Kendall Gendircher Muesli

Breakfast, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World 1, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on vs the World the BBC kindly hosted the inaugural United Nations of Drag battle royale, featuring finalists, robbed icons – looking at you, Lemon and Chez – and even a mother tucking host. And let’s just say, things got wilder than Jimbo flinging bologna at Ru pretty quickly. In addition to the lunch meat, there were gaggy eliminations, gaggier lip syncs and for consistency’s sake, a Jujubee appearance in the finale. Sadly for her, the crown went to the UK as Blu Hydrangea snatched it from Mo Heart and took it home to Northern Ireland.

But that was then and now we’ve changed out the Curry Chipz for poutine as we return to the northern part of North America as Rita made their triumphant return to the Canadian Werk Room. Well, mainstage, as is apparently the tradition for the International battles. In any event, she looked stunning in a glorious green gown before Stephanie Prince joined her, ready to rectify the robbery of her being eliminated on her first season. And while I love her, girl, nope, it was not a robbery. Though she was cute as the green fairy. Kendall joined her fellow Canadians looking perfect in a regal blue superhero number, followed by former mother tucking winner herself Icesis and damn, you can tell she has the money. That lilac look was glorious.

And her Season 2 sisters – and even Rita – were not happy about her presence.

Representing us south of the equator, Down Under’s Anita was giddy, delightful and ridiculous and ugh, I love her and know she will make us proud. They were joined by Brooke’s sister, the one with the good milk, Silky and ugh, I love her and can’t wait to see her dominate again and earn our love like her run in All Stars 6. Speaking of queens who got rudemption and then some on All Stars 6, purple queen Ra’Jah arrived and ohhh-hhh my go-ooood, crown her now. Whether she is concerned about Icesis or not. Vanity arrived from across the pond and well, she was stun-ning in orange. Dirty rice, indeed. Thankfully she also assured us she won’t be serving Baga Chipz, which is important for all contestants to clarify TBH. Rounding out the cast is the iconic first cis female cast member of any Ru franchise, Victoria Scone and well, she is still as gorgeous and stunning as I remember.

Brooke soon dropped by to welcome her cast and announce that their first maxi challenge would see them split into groups of three to form Girl Groups. Rita, Anita and Victoria formed the first band, Kendall, Icesis and Stephanie kept it in their season while Silky, Vanity and Ra’Jah would no doubt dominate together. Each band would have to write and record a verse on the new single Bonjour! Hi! with the top 2 lip syncing for the right to eliminate one of the bottoms. Again, as is tradition.

The dolls ventured backstage to get to know each other and find their place in the Werk Room, where Team USA vowed to be the Top 2, which feels right. Anita meanwhile was loving how kind everyone was and as such, read Silky for absolute filth every chance she got. Rumail interrupted their de-dragging experience to welcome them to the competition – despite Brooke already telling them what was happening – before they split up to work on their lyrics. Silky, Ra’Jah and Vanity agreed on calling themselves SRV while Victoria was thrilled to be on team nana, despite her literally being the youngest on the cast. Stephanie meanwhile was super confident and assumed her band would be the top three before talk turned to how obvious a target Icesis is. And well, I love her admitting that she knows everyone will come for her, so she just plans to destroy and never give them the chance.

Dripping winner’s energy all over the stage.

Vanity was busy tackling racism within the fandom in her verse before Brooke dropped by with Anjulie to see how they were going, with Anita glad to say g’day to the duo. Rita was charming and Victoria was thirsty and ready to show Anjulie a soggy bottom. Icesis meanwhile was silly and fun on her verse while Kendall was a little repetitive and Stephanie was straight up not interested in getting feedback from an actual popstar. SRV were up next with Brooke excited to see her sisters and well, it was clear that they are the team to beat despite Ra’Jah looking like she was about to drown in her lyrics like Toto have before her.

Team Nana – aka Touche – dropped by the mainstage to work through the choreography with Victoria taking the lead and despite keeping it simple, poor Rita got stuck in her head and spiraled. Stephanie assumed power in team Season 2 and filled Icesis with nerves, given she and Stephanie were in the bottom two in their girl groups. SRV meanwhile were perfect from start to finish and ready to slay.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls giddy with nervous energy, before talk turned to how everyone intends to eliminate people. And while everyone agreed they wanted to play fair, Rita knew it would be different when the moment actually happens. The dolls split up to get ready with Ra’Jah talking to the UK girls about the scene back home, with them agreeing it is quite segregated and they need to open themselves up more. Kendall praised Vancouver for always pushing for diverse lineups in their clubs before Miss Silky spoke about the horrors of racism in the US but how hopeful she was for things to change. Eventually.

Brooke and Anjulie took their places on the judges panel alongside Traci – donde esta, Brad?! – before Touche debuted their version of Bonjour! Hi! and well, it was just as camp and infectious as I hoped. Anita was a delight, Rita was a damn star and Victoria was so stupid and fun and ugh, I love it. Maple She-rups – a name Icesis earlier tried to kill – were up next and despite her sisters being way more confident, it was Icesis who owned the song and hit every piece of choreography. Oh and then SRV molly whopped the girls with Vanity stamping her place on the competition from the very first line. But that does not mean her sisters didn’t slay as they served all the charm and energy possible. It’s just that Vanity was THAT good.

On the Queen of the World runway Anita was glorious in a fuschia, frilled gown, despite it not really fitting that well. Rita served pineapple queen realness and well, it was stunning. Victoria paid homage to her name, covered in jam and cream and well, she was stunning. Kendall gave superhero glam in white, Icesis was glorious in a shimmering silver gown while Stephanie was stunning in a traditional Filipina look. Vanity was full Victorian realness in a golden quilted number, Ra’Jah was glorious in a purple pantsuit dripping in roses while Silky was glorious as the sexiest widow before revealing a stunning jeweled ball gown. And ugh, it is a toot.

Victoria, Icesis and Silky were sent to safety before Anita was praised for being high energy and sticking to herself, though read for blending into the background. Rita meanwhile received universal praise for everything she gave this week, before Kendall was read for being stuck in her head rather than bringing the fire to her performance and for looking good, but not on theme, on the runway. Stephanie explained her runway was an homage to her grandfather whose funeral she couldn’t attend due to COVID and while the judges loved it, everyone was nervous about her dropping the pot on her head. Including her. And they felt her performance was just going through the motions. Vanity rightly only got praise, with Brooke rightly announcing she murdered the entire challenge. And then she did that on the runway, so yeah, she is in the Top 2. Ra’Jah too was beloved, despite Brooke missing some of her lyrics. 

Despite Ra’Jah doing that though, it was Rita that joined Vanity in the Top 2 while Kendall and Stephanie found themselves up for elimination. 

Backstage the dolls congratulated the Top 2 on their performances, with Rita praising her bandmates for raising her up. Vanity meanwhile praised Silky and Ra’Jah for being such delightful role models for her and making her feel welcomed and able to slay. This led to Silky giving a beautiful speech about how welcome she feels and how grateful she is for her new sisters and ugh, I love it. Victoria checked in on the bottoms with Kendall admitting she knew she is better than how she performed, while Stephanie is heartbroken to potentially end her rudemption run already. Rita kikied with Kendall who admitted she was super nervous, though assured Rita she will do better and have her back, should the tables be turned. Stephanie meanwhile stuck to the task at hand, pointing out she did better in the challenge and as the only Asian queen on the cast, she wanted to represent her heritage. 

The safe girls meanwhile were busy gossiping with everyone agreeing it would be a close call and as such, Ra’Jah was thinking the decisions could get competitive. Kendall meanwhile was checking in with Vanity, telling her how disappointed she is and how she is super focused on turning it next time. With her worried she would be Pangina’d, which, no. But bless. Rita meanwhile told Stephanie that she loves Kendall, but eliminating her as a threat is still an option. Which obviously made Stephanie very nervous, given Rita gave her nothing.

After selecting their lipsticks, Vanity and Rita returned to the mainstage and took their places for the first lip sync of the season. And well, duh, Vanity was perfection from start to finish of Brand New Bitch by Anjulie, despite Rita leaning into her ridiculous drunk ‘80s diva character. As we saw in the performance, Vanity knows how to perform, splitting and flipping and hitting every lyric and well, it was great to watch her triumph and prove just why she made it to the top four of UK 3. As such, she rightly took out the first win of the season – with a cash prize to boot! – and promptly sent poor Kendall Gender home as the first boot.

