooking oil. Crack eggs into pan and fry until cooked to your liking. Set aside.

In the same pan, add garlic, chilli and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add soy sauce and soba noodles and stirfry until hot and combined.

Divide noodles between four bowls and top with a fried egg each. Garnish with a tablespoon of sesame seeds per bowl and a sprinkle of shallots.

 

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