Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champion girls were riding high after blindsiding David, with JaQueen pointing out that they need to get rid of one more Contender to solidify their game. Daisy found a second idol and was hopeful it would be able to turn things around for her, though sadly found it in front of Luke and Pia. As the Champs plotted who to vote against at tribal council, Luke and Pia spilled the beans about the idol and gave the Champs an upper hand in the latest head-to-head battle. Despite Daisy trying to play it cool, JaQueen scared her into playing the idol for herself, which didn’t help to save her as the Champions banded together to take out my king, John who was booted by the rest of the tribe.

Fully clothed.

The next day JaQueen and Baden were bantering over the fire, with Baden happily hacking at a coconut and proud that he has learnt to communicate with others. He haphazardly tried to slice breakfast, almost becoming a double amputee in the process, which further endeared him to his tribemates. I mean, the hilarity almost killed Pia who is killing the game and honestly, that is his best plan ATM. Otherwise, he is not winning.

Later that day JaQueen was riding high from John’s boot, given it means that the Champion majority has without a doubt taken control. And as such, she was feeling confident and planned to push her allies to get rid of another Contender next. Speaking of the Contenders Daisy and Harry were sitting by the shore heartbroken about their predicament, though shocked about how close everyone had gotten. Daisy was rightly feeling stupid about misplaying a second idol, before hunting for a third idol to keep herself safe, her allies be damned. She and Harry went searching, desperately, followed by Luke and Simon who were tasked with keeping an eye on them, Daisy started to get strategic, pointing out that Luke told everyone about her idol and that some told her it happened. While it was fake, that made Luke and Simon feel very anxious about their place in the tribe, immediately blaming Pia and vowing to get their own form of revenge.

Before Luke could take a shot at the one true Queen of Australian Survivor, Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge where everyone was split into duos to do an upright version of Twister. It was for an overnight spa getaway, so everyone was shitting their pants at the thought of winning. Pia and Daisy found themselves as one pair, Luke and Baden another, Abbey and Harry together versus JaQueen and Simon. One person was responsible to remove the even numbered pegs, while the other had the odds with everyone surviving the first round before Luke almost gave Baden a wristy and flooded my basement. While that didn’t happen, he did reach around before Harry fell from the wall and eliminated himself and Abbey. Everyone survived the next few rounds while Luke and Baden plotted about how they will survive the next few rounds of votes in the niche they’ve created in the middle … while JaQueen’s bush-feet dominated. Out of nowhere Baden fell out, while his father Luke tried to keep his spirits up. The remaining pairs kept a dominant pace before Pia slid off, handing Simon and JaQueen the win. Jonthan then gave them the chance to invite another duo to share the reward, with JaQueen rightly sharing the spa to their runners-up.

At the spa the victors were shocked by how opulent the reward was, despite the fact the weather was miserable and Simon like JaQueen believes that it is palm frong, not frond. Daisy was the most hopeful, feeling like Luke being left back at camp is the best chance for her to make a dent at the Champions numbers with JaQueen. Speaking of JaQueen, she was wise and asked everyone to go through the remaining castaways and list their pros and cons, pointing out why Harry and Luke are dangerous, with nobody able to point how dangerous she is. Simon then shared that Luke was annoyed that Pia allegedly told everyone that he knew about Daisy’s idol, filling her with nerves and unsure who to trust moving forward. Simon then doubled down and pointed out that Luke needs to go ASAP, with Daisy jumping on board and sharing it is her best chance to survive.

Back at camp Luke was feeling salty about Daisy’s lie, pulling Abbey aside and sharing that that intel made its way back to the Contenders. Knowing he would be screwed if he sticks with the Champs, Luke pulled Harry and Baden aside to find out who was spilling the tea and low-key, how does he orchestrate a blindside with them. Harry knew what he was trying, so lied that Pia is the one that shared the idol intel. Harry and Baden made quick work of pulling him in, identifying JaQueen and Pia as the biggest threats before the trio plotted to get the rest to split the votes, while the three of them band together to take someone out. Someone named JaQueen.

Everyone reconveened for the immunity challenge where they would each have to do a bicep curl to hold a ball, with the last one standing without their ball on the floor, snatching immunity. As they speculated who would win, Baden dropped his ball and pretend to be shocked. Though I feel like he meant to drop. Harry almost drop is, before Daisy’s fell out of nowhere while JaQueen threw some casual shade. Like the icon she is.Out of nowhere Pia dropped, followed closely by Harry, who should have been the first to go. Abbey was the next to go, thanks to a former broken wrist while JaQueen, Simon and Luke battled into their second hour. JaQueen then felt a spider on her knee, requesting that Baden remove it for her. Baden being an icon chose to ignore her request, leading to Daisy getting up to help as Luke eliminated himself. JaQueen and Simon battled out with the former desperately trying to get Simon to drop and give her a win.Harry used this to his advantage, telling Simon that he would drop if her felt safe which backfired, led Simon to barter for a reward – should JaQueen win one – and hand JaQueen a well earned victory.

Back at camp Harry was feeling super nervous, given his number one target had immunity. This made him feel super salty and since he couldn’t get rid of her, he was hopeful that Daisy would have formulated a plan at the reward. She joined with Baden and Harry to point out that they were all planning on voting out Luke at their next chance, and while they like Luke, they were just hopeful it would be enough to save them. Meanwhile JaQueen was nervous about Simon wanting to get rid of Luke and since Daisy was on board with his plan, JaQueen wanted her gone as she could predict everyone else’s moves.

Simon and JaQueen went for a wander into the jungle to lock in the plan to take out Daisy and while Simone didn’t want to, JaQueen barrelled through and told him that they would take her out and tell her that Harry would be going. Daisy stumbled on the scene and while they tried to lie and tell her Harry would be going, she knew it was a lie. With that, she approached Luke and floated the idea of getting rid of Pia and him joining the Contenders.

Pia too was feeling nervous, worried about Daisy’s lie ruining her relationship with Luke slash the game. With that she approached Luke to clear the air, and pledge their undying allegiance. The entire Champion alliance then got together to lock in the Daisy vote, though Luke’s growing nervousness started to make JaQueen anxious and hot damn, we have a vote coming. Baden and Luke then caught up with JaQueen, Pia and Simon watching on and let’s just say Alibrandi was only looking for a reason to flip the vote, convincing the other two to get rid of Luke to guarantee their numbers.

At tribal council Luke acknowledged that the post reward divide could have impacted the game, given half the tribe were left out feeling like shit. Pia admitted it was pretty sweet, while Daisy was hopeful after making friends in the jacuzzi. She continued to push that the spa crew formulated a plan, hopeful that they could pull in one other for a blindside. Luke said that making a plan and missing is very dangerous before JaQueen jumped in and CEO’d to say that the reward plan was just misdirection, while Daisy sharing that it was a lie and they were planning. She then spoke about mopping and flopping, before Janine double down on saving her allies.

Pia joined the fray, assuring everyone that everyone was at least floating everyone else’s name and TBH they all agree with the plans, whether they intend to follow through or not. Harry thought that was bullshit, Luke was nervous, Abbey continued to espouse loyalty, Daisy was nervous and Janine wanted everyone to stay solid. Then Jonathan dropped the bombshell that they would not actually be voting someone out of the game and instead, the person would be sent to exile beach to await the next person to be booted from the game before they battle it out for a chance to return. With that the tribe voted and Daisy found herself sent to exile, filled with nerves about what she was going to face while awaiting her next opponent.

The next day we did a welfare check of Daisy on Exile Beach and honestly it looked pretty desolate and I would have been absolutely terrified. She then kind of broke down from loneliness, despite being grateful to still be in the game. To make it worse the rain started to bucket down which is usually her favourite thing. But then she lit a fire, steeled herself and vowed to not just return but win the game.

