Libbean Vincek Soup

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

Previously on Survivor, the three tribes became one and the war between Dom and Chris reignited. While the Naviti women wanted to stick Naviti strong and take out the more threatening Libby first, they couldn’t put an end to the pissing match to sway the numbers. Instead Dom threatened to play his fake idol, denied having an actual idol then played Sierra Dawn-Thomas’ legacy advantage – despite not getting any votes – as poor, bad rapping Chris found himself booted to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp the tribe processed the first merge tribal, with Libby confused about why people keep targeting her and how she should work to change their perceptions of her. Or find an advantage, obvi. Meanwhile Dom was feeling relieved, thankful to no longer have Chris on his back and able to distract people from his threat status. Maybe.

The next day Wendell continued to be a God, quickly pulling together an island kitchen  – off topic, could you imagine he, Brad and Monica on a season together, him building a killer home, them decorating with found objects? It would be iconic, make it happen – while confirming with us that he is still firmly aligned with Laurel, Dom and Donathan, though wasn’t sure how things will play out with Chris around. He checked in with Laurel to make sure them were feeling ok and to reassure her, confirming Dom has an idol and hoping to win back her trust … before locking in a top four deal. To solidify that, he shared that he too had an idol which seems to have had the opposite effect, with her no longer sure she can trust him and debating whether she should pounce.

My boy Probst arrived on the scene for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams of six, and then run across a floating bridge to the shore before shooting bags at tiles. It was for a Survivor Taco bar, but let’s ignore the fact that Jeff got creative with his pronunciation like Matty Chisholm, ok? Team Angela, Laurel, Wendell, Chelsea, Libby and Donathan got out to a quick lead and damn he looks good in his jocks. While Domenick evened things up, Laurel extended their lead while Sebastian, Donathan, Angela and Chelsea struggling to connect. The orange team evened things up before Libby had a turn and Wendell and his cakes heading back in to snatch the lead. Laurel went out for another turn, followed by Wendell before Laurel just missed the target, leaving Wendell to snatch victory for the purple team.

Before heading off for tacos, they opted not to select someone to attend Ghost Island, with the Survivor Gods instead channeling the white rock to send Jenna. She arrived hopeful for an opportunity to play for an advantage before quickly being disappointed to discover she was one of the unlucky visitors. While she was feeling dejected, her fellow outside Libby was feeling herself at the taco bar. They loaded up their plates, grabbed some fresh margs and toasted to their success. Wendell was thankful to find himself on reward with Laurel and Donathan, wanting to reconfirm their bond. Libby quickly asked them when she was targeted at the last tribal, with Angela and Chelsea assuring her it was simply an easy option and they wanted to break up her and Michael.

The next day Angela and Michael, who is young enough to be her son, joined together to float the idea about breaking up actual power couple Wendell and Dom. Angela was feeling her freedom from Chris and his inability to follow anyone else’s idea, she then took Michael’s concerns to Kellyn and Chelsea before stirring things up with Wendell, Dom and Des. While I love Michael, come through queen Angela and welcome to the game!

The tribe reconvened by the beach to discover an ominous table – yas yas yas, it is the gross food challenge! The first round required three people to scoff down two fish eyes, with Michael, Des and Laurel progressing and Libby, Donathan and Jenna eliminated from the competition. Probst lined up the rest of the castaways for their eyes, with Angela, Sebastian and Domenick moving on and Wendell, Kellyn and Chelsea eliminated. The next course saw the remaining castaways downing three live grubs, with Sebastian, Michael and Angela dominating the rest. For their third course, they had to down two massive sea slugs with Angela shoving them down her throat like a damn boss while Michael’s slow and steady approached kept him alive. The final round saw Michael and Angela downing some mother of pearl with Angela completely dominant with poor Michael struggling with each bite, ultimately securing herself immunity and showing the most personality she has all season.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Angela on slaying dem slugs before quickly getting to work scrambling for the tribal ahead. Laurel and Donathan got to work finding an in with Des, Chelsea and Kellyn to figure out what they’re planning to do and try and come up with a counter plan. They took the plan to target Michael back to Michael and Jenna, with Michael wanting Malolo to stick together while Naviti splits the votes allowing them to take out the bigger threat of Wendell. Laurel and Donathan got together to weigh up their options, with Donathan feeling it is time to take out Wendell to even up the numbers a bit though scared it would make him a target. Dom then told Libby she was safe tonight before being contradicted by Donathan who fleshed out that the plan involved splitting the votes between her and Michael. Kellyn then joined Wendell and Domenick, with Kellyn lamenting she can’t get a read on Laurel and Donathan which made her feel insecure.

