Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles awaiting my dear Sarah Ayles to eat while I rant about Andy surviving.

Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles

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

Previously on Australian Survivor Jonathan threw a spanner in all of the works, forcing everyone to drop their buffs – sadly not John’s speedos, though – and switched up the tribes. The three Champion women lucked out and stayed strong together in a Champ majority on the new Contenders tribe, while David and Luke were royally screwed as the only OG Champs remaining on the Champions tribe. Oh and Daisy and Shaun’s alliance was also split up, though that only became relevant after the new Champions continued in the tradition and lost immunity. You see Shaun had told Andy about his idol, who then spread the information to the rest of the Contenders on the Champions tribe, with Daisy overhearing and deciding that he is no longer to be trusted. With that, she approached  John and Baden to flip to David and Luke with her and blindside Sam – who never got a freaking confessional – which they did, leaving the OG Champs alive for another episode with an idol in each of their pockets.

We opened up with at the new Contenders tribe where Abbey, Ross and Pia were still lamenting the downgrade of facilities from what they were useful at Camp Champ. While the girls struggled in the squalor, sweet angel Ross tried to find the bright side and honestly he is too pure for this world. I just get the goofiest grin whenever he is on screen and I hope he knows how much I appreciate him.The tribe sat around bonding and downing coconuts, while Janine was thrilled to have the majority on her new tribe. Though was struggling big time when it came to remembering Casey’s name. Or was it Cassie. Talk then legit turned to eating Harry, despite his fake child at home. Pia’s serving suggestion was to turn him into a kebab. Harry then vowed that he will be taking control of the tribe and was thrilled that Luke or David likely went home at last night’s tribal.

Speaking of the new Champions tribe, Andy – who looks more like Sonic the Hedgehog than the original movie version that they’re currently fixing – was still shell-shocked by the blindside while David was thrilled to have found his way into the new majority so quickly, thanks to Daisy’s vendetta against Sam. Desperate Andy approached David to pretend that he was trying to protect David at the last tribal and honestly, the desperation reeks of insincerity and I need him out ASAP. And if that performance keeps up, I think I’ll get my wish. Sarah too was seething after the previous vote, so approached Hannah to float the idea of wooing Baden back to their side to get rid of Daisy in a revenge plot which sadly seems shortsighted given the Contenders early domination. Shortsighted but good TV.

Jonathan summoned the tribes to a rolling river where the Contenders were shocked to find Sam was booted the night before, none more so than Harry who had just felt confident enough to get arrogant. But back to the challenge where someone from each tribe who swim against the flowing river, with the last person staying in the marked zone winning a point for the tribe. First to three winning a Survivor cafe experience, so everyone was as thrilled as I was given swimming calls for speedos. Once again Luke and Matt faced off against each other, with Matt making quick work of Luke. Again. Leading to even more arrogance from Matt. Ross and Baden went next and despite starting strong, poor Baden wasn’t a chance against the surfing champ. Janine got out strong against Andy, until the current washed her away and Andy – urgh – got the Champions on the board. Abbey and Daisy proved an interesting match up, with both women working hard as Daisy drifted into Abbey’s lane and Abbey almost wiped Daisy off the course before ultimately, Daisy won the point and tied things up. The final match-up between Hannah and Casey was far less interesting, as Hannah washed right out of the field giving Casey the point and handing victory to the new Contenders.

The Contenders arrived at their cafe reward where Shaun was thrilled to finally take out a reward, Casey got her first confessional and Matt was struggling to understand why he wasn’t miserable. While everyone was frothing over the food, King Ross smashed four coffees and quickly started to lose his mind before having a power spew and coming back for seconds. Harry meanwhile wasn’t so thrilled and couldn’t move past the fact that Sam was voted out, while Abbey and Janine quickly got all of the information out of Harry and Casey, finding out Sam and Daisy didn’t get along, meaning Harry likely won’t work with Daisy or her ally Shaun. While Harry desperately tried to make in rounds with the former Champs, he didn’t look to be having much luck and felt on the outs with his new closest ally Casey. The latter however had other plans, leaving him for dead and buddying up to Janine, Pia and Abbey to try and save herself while Harry wandered around until he found the damn idol.

And while it is exciting for him, I just want to know what happened to his eye and if it is what happened to Benji’s last year as it looks angry.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where two people from each tribe would be placed in chambers while their remaining tribemates would race over balance beams to collect buckets of water from the ocean to fill up the other tribe’s chambers. Given poor Sarah can’t catch a break, she was submerged in one of the Champion chambers with Hannan in the other while Casey and Pia were the potential drowning victims for the Contenders. It is pretty hard to tell who is leading at any given moment, so let’s focus on the fact Hannah seems super fun and entertaining and I hate that she is the last person remaining without a confessional. Pia was the first to be completely submerged, followed closely by Hannah while the two desperately tried to keep their noses above water before Hannah and Pia dropped out one after the other, leaving Casey and Sarah to battle it out. Tragically Sarah fought valiantly however it wasn’t enough as the Contenders kept a steady flow of water going into her bath forcing her to bow out, handing victory to the Contenders.

Back at camp the Champions assured each other that they did all that they could at the challenge before Andy tried to find a way to live to see another day. He then approached David as, to quote him, David is smart for a model and he himself is scary smart, so he thinks they will make good allies. Sadly for Andy, David could see through all of his lies though given he holds the power, he doesn’t really mind. Yet. He rallied his allies and suggested they get rid of Sarah, given she isn’t as agile as Hannah with everyone jumping on the plan quickly. Andy left the group and approached Sarah to see what she was thinking, with Sarah suggesting going to the top of the totem pole and get rid of Daisy. Andy then ran back to the shelter, lay next to Daisy and told her what Sarah and Hannah were planning, filling the icon with rage.

Sarah then wandered over to Baden and Luke at the well, telling them that Andy threw her under the bus before David and Hannah joined them. Sarah asked David what his plans were, with him admitting that he was going to vote her out … though would happily turn on Andy instead. David then said Andy was playing so badly he was planting landmines, forgetting where they were and then blowing himself off all up the beach and I LIVE. Daisy and Sarah then caught up with Daisy suggesting that she would be willing to get rid of Andy instead. The only certainty as they headed off to tribal council, is that once again David and Luke are safe and their two idols will remain in the pockets for another episode.