We dropped by camp where the tribe were busy doing chores and running errands, while Pia, JaQueen and Abbey joked about the lack of Instagram with their lives and whether they are actually in Fiji if they can’t prove it. Pia spoke about how strong their alliance is, though knew that she will have to channel her inner Joe Pesci in Goodfellas ASAP and start whacking people. Speaking of people that need to be whacked, we checked in with Harry who was nervous about joining Daisy on Exile and tried to find a way to send literally anyone else. He was hopeful that his chats with Luke are the key to fracturing the dominant Champion tribe, so rallied Baden to join him and try to fracture the alliance. And send his nemesis JaQueen to Exile … and out of the game.

Harry approached Luke and played into his nerves, explaining that as soon as they can, his allies will blindside him. He admitted that he has more trust in Harry at this point in time, and was keen to flip things up and make a move. They then laughed about JaQueen and Daisy spending time alone on Exile, given JaQueen was tiring of Daisy. Harry then approached Abbey to see what she is thinking, before pointing out why it is the stupidest move for her. This started to make her nervous, realising that riding coattails will not pay off in the end and hot damn, may she actually flip on her closest allies? Again.

Don’t tell Nova.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would lay on a steep ramp above the water, holding on to a pole. With the last one left hanging winning immunity. Almost immediately Baden dropped into the water – with a joyous weeeeee – before quickly being joined by Janine. Everyone else made it to 30 minutes before Harry couldn’t hold out anymore. Jonathan clearly grew bored, so after 45 minutes he forced everyone down to just one arm which made quick work of Abbey. After 90 minutes – which is honestly insane – Simon and Luke dropped one after the other, handing Pia her first individual immunity win. Which is just as ridiculously amazing as you would expect.

Back at camp Pia was relishing in her role as a challenge beast, thankful that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. Janine too was thrilled that Pia won immunity, as that meant they can power ahead with their plans and send Baden to exile to eliminate Daisy once and for all. She rallied her fellow Champs and told them that they have the numbers to split the vote and not worry, which made Abbey more sure that making a move against her was a good idea. Well when she wasn’t riddled with fear about Janine coming back to the game and destroying her. Abbey approached Harry and Baden to float flipping the vote to Simon, given the girls will be more forgiving of that deception. While Harry admitted that he would prefer JaQueen out of the game, he straight up didn’t mind so approached Luke to see whether he would be ok with voting out Simon. And you know he was.

Abbey approached Pia and JaQueen to do some yoga and allow JaQueen to continue the push to get rid of Baden. Getting nervous about Abbey’s movements, Harry approached JaQueen and Abbey to talk about the dwindling time remaining in the game and as such, the need to start locking in the right path to the end.

At tribal council Pia continued to be thrilled about her immunity win, particularly since it means that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. JaQueen spoke about the complexity of the vote ahead, assuming that should a Champ get booted and come back, they will be furious, almost talking directly into Abbey’s soul. Baden spoke about being nervous before Harry pushed hard for the Champions to finally make a move and take control of the game. Simon admitted that Harry’s pitch sounds good, though planned to stay solid. JaQueen agreed that she didn’t see anyone budging, before Harry said that they have the luxury of not feeling nervous. JaQueen then grew sassy and pointed out that the Contenders only have themselves to blame. Abbey tried to play coy, Simon admitted that somebody strong needs to face off against Daisy, with Luke, Pia and Abbey all agreeing that they fear an angry Daisy returning to the game.

Luke was confident that he was in on the real plan, Simon said that he was feeling confident while Abbey crushed Baden and Harry’s spirits, saying that the numbers speak for themselves. JaQueen mentioned the vote won’t really impact the tribe, and that the main concern it what happens the next day. With that the tribe voted, Abbey and Luke flipped to the Contenders and Simon found himself heading to Exile.

After randomly voting for Abbey.

Later that night Daisy was shocked to be joined by Simon, who was well and truly shocked himself. They caught up and Simon filled him in on Harry, Luke and Baden flipping the script, while Daisy silently started to panic about facing off against a former athlete in the upcoming duel.

The next day Daisy awoke and put her game face on, while Simon spoke about how difficult Exile was despite not having to spend any time there alone. My boy Jonathan and the remaining tribe waited for them to arrive at the duel, with Daisy talking about how difficult it actually was to be by herself for a couple of days while Jonathan threw some casual shade at Luke and Harry. Jonathan then told the duo that their battle would see them guiding ten discs through a suspended maze and balance them on top with the first person to build their tower returning to the game and the loser out for good. Simon got out to an early lead while Daisy took a slow and steady approach. Simon then dropped a disc, allowing Daisy to take a slight lead before she dropped a disc and handed the lead back to him. Just. They stayed neck and neck for much of the challenge before they both dropped on their eighth disc, leaving them both to start over. Since Daisy dropped first, she had a small lead on the second build however dropped at the last minute, allowing Simon to snatch victory and return to the game.

Daisy was pretty gutted to lose the challenge at the very last moment, but was thrilled to finally be in the arms of a warm, loving fellow Queenslander like me. Not wanting to kick her while she is down, I avoided pointing out that the wasted two idols which could have really helped her game, so instead served her a big ol’ Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad to perk her up.

 

 

I know, I know, you don’t make friends with salad. But when they taste this good, you can surely make an exception. The sweet, sticky dates work perfectly with the creamy cheese and earthy walnuts to make this salad something really special.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad
Serves: 4, or one broken exiled castaway and her besto.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp seeded mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
250g baby spinach or swiss chard, sliced
½ cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
6 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced thin
1 pear, cored and sliced
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese

Method
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and a good whack of salt and pepper in a jug and whisk well to combine.

To make the salad, toss the dressing through the shard – or spinach – until everything is nicely coated. Add the remaining ingredients, toss again and serve immediately.

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Andy Meldrumsticks waiting to be gobbled up by the hapless Australian Survivor ultrafan, Andy Meldrum

Andy Meldrumstick

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor a broken rope eliminated King Ross from the game, breaking the heart of the nation in the process. Prior to that the post-swap Champions tribe was dominated by two power couples – Daisy and Shaun and Luke and David – who were battling it out for dominance, though were laying in wait to take control. Andy meanwhile tried to play both sides, but botched it so badly that nobody wanted to play with him and quickly made enemies. Clearly not having heard about Julia getting run over in Koah Rong while standing in the middle of the road. Meanwhile at the Contenders the OG Champs had dominated the tribe, though when it came down to just them and Harry had considered getting into bed with him and forming an unlikely alliance to control the post merge.

We immediately checked in with Jonathan at the top of a hill where both tribes were still sad to have lost Ross to injury. While I was offended by the lack of mourning period, that didn’t stop the game as Jonathan told them all to drop their buffs – sadly John didn’t take his speedo off with it – as the merge had arrived. Pia was thrilled to have gone from potential first boot to in a good place post-merge, while Luke was pumped to have made it for the second time. Janine was excited for the game to restart, while Andy was excited that all those sharks are circling and ready to sacrifice their next victim. Which is likely to be him.

Before returning to their new camp, Jonathan introduced them to their first individual reward challenge where the would need to hold a weight tethered to bucket of water above their head, with the last person dry snatching a mystery crate of goodness. Mere minutes into the challenge Jonathan offered the first temptation, with Luke dropping out and snatching a packet of Tim Tams. Which will, tragically, run out. Pia and Harry were next, dropping out for phone calls from home with Pia’s partner giving her a pep talk while her daughter was more concerned about keeping her up to date with her ear-wear. Which is iconic. Abbey and JaQueen dropped out for tacos and margies, John, Shaun and Baden dropped out for red wine and some spaghetti and Andy dropped out for John’s love, a mexican parma.