Backstage Kendall was obviously disappointed, but given she is so kind, chill and literally made the finale less than a year ago, she quickly perked up and was glad Stephanie would get more of a chance to show what she can do. I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her that becoming a First Boot on an All Stars season is iconic and outside of winning, that is the way to do it. I mean, when you are in the company of Lemon, Pandora, Coco, Thorgy – on a technicality – Jasmine Masters, Derrick Barry and THE Serena ChaCha it is hard to be disappointed. As such, we laughed, toasted to her ongoing success and smashed a healthy and delicious Kendall Gendircher Muesli.

I know, I know – how can muesli be comforting, you ask? But I challenge you to try this and not fall in love. Fresh and light, while packed full of flavour, all while being healthy, it truly is the ultimate way to start your day.

Enjoy!

Kendall Gendircher Muesli
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
1 apple, cored and quartered
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup apple juice
½ cup natural or Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
¼ cup flaked almonds
¼ cup walnuts
2 tbsp pepitas

Method
Grate the apple and mix it in a bowl with the rolled oats, juice, yoghurt, cinnamon and honey until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge to infuse overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, add half the almonds, walnuts and pepitas to the muesli and stir to combine. Divide the mixture among the bowls and sprinkle with the remaining almonds, walnuts and pepitas, and some extra yoghurt. Then, devour.


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Hazelnut Daconeta Schiffer

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls finally revealed their snatches as Ru tasked them with playing the Snatch Game. As is oft the case, there were many highlights alongside some shocking lowlights. Specifically Pixie and Danny who got stuck in their heads, despite being the leading comedy queens of the cast. On the flipside, Cheddar was hilarious and shone oh so brightly, while Jonbers and Dakota stamped their place in the competition with smart performances. And then Peppa was a mess while Le Fil was there like her very polite character. Ultimately Cheddar took out victory while Le Fil landed in the bottom opposite. Peppa, with sweet Le Fil exiting stage left after a delightfully wacky lip sync. Or right, TBH – I don’t know the difference.

Backstage the girls were reeling from Le Fil’s departure, with everyone missing her kind, fun ways. And her wild lip syncing skills. Danny praised Peppa on how much she killed the lip sync before everyone toasted how killer Cheddar was in Snatch Game. Danny opened up about how badly she got into her head before the game, though wisely she just laughed it off and was ready to slay another day. Talk turned to how strong they are as a top six, with Pixie shading Jonbers for coasting and Danny went for Peppa for being the best lip syncer. Which she iconically agreed that yeah, that is her skill so you best watch out.

The next day the dolls were giddy and excited to slay whatever Ru had to throw at her. Dakota meanwhile opened up about feeling lighter after getting past Snatch Game, hoping for this week’s challenge to be something more within her wheelhouse. Which obviously summoned Ru to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be doing makeovers on the crew. Specifically, the Queen Team aka their handlers and well, if this doesn’t give us the second coming of Wintergreen, I don’t want it. Despite how excited the dolls were to makeover their heroes. Ru introduced the six lovely women – Fleur, Gemma, Lucie, Mystique, Olivia and Wendy – before pairing them up with the queens alphabetically. As such Peppa got Fleur, Cheddar went to Gemma, Dakota was partnered with Lucie, Danny scored Mystique and Jonbers got Olivia, leaving Wendy and Pixie to become sisters. 

With that Ru excited stage left – for the episode, no less – with Danny quizzing Mystique on her comfort levels and ugh, I love their vibe already. Dakota meanwhile almost broke down talking about how much Lucie means to her and how confident she is to kill the Schiffer-isation. Peppa was busy vowing to look after Fleur and turn things around and glam her up and while she was initially confident, Fleur’s aversion to heels had her bricking it. Cheddar was busy heaping Gemma with praise and seeing them giggle and vibe was just lovely. Particularly since Gemma was living for her new name, Brie Gorgeous. And then Jonbers and Olivia were just having a craic, while Pixie was giddy to have gotten the mother hen Wendy who was ready to go full glam. Though wanted to be called Hugh Jarsse, despite not wanting to be a King.

We ventured back to Danny where he was unveiling Mystique’s beard wig and well, to say she wasn’t vibing it is an understatement. While Pixie was getting Wendy working on her runway walk, Dakota was delighting Lucie with her gown. As Cheddar and Gemma continued to kiki, Raven dropped by to talk to the dolls about their concepts with Peppa sharing they would be going club kid leading to Raven reminding her to make sure the makeup is sharp and cuts through. Pixie and Wendy meanwhile had Raven giggling over her history of backstage bullock tucking and a general passion for heels. At funerals only. Cheddar and Gemma meanwhile delighted Raven with their energy, while Raven lived for Jonbers plan to clown it up, dishing out even more make-up tips.

Which coming from an Emmy winner is a real treat for the dolls!

Dakota and Lucie were super sweet and while Raven suggested they go with more drama in the make-up, I’m not sure their versions of drama are the same. Mystique meanwhile opened up about her reservations about wearing a beard on the runway and while Danny was happy to go with what she likes, Raven gave her a sweet pep talk and encouraged her to let go and embrace the concept of gender fuckery that is drag.

After Raven departed the dolls rallied around their new sisters and got them prepped with Cheddar corseting, Peppa training walks and Jonbers discovering Olivia has no idea how shoe sizing works. Mystique meanwhile was coming out of her shell after getting the padding on, living her best life and ugh, I love it. Oh and Pixie was just making a horror show of an outfit. Peppa and Fleur meanwhile bonded over their coming out journeys and ugh, I hate hearing how difficult it was for Peppa in the Caribbean, though I love how strong she is to have lived through that trauma and built such a beautiful life for herself.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls quickly getting to work on their sisters, with Danny still worried about whether Mystique would go with the beard. Peppa noticed she and Danny had similar concepts, but like the battle of the Blobbies, she was confident she would be coming out on top. Wendy meanwhile was reading Pixie – werk – while Cheddar was thrilled by how perfect Gemma’s skin was. Dakota continued to gush about how much she loves Lucie, before they bonded over the trauma of stereotyping and how they’ve come into their own when it comes to gender. While everyone was kinda just vibing, though Cheddar was nervous about it all playing out, given everyone was strong.

We transitioned to the mainstage where Michelle stepped in for Ru, Raven for Michelle and Graham for himself. Alongside Dorit and PK’s cash cow, Boy George. Jonbers Blonde and Nanu Noir opened the Drag Family Realness runway serving black and white mime perfection and ugh, I love them. Pixie Polite and Trixie Truelove were beautiful butterflies – despite Pixie making Trixie look older than she is – Danny convinced Mizzie Moustache to don the beard as they served pastel, mod glamazons and ugh, I love it. Cheddar and Brie Gorgeous were alien, ethereal glam and ugh, hand her the badge, this is perfection. Black and Chilli Peppa were connected by their hair and giving club, bondage cutesie before Dakota and Bridgette gave all the dolls in the valley.

The judges lived for Jonbers simple vibe and perfect presentation, though she was read for not serving any family resemblance. Pixie was read for her weak padding and make-up skills on her sister, despite slaying the performance and serving sisters. Danny meanwhile received universal praise from the colour and the looks to the resemblance, and hearing how Mystique felt all the love from Danny was just beautiful. Cheddar too was lavished in praise for everything she and Brie served, particularly for giving such rich, glam, artistic looks. Peppa was praised for the concept, though read for kind of stopping all the work at their waists before Dakota was praised for pushing her make-up to the next level, despite Michelle wanting her to give her even more.

Oh and then Michelle gave everyone in the Queen Team a RuPeter badge!

Backstage Jonbers didn’t immediately point out she was the only person in the room without a badge, instead Dakota toasted everyone on a job well done. Jonbers spoke about how confused she is about the critiques, not sure who will land in the bottom. Pixie pointed out that everyone else’s looks kind of spoke to who they are as drag queens, while Jonbers kinda didn’t tell them anything. While Cheddar tried to kindly explain her signature, Jonbers was having none of it while Pixie continued to just go in on her. Dakota opened up about how much fun she has been having, though was worried to potentially land in the bottom. Pixie meanwhile was ok with potentially landing in the bottom, while Peppa read her for filth – to us – for making Trixie look so damn fucking old. Before Danny toasted the Queen Team on giving them the best week of the competition.