At tribal council Andy tried to downplay how shocked he was by Sam’s blindside before Jonathan congratulated David on surviving the insurmountable odds. David downplayed the OG tribes, reminding everyone it is a new game and they are one unit. Sarah admitted that the lines were well and truly blurred, while Daisy reminded them it is eat or be eaten. Hannah admitted it is too hard to trust anyone in a long term way, while Sarah alluded to Andy continuing to play the middle and Luke blurted out that there was some madness back at camp. Andy tried to be coy about the situation, where he shoved his hole leg in his mouth which everyone was aware of, before Sarah verbalised that she is the one that walked up on Andy’s dick move with the Sonic impersonator getting more and more nervous. Wait, no, cocky, as his fuck-up is only an issue for Sarah. John told everyone to pull their heads in, Andy spoke about the importance of trust – much to John’s disgust – while Sarah sounded defeated, warning them to all keep one eye open.

With that the tribe voted and despite me crossing everything in my body, praying to a wide range of deities and promising not to cuss anyone out tomorrow for asking stupid questions, it was my dear Sarah who was booted from the game as low-rent Sonic sped to smug another day.

Once again, I was a giant ball of rage as Sarah entered Loser Lodge and fearing that I was on the brim of freaking out, she took me in her arms and told me to breath through the pain. She assured me she was proud of the game she played, and glad to prove herself and while I fought back tears thinking of all the ways the game has tried to bring up memories of the tsunami for her and the fake that yet another woman was booted over a smug, beige male, I realised that all we needed – Sarah, I and the world at large – was a big comforting Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles to dull the pain.

 

Sarah Ayles joyfully eating Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles while I rant about Andy surviving.

 

Thankfully this rich casserole is glorious enough to wipe away some of the pain of seeing this icon leave the game. Earthy lamb, the tang of ale and the sharpness of some gruyere work together in perfect harmony to honour the ultimate survivor of this season who deserved so much better. #Justice4Sarah

Enjoy!

 

Sarah Ayles joyfully eating Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles while I rant about Andy surviving.

 

Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1.5kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 tbsp flour
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp tomato paste
345ml bottle ale
2 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette, sliced
100g gruyere cheese, grated
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to serve

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and carrot for five minutes, or until your kitchen is hella fragranced. Add the lamb and cook for a further five minutes or so before adding the flour and cooking off for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, mustard, tomato paste, ale, stock, bay leaves, muscovado sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Once the casserole is thick and gloopy, top with the baguette and all of the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is golden and glorious.

Sprinkle with parsley, serve and devour.

 


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A delightful third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the new Champs and Conts – errr, I mean Contenders – met in the Fijian jungle, with the Champs living up to their name by taking out two of the first three challenges, sadly for them, however that one loss was the first immunity. This led to the athletes banding together due to their auto majority, opting to get rid of iconic Roxette impersonator Anastasia. Well and truly on the outs, Luke found his first ever idol clue, which he, David, Pia and Janine plan to use to woo Ross and Abbey to their side and take control. Before we could find out whether they were successful, they snapped up the second immunity sending the Contenders to tribal council where sweet Baden survived against all odds and the sweet, spunky Laura heading home.

Things were looking up the next morning at the Contenders tribe where sexy, sexy John decided to do a nudie run and hot damn, I am moister than an oyster. Or sea cucumber, which he picked up on his travels, much to the disgust of his fellow tribemates. Speaking of those tribemates, I think Hannah is still yet to utter a word and I worry about her and want her in our lives ASAP.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Susie was having a bit of a wake-up call, shocked by how dirty they all are, the lack of food and the misery that comes from sleeping in the rain. While E.T.  continued to push for an Escape With reboot, catching minnows for the tribes. The tribe sat around eating fruit, talking about their lives at home with Queen Janine completely loving the fact that she hasn’t had to make massive decisions for the thousands of people that rely on her to live for a week. And she is zen, her hair is wavy and natural and this icon makes me so damn happy. Oh and she is totally ready to make some deals to break up the athletes alliance and take control. See? She is iconic.

Not to be outdone, Nova continued her push for next year’s Masterchef handing out bananas – fresh from Nova’s Kitchen – to her tribemates. Though the way she was barking out that they aren’t allowed any more, or else, due to rations was grating on Ross. Which, of course, Luke planned to use to his advantage. That night, Ross took time away from his busy snoring schedule to hang out with Luke before stealing an extra banana with which they solidified their loyalty.

The next day the Contenders awoke to take in the sunrise together – John, sadly in pants – before gathering around to share in some breakfast. Daisy and Sam went for a wander through the jungle before realising that Shaun is Megan Gale’s partner, before we learnt more about the zaddy who tragically never reached the pinnacle of his AFL career and how he desperately wants to prove himself. He then did a slow-mo walk down the beach dressed in a speedo, so you know he proved himself to me. Swoon.

My boy Jonathan – and obvi, his guns – arrived for the reward challenge where someone from each tribe would face off in an alley, running at each other to ring their bell at the opposite end. The first to ring their bell snatching a point with the first tribe to five winning a box of mystery comfort items. As is oft the case, Luke and Matt were first to face off with Luke finally getting a win, despite losing his shirt in the process. Daisy and Susie were next to battle it out, with Daisy taking it out despite Susie’s aggressive defense. David and Shaun faced off and while Shaun got the point, we are the true winners because them snuggling is the hottest thing I’ve seen today. Minus John’s butt, obvi. Simon evened things up against Harry, before zaddy John destroyed Bradbury despite taking a fall. Abbey evened things up again, running right past Casey on the way to her point before Baden proved himself a hero, destroying Ross and earning the adoration of his tribe. I love him and I’m crying. Oh and then Shaun returned to the alley to face off against Luke, secured reward for the Contenders and I am still crying. Now because Shaun is so damn beautiful.

Back at camp the Contenders were riding high on their win before even discovering they won a crate of 11 comfort items, with John tasked with handing out an item to each person. Baden got a choccie croissant, Casey got a toothbrush, soap went to Harry, Shaun got tweezers, Andy got moisturiser, the others got rando items and John gave himself a coconut. Andy returned to rant about the breakdown of alliances on their tribe, with Shaun, Daisy, John and Matt in control, Baden, Sarah and Hannah on the bottom and he and the rest stuck in the middle. Though looking to change that.