Daisy, Simon and David stayed firm through bacon and eggs, cake, shampoo and conditioner, an advantage in the next immunity challenge and an entire pizza, instead choosing to battle it out for the big ol’ box. Wanting to hurry things along, Jonathan changed the rule to leaving both hands on the bag, which immediately claimed David while Daisy and Simon continued to fight. Well until Simon couldn’t handle it anymore, dropping the bag and handing Daisy the big box. Which she could open when she arrived at the new camp.

Back at camp Daisy was thrilled to be above average as a member of the newly merged tribe, which settled on the palatial digs of the camp formerly known as Champ Camp. While they tried to act like one big happy family and settle in, Andy brought up that they need to name the tribe. Obviously he had researched a name, suggesting ‘Soli Bula’ which means welcome together. After everyone agreed on it and laughed about how obvious a superfan he is, he shared that ‘Soli Bula actually means sacrifice and he can’t wait to sacrifice everyone on the tribe. Sadly unaware that he is likely to be the next person sacrificed.

David and the rest of the Champions went for a walk down the beach with David filling them in on what he and Luke went through on the other tribe with the idol plays and swift moves. Luke stayed with the Contenders to make them feel like he is in with them and hide how tight the alliance truly is. David warned them against Andy and his ways, though pointed out that Daisy and Shaun are the most dangerous and need to be split up ASAP. Speaking of Daisy, she was catching up with Baden and Harry who warned her against the target on her and Shaun’s back, before reiterating that if one of them goes, they all go one after the other.

Shaun decided staying Contender strong is the most beneficial for their games, approaching Harry and John to get them on board. Pia was feeling slightly more confident, knowing she has a meat shield in the form of JaQueen and that her social game has been so strong, nobody has bothered to notice the strategy. She also suggested that playing lowkey and hiding your superfan status is important, which is something Andy needs to learn ASAP. Pia and JaQueen went for a walk to the well, where she suggested that she still wants to take out David, though whether it is something that she needs to happen ASAP is unknown.

Finally Daisy went for a wander into the jungle where she discovered her box and learned that her reward was actually every single item that Jonathan offered at the reward, in addition to a bath. After a brief chat with her mum, she then read the advantage which sadly gave her no information. After smashing a few meals, washing her hair and smashing her margie, she then lifted up a final closh, discovering that she also won an individual immunity idol filling with with unending joy and a little bit of hope. She then returned to camp to fill them in on her reward, however David was not buying it since she didn’t mention anything about an idol. Or the obviously ball hiding it in her hand.

Daisy and Shaun caught up near the well, with her sharing that she found an idol in her box – direct quote – which made Shaun confident that they will be able to swing the odds in their favour, despite the target their alliance has put on their backs. That night David, Abbey, Pia and JaQueen decided to make Daisy feel so nervous that if she has an idol, she plays it while they target someone else.

The next day John flashed everyone is pearly white arse, before everyone headed off to find Jonathan for the first individual immunity challenge where they would each have to hold a rope threaded through a tile and attached to a bag holding 60% of their bodyweight, with the last person still holding their bag with their tile intact scoring immunity. Oh and we finally learnt Daisy’s advantage is starting ten minutes after everyone else. Out of nowhere Zaddy John and Luke started to struggle within the first ten minutes, dropping out first at the same time, followed closely by Harry. After Daisy joined the fray, Baden opted out of the challenge with everyone riding out the next ten minutes safely. Pia started to struggle before joining the boys on the bench, followed by David after everyone spoke about the dangers of being too confident. He was followed by Andy, and then Simon at the thirty minute mark. After 40 minutes Shaun and Janine started to struggle, with Janine needing more of a boost if she wanted to stay in the challenge. Abbey, Shaun and Daisy continued to fight it out with the latter dropping out despite her advantage. Finally, after 55 minutes in battle poor Abbey couldn’t hold old any longer, handing Shaun the first individual immunity just when he needed it.

Back at camp Andy was feeling nervous about his place in the tribe now that Shaun has immunity. Meanwhile David was frustrated that his number one target had immunity and his number two likely had an idol, and as such, wanted Andy out in retaliation for his failing ways as a snack. With David iconically referring to him as a worm. While everyone agreed to band together to take out Andy, Shaun wasn’t happy about getting rid of him as a number and instead suggested to Daisy that they need to stick together as Contenders and target Dave. They then floated the idea of playing their idol to save Andy JIC and while Daisy can’t trust him, she also was attracted to the idea of making a big move.

Pia too was struggling with the easy Andy vote, realising that getting rid of Dave would likely be better for her game. She, Abbey and JaQueen caught up, agreeing that getting rid of Dave would make sense, so approached Andy to see what went on at the post-swap Champions tribe. Luke and Abbey approached Shaun and Daisy to start making Daisy nervous enough to get rid of her idol. Eventually Andy and Dave caught up for Andy’s last attempt to save himself, sharing that he didn’t actually try to throw the challenge and instead was making it look like he was to keep Daisy and Shaun happy. Knowing it was a total lie, David told him that he trusted him and  that his only chance at surviving the night would be to join the Champs and vote for Daisy. And honestly after the mess of everyone scrambling, I am so confused about what is actually going to happen.

At tribal council JaQueen tried to downplay how tight the OG Champions were, suggesting that they are all contenders ready to battle. John pointed out that the original tribes were hard to break, before David joined in downplaying the day one alliances. Shaun admitted that he is aware of the target on his back but people need to realise he can not win ten immunities in a row. Andy spoke about loyalty being hard to come by now that the tribe merged, before Luke jumped in to remind him of the move he tried to make against Daisy pre-merge which showed a lack of loyalty. Andy tried to lie out of the hole, with Dave joining in to tag-team Andy with Luke saying that they would actually respect him if he owned his moves. Shaun asked Andy point blank if he had tried to make a move against Daisy, with him once again lying about it happening.

Baden said that it was the most important tribal of the game, while Daisy admitted that she is feeling very nervous. David jumped back in to point out that just because someone is taking a lot of heat, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be the one getting the boot and honestly I don’t know if that should make Daisy more or less nervous. He and Janine questioned the vote coming down to tribal lines, while Shaun was hopeful that tomorrow everything will be clearer and people will then be able to figure out their next move. David then spoke about the vote being clear cut, though was sure that some people will likely be shocked by the outcome.

With that the tribe voted, Daisy played her idol for herself and the tribe joined together to rid the game of Andy. Though not before one final moment of making me feel confused about how I feel for him, joking about voting for Daisy a couple of times and following it up by outing Dave’s idol. While sure, he didn’t actually think that Dave has the idol which he has, but the fact that he dropped the bomb and has left drama is something I’ll be forever grateful for. Plus, the look of pain as he tried to not show how disappointed he was to just miss the jury is the exact way I would be looking, and as such, the man still deserved a comforting Andy Meldrumstick.

 

Andy Meldrum waiting to dry his tears with an Andy Meldrumsticks

 

While Andy’s big moves never went anywhere, those massive swings are what makes the game exciting … kinda like the combination of white chocolate, salted caramel and peanuts. As salty as his moments of loss and deceit, as sweet as his (surprising to me) numerous victories in challenges and as cold as his persona, there is no better way to toast the ultrafan. And distract from the fact he was outshone as a villain by David.

Enjoy!

 

Andy Meldrum washing away his pain with an Andy Meldrumstick or two

 

Andy Meldrumstick
Serves: 1 Sonic Look-a-like and his dearest frenemy

Ingredients
400g white chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
6 waffle cones
8 cups Vanilla Ice Cream, softened.
2 cups JL Salkeld Caramel
1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over a rollicking boil until smooth and silky. Remove from the heat and stir through the oil until well combined.

To assemble, pour a tablespoon of chocolate in the bottom of each cone and place into a couple of glasses and transfer to the freezer to set for ten minutes or so. Once set, remove from the freezer and pipe the ice cream into each cone, adding swirls and peaks to make it look legit. Using another piping bag, pipe a core of salted caramel into the middle and swirl over the top. Return to the cup and pop it into the freezer to set for half an hour or so, repeating the process until the ice creams are done.