Pixie was immediately put up for elimination before Danny was sent to safety with the highest of commendations, while Cheddar took out her third win of the season. Peppa joined them in safety before Jonbers narrowly joined them at the back of the stage, leaving Dakota to battle Pixie. And damn, did Dakota turn it OUT. As soon as Culture Club’s Miss Me Blind kicked off, she absolutely commanded the stage and hit every lyric and trill and ugh, I loved it. Pixie meanwhile gave camp drama however, and that appeared to be enough, as Dakota was tragically felled from the competition. As she and I sobbed, cursing Miselle for bungling her first chance in the main seat. 

Backstage I pulled her in for a massive hug, putting down her silly elimination as nothing more than a gaggy exit for gaggy exit’s sake. Because from the makeover to the lip sync, she well and truly nailed the assignment this week (and honestly, shouldn’t have even landed in the bottom two). That being said, going out as a robbed queen is always better than overstaying your welcome. And that little factoid, alongside a sweet Hazelnut Daconeta Schiffer were all it took to take away the bitterness of the elimination!


I don’t know if it is because I feel like it is healthier to eat piccolo cones, but these are essentially my new personality. Petite yet chunky, packed full of nuts and a sweet stuffed base – they are perfection.

Enjoy!


Hazelnut Daconeta Schiffer
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 cup shelled hazelnuts
600ml thickened cream
395g condensed milk
1 tbsp hazelnut liquor
1 tbsp vanilla extract
24 mini waffle cones, store bought because duh
200g milk chocolate
¼ cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

Method
Start by blitzing the shelled hazelnuts in a high speed blender until a smooth paste is formed.

Combine the condensed milk, cream, liquor, vanilla and paste in a large bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium speed until the-softer-end-of-firm peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe into the cones before transferring to the freezer to set for a couple of hours. If you don’t have something to sit the cones upright in, simply semi-freeze the ice cream first and then fill the cones when it is firm.

While the cones are setting, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second bursts before folding in the roasted hazelnuts. Dip each ice cream in the chocolate and return to the freezer to set for half an hour.

Then, obviously, devour the entire batch.


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Nneka Peajere and Praline Danish

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 43, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor despite bombing the first challenge Baka did as their name suggested and bounced back-a, coming together and winning immunity. I mean sure, there was still some drama in the form of Elie having to explore which of her island sons were her favourite and Jeanine going through Gabler’s bags to check if his idol was expired (it wasn’t). On Coco, Karla dominated socially, just like her tribe continued to dominate the challenges, leaving Vesi to head to tribal council. And despite Karla being a star, I am gutted she isn’t vibing with my zaddy Ryan. At Vesi, Nneka felt like she cost them the challenge, Dwight had no vote due to his visit to advantage island while Cody lost his just before heading out (though regained it). The three duos faced off with five votes in play, which led to Justine being tragically booted.

The next day Cody and Jesse caught up, with the former thrilled to have narrowly jagged his idol and managed to keep his vote. And more importantly, keep the numbers to get rid of Justine and protect his ally Nneka. Jesse on the other hand was nervous about how upset Dwight would be with him for turning against Noelle and Justine, who he wanted them to side with. Speaking of Noelle and Dwight, they were nervous to be on the outs and while they were wary of Jesse, they were willing to work with him if they needed to. Given Cody and Nneka are still super tight, which is always a problem.

Over at Baka Elie and Jeanine continued to be concerned about how Gabler was handling the elements and while he assured them he is fine, Elie was ready to get rid of him ASAP. The duo caught up with Sami to figure out how to navigate around Gabler’s idol situation, with Elie suggesting they should simply pretend it is dead and talk to him about using it as a fake ‘down the line’. Sadly for Elie, Sami wanted to be the one to talk to Gabler about it and when they shut it down, he took the information about the plan straight back to Gabler and cut them off at the knees. And while yeah, it locked in the alliance between the two boys, if Owen sticks with the girls, Sami will be the one to go home.

We checked in with Coco where the tribe were still zenning out and living their best lives as they celebrated James’ birthday and gifted him a bracelet. He then suggested they go for a walk amongst the rocks and look for an idol, which obviously got them all talking about idols and instantly paranoid. Cassidy, Lindsay and Ryan went fishing as James took a nap, leaving Karla enough time to go on said hunting expedition. And while she instantly found the Beware Advantage, once again, she opted against taking the risk for an advantage.

Back at Vesi Nneka was bonding with Dwight and Noelle, opening up about a Nigerian mission that she supports and how they inspire her to be better. And ideally win the money and be able to give back. 

We pivoted back to Coco where Karla was discussing idols with James and whether he believed there would be old school idols or just beware advantages, these days. As they were talking, she realised that her wife would want her to take a damn risk and as such, quickly snuck off to grab it. Upon learning she would need to steal beads, she quickly got to work bartering with her tribemates and making a fake necklace for her wife to get her vote back and score an idol. She was giving away earrings and beads, pretending she wanted them all to share a part of themselves with each other and honestly, it was beautiful to behold. Almost like Sandra in the opening of Pearl Islands, TBH.

Jeffrey finally arrived for this week’s Immunity Challenge where the tribes would dive off a platform, climb blocks and dive again, this time to retrieve keys before unlocking puzzle pieces. And solving said puzzle. With the winners jagging a toolkit and some fruit, while second place would get budget versions of the reward, while last place would be heading off to tribal council. After Geo took his place on the sitout bench and Noelle took off her leg, the challenge got underway with Owen getting Baka out to an early lead. Despite Karla and Noelle closing the gap on the second leg, Baka continued to stay out in front until Ryan dominated the third leg. All three tribes got to work solving the puzzle and while Vesi got out to an early lead, the other tribes closed the gap and overtook them as Nneka and Jesse grew confused. Ultimately sending Vesi back to tribal council.

As Noelle served another iconic rage face after losing.

Before sending everyone out, Baka was given the chance to send someone from each tribe to go on a journey opting for Noelle, James and Owen. We followed Vesi back to camp where Nneka was feeling bad to have lost another immunity challenge due to the puzzle, quickly checking in with Dwight to see what he was thinking. She immediately started to break down, not wanting to get rid of Noelle, given she is so inspirational. Jesse and Cody meanwhile were busy debating the merits of getting rid of Noelle who is strong or Nneka who they are tight with. Jesse opened up to us about how Nneka reminds him of his mum and worried that voting her out would be just as hard.

We checked in with the trio on Journey Island where Noelle was concerned about being away from her tribe this close to tribal council. On the journey she opened up about how her amputation impacted her life and by impact, it kinda didn’t as she is still an epic athlete and ugh, I love her. On the walk she told the boys that she is on the bottom of the tribe, offering that should they look out for her and let her have the advantage, come merge, the trio will work together to take control. And well, it worked and I love her. What an icon.

ALSO, how cute is Owen’s hoodie?

As Noelle returned to camp, Dwight was still nervous about whether they could trust Jesse to work with him and how what happened to Noelle will dictate how things go. Despite telling everyone she didn’t risk her vote, she pulled Dwight aside and assured him that she did snag an advantage. And conveniently, it was the very one they needed – a vote steal – so should Jesse give them bad vibes, she could steal his vote to take out Nneka.

At tribal council Nneka once again took accountability for losing the challenge, with Jesse jumping in and blaming himself. Nneka admitted it was quite a heartbreaking afternoon as they came to terms with losing one of their tribemates and that she was struggling with ending someone’s journey. While Cody agreed it was sad, he realised it was a game and had accepted it. Dwight spoke about finding the balance between trust and strength, while Noelle was concerned about how her journey would impact things, given she couldn’t scramble. Though she assured them she is there to prove things to herself, rather than destroy the competition. While Jesse mentioned they are also concerned that maybe Noelle also jagged an advantage on her journey.

Jeff asked everyone how confident they were that things would go their way and after they finally agreed on survey metrics, all but Noelle admitted they were very confident they were on the right side of the numbers. Which obviously meant that when the tribe voted one of them was wrong, as the tribe banded together to choose strength and booted sweet Nneka from the game.

Given she is a kind, sweet delight, she took her boot in stride and gladly thanked me for welcoming her to Loser Lodge. Nneka was a breath of fresh air in the game, at times feeling like a player from the earlier seasons in the way she quietly built up relationships and looked after the tribe. But alas, these smaller tribes leave little place for those games to survive if the person isn’t bringing it in challenges. And while that is a bitter pill to swallow, it was sweetened up by a Nneka Peajere and Praline Danish.