Meanwhile the Champions were decidedly less chipper after their loss, which David decided was the perfect time to win over Abbey. While he flirted with her and she looked thrilled, it was Simon rubbing sunscreen into his back and TBH, it is my new ship. Luke took a break from trying to find a crack in the athletes alliance to find his idol, pulling in David to help search without being noticed by anyone else. They searched far and wide, walking past a stump that David believed was home to Luke’s idol four times before he finally convinced Luke to have a second look at before they ultimately found it. And hopefully a way to keep themselves, Janine and Pie alive.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to dig under a log, carry a plank through a series of obstacles, using the plank to see-saw someone to retrieve sandbags before two tribe members throw said bags onto five of their tribemates’ poles. The Contenders went hard at the gate with zaddy John barrelling through before the Champions had even attempted to get anyone under the log. The Contenders moved onto the second obstacle while only Pia and Janine had gotten through the log for the Champions. By the time the Contenders made it to a tower, the Champions had finally gotten their shit together and commenced closing the gap. Well until the got stuck and the Contenders pulled away again and Hannah and Andy landed two bags before the Champions even started throwing them. E.T. and Nova started to close the gap but Andy once again proved too strong at throwing shit, snatching victory for the Contenders almost single handedly.

While I’m impressed by his challenge strength, he is still kinda annoying. I mean, John knows he is amazing and doesn’t need you to get in his face about it.

Back at Camp Champ, Nova was quick to point out that it was Janine’s idea to dig a trench, rather than a hole under the log and as such, she needs to be the next to go. The athletes all got together to discuss how stupid her idea was and how she shouldn’t advise them on athletic pursuits, deeming that enough of a reason to get rid of her. Susie and Steven went for a wander through the jungle, happy with their place in the alliance. Abbey then approached Ross to find out what their plans were, concerned that nobody had bothered to talk to her and ask her opinion.

Meanwhile Luke, Janine and Pia got together to find a way out of their predicament, deciding that Abbey is still the key. With that, Janine and David approached her by the well and Janine spoke about how inclusive and supportive their alliance is and you could see the point that Abbey’s eyes lit up at the prospect of somebody listening to her before suggesting they get rid of Susie instead, since Abbey sees her as weaker than Janine. With that Luke floated Susie’s name with the men, which Steven was quick to dismiss though Ross kinda, sorta did appear conflicted. Luke then decided to return to Abbey who was worried about upsetting the tribe harmony, while David approached Susie to let her know that he would be voting for her in an attempt to rattle her enough to throw a tantrum at tribal.

Speaking of tribal council, Jonathan was quick to throw some shade at their losing ways before I got distracted by David looking hot in his leather jacket, sans shirt. Susie then spoke about how tough the survival aspect is before denying the extremely obvious athlete alliance, that everyone is aware of. Steven dug a hole for himself, admitting to not speaking to Abbey until the day before. E.T. reiterated the importance of keeping the tribe strong before Jonathan asked Janine whether that made her concerned. She said it did, but not as much as the fact that her name was thrown out. She then went in, pointing out that she isn’t the actual weakest link, pushing hard that everyone should vote the weakest, not the weakest that isn’t in their alliance. Abbey loved the team-strong mentality, proving Janine is a damn icon.

Steven spoke about loyalty before Susie spoke about her name being thrown out and David having the hide to tell her that he was voting her out. She then kinda danced around whether she is or isn’t strong, before mentioning Janine’s digging faux pas. Janine pointed out that it was a suggestion that everyone agreed to, which annoyed Nova as she wanted Janine to just admit that she screwed up. Abbey was confused about the vote ahead, Steven said it would be an easy one and Ross shared that he didn’t have a plan, though knew he was voting for. Janine doubled down on her strength and loyalty just before the tribe headed off to vote, which clearly proved very convincing as both Abbey and Ross flipped on the athletes, and Susie was sent from the game.

While I love Susie dearly and dearly, I did tell her how thrilled I was that it Ross and Abbey flipped as I pulled her in for a hug. In retrospect, that was a highly insensitive, cruel thing to do, but the athletes alliance didn’t contain Queen Janine, Pia, David and his beauty or Luke, and as such, I needed something to give. Plus Susie has achieved so damn much in her life, that I knew she wouldn’t let it get her down. Particularly when she has a Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic to give her a culinary hug.

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

You know, or at the very least should be well aware, that I firmly believe that every dish can be improved with the addition of lemon and chilli. I mean, picture it, your belly tonight, risoni bathed in cream with a touch of garlic and spinach. Bit of a womp-womp, right? Now add in the tang of some lemon and a kick of chilli. It’s good right? Real good.

Enjoy!

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
400g risoni
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup cream
200g baby spinach
½ cup parmesan cheese, plus extra, obvi

Method
Get a pot of salt water on the boil and cook the orzo per the packet instructions. Drain and set aside, hopefully not for too long.

While you’re prepping the pasta, heat a good lug of olive oil in a saucepan and cook the garlic with a good whack of salt and pepper for a minute. Add the flour and chilli, and cook for a further minute. Quickly add the zest and juice and give a good whisk before removing from the heat and slowly whisking in the cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes, or until starting to thicken.

Add the spinach and cook until perfectly wilted before stirring through the parmesan. Remove from the heat, fold through the risoni and serve immediately, covered in more parmesan and a good whack of pepper.

Then devour, obvi.

 

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Gazpachjoe Anglim

Main, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Survivor: Worlds Apart, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, nothing evidently happened despite Kama winning immunity again – and Joe avoiding pre-merge tribal council for another season – sending both Lesu and Manu to tribal council to vote out one person, like the tragic Game Changers tribal that cost my love Malcolm his place in the game. While both tribes were locked down tribal lines on the first vote between Lauren and Wendy, the OG Kamas decided Wendy wasn’t worth rocks and flipped to send her to the Edge of Extinction.

But again, nothing happened because we’re going straight to a damn challenge.

Probst brought the three tribes to a field with six challenge set-ups instead of three and quickly welcomed them to the merge. While Gavin was excited to have made the merge, he was nervous about what was waiting for them around the corner … before Probst teased an iconic moment, sharing that they literally need to worry about what is around the corner as Reem, Keith, Chris, Rick, Aubry and Wendy were brought back in. Jeff then filled the merged tribe in on the Edge of Extinction and everyone, hopefully, felt super stupid for not realising something was up given the name of the season.