Once set, brush with additional white chocolate and drizzle over the top, sprinkle with peanuts and return to the freezer to set for half an hour. Then devour, sadly, knowing you’ve missed the all winners season … even before losing the season in a spectacular fashion.

 

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The iconic Margot Robbie waiting to smash a Pistachimargot Macarobbie

Pistachimargot Macarobbie

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my god, you have no idea how good it is to reunite with a fellow hometown hero slash celebrity friend like Margot Robbie. I mean, the girl is a bonafide global star, but the fact that she still has time for her dear friends like me, on the Goldie, is one of my favourite things about her.

While Margot was actually my friend’s little sister’s friend, we got to hanging out in the kitchen on sleepovers eating vegemite toast – as good Australian’s do – and planning our ascesion to Hollywood royalty.

We were both dominating the high school drama game with our talent and je ne sais quoi, but knew we were destined for greatness. I know my Hollywood staying power dates back to the ‘20s, however I had to assume a new identity after my thirteenth deportation. It truly was the lucky one, since I met Margs.

Given I was still trying to find a way to return to Hollywood, I suggested Margot takes over Australia instead. That led to Neighbours, which led to a Logie which always leads to a role opposite my dear friend Leo in a film by my friend Marty. Then came Allison, an Oscar nomination and no doubt that Margot was even more of a Gold Coast legend than me.

Sadly Margot and I haven’t seen each other since her Byron wedding – the first time I went back after Annelie and Miley had the cage-fight accident – but truly beautiful friendships can always pick back up as if no time has past.

We laughed, we gossiped about Quentin’s tenth and final movie – she thinks she can get him to drop the restraining order and give me a role – and most importantly smashed a pick batch of Pistachimargot Macarobbie.

 

The iconic Margot Robbie smashing a Pistachimargot Macarobbie

 

Sweet like Margot, nutty like me, these little babies are essentially the culinary equivalent of a best friend bracelet and you, my friends, can finally get in on the action. And you should, because we are cool and the macarons are delicious.

Enjoy!

 

The iconic Margot Robbie smashing a Pistachimargot Macarobbie

 

Pistachimargot Macarobbie
Serves: 2 besties.

Ingredients
¾ cup almond meal
½ cup pistachio meal
1 ½ cups icing sugar
4 egg whites
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
3 drops green food colouring
100g white chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp double cream

Method
Sift almond and pistachio meals together with the icing sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place the whites in a clean, dry electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until dissolved. Then add food colouring and beat until just combined. Remove from the mixer and gently fold through the meals until just combined, thick and glossy.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe into 4cm rounds on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and tap on the bench to remove air bubbles. Leave to set for an hour.

Preheat oven to 130°C.

Place the cookies in the oven, one tray at a time, and back for twenty minutes, or until the tops are firm. Remove to cool on the tray on wire racks.

While they’re cooking, place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for a minute, or until the chocolate has melted. Stir to combine and transfer to the fridge for ten minutes, or until thick yet spreadable.

Spoon mixture into a large snaplock bag. Snip 1cm from 1 corner of bag. Pipe 4cm rounds of mixture onto prepared trays, 4cm apart. Sprinkle each macaron with pistachio. Tap trays on bench to remove air bubbles. Set aside for 1 hour.

To assemble, place a small dollop of icing on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with another. Repeat the process until done and leave to set for an hour or so. Or just devour, I don’t mind.

 

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Sugared Alecmond Merlino

Dessert, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Kara, Alison and Alec were finally thinking about maybe flipping to the Davids. Sadly for them however the Davids had grown weary with the constant promise of being saved, none more so than Nick. This led to the Davids getting together, pooling their resources and sending poor Dan to the jury despite playing his hidden immunity idol which was nullified by Carl.

Back at camp Carl, Nick and Christian were thoroughly giddy by their alliance’s successful double advantage play – yay Nick for breaking the unsuccessful (in US) vote steal curse – leaving the Goliaths to awkwardly congratulate them on blindsiding everyone and taking control. A seething Angelina approached Alison, Alec and Kara to find out why they turned on her at tribal, with them admitting that they did it to continue to string the Davids along. Information that she immediately took back to Christian.

The next morning Nick and Davie got up early to see if they could find the re-hidden idol, with Nick finding it … wait, no. He just found a clue to go wandering in the middle of the night to find it at the far end of the beach near a fire.

Before we got conclusion to that little storyline, my man Jeffrey returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams and would race to cross a rope bridge over the water before throwing rungs at a salmon ladder like the laziest Oliver Queen. And TBH, it is only for a picnic and in the words of Shania, that don’t impress me much. Well, unless there is fried chicken in which case I’m all in. Alec, Alison, Christian and Gabby got out to an early lead since Alec is BAE when it comes to challenges. Sadly Alison struggled on the rope bridge, allowing Kara to overtake with Angelina almost lapping her. The team continued to pull away as Alec and the misfits continued to lag until Nick struggled with the rungs leaving Alec to do what he does best, dominating the challenge and snatching the win for his team.

Despite my prediction it would be lacklustre the picnic actually looked amazing, giving Alec the chance to work Gabby and Christian and somehow align. Which Gabby totally saw through, however was totally cool with. While hunting for, I assume, drinks, Alec discovered that on top of the picnic everyone received letters from home. Everyone broke away to read their letters and as is oft the case it was so sweet and pure I’m not even going to try being shady. But damn, Christian is galvanised from the experience.

Meanwhile back at camp the losers were licking their wounds with Nick, Kara and Angelina going fishing to try and have a feast of their own. Which they also failed at, leaving them only with a meagre supply of rice. I assume fueled by hunger, Carl checked in with Kara to see whether she’d be interested in turning on Alec at the next tribal council. Which surely is going to come back to vote him since he is getting way to confident in his place in the tribe. The victors returned to camp with Kara filling Alec in on the plan, which only made his gorging induced sickness worse. That night as the winners continued to nurse their bloated guts, Nick went for a walk down the beach to collect his idol while Alison continued to wander the island vomiting like the airport hotel scene of Drop Dead Gorgeous. Thankfully for him, it was a successful walk as he snatched the idol as the cacophony of vomiting covered for him.

Probsty returned for this week’s immunity challenge were the tribe would be required to balance on a narrow perch while holding handles behind their shoulders until only one remained. Wanting to mix things up Jeff offered people the opportunity to compete in the challenge or sit out and split a giant nachos – I assume Tony Nachos –  and devour beer and margs, which Nick, Angelina and Carl all jumped at while the rest stuck with the challenge. Moments in Mike and Davie dropped out of the challenge, leaving Alec, Kara, Alison, Gabby and Christian to fight it out. While Angelina was toasting to the future like a young Shane Gould, Alec was getting eaten by bugs and looking like a babe and out of nowhere, Kara dropped after half an hour. Over an hour later Alison stepped down from the challenge leaving Gabby and Christian to hold out against Alec, who vowed not to lose. There was talk about percentages, tears from Gabby and mind games from Alec before Gabby dropped out of the challenge after two and a half hours. After three hours Christian got board and asked to tell a story, which took over an hour and a half, leading to him talking constantly to drive Alec to insanity and drop out of the challenge. Which worked after five hours and a half hours, handing Christian immunity and postponing tribal council by a day because it took too damn long.

Alec was feeling incredibly vulnerable the next day, wondering how in the hell he was going to save himself. He then broke down knowing he is going and can’t save himself and damn I love him. Meanwhile Carl was locking in said vote for Alec, going through the tribe and confirming their vote. This in turn frustrated Gabby who was concerned about Carl telling Kara – Alec’s closest ally – about the vote, leading to Gabby confronting him and breaking down about how bossy he is towards her. Meanwhile back by the ocean Alec was trying to convince Alison to push for a different target, floating Carl as the best person to take out given he is upsetting people at camp. The Goliaths spread the plan like wildfire, agreeing it was their best hope. Alec then approached Christian to see if he would be willing to join them, which the latter felt was a good idea since the longer Alec is around the longer the target is off his back.