Flaky on the outside while all at once sticky, sweet and earthy on the inside, these decadent danishes fill you with joy. Though, I am a sucker for pastries so I am always going to say that. So why not give them a go and see for yourself!

Enjoy!

Nneka Peajere and Praline Danish
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
50g whole blanched hazelnuts
200g whole blanched almonds
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g raw caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 sheets good-quality butter puff pastry, quartered
4 firm pears, peeled, cored and halved

Method
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Pop the nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until very lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (though leave the oven on).

Once the nuts have cooled a little, pop them in a food processor and blitz until they have formed a meal-like consistency and no further. Add the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs and blitz until well combined.

Blend the cooled nuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground – keep an eye on them and stop as soon as they’re ground or they’ll become oily. Transfer to a large bowl and add the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until well combined and a little paler. Using a large metal spoon, slowly fold in the eggs.

To assemble, place the puff on a clean bench and place half a pear, face down, in the centre of each portion. Dollop over some of the praline, leaving a 1-2cm edge around. Crimp the edges to form whatever shape you desire and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Pop in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp. Then, obviously, devour.


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Justerrine Brennan

Lunch, Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, 18 new castaways were dumped on the now traditional isles of Fiji to put themselves to the test in the ultimate game. And by ultimate, we’d all far prefer it to still be 39 days, but once again, I digress. Despite having some new editing tricks – hello drones – the dramas were the same at the three tribes as everyone had varying degrees of success setting up camp and starting fire. After Baka lost the first immunity challenge, Elie quickly flipped on her plan to lead a strong, all female alliance and instead decided to target Morriah for being weak. With Gabler immune, hair-goals Owen became the target for the other side, though thankfully his locks lived to see another day, as Elie ended the chances of the women taking control of their tribe.

Back at camp – or Baka at camp, specifically – Owen pulled the tribe together to apologise for his nervous scrambling and thanked everyone for saving him and trusting in him. Leading to Elie and Gabler admitting tribal council was a trust exercise and now that they’ve been able to prove it, the five should be unbreakable. Now Gabler was solely focused on getting the tribe fed, spirits lifted and ready to win challenges. Right on cue, an epic storm rolled over the islands and while everyone didn’t look to fare well, the fact that Baka was without a flint, means they are truly at a disadvantage. Though bless, the next morning, they used it as a learning moment and quickly decided to work on getting the roof of their shelter secured. While Owen was also very concerned about Gabler’s health, given he was clearly on struggle street after three days.

Over at Vesi, Jesse and Dwight were far less concerned about repairing after the storm and instead were hunting for an idol and talking about the dynamics of their tribe. They noticed it was kinda split into three pairs, with Nneka and Cody close, Noelle and Justine closer and as such, Jesse decided that Dwight should be his island wife. We then learnt a bit more of Dwight, who was essentially a child political journo which is iconic. After that detour, Dwight suggested to Jesse that Cody is the biggest threat and that he would prefer to align with the girls, while Jesse definitely wasn’t threatened by him, giving Cody is clearly just here for a good time. And therefore, super easy to navigate around. Someone he wasn’t vibing with was Justine who was busy making eye contact with spiders and as such, also seemed a wee out of her element.

And just like that, a duo is already divided.

Over at Coco the tribe were doing a little ballet or yoga or something, followed by some back cracking from Ryan. Karla reiterated she is literally aligned with everyone in the tribe, though she would most like to take out Geo first. The only concern being about how his bestie zaddy-Ryan would react. As the duo went hunting for nuts, Geo opened up about his coming out experience and how it ended with his parents kicking him out of home. Which is absolutely fucked and I am so glad he used it to make a life for himself that he could be proud of. And well, to put it simply, fuck his parents. Ryan meanwhile was gushing about how close he and Geo were and ugh, give Ryan the win, in addition to my heart.

Back at Vesi Noelle was talking Cody through putting on her prosthesis, which he explained to Nneka and Jesse was important to him as he watched one of his friends lose their leg and then die from cancer in High School. Which goes a long way to explaining why he is so upbeat, silly and adventurous. Flipping to Baka, Owen went for a walk to get water for the tribe where he shared to us that he was trying to keep his old-grump personality under wraps. Particularly if he were to find out everyone was hunting for idols instead of helping him keep everyone alive. Right on cue, Jeanine and Elie were busy looking for said idol while trying to decide whether they should focus on adding Sami or Owen as their third. Elie likened Sami as her responsible, independent older child while Owen is her needy baby, and given the boys don’t appear tight, she was confident pulling one in would be an easy win. Which obviously meant Sami was floating the idea of an all male alliance at that very moment.

The tribes reconnected with Probst for the next immunity challenge where they would swim to a cage, climb in and release a large snake containing number tiles, use the tiles to solve a combination and then release puzzle pieces, which they would need to solve. With the winners getting immunity and a full fishing set, second getting a few fishing items and the losers getting some face time with Probst at tribal. Given the snake was ridiculously heavy, everyone struggled to get through the first phase until Elie fell off while holding on to it which gave them the lead, while Coco and Vesi were left to nip at their heels. Well, Coco at the very least, as Nneka kinda gave up on helping with the snake at Vesi, leading to them falling way behind. So far behind in fact that Jeanine and Elie secured the win for Baka with ease, just ahead of Coco. Sending Vesi to tribal council, while Noelle looked on angrily from the sit out bench.

Which, relatable.

Back at camp the tribe got a quick little pep talk from Cody, before pivoting to scrambling with Cody knowing he would have his work cut out for himself to protect his bestie Nneka after bombing the challenge. As the girls locked in their plan against Nneka, she approached Jesse and Dwight to see if they’d be open to keeping her. We dabbed out and checked in with the triumphant Baka who were riding high on their first victory, with Elie particularly thrilled to have had the hero moment in the puzzle given she struggled at school growing up due to her ADHD and dyslexia. As the tribe discussed how best to use their fishing gear, Gabler ignored everyone’s suggestion to pop a rope on the Hawaiian sling given he had never used one and immediately put a target on his back. That somehow led to Jeanine going through his bag to get confirmation whether his idol expires after the second tribal council or his second tribal council. Which ended up being the latter, meaning she, Elie and Owen needed to figure out a way to navigate around it should they actually want to take a shot.

We returned to Vesi for the more pressing scramble with Justine approaching Dwight and Jesse to figure out a split vote plan to navigate Nneka potentially playing her shot in the dark. Sadly for her, she needed Jesse to pull it off and given Justine had already made him more nervous than Nneka, Justine girl, you in danger. Jesse caught up with his island wife Dwight to see how he was feeling about the upcoming tribal council and while Dwight was more interested in aligning with the girls to weaken Cody, by way of taking out Nneka, Jesse was also aware that Dwight does not have a vote and as such, he can’t help either way. Justine approached the duo and admitted that she wasn’t sure she could trust Jesse, which made him want her gone ASAP. And Dwight? Well, he wasn’t bothered.

Jesse approached Cody and Nneka to discuss the upcoming tribal council, giving them the deets and straight up vibing. Feeling good about getting rid of Justine, Cody turned his attention to idol hunting where he quickly stumbled across the Beware Advantage. And despite the risk, took it and immediately lost his vote unless he was able to convince each person in the tribe to give him a unique bead from their bags to activate his idol bracelet. He got to work, admitting to Jesse what happened and they set to work securing the rest. Cody decided he would wear a palm frond hat at tribal council and as such, needed to bedazzle it with beads, asking everyone to give him theirs. Which worked, for everyone but Noelle, who had already made a bracelet out of hers.

At tribal council Cody admitted they were crushed to lose immunity, before gushing about his iconic hat to Probst and how the tribe all helped by gifting him their beads. Justine admitted she would like a hat, with Cody offering to make one should she survive. She opened up about knowing she is on the block given everyone is paired up in the tribe and she hasn’t talked strategy with Cody at all. Dwight opened up about the fact everyone knows he doesn’t have a vote tonight, while Jesse and Nneka admitted that it may seem silly for him to have shared that intel, in the game it makes sense. Talk turned to the potential idol, with Nneka trying to distract while Noelle was genuinely in the dark about the situation.