But we’re not here to make them feel stupid, we’re here for a challenge and damn what a challenge the losers face. They will each climb over an obstacle, complete a jailbreak and then guide a ball through an upright snake puzzle. We then learnt that Keith in fact did choose to disadvantage Chris with extra knots, giving him the advantage and disadvantage on top of potentially tripping on his package. Chris got out to an early lead with the extra knots proving zero difficulty, while Aubry, Rick and Wendy were right behind him. Aubry dominated the jailbreak, making it to the puzzle first, while Chris, Rick, Wendy and Reem followed. Oh and the knots were this section, so everyone got to practice the puzzle, while Chris untied the knots and Keith still struggled with his pole. Wendy was dominating the puzzle and close to the end before her tourettes started to act up, as she dropped just before snatching victory. Chris almost won and then dropped at the last moment before Rick snatched his win and a place on the merged tribe.

The losers rallied around to congratulate him while breaking down over their losses, before Probst filled the merge tribe in on the fact that Extinction would be resetting and they will all have a shot to return. The five remaining losers remained to chat with Probst, as Aubry shared how much Survivor has given her and helped her grow over the years. Reem shared that Survivor was her dream and how hellish extinction was, but how proud she was to not raise the mast. Keith spoke about his pride in not giving up, Wendy felt bad that she didn’t spend as long at extinction while Chris spoke about how he had always wanted to be perfect and extinction taught him that it doesn’t matter and he can just be himself. And now my heart swells like my pants whenever I look at him. They all held each other close before Probst gave them the opportunity to return to the Edge of Extinction and wait for another shot to return, making them all giddy as they accepted the offer once again and I am so glad I can make more jokes about Chris raising my mast. Because he can get it and I need to see him in every damn episode.

We returned to the merge camp where the tribe discovered the feast, which filled Julia with so much joy because of the epic majority and the abundance of food. The tribe found out about life on extinction while Kelley lamented the pain of having Rick, of all people, back despite the fact Reem hated her so much more. On the flip side Julie found a bond with Rick and wanted to work with him and help him avoid going back to extinction, since she never wants to go there herself

Speaking of extinction Chris, Aubry and Reem huddled together as Keith and Wendy approached the flag and HOT DAMN WE HAVE SOME QUITS! After arriving back, they realised that they could not be fucked waiting around for another three weeks and as such, officially became the first and second boots. The other three however, were galvanised and vowed to continue to fight.

Back at the merge tribe Kelley and Lauren caught up to worry about Rick’s return and the fact they need to find some cracks if they want to survive. Speaking of cracks, Kelley pulled Joe aside to see whether this will be the season they can actually pull off an alliance. She questioned whether the Aubry boot made him nervous, with Joe admitting that he, Aubry and Aurora were on the bottom which given basic maths, would say the Manus plus Joe and Aurora should have the majority if they can work together. But hold Kelley’s beer, because she doesn’t trust Rick and David and thinks they will go with the majority. As such, she wants to see Rick go straight back to extinction and approached the Kama women to float the idea. Sadly Julie had zero interest in sending him straight back, so while everyone seemed open to splitting the vote between David and Rick, Julie doesn’t seem like she will play along.

The next day we learnt the tribe settled on Vata as a name before Devens discovered a parcel in his bag, which is a best friend idol which he has to give half away and if they both survive the upcoming tribal council, the pieces join together to form a legit idol. And I think I made it sound more complicated than it is. That night, he approached David and passed off his half of the idol.

My boy Probst returned for the first individual immunity challenge of the season where they would each stand on a narrow beam and balance a statue on the end of a pole. Ron dropped before Probst even finished intro-ing the challenge. He was quickly followed by Gavin before the tribe transitioned to a thinner part of the beam which cost Wardog, Devens and Victoria their shot at immunity. Aurora was taken out by a huge gust of wind before the third phase of the challenge which eventually took out Wentworth. Eric, Julia and David dropped as their transitioned to the narrowest point of the beam, leaving Julie, Joe and Lauren to battle it out for immunity. Out of nowhere Joe dropped, though it appeared quite theatrical … almost like he was throwing the challenge to appear less threatening. In any event Lauren finally dropped after struggling for much of the challenge, handing Julie immunity and damn I have a new Queen to root for.

Back at camp the tribe got to work scrambling, with Kelley continuing to push for Devens and Julie feeling safe enough to instead go for Kelley. She pulled in Victoria who was keen to get another vet out, before Julie approached Devens to say that he and David are safe while everyone else on his OG tribe were desperate to get rid of him. Devens filled in David on the betrayal and that Julie will tell them who to target but that someone from Lesu is likely to go. Ron and Joe caught up, with Joe asking Ron to follow Eric, Julie and Victoria to make sure his name doesn’t come up. His calm demeanor made Ron feel like he was planning to betray him and as such, he wanted the Kama 6 to band together to instead take out Joe as it may be their only chance. While Victoria still though Kelley was the safer option, she floated Ron’s plan with Eric and Gavin and they tried to decide who was best to get rid of first between Kelley and Joe. Julie was the voice of reason, sharing that whatever it is, the six of them need to come to a consensus as the vote will dictate the rest of the came.

At tribal council Joe, Julie, Julia, Ron and Aurora finally got their torches before Probst announced that Reem, Chris and Aubry stayed on extinction and as such would sit on the jury while they await their next bid to return. Julie shared that the game has finally begun for the five people that stayed on Kama, Ron admitted that he will always be Kama strong which made Kelley feel nervous, given she is back on the bottom. Again. Rick admitted that he was confused about the dynamics after being out of the game, while Victoria shared that sending him straight back would be evil and that there are bigger targets to focus on first. This made Joe very nervous as a challenge threat, which she said wasn’t the only threatening thing in the game. Ron felt there were no idols in the game, which Wardog said generally means four will pop up at tribal before Rick felt it was weird back at camp while they should have been scrambling, since Kama was calm and Joe lazed around painting the tribe flag. Ron pointed out that having the majority means you don’t need to scramble, which made Kelley remind them she is used to playing from the bottom which was ominous as they went to vote.

Once again both Lauren and Wentworth held strong and opted out of playing their idols as the first seven votes rolled in between Rick, David and Wentworth, before the final six landed on Joe and he found himself voted out of the game, much to Reem’s chagrin given her shot at returning just got that much worse. Because obviously Joe chose to go straight to extinction and for what feels like the first time in his three seasons, he is angry and has a fire to come back. Which is what I told him to do after jumping out from behind the sign and handing off a thermos of Gazpachjoe Anglim.