At tribal council Probst praised Christian and Alec on their epic battle in the immunity challenge before Christian showed a moment of delusion, saying he was pushed to stick at it since he will only have one shot to play the game. Alec joined in the challenge talk, saying he got dizzy and just lost focus. Nick, Angelina and Carl were happy with their choice to sit out of the challenge while Alec and Kara threw shade saying you only sit out if you feel safe, which Carl tried to downplay since he never won a reward. Alison wasn’t buying Angelina’s plan to sit out, leading to Angelina spilling the tea about Alec and Kara throwing votes at her last tribal just to save face with the Davids. Talk turned to how in the hell Alec can save himself, with him trying valiantly to save himself by offering his services as a meatshield. Which, yes Alec, yes.

With that the tribe voted and poor Alec’s please fell on deaf ears as he found himself out of the game and joining the jury, aka Elizabeth’s Harem of Hunks. My heart broke for Alec – particularly now after he said fuck it to the NDA – who was sad to be out of the game and desperately wanted to play again. That being said, he took his boot with absolute class and I was so glad I could bring a little (pre-Kara) sweetness back into his world in the form of some Sugared Alecmond Merlino.

 

 

Now I know sugared almonds get a bad rap, but who doesn’t love an almond covered in sweet, sweet sugary goodness? Monsters, that’s who! Oh and obviously this recipe is adapted because who in the hell can actually just make these unless they are Willy Wonka?

So enjoy!

 

 

Sugared Alecmond Merlino
Serves: 6-12. Maybe?

Ingredients
3 cups raw caster sugar
1 cups water
2 tsp liquid glucose
a few drops blue food colouring
1 cup whole blanched almonds

Method
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Crank to high and once boiling, quickly stir through the glucose and continue to cook until it reaches 115C. Remove from heat and leave to stand until it is no longer bubbly.

Pour the syrup into a large wet platter and cool until you can bear to touch it. Transfer to a bowl and knead with a wooden spoon, turning it back and forward until it is white and opaque. You can transfer to a bench and continue kneading by hand if that is easier until it is smooth. Form it into a ball and cover with a wet – but wrung – cloth and leave to cure for an hour or so.

Remove the cloth and knead it again with a few drops of food colouring to give a light pastel hue.

To coat the almonds melt the fondant and dip the – completely dry and peeled – almonds in the fondant one by one, tapping to remove any excess. Place on greaseproof paper and leave to rest for five minutes before flipping and leaving to dry completely.

Once dry and crisp, devour.

 

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Nutellyrsa Eclairres

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Jabeni were riding high on their egg reward however tragically the protein wasn’t enough to get them immunity, sending them to tribal council. While that appeared to mean certain doom for Lyrsa and Nick, Natalie continued to grate on her tribemates. She then attempted to bully Lyrsa or Nick into giving up their jackets for a cold Angelina to secure themselves safety, which backfired as they all joined together to blindside her while Angelina desperately begged her for her jacket.

Natalie. Natalie. Natalie ..?

The next day Jabeni were feeling positive without Natalie’s negativity to bring them down, while Lyrsa was just shocked to still be there. Angelina apologised for writing Lyrsa, explaining it was all a ploy for the jacket which did not sit well with Lyrsa. They lay around bonding, laughing and reminiscing about Natalie epically ignoring Angelina. Speaking of whom, Mike, Nick and Lyrsa got together to talk smack about Angelina’s desperation at tribal, with them all agreeing that they do not trust her and that she is the next to go. If it gets to that.

Over at Tiva the nerdmance continued to be adorable as Christian explained fishing and Gabby was sweet. Suck it haters who are done with her crying. Wouldn’t you cry if you had to live through multiple cyclones? Anyway, Christian wasn’t successful but he did lure John to the shore and I am moister than an oyster.

Speaking of flooding my basement, Jeff arrived for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would have a bag of coconuts tethered to one tribe member with the remaining members forced to lug it about as they go through an obstacle course, release four rings and then land their rings on a long, hard pole. Given it was for cooking utensils, spices and kebabs, everyone was salivating and ready to dominate. Alec and Gabby got Vuku and Tiva out to an early lead, as Alec’s junk bounced everywhere. Sadly Alec’s BDE wasn’t enough to land the rings allowing John and Dan to snatch the win for Tiva while Nick snatched second for Jabeni. But they get to look at Alec so everyone got some meat, you know?

Tiva returned to camp to celebrate their victory and cook up their kebabs, and most importantly, the brochachos were feeding each other by hand and I love it. Christian, John and Dan are the throuple we deserve, the latter’s pining for Kara be damned. Gabby and Alison however started to notice that the throuple hooking up was bad for them, so the girls got together and pledged their allegiance to each other. Gabby then started to break down, leading to Alison tearing up and damn I need this tribe to all make the merge. So they can stay dating, obvi.

Though Alison’s plan to blindside Dan is definitely something I can get behind, given a blindside of someone with two idols is always fun.

Meanwhile over at Vuku Kara and Elizabeth seemed to be getting closer again, with Kara trying to massage her back which she injured four weeks before heading out to the island. They then started splitting the bamboo in the shelter in an attempt to make things more comfortable, which Davie and Carl felt was a bad idea given it would be dark soon and the shelter would be uneven. This annoyed Elizabeth, who felt that they were being unfair and she can’t take it anymore, while the boys were frustrated that she was doing it while everyone else was trying to relax. The only person thrilled by the turn of events seemed to be Kara, who knew that should they lose the upcoming immunity challenge, Elizabeth is the most likely target.

Speaking of which, Jeff returned for said challenge where the tribes were required to carry a large heavy saucer to a water tower, fill it with water, carry it through obstacles, pour water into a well, release puzzle pieces and, wait for it, solve said puzzle. Vuku and Tiva got out to an early lead, until Vuku lost most of their water, followed by Jabeni, leaving Tiva to storm ahead. Tiva made quick work of the puzzle, followed by Vuku handing them both immunity before Jabeni even released their puzzle pieces. TBH, it wasn’t easy to watch. Particularly when they dropped their saucer on the third attempt and opted to give up.

Back at camp Mike was feeling emotional about crushing someone’s dreams at the upcoming tribal council. Given there are 7 people left from each of the original tribes and he was anticipating a merge, Mike was growing concerned that he will need to turn on Nick and Lyrsa to save himself moving forward. While Angelina was hoping to work with Lyrsa, the latter still didn’t trust Angelina after jacketgate and as such, Angelina was stuck working with Mike. Angelina approached Mike and locked in the vote for Mike and agreed that they need to get Nick on board. Lyrsa and Mike got together to talk about getting rid of Angelina, with Mike open to the idea while Nick was being worked Angelina to turn on Lyrsa. Rounding out the pairings, Nick and Mike approached each other to decide which way they will go giving Angelina is a bigger threat … but Mike is scared about taking her out and screwing over all of the Goliaths.

At tribal council Nick spoke about how tight the tribe has gotten in such a small time, Mike spoke about loving everyone but being concerned about navigating the next part of the game. Lyrsa agreed that trust and loyalty were the key factors in her decision tonight, while Angelina added strategy which is pretty much a given, no? And kinda just paints a target on her back. Angelina channelled Keith and spoke about sticking to the plan, Lyrsa mentioned everyone has a plan and Nick pledged his loyalty to Jabeni rather than the OG tribes. Angelina then jumped in to sing Nick’s praises which seemed a bit desperate. Thankfully Lyrsa called her out for trying to buy his vote, while Mike reiterated that tonight’s vote will dictate the remainder of the game. With that the tribe voted and it seemed Mike chose to set the game up for the Goliaths – maybe – by taking out Lyrsa and sending her to the jury.