At tribal council Chris scrubbed up extremely well before Probst praised Angela for stepping things up and coming out of her shell, with Sebastian congratulating her ability to swallow a sea slug whole. While it was impressive, who can’t? Anyway Des said that big moves where critical to everyone’s game allowing Probst to remind them of the new round-table final tribal format, with Dom and Wendell praising it for favouring the big players. Once again, Michael got to work blowing things up at tribal reminding everyone that they can’t rely on safe – which Milk obvi agrees with. Laurel wants the Naviti tribe to use her while they have a chance, the Navitis acknowledge sticking together required some cult-level convincing. Again, Kellyn continued to harp on about Naviti strong while Michael continued to push to be used, to which I say, yas gawd.

The votes rolled in and Michael’s fear got the best of him, opting to play Ozzy’s fucking stick – not this one (NSFW, obvi) – which glowed the fuck up and saved him from the boot, negating the seven votes against him. Instead poor Libby found herself off to the jury, while Michael congratulated Wendell on a move well played to lowkey paint a bigger target on his back rather than his own.

Poor Libs was feeling quite down to be out of the game so soon, but was thankful to be one of the few Malolos to make the jury and therefore still a viable option in the love stakes. After perking her back up, I managed to get her to cloud nine as soon as she saw I was packing a piping hot Libbean Vincek Soup.

 

 

Packed full of hearty bean goodness, fresh creamy pesto and the warmth of a soothing, carby broth. How could you stay sad?

Enjoy!

 

 

Libbean Vincek Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 celery, thinly sliced
1 potato, finely diced
2 tbsp Toni Basil Pesto
2L chicken stock
400g canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g crushed tomatoes
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup orzo
bunch of baby spinach
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and potato for a couple of minutes. Stir through pesto for a minute before adding the stock, beans, tomatoes and parsley. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and add the orzo, and simmer for about fifteen minutes.

Once the orzo is cooked through, stir through the spinach and parmesan and serve, devouring immediately … covering in extra parm-parm. Though obvi being careful because soup is hot as balls.

 

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Chris McDouble

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the second tribe swap put a pin in the long-simmering Chris and Dom feud with Naviti dwelling Dom amassing a collection of real and fake idols, a legacy advantage and complete control of the tribe. He wielded said power and influence to fell the greatest player of the game – lol, though greatest villain in forever – Bradley, sending him out to Loser Lodge before the real game ever got started.

Bucking with tradition, we opened to Yanuya and Malolo boating their way to Naviti, with Kellyn thrilled about the potential damage she could do. The Navitians arrived at the beach to welcome the rest of the merge tribe and discovered a note leading them to the other side of the island for a feast. Kellyn was thrilled, Michael felt he could finally find his feet and Dom quickly got the upperhand on Chris, giving a rousing speech to the tribe. Which TBH could paint a target on his back if Chris’ rap wasn’t so grating.

Chris and his nip-slip – swoon, I’m back – hung in the shelter when he discovered a note hidden inside his buff directing him to go to tree mail. Once there he discovered that an idol was his … if he is willing to jump on a boat in the middle of the night and participate in a quick challenge at Ghost Island without anyone noticing. Given his extreme confidence, he was all in and I love it. Though that could be the gratuitous butt and nip shots talking.

Back at camp Kellyn reacquainted herself with Chelsea, Dom and Wendell with Dom quickly saying he is Naviti strong aside for Chris. Wendell however isn’t ready to cut Chris, instead wanting to take out Michael or Libby first before the tribe goes Trump v. Kim Jong Il. Wendell played the UN role and tried to diffuse the tension between Chris and Dom and while the latter was confident, the sua-vay Chris refused to give them anything, shut it all down and firmly locked Wendell in the pro-booting-Chris camp.

That night Chris snuck away from camp as the tribe slept, arriving at a lit – literally – Ghost Island where he discovered he would be playing for J.T.’s Game Changers immunity idol, though this time it was only good for one tribal council. The game is that he can pick bamboo shoots and extend its life by one tribal … or lose his vote at the next tribal. While he was successful the first round, he lost his vote on the second round finishing with only safety at the next tribal.

The next day Chris channelled Bradley and ordered his tribemates to wait on him hand and foot. While Dom worked to rally Libby and Jenna over to his side, Chris got to work on securing Angela, Des and Laurel to his side. Dom thinks Chris is a joke, Chris thinks he is great, Dom thinks Chris is annoying, Chris loves Chris. Libby and Jenna weighed up who was the biggest threat out of Dom, who is strong and strategic, and Chris who they felt was loyal and easy to manipulate. In any event, they were both just glad to finally have a piece of power. Though that could always blow-up in their face, I suppose.