Cody admitted that Dwight losing his vote likely won’t impact tribal council while Noelle felt that nobody had done anything wrong and as such, tonight was a tough decision for everyone. Though she was planning to vote for strength so they don’t have to come back. With that the tribe voted – including Cody, who was able to get the last bead from Noelle in a flashback – which tragically led to her friend Justine being booted from the game. JUST LIKE I PREDICTED BY ANOINTING HER THE MODERN ERA JESSIE CAMACHO?!

Which was not something she delighted in when I gave her a hug at Loser Lodge. She was understandably super bummed to be out of the game second but I reminded her that an iconic early boot – that is gorgeous to boot – will live on in the hearts of us gays for decades to come, just like Jesse, and as such, she should be proud of herself. And while I don’t know if it was that or the Justerrine Brennan that cheered her up, all I know is that she was happy when I exited.

While this terrine gives off big turducken energy, I assure you the pork and chicken combination is damn near perfection. Sweet, succulent and packed with a juicy-earthy punch, this is the perfect thing to feast on for dinner, or have cold at a picnic. She. Is. Versatile, mama.

Enjoy!

Justerrine Brennan
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush
1 onion, diced
12 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 chicken breasts, diced
500g pork mince
⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
⅓ cup dried cranberries
¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onion over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Transfer to a bowl.

While the onion gets chill, use 10 of the bacon rashers to line a 1kg loaf tin, leaving excess to hang over the sides. Add the chicken, pork, pistachios, cranberries, nutmeg, thyme, sage and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir until well combined. Press the filing into the tin and fold the overhanging bacon over to seal tightly. Oil some foil – lol, rhyme – and cover the terrine. Again, tightly.

Transfer to a roasting pan and half-fill – the roasting pan, obvi – with boiling water and pop in the oven to bake for 90 minutes. Once cooked, gently remove from the water bath, uncover, drain excess fat and leave to cool.

Once cool, transfer to a baking tray and cover with foiling and pop something heavy on top – filled tin cans work best – and transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.

To serve, unmold the terrine, brush with a little oil and pop in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Then, finally, devour.


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Bluebrey Hainish

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under ten new dolls arrived in our baby Werk Room ready to gift the world further flavour from our neck of the woods. After putting the dolls through their paces in the traditional photoshoot – this time, with sausage – Ru tasked the girls with making outfits from natural or recycled materials. Faúx Fúr sang and generally added a cacophony of sounds while rocking black granny panties under a sheer skirt, while Spankie, potentially distracted, just forgot to work panties into her design at all. While Yuri’s look was a work of art, she couldn’t walk in it on the runway and as such, Molly, who also nailed the challenge, took out the first win of the season. Meanwhile Spankie and Faúx’s own version of the Erika Girardi pantygate landed them in the bottom with Spankie sending sweet Faúx home.

Backstage everything was feeling a little more real after seeing their first sister go home, with Spankie heartbroken to have been the one to have officially done the deed. While everyone, unsurprisingly, was just gagged by how quiet things were now that Faúx was gone. Minnie was proud of Spankie for turning the lip sync for the old girls – despite her being in her 30s – while Spankie was just focused on rising from the ashes and proving to everyone that she is not to be fucked with.

The next day Kween was also ready for a little bit of a comeback, while Yuri was just hoping to be able to walk in whatever look she pulls out this week. Aubrey meanwhile was happy to be safe for the challenge, before Minnie jumped in and apologised for the drama between them about their safe-ness last week. Before we could dwell on it further, Ru dropped by and promptly announced that since Molly won the first challenge, she would be able to rate her competition with the help of the zaddy Pit Crew. And well, were we paying attention to anything but the Bonds packages? Yuri Gaii was crowned Greatest Competition, not Good Cunt as Spankie thought. Daggiest Drag was given to Spankie, You Beauty was obviously Kween Kong as trade of the season while the final winner – Taking the Piss aka Next to Go – was Beverly Kills. Mainly because Aubrey looked stressed and Molly was way too scared to give it to Minnie.

For this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be starring in a Prisoner parody – Caged Queens – with those winning a title and wearing a sash forming Team #1 with Molly, while the rest would form Team #2. As soon as the sash dolls got together Molly admitted that she actually wanted to say Minnie was the next to go and while they started kiki-ing about it, Kween cut them off and told them to put some respect on Minnie’s name and well, I love Kween for standing up for the icon. Speaking of Minnie, she and Aubrey assured their team they will gladly put their former issues aside. Minnie opened up about being dyslexic and requested they run through the scene orally and ugh, I love her. We ventured back to Team Sash where Spankie was nailing rehearsal, while literally everyone else was bombing.

Team Sashless were first up to film with Michelle and Rhys where Aubrey looked like Baby Willam and appeared to be struggling. Pomara meanwhile was iconic in a Casey Donovan wig and well, it made me moist and I love her and her power hungry ways as a prison guard. Minnie and Molly were demented and so much fun as prison hooch producers. Spankie meanwhile knocked it out of the park for Team Sash while Yuri was apologetic to everyone for how bad she was doing. Rounding things out, Kween was ditsy, Molly was funny and Beverly was awks.

Elimination Day arrived with Kween showing off a nip, so yeah, I’m wet. Team Sashless were ready to take out victory, while Minnie wanted to publicly thank her team for being so understanding about her dyslexia which the other team hadn’t known. This led to Pomara trying to hide her laughter as she had heard it multiple times this episode, which obviously set off a new feud between Minnie and her. Once it was resolved that Pomara was laughing about it not being a secret, rather than Minnie having dyslexia, everyone split up to beat their mugs with Kween and Pomara feeling uncertain about how they went in the challenge but hopeful about improving on last week’s performance. Yuri opened up to Spankie about how her family offered to help fix her gayness and how they don’t support her drag, with Spankie going into mumma mode pulling her in for a hug and telling her that she is enough and is always welcome in her family. And ugh, I’ve had too long a week to process this emotion because that was beautiful.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys were joined by the iconic Lucy Lawless as Molly slayed the Fly Girls runway as a neon green prey mantis. Kween Kong was perfection as a sexy black and white moth, Aubrey was gorgeous in Etcetera Etcetera’s entry-slash-promo look and Minnie was stunning as a 50s glam butterfly. Beverly was the sexiest latex mozzie, Pomara was stunning in an iridescent blue cicada gown, Spankie was a Cabaret style fly and looked a treat while Hannah was a glamorous ‘20s golden dame bug. And well, then Yuri Gaii was an acidic prey mantis and well, sorry Molly, Yuri did it better. Like the one you ordered, versus what you get.

When it came to Caged Queens, Hannah and Minnie were right in the pocket and gloriously, Home Alone-esque in their delivery. While Pomara and Aubrey were kinda-sorta just there. Spankie was delightfully demented, Yuri was sexy, Molly and Kween were fun and Beverly was a little awks. But given her character was being executed for writing all the RuPaul’s Drag Race acting challenges, so yeah, I appreciate a self-aware show.

Molly, Beverly and Pomara were deemed safe and sent to untuck before the judges praised Kween for looking stunning as all hell. Though read for kinda just being there in the challenge. She admitted that she hated the challenge and is embarrassed to have bombed in front of Lucy Lawless, before opening up about her depression and assured Ru that she will do better and ugh, I love her. Aubrey was read for being weak, though they praised her for fighting through the struggle of being first on set. Oh and while she looked good standing still, her gags on the runway all fell flat. Minnie received all around praise for everything she did in the challenge and on the runway. Yuri was declared the fashion queen of the season, though read for filth for her performance in the challenge. And then Spankie received wall to wall praise for being silly, leaning in to the joy and being fun. And then Hannah was praised for her Marlene Dietrich runway and for nailing the performance.

Backstage the safe girls were shocked that Kween and Aubrey were in the bottom, while Kween assured Yuri that she wants her baby sister to bring it in the lip sync. Minnie and Pomara then unleashed their issues, with Minnie offended about what happened this morning, while Pomara called her out for saying she didn’t deserve to be paid as a performer to other queens in Sydney. Oh and Minnie told her that she was entitled and difficult to mentor. But then they buried their issues and moved on, causing whiplash for everyone on the sidelines and watching along at home.

Ultimately Spankie took out her first win of the season while Hannah and Minnie were deemed a very deserving safe. As was Yuri, thanks to her perfect bloody outfit. As soon as The Divinyls’ I Touch Myself kicked off, Kween absolutely came alive and commanded all the attention, proving she is a damn star. She was cartwheeling and splitting and while Aubrey had a fire and gave camp comedy, Kween made sure she was not going home any time soon. Which meant poor Aubrey had to go, ironically – maybe, who knows thanks to Alanis – to a song featured in Austin Powers, which birthed her name. 