 

 

While the residents of Springfield find this chilly soup to be a total failure, this should prove just how majestic it can be. Fresh, zingy and packing a tonne of punch, there is no better meal to sip on whilst waiting on an island while getting abused by Reem.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gazpachjoe Anglim
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup olive oil
1.5kg tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup crustless white bread, cubed
½ tsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lebanese cucumber, diced
1 green capsicum, diced

Method
Preheat oven to 200C.

Toss the tomato and garlic through the olive oil, cumin, coriander and a good whack of salt and pepper, and place in the oven to scorch for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Soak the bread in some water for a couple of minutes, before squeezing out the excess liquid and added to the blender with the sugar and vinegar. Blitz until everything is smooth.

Strain the soup into an airtight container and transfer to the fridge to chill for a few hours.

Once ice cold, serve with a sprinkling of cucumber and capsicum and a sprinkle of cumin. Devour.As you can probably tell, we are very

 

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John Gemburgerling

Burgers, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Main, Street Food

We’ve reached the halfway point of my farewell to Broad City – sniff, I love you Abbi, Arturo and Hannibal – and TBH, I am starting to overstay my welcome like Bevers. So obviously I got John Gemberling to drop by and allay my fears, and celebrate him the way that poor Bevers never really has.

While I’ve known John for quite some time form the ol’ UCB days, we didn’t grow close until he started working on Broad City. After the gals asked me to coach him on how to be as annoying as possible. Which would be a slight, if I didn’t know how loveable they find me.

John’s career has really taken off over the last few years and I am so proud of everything he has achieved. Particularly since, no doubt, my coaching helped him reach the pinnacle of success that is a part in the greatest animated program of all time, Big Mouth.

Back on topic though, I am so happy that John was able to fit me into his busy schedule and free-load off me in honour of the finale, by smashing a John Gemburgerling or seven.

 

 

While I didn’t invent the concept of a gem burger, I will take ownership for the majesty of this little baby. Crispy potato slabs work well with In’N’Out sauce, bacon and sweet, sweet onions to create one of the greatest burgers of all time, right Kanye?

Enjoy!

 

 

John Gemburgerling
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
80 Potato Jems
olive oil
2 onions, diced
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp gherkin relish
½ tsp champagne vinegar
500g beef mince
salt and pepper
8 rashers streaky bacon
American mustard, to taste
4 slices American cheese

Method
Heat a waffle iron over medium heat, and assemble 10 gems per plate. Press to close and cook for five minutes each side, or until you have golden, crisp waffles. Repeat the process until you have 8 waffles.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes before reducing to low and caramelising for half an hour or so, adding a small amount of water if needed to deglaze the pan.

Next mix the mayo, ketchup, pickle and champagne vinegar in a jug and whisk to combine.

Squeeze as much liquid out of the mince as possible and place in a large bowl. Add a generous whack of salt and pepper and combine with your hands. Divide into 4 patties, place on a plate lined with cling, cover and place in the fridge for about an hour or so.

Heat a large pan or griddle and brush with oil, and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove to some kitchen paper.

Brush the pan with some more oil, if needed, and when searingly hot place the patties on the pan, pushing down with a spatula until they are roughly 1cm thick. Squeeze some mustard on the top and cook for a few minutes. Flip the patties and cook for a further minute.

To assemble, smear some sauce on a waffle and top with bacon, followed by caramelised onions and the pattie. Top with cheese and another drizzle of sauce before closing with one final waffle. Devour immediately.

 

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Chickwendy Empanadiaz

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, two became three but the OG Manu’s still couldn’t seem to catch a break, with Wendy isolated with only her chickens for comfort, while the rest were shipped off to a new island and promptly continued their losing streak. When all hope appeared lost, David managed to snatch a come from behind immunity win, sending NuManu back to tribal council. And while it appeared Big Wendy was down for the count, Victoria pulled off an epic blindside by sending Queen Aubry to the Island of Extinction with an extra vote and idol in her pocket. And quickly ascended the throne to become Queen Victoria.

Or Queen Vicky, I can’t decide.

On the Island of Extinction Aubry was feeling the pain of following in JT’s footsteps, by being blindsided with some many advantages in his pocket. Despite being broken, she was hopeful as the only way is up for her, and she is going to wait around and get back when she can.

Before we could learn anything else, Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would leap over tables, release some sandbags and then throw them at a target until flags are released. Given it is for coffee and snacks, I would literally destroy everyone if I was on that island. Surprisingly all three tribes were neck and neck by the time it came to tossing the sandbags, though hold Wardog’s beer, because he cannot throw and Lesu are back in last. Obviously Joe snagged Kama first place, while Gavin just snatched victory for Manu despite a late push from Lauren.

Back at Kama the tribe continued their vacation courtesy of Joe with Julie really struggling to comprehend what it would mean to lose. She then praised him for being so damn amazing, though reiterated to us that she has zero interest in working with him and is just blowing smoke up his arse. Speaking of Joe, he was breaking down about Aubry being voted out, knowing that the returnees are public enemy number one and he feels super alone. Unlike at home, where fan favourite, game changer SDT is waiting for him. Joe caught up with Julia and pointed out that he isn’t the only threat and that all the strong people will need to band together if they want to have any hope of staying around. Particularly since their winning streak has no doubt pissed people off.

Speaking of which, Lesu were lamenting their loss and wishing that they could be Joe for just one minute. While David was keen to go try and kind food, Lauren and Wardog opted to sit around and complain about being starving and over their shitty camp. If only they could muster enough energy to help him get the massive clam that is on the shore! Instead of helping, Wardog pulled Kelley and David aside to talk about getting rid of Lauren, which made the returnees nervous given he just won’t pick a lane. The only glorious thing to come out of it, is the fact that Kelley and David are now aligned.

Back on the Edge of Extinction, Chris discovered a basket with five maps full of holes. Reem requested everyone stay calm which Keith agreed to however it is Keith, so who knows. After folding the maps, the tribes wandered up the hill before Rick figured out that the reward was back on the beach and that they’ve wasted their time. Despite his location was wrong, Reem discovered the reward in the beach … only for Keith to snatch it from under her, earning him the chance to penalising someone in the upcoming returnee challenge. Pray circle (jerk) for Chris. Particularly after he pointed out that Reem gave the reward away, setting her off on a tirade against him which may get physical. All I know is, I feel sorry for Rick, Chris and Aubry.

Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to climb a ladder, manoeuvre a bag through a frame, open said bag, release a ball and open a gate. Then solve a puzzle, obvi. Oh and only one tribe would secure immunity, and the other two forced to attend tribal together and get rid of a single player. I have Malcolm PTSD. No surprises Kama snatched an early lead however they all eventually caught up at the puzzle. Despite David thinking he was close to victory, Joe proved adept at puzzles too and solved it just in the knick of time, handing Kama immunity and sending the other tribe to tribal council.

Back at Manu Eric was feeling the loss hard, concerned about the potential for a tied vote and no doubt, concerned Wendy will flip back to her original tribe. Victoria rallied the troops and told them to stick together, while Wendy suggested they don’t target David since he doesn’t have any allies and as such, they should go for Lauren, Kelley or Wentworth. Eric then changed his no rock stance, and told everyone to stick together and threaten to go the rocks, since returnees aren’t likely to waste their shot. Eric and Gavin then went for a chat, reconfirming their relationship and locking in the rocks option. Sadly for them, Victoria is less inclined to go to rocks for these bozos as she is a Queen and wants to win. But thankfully for her, no one appears to have figured that out yet.

Meanwhile over at Lesu Kelley was confident that the other tribe would stick four strong and while targeting the big guys is the best idea, Victoria could be the safest move given they won’t expect it. Wardog had other ideas however, saying that they should vote Wendy because in the event of a time, the others will likely flip on her given they haven’t been together that long. While this is the only correct move for the tribe – outside of pulling Wendy over to their side – Kelley was annoyed that Wardog continues to ignore everyone else and push forward with his ideas. David suggested that he should tell Wendy to vote for someone and hope that it doesn’t go to rocks, while Lauren was confident that they will vote for her and as such she was worried. Even though being the person locked in the tie is literally best case for rocks, which the tribe were keen on.

Wardog went to relax by the beach and questioned going to rocks for Lauren, who is clearly breaking down and as such, went hunting for an idol. The other three figured it out and grew more frustrated with him, deciding they needed to find the idol first. Which Wentworth did, while right next to Wardog. Kelley ran back and filled in Lauren, while Wardog continued to climb trees desperate for the idol. Lauren too wanted to share some intel, sharing that she won’t go to rocks for Wardog and will flip if it comes to it.

The tribes arrived at tribal council and both admitted that they all planned to stick with their tribe, Wardog reiterated that he is ready to battle for his group while Eric admitted that neither knows the others dynamics and as such, it is going to be unpredictable. Kelley offered Manu loyalty were they to flip, which Gavin too offered. Wendy shared that she feels trapped in the middle, with David talking about his love for Wendy while Eric mentioned that Wendy told them otherwise. Kelley started whispering to Wardog while David reminded everyone that he has no qualms going to rocks, which Victoria thought was bullshit. Wendy whispered to David that if he flipped, he’ll be safe, Wardog whispered to David, Gavin whispered to Eric and David asked Wendy to go aside for a little chat. With that the tribes voted and despite all the whispers, the votes rolled in four a piece for Lauren and Wendy. With that the whispering started again, this time with Eric joining Lesu while Kelley and Lauren spoke to Victoria and Gavin to come up with a plan, while poor Wendy sat alone in the middle. Before being booted unanimously.

While she was upbeat upon discovering the Edge of Extinction sign and discovering that she would get a meal to accompany her boat ride, her mood soon deflated.

“This is delicious Ben, what are we eating?”

“Well Big Wendy, I wasn’t sure what to make you originally however I found three chickens wandering the island and was hit with a brain wave.”

You could pinpoint the exact moment her heart broke, and while I kind of feel bad that her rescue was only temporary, when it tastes as good as my Chickwendy Empanadiaz, she can’t really hold a grudge. Right?

 

 

In my defense, since Annelie got cage-fight induced amnesia, I have been unable to make another empanada, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make some tweaks and move past my fears. And oh how glad I am that I did, smokey, sweet and packing a hell of a punch, they’re the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chickwendy Empanadiaz
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg chicken thighs, diced
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, capsicum, tomato pastes, paprikas, oregano and cayenne, with a good whack of salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut each piece of pastry into 9 equal squares.  Place 1 tbsp of filling in each and scrunch the egse to form little half moon pockets. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.

Devour immediately, in honour of those poor, briefly freed chickens I cooked.

Don’t tell Sia.

 

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Aubry Braccob Pie

Main, Party Food, Pie, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor a tribe swap gave Big Wendy four new people to terrorise on NuManu, finally releasing the chickens and making herself even more of a target. Meanwhile over at NuKama – which was just OG Kama, minus Aubry, Eric, Gavin and Victoria – Ron continued to target Joe, employing mute Julia to look through his bag for an idol whilst pretending to be besties. The newly formed Lesu tribe – which was OG Manu minus Wendy – meanwhile continued their losing streak, with David and Rick facing off against Kelley and Lauren for Wardog’s affection. With him obviously siding with the girls, as poor Rick found himself heading to Island of Extinction.

Surprisingly absolutely no one, Reem was not thrilled to be reunited with Rick who was thrilled to have a second chance, despite not having any pals on the decrepit island. *Pray for Chris’ beautiful back after his seat broke*.

Forgoing any camp footage, Probst arrived for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would race through obstacles to collect bolos, which they then need to land on a target, with the first tribes to finish getting PB&Js and milk, or just PB&Js. Surprisingly the tribes were neck in neck at the start, until David David-ed and struggled to untie the bolos, giving Kama and Manu a hearty lead. Gavin scored Manu’s first point before Lesu arrived at the target, it was neck and neck between Manu and Kama with Julie snatching first place for Kama, while Victoria eventually grabbed second place for Manu, while Lesu barely registered a point.

Back at Kama the ever victorious tribe celebrated their victory, and we won, by finally meeting Julia. No surprise, she too desperately wants to get rid of Joe since he is the biggest threat. Joe being Joe, he did the only thing he could by continuing to dominate challenges and desperately try and provide for the tribe. While he went fishing, Ron, Julia and Julie met to discuss potentially throwing the upcoming immunity challenge to get rid of Joe and reduce the number of returning players, so they don’t run the game.