While Lyrsa – the bright, sparkling gem that she is – took her boot in her stride, she wasn’t hella salty about the fact she would be vacationing with Natalie and then has to suffer through sitting next to her at the reunion special. And while I love Natalie with all my heart, I also loved Lyrsa so I let her talk smack about my friend before trying to sweeten the deal with a couple of big fat Nutellyrsa Eclairres.

 

 

Eclairs are perfect. Nutella too, is perfect. So therefore it should go without saying that Nutella flavoured eclairs are perfect, however I do have that theory that two hot people can have a really ugly baby? In any event, this is delicious. Like the random hot child born of two classically unattractive peeps. Though this isn’t random, since eclairs and nutella. I’ll stop talking.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nutellyrsa Eclairres
Serves: 1 salty boot, or 12 happy peeps.

Ingredients
1 batch Eclair Danes, including crème pâtissière but not the chocolate glaze
1 cup nutella
½ cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Prep the eclairs as per Claire’s recipe, up to filling the pastry but before you glaze.

Once that is done, fill a piping bag with nutella and chill for half an hour or so.

Pipe on to the top of the eclairs, sprinkle with hazelnuts and devour. Knowing that cutting out the difficult part of the recipe on this page lulled you into a false sense of security.

 

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Kelly LeBrockoli Salad

Salad, Side, Snack

I’m not going to waste your time listing all the reasons why Kelly LeBrock is so dear to me, it should go without saying. The woman is a saint; she is kind, funny, so sweet and always open to my hairbrained schemes to return her to greatness.

Thankfully with Kath’s BIL and SIL taking all the attention in Sydney/Dubbo – don’t mention it to The Ferg, who I really must catch up with one day soon – she had a low key arrival in Brisbane, which TBH was so nice for a change. I mean, it truly is exhausting being hounded by the paparazzi all day every day like Kell and I are used to.

Given how busy I’ve been lately – aren’t I always? – I haven’t seen as much of Kelly as I would like, and as such, I feel like you haven’t seen as much of Kell as you deserve. For that, I am sorry as I know a world without Kelly gracing the big screen and winning Oscars is not a world that I want to live in.

I apologised to Kelly for letting her down and she laughed about how happy she was and how I shouldn’t let the guilt eat at me. But it had, so I verbally-spammed her with so many different ways that we could bring her back to the A-list, including a stint on The Good Place as Janet’s mother – which links with Weird Science, obvi – competing on Survivor or joining a Housewives franchise and/or co-starring with Meryl, since her movies instantly are fast-tracked to Oscar Gold.

It was a lot to take in, so thankfully I had a big bowl of Kelly LeBrockoli Salad for her to eat while digesting my plans.

 

 

Crunchy and creamy, fresh and tart, this salad in the perfect thing to bring a bit of life to a boring mid-week meal over summer.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kelly LeBrockoli Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 broccoli heads, cut into small florets
1 lemon, juiced
4 slices pancetta, diced and fried|
4 shallots, sliced
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped and toasted
½ cup craisins
⅓ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Rinse the broccoli florets and place in a bowl of cold water with the juice of the lemon and leave to sit for fifteen minutes. Drain and shake dry, though don’t be too pedantic about it.

Toss everything together in a bowl until well combined slash coated. Devour.

 

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Steve Biliss Balls

Uncategorized

Previously on Australian Survivor Benji continued to slither his way through the competition however taking out Mat and humiliating Sharn made him a target. Particularly with Shane, who reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould. Shane and Sharn took their opportunity at reward, swinging Monika and Brian back to their side. Not to be outdone, Brian found an idol and then won himself individual immunity. Things got tense at tribal council as Shonee whipped out her vote steal and snatched away Sharn’s vote in the hope of getting her out. Sadly for her, Monika and Brian flipped on Benji and rendered her move useless, sending the self proclaimed king out of the camp.

Back at camp Sharn was shocked to still be in the game, pulling Monika and Steve in for a big hug and hot damn I am jealous. Full of joy, she was hopeful that Brian and Monika were back with them and she can make it to the end. Sadly for her however, Brian immediately caught up with Shonella to assure them that he just wanted to get out Benji and the four of them will stick together to get to the end.

The next day Sharn was still feeling zen to be back in the game while Steve further slipped into my heart, loving the lack of people around to interact with. They then marvelled at Shane  and how much of a tough icon she is, dominating at camp, kicking ass and providing Steve with life advice and I’m crying. I mean, Steve was giggling like a school when Shane called him a grumpy old man … which is what MISH BRIDGES says to him. He then went down a Mish rabbithole and please let this be a family visit episode. Anyway – I ship Steve and Shane and need a moment to feel my feels.

Shane meanwhile is glad that they’ve become close friends, but more importantly she wants to win and she is not going home without a title. She is thrilled to be leading the Champions alliance, however she isn’t happy that Brian and the girls used Shonee’s advantage to take a shot at Sharn. Nor is she happy about them flushing Brian’s ego. Shane then decided that she plans to split up Shonella to weaken Brian’s game, and debated the merits of Fenella or Shonee first.

Speaking of Shonella, they were watching Brian catch fish and skinny dip while they stroked his ego. No doubt much to Shane’s chagrin. Meanwhile Brian was worried about what Monika was thinking, given they both flipped on the girls and she seemed to be gravitating towards the Champions. Monika caught up with Shonella to assure them that she was still with them and Brian, while they all started to worry about Steve trying to find a bond with Monika. On day 40, which they all agreed was sketchy slash extremely obvious.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where everyone would balance an idol on the end of a seesaw, with the last idol standing winning immunity. Brian and Steve spoke about the pain in their glutes before Shane became the first one out, followed by Fenella and Sharn after seven minutes. Brian did his best tennis player impression, grunting his way through the pain while Steve stood like a sta … nope, Steve was next to drop leaving Brian, Shonee and Monika to battle it out. After twelve minutes Brian dropped, leaving the girls to stand still in a battle of wills before Monika dropped and Shonee was shocked to take out immunity. I mean, Shane may be over her but damn that reaction was gorg.

Oh and then Jonathan dropped dropped a bomb on everyone, telling them that instead of booting someone at tribal tonight, the person that gets the most votes becomes the Dead Man Walking. While it sounds hella ominous, it only strips the person of their vote at the next two tribal councils. And while yes, that sucks, they can still win immunity and participate in everything at camp, so if you’re smart, you could make it work.

Back at camp Sharn knew that the end game would come down to whichever side doesn’t get lumbered with the dead man walking. She and Shane went to get water and discuss who to target, agreeing that Fenella is the best bet as it instantly neutralises Shonella being a duo. Sharn approached Monika to talk about targeting Fenella, which she quickly agreed to before having a minor breakdown over how hard the game is getting. Sharn went to Steve and Shane to tell them all the good news, which seemed to arouse suspicion in Brian. And Shane, who really felt like she couldn’t trust Monika despite the fact she desperately needs her. With both Monika and Shane agreeing to take each other to the final three, despite neither believing it.

Brian pulled Shonella and Monika aside to discuss who they should target for dead man walking, with Brian pushing for Steve and the girls desperately wanting to take Shane’s vote. While Brian wasn’t convinced about targeting her, Fenella worked overtime pointing out how Shane is the better option. Brian then pulled Monika aside to point out how important it was to get rid of Steve’s vote, leading to her breaking down about how difficult the entire thing is.