Backstage Aubrey was understandably disappointed to be going home so soon, but thankfully was still proud of how skilled she is despite still being a baby-queen. Do I feel like a part of her started drag for the sole purpose of getting on the show and getting a recipe named after her? Sure. But can you really blame her? Thankfully like me, she is an icon and I pulled her in for a massive hug, congratulating her on being so damn talented, winning over hearts during her short stint and getting into a memorable fight. Which, in my eyes, makes her more than worthy of a piping hot Bluebrey Hainish.

Tart berries, sweet, velvety cream cheese and the glorious crunch of almonds work together to create a pastry so decadent and life affirming that all your troubles are solved. Kind of like Marge’s banana bread.

Enjoy!

Bluebrey Hainish
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry
400g cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
¼ cup raw caster sugar
2 cups blueberries
1 egg, whisked
icing sugar and flaked almonds, for dusting and sprinkling

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and cut each sheet of puff pastry into four squares. Divide the squares between two lined baking sheets.

Combine the cream cheese, caster sugar and extracts in a bowl and smear in the centre of each square of pastry, leaving a 2cm rim around the perimeter of each. Divide the blueberries between the squares and gently press into the cheese.

Brush the edges with a little bit of egg and transfer the baking sheets to the oven to cook for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for five minutes or so, before dusting with icing sugar and sprinkling over the flaked almonds. Then devour, lukewarm.


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Chocolate Biscottevin Naidu

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

Previously on Survivor South Africa after losing the first two immunity challenges, the Masu tribe were feeling deflated. But boy were they busy. Dante was trying to improve on his last game, playing out in front and keeping his options open, while Meryl, Steffi and Marian had formed a tight trio. Over at Yontau, Dino fell asleep and into the fire which was far from the most dramatic thing as Pinty and Tania continued to feud. At tribal council the tribe was split over who to get rid of, ultimately trusting in Pinty pulling her head in (or wanting a bigger target around), as Tania was booted from the game. Potentially due to the Survivor Pizza Curse.

Things were far more zen the next day as Seamus and Phil caught up, agreeing that Pinty is kind of out of control and Tania was correct about everything she said. Though Phil admitted that he kept Pinty for the sole purpose of using her abrasive behaviours as a shield. Speaking of Pinty, she caught up with Thoriso to put the target on Seamus instead, given he played the idol he found with Tevin, even though he clearly didn’t need to (ignoring the fact it expired that night and he also had first boot trauma). And while Thoriso agreed they were a dangerous duo, she felt that Tevin was a far bigger threat than Seamus and as such, he should be their priority.

Over at Masu Toni was still fuming over Dante taking control of the tribe, while Marian approached her to clear the air. Like a boss, she told her to never use her skin as a reason to boot her again, while Toni explained she was trying to give people a gentler reason to get rid of her. Which doesn’t make much sense, but hey, she accepted it. Marian realised that Toni was feeling like she had no room to play, given she had been backed into a corner, so she tried to make her feel heard and loved. And like she had options. And you know, stick with the Masu tribe come the surely-impending swap. Before both of them locked things in officially, knowing the pre-mergers will definitely be out for blood come the merge.

Palesa meanwhile was cosying up to Dante as they both assured each other that they were keen to work together and were glad they didn’t feel the need to talk constantly. Which was all a ruse as Palesa shared with us that she knows Dante is a massive threat and clearly working at dismantling everyone else’s options and as such, she was biding her time until she could start dismantling his, instead.

The tribes met up with Nico for the latest reward-immunity combo where they would face off one at a time, running down an alley opposite their rival and attempting to pull a trigger before them. First tribe to five winning immunity and a huge bounty of comfort items. And ingredients to make toasties. Steffi and Shona were first and while Shona boldly tried to tackle her, Steffi Steffi-ed and quickly scored the point. Meryl then destroyed Pinty, Tejan continued the streak over Seamus before Queen Palesa scored Masu’s fourth point over Queen Killarney. Dante then ran for the win against Felix, which he narrowly did. Much to the agony of Yontau.

Back at Masu the tribe were completely overjoyed, sitting around smashing their sandies and feeling like real people again. On and then Steffi found the hidden immunity idol while the tribe were in food comas, proving she learnt a lot from King Chappies in his short time on the island.

The mood, however, was far more sombre over Yontau, embarrassed by how badly they lost. Felix tried to give them a pep talk and encouraged everyone to believe in themselves since they have been excelling when they work together. Killarney meanwhile was nervous after she bombed her point, which proved to be a good read as Pinty approached Tevin to float the idea of voting her out. Which he was obviously keen to do. When she made the same pitch to Seamus, she was far less successful as he pointed out both of them also lost their points and as such, they shouldn’t target her for that. He then approached Tevin, Dino, Thoriso and Felix to float getting rid of Pinty instead. Given she is still abrasive. While they appeared to be making headway, Dino grew nervous, given it is obvious Tevin and Seamus are leading the tribe and given he is injured, he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself and instead would like to keep targets like Pinty around.

Thoriso too was feeling like Tevin was more of a problem, though knew she couldn’t be the one to float his name to Felix, Phil or Seamus. And what do you know, she is in luck as Phil approached Felix about prioritising getting rid of Tevin. Given Pinty will Pinty every day until she is gone. Speaking of which, she then caught up with Felix and opened up about how frustrated she is by Tevin and Seamus being out in front and as such, she wanted to get one of them out ASAP as she was feeling nervous about trusting the boys. 

Killarney meanwhile was hanging out with the boys who told her that she is their pawn, though not to worry as they were planning to end Pinty’s reign of terror. As Tevin and Seamus were bonding with Shona over her being voted out on Day 9 on her first season, Phil noticed how tight their hold had gotten over the tribe. As such, he approached Dino and Felix to seriously work on flipping the vote on Tevin to continue dismantling the Philippines alliance. Tevin and Seamus meanwhile were successful in locking in their numbers with Shona, as Phil continued to work the boys and assure them that saving Pinty will only make her more and more loyal.

Oh and then Tevin found the hidden immunity idol. 

Phil and Pinty finally caught up with Pinty herself pitching the idea of splitting up Tevin and Seamus, which obviously worked given that was his plan himself. She then filled in Thoriso on the change in plan, who was frankly thrilled. And lol, what do you know, Seamus was keen to do a Shona and stash a hidden immunity idol at tribal council for down the road. And well, I look forward to seeing the other person’s face when the first one to do the fake play steals their thunder. So. Many. Lols.

At tribal council Seamus admitted it was difficult to lose, though was confident they were the stronger, more cohesive team. Phil spoke about how disheartening it can be to lose, though was glad they were ready to keep pushing forward. Throiso reiterated that everyone working together is their collective goal, with Shona agreeing that they wanted to get as many of the tribe members as far as possible. Tevin agreed that was his strategy on the first go around and while it may be boring TV it works, despite the fact that it got him blindsided his first go around. Dino meanwhile wanted to keep his options open while Tevin focused on the unpredictability of the game.

Talk turned to Pinty being the star of the last tribal council, with her agreeing that she is still on the block this one though felt Killarney is more of a weakness for the tribe. This fired Killarney up, who called Pinty out for being a difficult personality to deal with and that nobody won their point and as such, her argument was moot. As Pinty tried to defend herself as the strongest woman, she threw Shona and Thoriso under the bus, leading to Pinty backpedalling and praising them for trying. Unlike Killarney. Who well and truly was over her pitch and encouraged everyone to ignore her scrambling for the desperation it is. 

Nico bought up the potential of another idol being in play, with Seamus nervous about having to split votes so soon while Dino and Phil tried to distract and keep playing up the tribal unity. With that the tribe voted and they were anything but unified as the votes landed four a piece between Tevin and Pinty before the final vote blindsided Tevin from the game. With an idol in his pocket.

Despite the fact he experienced the same fate on his second go around, Tevin exited with his head held high and was proud of what he achieved. Which I guess is easier to deal with when you’re constantly targeted for being a threat. I guess. As he re-entered loser lodge, I pulled him in for a massive hug and told him how disappointed I was to see him go. And then got a little cheeky and pointed out that his exit really improves Toni’s standing in the game and as such, we should all be grateful. Though, maybe that was the Chocolate Biscottevin Naidu.