Over at Manu, they too were thrilled to be smashing sandy jays, given they can’t eat the chickens on account of Wendy freeing them. While the chickens continued taunt them from the shrubs, Eric too was concerned by the dwindling numbers and the fact that the returnees haven’t taken a hit yet. Aubry however is growing tired of not attending tribal council, as she came in to play the game aggressively and she needs to go just to see where the numbers truly lay. Sadly for her, Victoria, Eric and Gavin where catching-up and decided that she is still their number one target – despite Wendy being Wendy – and Victoria would go to her and proposition a women’s alliance, in the hopes of diffusing any advantages she may possess. Oh and Victoria is an icon, and gives zero fucks about booting her despite being a friend. Victoria and Aubry then caught up to enact Victoria’s plan and poor Aubry fell for it completely, calling her Vic in confessionals and I just want to scream that she is in danger.

Meanwhile Lesu were lamenting yet another loss, with Wardog not into trying fishing with David. However being shunned gave David a chance to split from the group and hunt for an idol, while the other three spoke about how desperately then need to watch David and make sure he doesn’t find an idol like Chrissy, Devon, Ryan and Mike in HvHvH. David eventually reappeared, leaving Wardog and Kelley the chance to go for a walk to discuss taking out Lauren. Which really doesn’t make sense for either them, but I appreciate Wardog throwing it out there.

Back at extinction Chris discovered a box – not mine, tragically – featuring four maps with vague instructions, which Rick quickly figured out required them to fold it for their directions. Reem suggested they all have lunch before heading off to find the loot, however Keith wandered off to claim them for himself. Reem lead the charge against Keith, as the others chased him to get the loot first. Which, sadly for Keith, they did as Chris tackled him to discover three bamboo sticks with a note that reads practice while Rick found an extra vote hidden at a second tree, which must be gifted to someone on the losing tribe at the upcoming tribal.

Speaking of which, Jeff returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would have to swim to a pontoon, run up a ramp, dive and retrieve puzzle pieces before dragging them to another pontoon which they drag to a third pontoon on which they build a buoy puzzle. This time it was Kelley’s chance to get Lesu out to a slow start, while Manu dominated with Kama close behind while Lesu still had zero puzzle pieces. While Kelley and Lauren sat waiting for a miracle from Wardog and David, Manu and Kama struggled with their puzzles. Eventually Wardog released the first puzzle piece, with Lauren finally releasing the second one and allowing them to catch-up just as Kama snagged immunity. With that Aurora tried to coach Aubry and Manu to victory, before David somehow managed to snatch victory for Lesu. Much to their own shock.

Back at Manu Aubry finally got her wish of kick starting the game, with her joining Gavin, Eric and Victoria to lock in the vote for Wendy. Who sat on the shore by the beach. Aubry and Victoria got together to discuss Victoria’s fake plan to pull in Wendy to get rid of Eric or Gavin. While Aubry was nervous about making a move too soon, they approached Wendy about joining them which Wendy, bless, turned down leaving them super confused and TBH, Aubry was pissed. Aubry went wandering alone to clear her head before tribal when she stumbled upon the extra vote in her bag, making her more confused about what to do with her power and which advantage to use, rather than playing from the bottom.

At tribal council the OG Kama’s finally collected their torches and joined the game before Gavin kicked things off by sharing that the tribe was pretty relaxed after immunity, and as such he isn’t sure what is going to happen. Aubry spoke about the need to be a conversation ahead of everyone else to survive, while Wendy admitted that her gameplay is chaotic and confusing and I live for her. Aubry shared the need to find your allies and that you can’t lock in alliances, until they’re forged by an actual vote. Gavin spoke about Aubry’s value in sharing advice based on her previous games, while Wendy gushed about how great Aubry is and admitted to struggling with separating feelings from her game. Leading into the vote Gavin said his choice is the one that will benefit him the most and Eric admitted to feeling nervous about being played, while Aubry believed it would be a simple vote.

Which was tragically wrong as the votes rolled in and Queen Aubry became the first returnee booted from the game. Even before discovering the existence of the Island of Extinction, Aub’s took her boot in her stride, though was confused as to why I was cooking on a camp stove outside tribal council. She then saw the offer to remain in the game, took 0.0001 of a second to decide, grabbed a torch and I literally had to chase her down the beach to give her my Aubry Braccob Pie before going to get Reemed.

 

 

I saw this concept whilst surfing the interwebs one afternoon, and was immediately smitten. I mean, I am passionate about cobs and I am passionate about pies … and little ol’ Taste.com.au had been smart enough to combine them. And changed my life for the better. With a few little tweaks along the way, the meat was saucy, the pastry flakey and Aubry was thrilled to become the first Survivor three-peat on this ‘ere ol’ patch of cyberspace.

But can she make it to four?! Dun, dun, dun … enjoy!

 

 

Aubry Braccob Pie
Serves: 1 sad booted returnee, or 4 happy shiny people.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg beef mince
3 tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups beef stock
½ cup ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 cob loaf
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onion over medium heat for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before adding the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go, until browned. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further minute before adding the stock and Worcestershire. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes. Stir through the parsley and remove from the heat.

Preheat oven to 160C.

To assemble, carve the top off the cob and scoop out most of the bread, leaving enough around the edges to retain its structural integrity. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to crisp for 10 minutes. Remove, fill with the meaty mixture and top with pastry, crinkling the edge with as much artistic flair as you can muster. Brush with egg and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Remove and devour immediately, lamenting the tragedy of your Survivor experience thus far.

 

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Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza

Main, Pizza, Poultry, Street Food

What a difference a few days can make, right? After witnessing Glenn’s seventh and Amy’s sixth snubs – no matter how deserving the delightful Olivia and Regina are, it still stung – I started to rage about all the things this Oscars failed me on like Shallow muse Timothée Chalamet and my girls Dolly and Linda Perry getting snubbed.

By the time Linda arrived at my house I was in such a state, alternating between crying and screaming, that she had to pull me into her arms and hold me until I calmed down.

And thanks to her warm, loving friendship, I’ve been in a state of zen since.

I’ve known Linda for years and years, first meeting as teens in San Diego. Fun fact: she taught me that San Diego didn’t actually translate to mean whale’s vagina, which I passed on to Will Ferrell to use as a joke in Anchorman.

But anyway, she was always so patient and kind with me, despite my many foibles, so I jumped at the chance to move to San Francisco with her in the ‘80s and I of course, vowed to make her a star.

Given how insanely busy she has been recently, Linda and I haven’t spent as much time together as we would like, so it was wonderful to be able to just have time to reconnect. And smash a piping hot Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza.

 

 

A crunchy base, sweet tomatoes and the fiery spice of peri peri chicken work together to form the perfect pizza for warming up a surprisingly cold evening in Brisbane. FYI, it got down to 25°C.