My boy Probst finally made an appearance for the first individual immunity challenge where the tribe would be required to balance on a beam and balance an idol on a long, hard rod above their head. Almost immediately Jenna was out, followed by Donathan – neither reverse the Malolo curse. Des and Angela soon followed before Probst made the tribe move to the thinner section of the beam which spelt trouble for Sebastien. Everyone else made the final section, Domenick barely … followed by Michael, Chris, Laurel and Wendell, leaving Kellyn, Libby and Chelsea to battle for immunity. The other girls continued to struggle after Chelsea dropped until Libby couldn’t hold on any longer, handing Kellyn the first immunity individual immunity of the season.

Back at camp the scrambling finally kicked it into high gear, with Chris summoning everyone but Domenick and Wendell to the well to get water and figure out how to split the vote between them. While Dom’s allies Laurel and Donathan agreed to the plan, and Chris rationalised it was the safest move for everyone … I don’t see it happening that easily. Meanwhile Dom and Wendell discovered they were alone, strengthening their resolve to get rid of Chris with the latter planning to use his idol if needs be. Thankfully Donathan and Laurel went straight to Dom and filled him in on the plan, with Donathan advised Dom stays away from Libby and Jenna despite the fact he thinks he has an in with them. While they spoke, Wendell approached Jenna, Libby and Sebastien to stop following Chris and find another option. On the flipside, Kellyn, Des, Chelsea and Angela reconvened at the vacated well to discuss taking out Libby instead while everyone else splits the vote.

The newly formed Lavita tribe finally arrived at tribal – Chris for the first time – with Probst trying to get some drama and Donathan continuing to be adorable, talking about all the new friends he made with the merge. Sebastien was a bit stoned and then Dom, finally, brought the excitement, talking about his simmering feud with Chris. He outed his fake idol which I think he sold as real, and spoke about Chris holding a grudge for him disagreeing with his first day decision. Chris said he was annoyed by Dom targeting Angela, Wendell countered he tried to go for them first. Chris was happy to finally draw a line in the sand, Dom and Wendell spoke about the well incident, which Angela defended as just wanting to stick with the majority. While Dom was terrified, Libby spoke about the stakes being high though doesn’t appear to be overly concerned for her safety. Kellyn on the other hand was super grateful to have immunity and Chris was just following his gut.

Chris’ ‘no vote’ followed a series of mysterious votes and one of the most iconic voting confessional, with Donald Glover’s cousin Wendell destroying Chris and his supposed rap skills. When it came time for idols, Dom decided to get rid of his Sierra Dawn-Thomas legacy advantage. Ultimately it was unnecessary, as the votes rolled in for Chris and Libby, with King Chris sent from the game and straight to the jury with J.T.’s idol in his pocket. Definitely not reversing the curse.

Thankfully I managed to stifle my laughter before the Noble One arrived at Ponderosa to take his place as its King for the year. While he took his exit from the game with grace and humility, he got a few licks in about Domenick as we reconnected – we met each other when he asked to be mentored as a rapper – and he waited for his post-boot Chris McDouble.

 

 

Yes, it’s another copycat burger recipe … but be honest, can you ever get enough? Perfectly seasoned beef, mustard, pickles, ketchup, perfectly melted cheese and the zing of some onion – don’t fight it, make it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chris McDouble
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
4 Kirsten Bunst, halved
American mustard, to taste
ketchup, to taste
1 onion, finely diced, refreshed in iced water and drained
4 pickles, sliced
8 slices American Cheese

Method
Drain as much blood from the mince and scrunch in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and form into 8 even patties.

Heat a large skillet over high heat, reducing to low when scorching. Lightly toast the halved buns before cooking the patties for a couple of minutes. Flip the patties and cook for a further minute.

To assemble, smear the top half of the bun with ketchup and the bottom half with mustard. Place onion in the ketchup on the top and layer pickles on the bottom, place a patty on the bottom top with cheese, a second patty and a second piece of cheese. Close with the ketchupy-oniony bun and devour.

 

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Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Snack, Street Food

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, 15 girls moved into Model Manor in the Hollywood Hills with the hope of following in India Gants’ footsteps and becoming America’s Next Top Model. One by one the girls went home, starting with Maggie and followed by Ivana, Liz, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Brendi K, Erin and Rio.

After once again being saved from getting the chop, Jeana remained in the final four who were then tasked with going to casting with the dastardly Philipp Plein. Despite surviving the casting relatively unscathed – compared to Khrystyana who he likened to a horse and forced to have an emotional breakdown – poor Shanice arrived at the Paper shoot to discover that based on her performance, the judges would be eliminating her immediately.

The girls shon to various degrees during the shoot, progressing to the final runway where poor Khrystyana couldn’t get out of her head. She was better off than the girl that was partnered with Jeana, however, who was abandoned at the end of the runway. In any event, Khrystyana was tragically felled in third – like the robbed-Goddess Shangela before her – and after a brief reading from the judges Jeana was handed the runners-up crown and Kyla proved that nice gals don’t finish last, snatching the title of America’s Next Top Model.