So crunchy you could chip a tooth, these biscotti are so damn tasty. Sweet and delicate chocolate, cooked to a perfect crisp with lightly toasted hazelnuts? Perfection. Perfection, I tell you!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Biscottevin Naidu
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ cup good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
325g chocolate, roughly chopped
5 eggs, 4 whole plus 1 separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
225g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line two baking sheets with baking paper or silpat.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and half the chocolate in a food processor and blitz until combined and chocolate is in smaller chunks.

Meanwhile whisk the four eggs, vanilla and the raw caster sugar in a stand mixer on medium until it forms light, creamy ribbons. Trade in the paddle attachment and fold in the flour mixture, remaining chocolate and hazelnuts until just combined.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface – very floured – and split into four. Roll each portion into a log and place on the lined baking sheets. Whisk the remaining white and brush over each, followed by a generous sprinkle of sugar. Pop the logs in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about half an hour.

Once they are cool enough to cut, transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1.5cm slices using a serrated knife. Line the biscotti flat on the lined baking sheets and return to the oven to cook for another 20 minutes. Remove when nice and crisp, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Or just devour piping out, fresh from the oven. Because these are good.


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Romesco Saucobar

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the lush islands of Fiji where one by one they were eliminated, starting with the tragic loss of Jackson and Zach within the first few days. They were followed out the door – yes, this is happening – Marya, Jenny, Swati and Daniel before three became one as the tribes merged, or so they thought, as once again, the merge was a bit of a gag. That cost Lydia her game before the official merge saw Chanelle ascend to the throne as Queen of the jury. She was soon joined by Rocksroy, Tori, Hai, Drea and Omar before the final five were sent to a new beach to start over. Despite winning an advantage for the challenge, Lindsay couldn’t take out victory and landed on the jury bench before Romeo narrowly snatched final immunity and took Maryanne to final tribal council with him, leaving Mike to earn his place and sending Jonathan from the game to become the final juror.

The final three awoke on Day 26 to watch the sunrise, proud to have made it all the way to the end and to get the chance to argue their case. Though Mike was worried about how he would be able to convince the jury of his game, despite all of them giving confessionals about really needing him to own the fact he is the biggest snake left in the game. Romeo meanwhile was proud of playing from the bottom the entire game, with the jury admitting that his ability to persevere and outlast everyone has been very impressive. Maryanne meanwhile was readying herself to scream all of her achievements from the rooftops and while the jury were thrilled to see Maryanne make it to the end, they worried about her ability to articulate her superior game. And TBH, focus on the task at hand.

With that, the final three arrived at the final tribal council where Probst quickly explained the proceedings for the evening. Omar kicked off the discussion about their social games, praising all of them for making it to the end and encouraged everyone to outline what they did to deserve the win. Tori spoke about Mike’s passion for trust and integrity, while Maryanne was charming and fun while Romeo was quiet, asking how accurate her read was and whether she missed anything. Mike leant straight into his love of trust, while Maryanne countered that she has always taken the game seriously, desperately trying to downplay her threat level as all the young people kept getting voted out when they tried to make a move. While Romeo just agreed that yes he was paranoid, but that he kept throwing hinky votes out to keep people riled up.

That sadly upset Hai, who accused him of gaslighting him and ugh, Hai destroyed him. Despite his attempts to apologise and them ultimately moving on, I still worry for Romeo in this final tribal. Giving him hope, Omar asked Mike about some of the other times he lied that he hadn’t copped to, including the blindside of Drea. While Mike tried to talk around things, Chanelle jumped in to call bullshit on the situation, leading to Mike getting more and more desperate as he tried to explain that he only crossed people that crossed him. Which Hai pointed out was mainly Omar feeding him lies. Jonathan tried to get Mike to fight before Drea cooled things down and reminded everyone that they all lied, but the fact of the matter is that Mike’s social game was just on point.

Talk turned to Maryanne’s sloppy social game pre-merge, with Maryanne admitting she hadn’t realised how much her tribe hated her before the merge but once she realised, she rightly course corrected. Lindsay then gave Maryanne the chance to explain who she pulled in herself, with her highlighting her skills in taking out Omar. And while Jonathan tried to take ownership of the move, she slapped him down and rightly took credit. Because trust and believe, it was her moment.

Rocksroy kicked off the physical portion of the game, with Maryanne talking about her contribution around camp, weaving fronds and prepping the fish. Mike meanwhile highlighted his work ethic, powering along all season to look after his tribe. While Romeo admitted he has never camped and just learnt to swim, and as such, he is proud of himself for persevering and finally snatching immunity at the final four.

Drea kicked off the strategic portion, telling the final three that this is what will decide her vote. She asked each of them to outline their biggest move with Romeo talking about his fake immunity idol and winning the final challenge. Oh and that he took Maryanne because she didn’t have a strategy. Mike meanwhile spoke about orchestrating the blindside on Hai, with him admitting that sometimes his emotions got the best of him before he realised mid-sentence that he wasn’t as honest as he thought. Maryanne meanwhile shut it down, explaining that getting rid of Omar set her up with a bunch of final three combinations she could navigate. She then outed her idol, impressing everyone by keeping the secret and clearly articulating how removing Omar is the thing that took her to the end.

Romeo meanwhile broke down, disappointed to have had to play the game from the bottom and to not show his real self throughout the game. Though he was proud to have never given up and make it to the end, and to finally be able to live his life as a proud gay man. Mike spoke about being proud of himself for overcoming the generational barriers, competing with the younger kids and making the bonds to get to the end. While Maryanne once again dominated, sharing how she learnt to stand up for herself and to not self-sabotage, which is why she voted out Lindsay. She cried about having to turn on a friend, though finally knew that she had to take the risk of getting rid of her, to give herself the best shot at winning.

With that the jury voted and once again, everyone was gagged to discover that Jeff would be reading the votes right then and there in the middle of Fiji. Sadly for Romeo, none of them were for him as he found himself becoming the second runner-up of the season.

As Jeffy pop and co reset to film the reunion, I pulled Romeo aside and gave him a massive hug for all that he achieved throughout the season. And for giving a surprisingly dominant performance in the final tribal council. Romeo perfectly articulated how he managed to navigate the game despite being on the bottom the entire time, while also going on a massive journey to self-acceptance. Which is not bad for 26 days of work! And while it didn’t jag him the win, it was more than enough to win him my heart and a big ol’ ramekin of Romesco Saucobar.

A little bit tangy with a touch of earthiness and punch of sweetness, this Spanish sauce is the perfect accompaniment for pretty much anything. Make it a bit thicker and you’ve got a punchy dip, thinner and it works perfectly with some charred chicken.

Enjoy!

Romesco Saucobar
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
150g chargrilled capsicum, drained well
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
¼ tsp chilli powder
20g flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 lemon, zested and juiced
5 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method
Pop everything into the blender and blitz until smooth.

Decant and either down, dip or drizzle on something and devour – your choice!


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Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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


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Beetroot and Bean Watsalad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, before Nina was tragically whisked from the game she got to enjoy a reward with her tribe. But she wasn’t the only one not having luck as Mark thought he snatched a clue to a hidden immunity idol without anyone knowing. Unaware that his ally Jordie saw everything. With the alphas in control of the Blood tribe, KJ was thrilled to be the new resident female in their alliance, leaving Shay cast aside. After Water threw the next immunity challenge, Jesse and Sam planned to re-blindside Ben. That is until Ben told them that Croc was trying to save him and instead target Jesse. As such they flipped things on Croc and sent him home with an idol in his pocket. While poor Queen Chrissy sobbed.

The next day things were looking rather zen at Water as Ben fished in his speedos while Sam led the girls in washing out their bits, her words, not mine. Jesse and Khanh followed this by stripping off, making me as wet as the stream they frolicked in. While Chrissy looked on completely enraged, Ben opened up about how he was feeling awkward about the blindside, though was thrilled to have defied the odds and made his way back to the top of the tribe. Poor Chrissy meanwhile was heartbroken to have lost her support network in Croc, missing everything he reminded her of at home. Sam tried to make things better, assuring Chrissy that everyone loves Croc though they were told he was turning on them first and therefore felt they had to take him out first. And then Chrissy herself confirmed things that Croc had said without even realising it.

But, you know, Sam followed that up by confirming Ben was the mastermind of the blindside and Ben, girl, you’re in danger because Chrissy is coming for you.