At tribal council JoJo quickly filled the jury in on the final twist of the season before Sharn admitted to being shocked by it and Shane pragmatically said that she isn’t scared of the dead man walking going back to camp, since it is a straight up fact. Sharn quickly went in pointing out that people need to take advantage of the twist to neutralise some of the bigger threats. Monika sounded like she started to falter about flipping, leading to Sharn reminding her that fortune favours the brave. Shane admitted that the tribe is fractured and identified Shonella as a power couple, while Steve shared that they are a non-factor to him as other people are busy trying to work with them, so he can’t be bothered. Jonathan tried to hype up their power status, while power Monika grew more and more confused. Sharn continued to play hard to get her over to their side, while Shonee and Brian whispered to change their target to Steve. With that the tribe voted and Monika played it smart, sticking with her alliance and voting for Steve to become the dead man walking.

Which you know pissed Shane off and will hopefully give us the glorious reminder not to fuck with Shane Gould.

Back at camp, Steve was feeling pissed and served some killer facial expressions whilst going in on Monika. Reminding her that he, Sharn and Shane are the only ones working around camp and she is completely blinded by Brian. And though I love zaddy Steve, it was the best move for Monika TBH. Shane and Sharn pretended to be sympathetic to an emotional Monika, telling her she was played by Brian and they’d be willing to work with her moving forward.

The next day Shane and Sharn caught up to work through their pain, while Shonee was giddy about how everything fell out at tribal. And now that Brian and Monika are loyal, she is excited to no longer be playing the bottom. Which is probably the first time we’ve disagreed. Brian too was thrilled that Steve is the Dead Man Walking and to be in control. Sadly for both of them, Sharn was confident in her abilities to pull Monika back to their side and highlight how dangerous the Brionella trio are.

Monika arrived back at camp with treemail where they learnt that as part of being Dead Man Walking, Steve would be sent immediately to Exile Beach and wouldn’t return until the next immunity challenge. With one less person in camp, Sharn decided to corner Monika to commence pulling her back over to save her game. And most importantly, Sharn’s. Monika proved her skills as a master barrister playing on her ego and her insecurities to rebuild their relationship.

At the reward challenge the tribe were split in half to compete in an obstacle course for an Indian feast – Samosas, Saag Paneer or Mango Chicken, anyone? I think this reward is just my leftovers?! Anyway the teams would be required to send two people out in the ocean to use symbols to decode a puzzle which they would then use to open a lock … releasing balls which the remaining person will land on a trough. Shonella and Monika faced off against Brian, Sharn and Shane, with Monika using Shonee and Sharn’s time in the drink – Matt Chisholm forever – to get advice from Shane, who was having none of it. Shonee got her team out to a sizable lead until Monika found a new nemesis other than bellyflopping, drifting out to sea while Shane closed the gap and took a lead for the Champion trio like the graceful dolphin that she is. Brian shot his first balls before Monika even made it back to shore, oh wait no, he won reward for his team while she was still adrift.

At reward – which I can confirm, I made – Sharn and Shane were delighted to see the paint and cutlery. The girls toasted their success before Queen Shane asked Brian where he stood and what his thoughts were for the endgame. He admitted that he voted against Steve because like Shonella, he sees him as a threat leaving it open for Shane to start working on getting rid of Fenella instead of Steve, if they guarantee his safety moving forward. Brian however didn’t trust it, and told them that if Steve won immunity one of them will be going next. Which Shane shockingly opted out of commenting on.

Speaking of Steve, we checked in with him at Exile Beach where he endeavoured to see the positives and treat it like a holiday. He then looked through his photos and letters from home, and reflected on how great a relationship he has with Sharn and Shane. He then was fired up and hot damn am I thirsting for zaddy Steve.

Everyone reunited at the immunity challenge – with Steve the happiest we’ve seen him all game – where they would each be required to balance a ball on the end of an ever-extending pole while scaling obstacles, before using a ledge to drop it into a bucket. Steve, Fenella and Shane got out to an early lead, while Brian and Shonee languished at the back of the pack. Steve continued to extend his lead with his killer ball and pole workmanship, with Fenella and Brian desperately working the pole to try and close the gap. I mean, who can’t manage two metres of pole? Sadly zaddy Steve dropped his ball allowing Brian to catch-up, the boys were back and forth at the gutters until Brian, somehow, snatched victory.

Back at camp Shonella congratulated Brian on his victory, while Shane and Sharn simmered. Shonella, Brian and Monika then discussed plans for the upcoming tribal, with Brian suggestion they should split the votes between Steve and Sharn to safeguard against the idol. The underdogs went to get water with Steve sharing a haul of fruit his allies whilst trying to figure a way out of their mess. Shane Gould spoke about herself in the third person whilst trying to formulate a way to save her friends and break up the power structure. Shane decided Sharn should work to pull Monika over to their side and blindside Fenella during the split. Proving to be as wily as they say, Brian could see what they were planning and worked overtime to convince Monika to stick with him. Sharn however was a formidable foe, working her magic on Monika to swing back to the Champions.

Before heading out to tribal Steve joined the fray trying to sow some distrust in Brian’s mind, pointing out that if he goes Brian will become the biggest threat and as such he needs to adjust his game. Steve then spoke sports and while I was confused, I loved it all.

At tribal council Steve continued to let his zaddy flag fly, talking about the fact he may not have a vote but he still has a vote. Fenella deemed him a threat, leaving Steve to point out that he is yet to win a challenge while the likes of Brian, Sharn and Shonee have dominated. While Shonee admitted she felt her’s was a fluke, Steve told her that he believed she is a threat – motivational zaddy. Monika said that what makes a threat is different to everyone, while Steve went aggressive and said that this tribal is him or someone else and if it is him, he will work that jury to not reward anyone he doesn’t like/respect.

Shane then threw shade at Shonella for not being helpful around camp, suggesting everyone go out to Exile and see who really can survive. Brian countered that Shane has been carried through challenges, leaving Steve to rise to be the feminist-ageist icon that he is and defend her honour and tell him to treat her with some respect. He then said that Monika too has been carried, pissing her off and making me hella confused. With that, the tribe voted and surprisingly the vote split remained and were divided equally amongst Sharn, Fenella and Steve. On the revote, however, things didn’t go zaddy Steve’s way and he found himself becoming the latest member of the sausage-fest jury. Which is a movie I’d watch the shit out of. Anyway, as a close personal friend of The Biggest Loser franchise, I’ve been friends with Mish and Steve for years and was honoured to be on site to whip him up a batch of Steve Biliss Balls to dull the pain.

 

 

While they are healthy enough to keep Steve happy, these babies are totally delicious. Nutty and smooth, sweet and salty, I just can’t get enough of these balls in my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steve Biliss Balls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
6 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 5 mins
⅔ cup almond meal
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup 70% cocoa chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup desiccated coconut for rolling

Method
Drain the dates and place in the food processor with the almond meal, peanut butter, chia seeds and vanilla. Blitz until well combined. If the mixture is too crumbly, add some more peanut butter until it is just holding and sticky. Fold through the dark chocolate.

Shape the mixture into little balls, roll in coconut and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour.

Devour, giddily, knowing you’re loved. Like we all love The Commando.

 

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Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe swap gave the Contenders a brief pause from their pagonging, well for some. As the new Contenders dominated leaving Benji and Robbie in power with their interloping Champs. Meanwhile over at the Champions Shane took control of the tribe with the Champion boys and the Contenders girls plus Brian pushing to get her. Sadly for Tegan and Shonee, she stuck with the boys and booted Tegan from the game. Thanks to another twist Tegan was given the opportunity to be saved from another boot by the other tribe, however with this time Benji and Robbie opting to send her from the game. For realsies.

We opened up with the Champions where Mat was surveying the land and found a massive beehive with Steve and Sam. Not wanting to leave it alone, they decided to try and smoke them out to get the honey giving me My Girl PTSD, because Thomas J will never be able to see without his glasses. Steve turned pyro and I got Firestarter PTSD, as the honeycomb eventually fell and the fire somehow didn’t burn out of control, leaving the Champions with a safe snack.