Like Tyra and the judges, Kyla grew on me week after week as she grew, blossomed and routinely stood up for herself against the tyranny of Rio and Jeana. While Khrystyana was obviously my favourite, Kyla hit her stride at exactly the right time, killing the Pantene and Paper shoots which is essentially a ticket to victory. That alone is worthy of a delightful Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas.

 

 

Hot and spicy, deliciously smokey and packing the punch of manchego, these quesadillas are almost as light, sweet and vivacious – not that one – as the new queen that is Kyla.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g hot chorizo sausage, cut into discs
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
300g manchego cheese, grated
12 tortillas
olive oil, for brushin’

Method
Heat a skillet over high heat and cook the chorizos for a minute or two, or until the oil has started to leak out and your kitchen is hella fragrant. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To assemble, place a tortilla on a workspace, sprinkle with cheese, top with the meaty, oniony, mushrooms and top with another sprinkle of cheese before placing another tortilla on top. Repeat the process until you’re out of tortillas.

Bring a clean, dry skillet to heat over a medium heat. Once scorching, brush with some olive oil and fry a quesadilla for a couple of minutes, or until browned and crisp. Flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, immediately.

 

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Bradley Chilakleiheges

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the latest iteration of Malolo continued to challenge Ulong for the title of worst tribe ever, much to Jacob’s chagrin I assume. After losing let another immunity challenge, Michael and James found themselves on the bottom of Malolo 3.0 with the babin’ baby turning on his ally James to save himself and sending him from the game, though that firmly left Michael on the bottom of the tribe.

And oh how I’d bottom for Michael.

Malolo awoke to another day of misery on their cursed turf with Michael in desperate need of some comfort after turning on his idol. Instead of turning to me for a cuddle or something, he went searching for another idol to get him further. While Angela tried to keep an eye on him, it seems neither she nor Des learnt anything from Ben last season as they let him continue until he found an idol. Ozzy’s iconic fucking stick to be specific. Can you believe how amazing it must feel to have two of the three most iconic immunity idol (related) things in one season?

Michael then shove the stick in his pants and it instantly made me hope he could do some damage with it. To me.

The tribes reconvened for Malolo’s next loss, this time for reward. Each tribe member would be required to hold a hope to balance a platform on which they’d be required to do a block-puzzle spelling reward. What is at stake? Steak and kebabs for first, kebabs for second and a member of Malolo banished to Ghost Island for losing. Naviti and Yanuya got out to an early lead, until Naviti dropped their entire stack and had to start again. Yanuya then dropped and Malolo for the first time ever, wait no, they dropped to. Naviti once again took the, followed by Yanuya while Malolo bickered amongst themselves. Ultimately Donathan secured victory for Naviti, despite Bradley yelling at him while he balanced the final block. Yanuya, obviously, came in second – I came in first after Chris’ nip slip … I’m thirsty today apparently, sorry – and Naviti decided to send Kellyn back to Ghost Island to maintain the mystery. Much to Kellyn’s pain.

Now making her second trip to Ghost Island, Kellyn was feeling a little bit calmer about the experience and once again had the chance to gamble for a prize. This time Kellyn had a two in three chance in taking out an advantage, so went for it and ultimately secured herself an extra vote in the form of Sarah’s Game Changers vote steal which she used to vote out Michaela ironically, since it was at Michaela’s feet for an entire challenge. While it is only an extra vote this time, that is hopefully enough to take Kellyn to the next level.

Back at Naviti the tribe were thrilled to win another challenge and get to enjoy a barbecue. Well four of them were thrilled, Bradley was busy failing in his attempts to not be a dick and barked and clapped at Donathan to do things. This pissed everyone off, including his ally Chelsea who looked set to blindside Bradley with the other three, if they lose the next challenge. Which I hope doesn’t happen because we haven’t had a delicious villain since Abi-Maria, let’s be honest.

Meanwhile over at Yanuya, the tribe was happy with their second place feast and continued to live in harmony without the oppressive rule of Bradley. They then sung Wendell’s girlfriend happy birthday and settled in for a post-lunch nap, while King Wendell went searching for an idol. He then found a clue directing him to the idol, which he quickly found. And to make the entire situation even better, said idol is the immunity necklace in Micronesia that Erik gave up to Natalie before she, Parvati, Cirie and Amanda voted him straight out. That, my friends, completes the trio of most iconic immunities in Survivor history. I don’t want to oversell the situation, but between this and the fucking stick this is the best episode ever.

Back at Malolo Angela, Des and Michael grew tired of living at the cursed camp, picking through scraps to get a tiny amount of food. Delirious from starvation, Des then led the tribe in burning the tribe flag and anything that mentioned the M word in the hope of reversing the latest cursed.