Over at the Blood tribe everyone was genuinely zen, with Mark living for his all male alliance and while that sounds like my dream, in Survivor, I absolutely hate it. Particularly because it is less about them taking out the weak links and more about them taking out the women, given Shay could beat any of them in a challenge. Mark meanwhile was frustrated that he hadn’t been able to find his idol yet, despite the clue clearly directing him to find it tethered underwater by the well.

As he stealthily looked again, he told us how he would be putting his army training to good use while searching undetected. Under the watchful eye of Jordie, who quickly popped out of the bushes and forced Mark to confess that he found a clue. Mark then found the idol but pretended he hadn’t found anything and as such, the duo went hunting together. Well, until Mark grew tired of Jordie shadowing him and instead confessed he had the idol, assuming Jordie was an honest player. Which he is well and truly not. But go off sis, because villain Jordie is a delight.

The tribes reconnected with Jonathan for another immunity challenge which they were gagged to learn was an individual affair, with one person from each tribe jagging immunity. Since both tribes will be going to tribal council, and both tribes would be voting someone out. Aka, another twist. Put as far as the challenge goes, everyone would stand on narrow pegs and hold a rod above their heads to keep a ball pressed against a wall, with the last person from each tribe winning immunity.

Almost instantly, Dave dropped from the challenge, followed closely by Jordan begging the question, is that blood alliance gender or strength based? Michelle was first out for Water as Mark quickly followed over on Blood, followed by Mel, Josh and KJ leaving Jordie and Shay to fight it out. Ben and Chrissy meanwhile were verbally sparring over Croc’s blindside with them eventually clearing the air before Chrissy dropped, followed immediately by Jesse who fell on his face. With Jordie showing genuine concern and well, swoon.

After 26 minutes, Ben dropped out in agony as Chrissy caught him before he fell. Sam meanwhile was desperate to make a deal with Khanh, asking him to give her the necklace should she let him win the challenge despite the fact she was allegedly feeling fine. She then immediately dropped out of the challenge and proved she was not, in fact, fine as she passed out and required medical to be rushed in to make sure she was ok. With that excitement out of the way, poor Jordie dropped out without any medical intervention, handing Shay the second immunity and frankly, putting us all out of our misery. Because that looks painful.

Back at the Blood tribe, Jordie was frustrated that Shay’s victory had put a kibosh on their plans, though was grateful to have two other women to split the votes between. The boys caught up in the water to debate the merits of keeping Mel or KJ, settling on the former given she still has a partner in the game which is dangerous moving forward. Meanwhile the girls were back at camp and instead of bonding to form a rival alliance, Shay told KJ to do the washing up and walked away and well, that is not going to change the status quo.

Given she had no options with the girls, KJ approached the boys in the water and reiterated her status as a free agent to try and save herself. Though given Jordie straight up plotted a split vote between KJ and Mel IN FRONT OF KJ, that should not make her feel assured in the slightest. The boys then looped in Mel, assuring her the plan is to take out KJ and well, this messiness just guarantees someone is coming out of tribal council angry. Though given how awkward Josh was while telling Shay about the plan, she should also be worried about her long-term survival. Particularly when she shared she was nervous about KJ coming for her and wanted her gone. And when they didn’t budge, that should show her they clearly don’t care about her. Shay then tried to rally the broader group on a plan to take out KJ and while Mark seemed interested, I can’t bring myself to get my hopes up for him turning on the boys.

Over at the Water tribe things were moderately less chaotic as Chrissy was focused on getting revenge on Ben and quickly rallied the troops to finally get rid of him. She, Sam and Khanh all agreed to get rid of him, with the girls assuring Khanh that Jesse will be all in on the plan to get rid of Ben too. Then somehow, that made Chrissy nervous given Sam and Jesse also voted for Croc and as such, she also hated them. And damn, this may end up being just as chaotic. As Chrissy napped away the afternoon, Ben was busy trying to woo the tribe to his idea to flush Khanh’s idol and get rid of Chrissy instead. He then went person to person sharing his plan and while Sam and Jesse debated the merits of the split, I still have an awful feeling we’re losing one of the speedo kings tonight.

At tribal council Dave admitted he was shocked by how strong Jordie was in the challenge while Shay admitted she felt like she needed to win, given their tribe is a complete sausage fest. She joked that Mel and KJ were now on their own, before pretending they’d be fine, while both KJ and Mel reiterated that they are in fact fighting for their lives in the game. Mark tried to downplay the predictability, given people are wont to be conflicting and chaotic. While Shay tried to pretend original tribes may come into play, Mark admitted his decision will be based on what is best for his merge game. Jordie spoke about the likelihood there is an idol in play at the camp, with Jordan laughing about someone finally learning to keep it quiet while Mark looked straight up anxious. Jordie meanwhile agreed they’ve reached the point of the game where they are making decisions based on the next week in the game, rather than just focusing on seeing tomorrow.

Jonathan turned his attention to the Water tribe, with Chrissy still smarting about Croc’s blindside and vowied that there are definitely going to be some upset people after the upcoming vote. But she will not be one of them, since her name is not on the block. Ben admitted she is likely targeting him, with Chrissy reminding everyone she is fiercely loyal which Ben agreed he was too despite the fact he cut Croc. Who was the only person willing to save him. Which is valid, but not the right argument.

Sam spoke about how she pushed so hard in the challenge to make her son and Mark proud, while Khanh spoke about pushing himself in the challenge to prove he could, rather than it being a sign of him feeling unsafe with his tribe. Jesse agreed that it was more about PBs before Ben got up and started to whisper to Khanh to play his idol for himself rather than on Chrissy, given he would essentially be voting himself out if not. This got Jonathan’s attention with Khanh admitting Ben told him to play his idol to save himself and while JLP tried to make him feel awks about giving up immunity to Sam, he admitted he still has an idol and doesn’t care. Particularly since he has the relationships to carry him through should it get flushed.

Sam and Chrissy assured him that he is definitely not part of the plan, as Khanh started to sob about how grateful he is to have found so many genuine friends on his tribe. Sam agreed that she is shocked by how many bonds she has made and while they all feel like their trust has been broken over time, they need to come back, move on and work together the next day because that is how the game works.

With that the tribes voted though before Jonathan read them, he announced that the person voted out on each tribe would get a chance to fight for their life in a firemaking challenge with the winner staying in the game and returning to their tribe, while the loser would officially be out of the game. 

Ultimately it was Mel and Ben voted out of their respective tribes and were whisked off to the side of tribal council to battle out in the firemaking challenge. While her sister looked to already be accepting her defeat, Mel absolutely dominated the challenge, immediately getting flames and managing to keep it going as she built it into a full blown fire. While Ben managed to get a flame, he appeared to keep smothering it as Michelle barked at Mel to find the smallest sticks she could find. While Mel’s too went out, she and Ben eventually built a flame, before Mel managed to keep hers consistent the longest, burning through the rope and saving her position in the game. As Water celebrated finally getting Ben out of the game.

Obviously, his loss absolutely broke my heart given he is one of my top two speedo kings of the season. Which I obviously told him as I pulled him into my arms back at Loser Lodge.

I’ve known Ben for years and years, meeting at a Bens for speedos club. While he was there to fight the speedo stigma of the modern age, I was there to scout talent and funnily enough, suggested he go on Survivor to join the pantheon of zaddies throughout the years. Promising him a Beetroot and Bean Watsalad as a thank you for his service.

Like Ben, this fresh little number is an absolute dreamboat. Rich a earthy, smooth and creamy with a little bit of spice and zing, there is nothing more you could want to put in your mouth. The salad, guys – head out of the gutter. Though, obvi, Ben is a total swoon.

Enjoy!

Beetroot and Bean Watsalad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 beetroot, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 sprig rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 sprigs thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 garlic cloves, minced
200g beans, trimmed and cut into lengths
100g feta, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and wrap each beetroot in foil after giving them a good rub in 1 tbsp olive oil and seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven and cook for about an hour, or until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for fifteen minutes.

While the beetroot is cooling down, combine the remaining olive oil with the vinegar, rosemary, thyme and a good whack of salt and pepper. Shake to combine. Then blanch the beans until they are a nice, bright green. Remove and leave to chill.

Dice the beetroot and add to a bowl with the beans, feta, red onion and walnuts. Pour over the dressing and toss until well combined. Then devour.


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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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