The next day Shonee was feeling left right out with four athletes and a genius, with no similarities to help her bond. I mean, they spoke about how long it too for wheels to be added to things and Queen Shonee was over it. Like, give me a shit tonne of Antiques Roadshow instead of suffering through this shit. Feeling like she should start contributing to the survival aspect of the tribe, she decided to try her hand at cooking, cleaning and doing things the others have done for a month. And the fact she has gotten away with that is why she is the queen, TBH. Particularly since Mat was all in on working with her.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders Heath and Fenella were feeling left out as Benji and Robbie continued to bond with the Champion girls, gloating about taking out Tegan. When really, they only added salt to her wounds technically. Fenella however was ropeable about their stupidity and hot damn it seems like the other side of Shonella is finally going to bring hell. Her new pal Heath meanwhile was confronting Robbie about how getting rid of Tegan was a good idea before hooking up with Fenella to bitch and try to find a way to get out of the mess of their making. Heath floated the idea of beating them at their own game, get the Champion girls and get rid of Robbie ASAP with Fenella decided that targeting Monika and her girl power to find an in. Fenella joined Mon and Sharn to talk about the possibility of doing a girls alliance as a way to find an in … in NUDE ROBBIE, BRB.

Sorry – all I can remember is Robbie getting his buns out and Fenella declaring game on molls. So yeah, episode of the season.

Sensing my desire slowly swinging to Robbie, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to use a rope to drag buckets full of sandbags, which two tribe members would use to knock blocks off a beam which the remaining two people will use to solve a word puzzle. Steve got the Champions out to an early lead while superwoman Lydia showed her first signs of challenge weakness, with Brian getting the second bucket back before Lydia got the Contenders first. Try as Robbie might, Shane and Mat only continued to extend the Champions lead while Benji and Heath finally closed the gap while lobbing their sacks until they found themselves stuck on one errant block. Sam and Shonee had a nice lead on the puzzle, leaving Sharn and Fenella to desperately try and come from behind. Sadly for them and thankfully for Shonee, Brian solved the puzzle from the viewing area and they just got their letters in before the Contenders, winning immunity and saving Shonee from certain doom.

The Contenders returned to camp with Benji once again talking about killing and being melodramatic about the process of voting someone out. Which is less than what I’d be like if I were out there. He and Robbie locked in a plan to get rid off Heath with the help of the Champion women, with Lydia and Monika quickly swearing allegiance. Sharn too locked in the plan with Benji, however his assurance that she was safe sounded shifty and me thinks she is going to do something about it. Heath was not happy about the possibility of going home, so when the Champion girls spoke about being in the minority he quickly assured them that he was on the outs and was more of a free agent than them. He then channeled Sandra and vowed to vote for anyone but him, before pulling in Fenella is another number as he can’t trust Lydia. Not to be outdone, Fenella approached Monika and Sharn to once again float the possibility of a women’s alliance and the three quickly locked in a vote against Robbie.

Given they are floating in the middle, Sharn and Monika went for a walk to discuss which pair would work out better for them. Unsure which would work out top their advantage. Robbie then checked in with Lydia, who told him that Heath was throwing his name out there filling him with rage. He then approached Heath to see what he thought, with Heath trying to get him to see sense and take out another Champion as they head into the merge and deciding that Monika would be the best option. Despite the fact Lydia is the biggest challenge threat and needs to go.

At tribal council Fenella was thankful for sitting in on the last tribal council and the intel they gained. Heath joined her in putting doubt in the Champion women’s mind, saying the cracks were obvious much to the smirks of Lydia. She tried to call him out but Heath straight up said that Mat and Steve – Lydia’s closest allies – were running the game and Sam was looking forward to working with the Champions come the merge. Benji and his rando accent tried to downplay the OG tribe connections, planning to grab whatever numbers he can to make it further in the game.

Lydia admitted to feeling nervous as the odd one out on the tribe, though played up how hard she and her fellow Champs worked to help the tribe. Without seeing that was playing up her status as a threat. Robbie tried to emphasise how close they had gotten, with Monika working the social game to try and make herself less of a target. Sharn was concerned that despite joining to kick out Tegan, the tribe may still be split and would turn on the Champs. Everyone alluded to trust without saying much before Robbie committed that this vote was about who he wanted to work the merge with and Sharn spoke about getting rid of threats come the merge, before Jonathan tried to paint the target on Lydia’s back given she is a beast. Robbie downplayed the importance of strength before Heath and Monika admitted that they are confident they’re in on the plan ala Keith Nale. Sadly like Heath, it backfired as he found himself following his ally Tegan out the door. Just before the merge.

Given Heath is an absolute sweetheart and despite the fact he got nude in episode two, I took him into my arms, well his legs at least – not in a suss way, he is super tall – told him how proud of his game I was, how proud his family would be and how much his friendship means to me. It was oddly platonic, which is unnerving I know, but Heath is a delight and I was heartbroken to see him go. With or without a nude scene. Anyway, the fact that that is so off brand for me makes me nervous so I whipped out a big fat Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins and took it all in my mouth at once.

 

 

While that is totally more on brand, I challenge you to do anything but when faced with these beauties. Caramelly and sticky, lightly spiced and full of nut – sorry – I can’t think of anything else I want to pack into my gob.

Enjoy!

 

 

Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of allspice
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
⅓ cup molasses
⅓ cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 ½ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and line an 8-hole Texan Muffin pan. Because Heath is a giant and you can’t give him a regular sized muffin.

Combine the flour, baking powder, muscovado sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt in a large bowl, and combine the milk, molasses, oil and eggs in another. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold through the walnuts and dates.

Divide your batter into the prepared holes – which wasn’t meant to sound suss, but Steve … I’m always prepared – and transfer to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove to cool on a wire rack before devouring.

 

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Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

So Notorious. I was talking about So Notorious, the hit sitcom based on Tori Spelling’s life starring Tori Spelling and Loni as a heightened version of the divine Candy Spelling. Just in case the tease didn’t make it abundantly clear.

It was such a delight to reconnect with someone as dear as sweet Loni!

She ran through customs with a look of pure joy on her face and while at a distance I assumed it was someone trying to avoid an inspection on account of me needing new glasses, she eventually came into my line of site and jumped straight into my arms.

We both burst into tears, followed by fits of laughter at how emotional we were being and to be honest, I’m shocked our behaviour didn’t get us escorted out of the airport.

After we got home we got to work reminiscing and catching up. While she wasn’t convinced that So Notorious needed to come back and we need to take my ideas to Torz post haste, we still had a wonderful time. Which really just speaks to how deep our friendship runs.

Though I mean, when you share an ex-husband like Burt you’ve both got to admit you both have fantastic taste. Which was evidence by how much we both love a creamy Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson.

 

 

Earthy, spiced and dripping in glorious, gloopy cheese, these cannelloni pack a comforting punch. They’re the perfect meal for a cool spring night, while gabbing away with a dear friend over some cheap wine.

I mean, why pretend I drink anything better?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 tbsp butter, halved
2 leeks, thinly sliced
750g butternut pumpkin, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry vermouth
salt and pepper, to taste
10 sage leaves, roughly chopped, halved
pinch of nutmeg, grated
1 ½ cups ricotta
1 cup parmesan, grated
500g dried cannelloni tubes
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Melt half the butter in a large pot and cook the leek and pumpkin over medium heat for about ten minutes. Add the garlic, vermouth and a good whack of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and cook for a further ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Allow to cool slightly before transfering to a food processor with half the sage and the nutmeg, ricotta and parmesan and blitzing until smooth.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and once foamy, whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and cream and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until smooth and thick.

To assemble, pour half of the cream sauce into the base of a baking dish. Pipe the pumpkin mixture into the cannelloni tubes and lay on top of the creamy sauce. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with sage and walnuts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Allow to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring.

 

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