The tribes reconvened with Kellyn at the latest immunity challenge to inform Probst that they focused on reversing the curse and filled them in on the sacrificial burning. Whether it works though is yet to be seen, given how physical the challenge is. Each tribe member would swim out to a wall one by one, climb over and jump into the water to collect rings which they will use to throw on a hard rod at the end. Yanuya got out to an early lead followed closely by Naviti … until Michael dominated – swoon – Dom and took them into second place. Chris and Wendell were adept at landing rings on their rods and maintained their lead while Donathan took Naviti back into second place … until Michael got involved and caught things up. Yanuya ultimately took out victory while Michael and Donathan battled for second place with Michael finally securing immunity, breaking the curse and sending Bradley and his punching bags to tribal council.

Nobody but Bradley and his mini-mouth seemed all that bothered to be going to tribal council. While Domenick apologised for being responsible for the loss, everyone made quick work of letting him off the hook … except for Bradley who flagged his coffee reason as a potential reason for sucking. Domenick was tempted to keep him around as a goat, but couldn’t figure out whether or not he could justify it. Despite the vibe I was picking up, Bradley was confident an OG Malolo would be going home, selecting Libby as his number one target. Thankfully Chelsea took that information back to Libby and spearheaded the campaign to get rid of Bradley. She then joined Domenick to discuss their options, unsure who is the least trustworthy slash friendly. Here’s an idea, talk to Donathan and Libby and get them to join you in a lie that Bradley was idolled out of the game and hide their alliance from everyone? But anyway.

At tribal council Jeff was quick to bring up the battle between OG Naviti and Malolo, which Domenick tried to deflect in the most ambiguous way possible. While Donathan and Libby admitting to being nervous, Bradley highlighted just how little self-awareness he had while talking about how cohesive and friendly the tribe are. Donathan wasn’t buying it, bringing up that he and Libby betrayed Domenick and he is concerned that may backfire on them. Libby spoke about it being a decision to be loyal to her alliance while Bradley jumped in to offer a counter-point to her opinion. Probst then asked Chel … no Bradley still wanted to talk about how non-argumentative he is. Domenick and Chelsea then ominously spoke about people being likeable, Libby spoke about wanting the vote to solidify an alliance moving into the merge and Bradley looked as bored as Camilla at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

As the votes rolled in Bradley’s mood went from disinterested to shock and ultimately to gritted-teeth rage thinly veiled as admiration as he became the seventh person booted from the game. While I didn’t want him to succeed at the game, which I told him as he entered Loser Lodge as the final pre-boot player, I truly will miss how complex a villain he made. Plus, I have some of the self-awareness he lacks and can tell that he came across exactly how I would if I ever accepted the begging of LaPaglia and Probst to join a cast.

Anyway, I berated him, then hugged him and then thanked him for bringing some good villainy back to the game, rather than the Hantz-esque trope that keeps getting repeated. We laughed, we cried, we lamented him needing to find a nice girl – like Kellyn, for instance – and then got down to smashing some Bradley Chilakleiheges.

 

 

While chilaquiles aren’t overly fancy, they are insanely delicious. Tortillas cooked until tender in salsa, slathered with cheese. Do you need me to say more? Well I added chicken, so yeah, if you wanted more … you got it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bradley Chilakleiheges
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 chicken breast, roughly chopped
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 chipotle chillis in adobo, roughly chopped
800g crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups Tortea Leoni Chips
100g queso fresco
coriander leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until softened.  Stir through the chilli, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce to low and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until thickened. Season to taste.

Stir through the Tortea Leoni Chips and cook for a minute before serving, covered in queso fresco and coriander. And devouring.

 

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Indian Shants

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra brought all the girls back – well except for quitters Liz and Brendi K – to compete for the chance to return to the competition. Yes – all the girls … minus those two. I’m talking Maggie, Ivana, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Erin and even Jeana returned to take the place of one of the girls. Rio slowly unravelled throughout the entire episode, taking a horrible photo and finding herself out of the competition and replaced by her friend turned foe Jeana.

We arrived back at the model house where it was time for Kyla, Shanice and Khrystyana to celebrate arriving in the true final four. I assume, not really caring which of the demon twins was joining them. While they were a solidified, friendly unit, they had interest in Jeana and her attitudes return. Given she vowed to be savage upon her return, I still don’t blame them. Shanice then shared that she let herself down last week and had kind of just given up, though was galvanised to work through the final challenges and make something of herself and do her family proud. Khrystyana then spoke about how much she loves and needs her mother, how proud she wanted to make her and damnit, girl – I’m crying! She then couldn’t share that she had been molested as a child and broke down and damn, I can’t.