Enjoy!

 

 

Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
olive oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
½ cup peri peri sauce
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup baby spinach
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
mozzarella, to taste

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

Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet and cook the diced chicken for five minutes or so, or until cooked through. Add the peri peri – more if needed – and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until well coated.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs, onion, spinach, spicy chicken and cherry tomatoes, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Before devouring, thinking about how wrong it is that Lind and Doll still don’t have Oscars.

 

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Tostavo Santaolalla

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Street Food

Ok, ok – I know it feels like I’m stuck on a musical binge at the moment, after kicking off Call Me By Your Gold with Em and Reese on account of musicals, but Gustavo Santaolalla is an icon in his own right and I couldn’t go past with catching up with my dear friend to celebrate this year’s Oscars.

While I only met Gus close to fifteen years ago through my love Ang, our bond quickly grew as I inspired his exquisite score in Brokeback Mountain and made sure it captured the love and unbridled passion I held for Heath and Jake. And Mish.

Given it won him his first Oscar, I assume you agree that I am a gloriously stunning muse.

Gus being the delightful, sweet man that he is was totally shocked, humbled and honoured to get an invite to my annual Oscar Gold celebration. Even more so, as he got to help me lock in my bets for his sound brethren.

For Sound Editing, Gus believes I shouldn’t look past First Man, however I think A Quiet Place is a safe bet. For Sound Mixing, I am going with my boy Rami’s Bohemian Rhapsody while he thinks First Man will take that also. Given First Man didn’t even get a nom for Original Score, Gus is going with Isle of Dogs however I think If Beale Street Could Talk has it on lock. As does Gaga for Best Song which should just be given out straight away as it is the safest bet of the night.

That being said, Black Panther is the only nom that could act as a spoiler. Though it won’t.

TBH it was a pretty easy bunch of noms to discuss, but that didn’t stop us from getting down to sharing a platter of Tastavo Santaolalla. You know, to give us back our energy.

 

 

Hot and spicy, fresh and crunchy, tostadas are one of my favourite Mexican dishes. I mean, it is essentially a giant chip piled with a meaty-salady dip. When I put it that way, you find it pretty irresistible, no?

Enjoy!

 

 

Tostavo Santaolalla
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
500g beef mince
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric
400g refried beans
8 corn tostadas
cheddar cheese, sour cream, lettuce, hot sauce and coriander, to garnish

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft, sweet and fragrant. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until the mince is browned. Stir through the tomato paste and spices, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile heat the beans in a small saucepan.

To assemble, smear the tostadas with the beans, top with the mince mixture and literally any combination of cheese, sour cream, lettuce, hot sauce and coriander that you desire.

Devour.

 

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Capreese Dip Witherspoon

Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Snack, Vegetarian

I don’t want to make this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Call Me By Your Gold – about A Star is Born but to be honest, it and Bohemian Rhapsody did inspire me to reach out to today’s guest. Eternally delightful, America’s Sweetheart and Oscar winning musical performer Reese Witherspoon.

I’ve known Reese since the mid-90s after meeting on the set of Fear – I was dating Markie Mark at the time – but it wasn’t until a few years later that our friendship blossomed. I went from introducing her to my fluffee Ryan Phillippe on the Cruel Intentions set before helping her to play a character based off my high school years in a little known movie called Election.

Given one gave her her two eldest children and the other launched her into serious actress category, it goes without saying she is grateful for my love and support.

While we’ve tragically been separated by our busy schedules, it was such a treat to be able to get together and honour the Oscars and catch-up. Given her star turn in Monsters vs. Aliens, I kicked off running the odds with Best Animated Feature which Reese thinks will surprise for Incredibles 2 while I can’t go past Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse as much as my puppy thinks Isle of Dogs has it in the bag. When it comes to lead performances we agree that my dearest Rami Malek needs to win Best Actor if there’s any justice in the world, while we’re both backing Glenn Close for being an icon, I believe that Melissa McCarthy is the truly deserving person in the category. Sorry Gaga.

We may not have agreed much on victors this date, but there was no denying how glorious the piping hot Capreese Dip Witherspoon was.

 

 

Gooey and sweet, this is quite possibly one of my favourite warm dips. I mean take a salad that proves you can make friends with salad, then chuck it in the oven and spread it on crackers? Iconic.

Enjoy!

 

 

Capreese Dip Witherspoon
Serves: 2 chatty friends. Or 6 reg peeps, I guess?

Ingredients
200g bocconcini, drained
200g roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ cup grated mozzarella
⅓ cup basil, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Preheat an oven to 180C.

Combine everything in a large bowl and transfer into a baking dish. Place in the oven and cook for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

Devour, with plenty of crackers.

 

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Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto

Main, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water

I know I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to the twist of the upcoming season of Survivor but I am still excited because, well, it is Survivor. And for every One World or Redemption Island, there is a China or Heroes vs. Villians, which is something I am eternally grateful for. Plus – One World gave us Kim and Redemption Island gave us Russell’s pimpled, ingrown-haired armpits.

But I’ve been waylaid – I am here to celebrate one of my favourite Sole Survivors slash two-time The Amazing Race contestant and the cherry on top of San Juan Del Sur’s twinnie bookends, my girl Natalie Anderson.

Like Bob before her, I didn’t meet Nat until after her first reality TV stint – I am a close, personal friend of the Beekman’s – however the friendship quickly blossomed. And I played a critical role in getting her a spot on San Juan Del Sur and her well deserved win.

While people tire of the constant bartering and handing out rewards as treats, San Juan Del Sur is an unpredictable season and Natalie’s arc from wounded surviving Twinnie to vengeful powerplayer after Jeremy’s boot is one of the greats.

Add to that a beautiful idol play, a masterful ‘accidental’ blindside to save Keith and dragging him along as a meatshield to guarantee a path to the end puts her in my top ten favourite winners. And more than worthy of a hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto whenever she damn wants!

 

 

There is nothing quite as comforting and glorious as a risotto. I don’t know if it is the creamy rice or the liquor, but it always fills me with joy when I’m feeling blue. Add in mushies and bacon, and I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat and heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Once nice and foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant and glorious.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get translucent around the edges. Working a ladleful at a time, add the stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, waiting until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Once all the stock has been used up, add the mushrooms, spinach and thyme, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir through the parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, slathered in more cheese and then devour.

 

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