The next day the models were summoned to a carnival, or so they thought … it was actually a shoot for Pantene. The girls were given four different products – a foam, moisturising conditioner, a speedy miracle and a volumising conditioner for Jeana’s human hair wigs – and tasked with styling and directing their own shoot. Jeana then selected a wig that looked exactly like Khrystyana’s hair, before styling her make-up the same way and using the same props. But she is sweet yo, and is too busy to notice. Kyla slayed her ethereal shoot, as did an adorably bossy Khrystyana, Shanice relied on props similar to the queens Michelle hates that rely on their body and Jeana, well, thought she did well but kinds just looked dead.

The top four were then tasked with selecting their best photo where Kyla struggled as she couldn’t sell the product to herself and felt like she failed. They then delivered their photos to the client, where they were all praised … except for Kyla, who Pantene had wished selected a photo with the feather. Ultimately Khrystyana continued her dominance, winning the challenge and given a secret reward to share with the girl of her choosing. She chose Kyla, FYI.

Back at the house Jeana continued her reign of terror, laying into Kyla for talking like a baby while lamenting her confusion about the point of the challenge. Thankfully the editors are shady as hell and cut to Khrystyana talking about how proud she is off her dominance and how desperately she wants to stop Jeana from getting any further. Even Shanice complaining about her psoraiacis being more difficult than Jeana donning a wig, looked tame compared to Jeana being a demon.

The next day the girls were surprised by the arrival of Kyla and Khrystyana’s mothers. While the former immediately put her mother to work making beds and cleaning the house, Khrystyana took her mother aside to finally share with her about her molestation. Her mother was sweet and fiercely protective and it was all beautiful.

After the mother’s disappeared, the final for four arrived at their editorial shoot for the week promoting the same products from earlier. Better yet, the winning shot would ultimately form part of their prize and become a campaign for Pantene. Backstage Khrystyana was feeling confident until she noticed that once again Jeana had selected the same hair colour as her again. And based off the side-eye Jeana kept throwing, it was completely deliberate and she is the absolute worst.

Khrystyana went first and absolutely slayed the shoot – and vowed to outshine Jeana, which duh, she will – until Jeana walked over and played mind games while mimicking her entire shoot like a deranged psycho. Kyla was up next and powered through her long neck, and completely embodied the Pantene personality and looked beautiful. Shanice finally got her makeover look and looked stunning. That in turn gave her confidence and she looked great albeit terrified. Thankfully wicked Jeana struggled through the shoot, desperate to bring sex to the shoot rather than the everywoman look of Pantene. She however loved it, making me uber excited for her second fall.

At panel Shanice quickly got to work thirsting over guest judge Philipp Plein before Tyra dropped the bomb that he joined the panel to help select which girls would go on to become the final three and walk in his runway as the final challenge. While Shanice looked beautiful in her shot, the judges couldn’t agree whether it was a good or bad photo. Jeana was universally despised and was read for being way too sexy. Well except for Philipp Plein who just came off as thirsty. Kyla absolutely slayed and looked like a box for hair dye, while Khrystyana looked sexy though was able to overcome it because of the innocence she brought to it. Ultimately, Kyla took out best photo, followed by Khrystyana leaving Shanice and Jeana to fight for the last slot in the final runway. Thank f- Tyra handed the final photo to Shanice, eliminating Jeana from the competition again …

Oh, wait! Nope. Philipp Plein’s boner save Jeana yet again, earning her a free ticket to the final show. Though obviously she will get a fourth place finish, right? RIGHT.

Conveniently I was watching the episode with the current reigning top model and my dear friend India Gants, so you don’t have to go without a recipe. You’re welcome. India was a stand out last season with her down-to-earth personality, kindness and ability to take insane pictures. As such, she and I are backing a win by Khrystyana next week … though wouldn’t discount Kyla taking it out after slaying Pantene. Jeana is dead in the water, obvi, and Shanice is a winner just by making the top three. It was exhausting catching-up, running the odds and plotting the next in her career, so it was lucky I had a big vat of Indian Shants ready to go.

 

 

Spicy, hot and completely soothing, this rich curry is the best – and dare I say it, only – way to eat shanks. The meat crumbles, the curry burns and the raita cures all that ails ya’ – perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Indian Shants
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 lamb shanks
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves
3 dried chillies
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cinnamon quills
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp hot curry powder
400g crushed tomatoes
400ml coconut milk
500ml chicken stock
rice, Joe Manngo Chutney, fresh coriander and yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Place a dutch oven over medium high heat with a good lug of oil. Once nice and hawt, season the shanks to taste and seal the meat for about five minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.

Reduce heat to low and cook the onion for a couple of minutes, or until just starting to get translucent.  Add the cloves, chillies, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for a minute to release the flavours. Stir through the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and stock, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, add the shanks, add water until they are just covered – you may not need any – cover and place in the oven to simmer for two hours.

Once your entire house smells glorious, remove from the oven and transfer the shanks to a plate and keep warm. Place the dutch oven over a medium heat on the stove and cook until the sauce has reduced.

Serve the shanks immediately on a bed of rice, slathered generously in sauce, yoghurt/raita, chutney and coriander.

Devour.

 

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Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the final six we tasked with running around L.A. to book fashion shows at a series of go-sees where Rio and Kyka dominated, despite hating each other. On the rise of villain Rio, she and Jeana continued to grow more and more dislikable though tragically landed amongst the top while momma Erin was finally cut from the competition.

We opened up back at panel where Tyra was already tasking the girls with the next challenge, where they’d be required to show off their personality. We were then treated to a delightful montage of Rio’s horrific one, which I’m hoping leads to a pride before the fall kinda gig. The girls were summoned back to panel where they were greeted by Tyra’s avatar … before they were tasked with designing their own avatar for the ANTM mobile game. Soooooo, they’re being challenged to make one of their potential prizes. You truly can’t make this shit up.

Though the fact the girls win a session with Law in a celebrity showroom makes it worth it, I guess.

When it came to presenting their avatars, Rio was moderately likeable given she reminded me that she had a brain tumour. Kyla was adorable, but Law felt she was flat, Shanice brought full Shanasty, Khrystyana was perfection and Jeana was completely devoid of personality, which is literally the challenge of the episode. Once again Khrystyana took out the challenge, pissing off second place Rio and distant fifth Jeana. On the way home Khrystyana was celebrating with Kyla which led to Jeana flipping out on her and being low-key racist. Actually, was it even low-key?

Back at the house Rio was feeling invincible after taking out another best photo, taking issue with Shanice saying everyone was struggling with the competition. Later that night Khrystyana was awoken by the tears of Jeana and because she is a saint, she pulled aside the person who was yelling at her hours before and tried to comfort her. Amongst it Jeana bitched about the ANTM game before saying she will win the competition … which isn’t going to happen after shading one of the prizes.

The next day the girls arrived at a mansion where they would need their personality to shine in a Maejor – capital M, addition of an e – music video, filmed by Director X. Much to Kyla’s delight. Once again Rio let us know that she is hella confident given she is such a winner, while Jeana was showing a tonne of humility.

On set the girls were required to kick things off showing their best boring, which Jeana surprisingly didn’t excel at despite Law’s character assessment. Also, as predicted FYI, Rio completely bombed. Tyra arrived to film a cameo as the girls were required to bring out personality, which Rio and Jeana could not bring. All of the girls then had some solo time bringing the fantasy where once again Kyla – who was thirs-ty – Shanice and Khrystyana slayed, and Jeana and Rio bombed. Which is making me feel bad now, because they had been doing so well.

Though Jeana diving into Khrystyana and Rio’s shots after smirking her way through Khrystyana’s heel breaking made it far more difficult for me to sympathise with her.

The girls arrived at panel where the music video showed that the arrogant twins were far and away the worst performers, which … hopefully is a humbling experience, right? Kyla almost flipped out when it came time to be critiqued by her zaddy Director X, leading to a hug from the man himself after which I don’t think she cared what anyone said. FYI – the judges loved her and thought she had finally shed her skin. Khrystyana received glowing praise and brought her usually delightful personality to panel. On the flipside, Jeana bombed, Rio was read for filth and Shanice brought model to the face and hero cosplay to the body. We also learnt that Jeana was requested in the pillow fight scene too which definitely changed the narrative, so sorry Jeana. Once again Khrystyana took out best photo – her fourth Rio, FYI – while surprising no one, Rio and Jeana landed in the bottom two with Jeana kicked out of the competition (despite Rio performing worst in the video TBH).

Now I know I’ve been extremely hard on Jeana and Rio, but to quote the great Tyra meltdown – I was rooting for her, we were all rooting for her … when my momma yells at me like this its because she cares about me. I truly was rooting for Jeana, she was completely slaying the competition but over the course of the past couple of episodes, she got into her head and the arrogance overshadowed her insane beauty.

I screamed that in her face and after we both calmed down, we held each other and cried about how getting in her head got in the way and that hopefully this will be a learning experience if she ever got a chance to return – come on through All Stars 2! After that, our friendship was renewed – I worked at an alopecia awareness charity after being moved by the plight of Caitlin Cooper’s pony in The O.C. – and we could enjoy our Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner in peace while toasting to her future success.

 

 

A little bit sweet with an aggressive kick, this was the perfect dish to work through our issues whilst also allowing me to get a few jabs in. That being said, like Jeana, this is beautiful and it is hard to stay mad at it – and her – for too long.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
1 large cinnamon quill, broken in half
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can diced tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
500ml chicken stock
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
couscous and coriander, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minutes, until fragrant. Add the lamb and cook for a couple of minutes further, or until the meat is just sealed. Add the spices and season well and stir for another minute until the flavours release.

Stir the tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and sweet potato into the pan and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for half an hour to an hour, or until the sauce has reduced and the meat is tender and cooked through. Add the apricots, stir through and cook for a further five minutes.

Serve on a bed of couscous, sprinkled with coriander and devour, gleefully.

 

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Jack Falafelee

Main, Snack, Street Food, Vegetarian

While I haven’t known Jack for very long, as soon as I met him on the set of How to Get Away with Murder, I knew I had made a friend for life. You see, I was visiting my holy trinity of friends – not to be confused with Trinity Taylor nor BenDeLaChristViola, Alfie and Liza, but saw what Jack brought to the role of Connor and let’s just say, I was hooked.

And not just because he is beautiful.

Though obviously I was all over him like white on rice – “Jack, you’re so talented. We should rehearse that season 1 printer room sex scene, to make sure you fully get the nuances” – our relationship has remained mostly platonic. Despite my best efforts.

That being said, it is probably for the best because what has developed is a lovely bromance and – I hate myself for even typing this – I’m glad we haven’t marred that with a brief fling.

Jack was so excited to arrive down-under and kick-off his hiatus with me, his dearest friend.

Try as I might, he wasn’t able to share any intel on the potential fifth season, though was living for my idea about Coliver becoming Coliverjamin. I mean, swoon. Anyway, we lay out the potential plotline, laughed, cried etc. etc. the usual, which made us positively famished. Which made my Jack Falafelee a sight for the sorest of eyes.

 

 

Now I know you were probably expecting a big piece of meat, or at the very least some glorious cakes, but Jack is hella fit and focused on his triathloning – which I am sure is the correct term – so I went with a protein rich and healthy falafel. Plus – when they taste this good, even I can’t get enough. Like Jack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jack Falafelee
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli
¼ tsp cinnamon
small handful of parsley
½ cup flour
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil spray

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Chuck the chickpeas, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, chilli, cinnamon, parsley, flour, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.

Using wet hands, shape the mixture into 8 patties and place on a lined baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray and cook for ten-fifteen minutes before flipping and cooking for another ten minutes, or until golden and brown.

Devour immediately with salad, Michael Flatley Bread, lemon and natural yoghurt.

 

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Hamry Asparagus Aramancini

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food

After kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations – The Goldfather, FYI – with my delightfully acerbic friend Diablo Cody, I decided day two required some quiet, respectful dignity. And what is more quiet or inspiring of respectful dignity, than a dearly departed friend?

As such, I whipped out the delorean, set a course for 1963 to escort my dear friend Henry Mancini to collect his third Oscar.

I first met Henny in the mid-50s while working together in the music department of Universal Pictures – I played recorder, triangle, tambourine and, obviously, yazz flute. We became the fastest of friends, and I eventually became his muse.

Now at the risk of confusing the timeline, I grew up to my present self and met my husband in this timeline, then took him back in time to get Hen the Oscar he so sorely deserved … as he never won in the OG timeline. When I got back in time, I convinced Mickey Rooney to take on the racially appropriated role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks to Mick, it got greenlit – why Aud wasn’t enough is beyond me, but whatevs – and I got Hen the job doing the score.

He then witnessed my husband and my love, and wrote us a song to mark the occasion. It was Moon River, I encouraged him to use it in the film … badda bing, badda boom, two Oscars in one year. Aren’t I all sickening with this love talk?

Anywho I obviously used the time driving back in time to focus on the odds for Best OG Song and Best Score, in honour of my chum. Score is obviously going to Alexandre Desplat who will get his second Oscar for The Shape of Water. Best OG Song however is a three horse race, one of which I put in the race simply by not shutting up about it. While I’d love Mary J. Blige to convert one of her noms, I don’t see her taking either. And while both of Sufjan Stevens’s songs from Call Me by Your Name bring me to tears, Mystery of Love is the dark horse that I’m willing into the race. The Oscar will go to one to either Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for a second year, for The Greatest Showman or Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for Coco. Which TBH, made me cry so damn much. Ti amo, Gael!

Henry was mildly confused when I arrived with in ‘63, though lapped up my excuse that I was so moved by his inevitable third Oscar. I mean, he lapped it up like it was a plate full of my Hamry Asparagus Aramancini.

 

 

Now I know I only just posted another arancini recipe a couple of days ago … but get off my back. I mean, creamy risotto, rolled into balls, crumbed and baked? How could you resist? Plus – ham and asparagus is super different to mushroom and gorgonzola.

¿ Por que no los dos ?

Oh … and enjoy.

 

 

Hamry Asparagus Aramancini
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
200g ham, diced
150g vintage cheddar, cubed
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft bright green. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the cheddar inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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