Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Pasta, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the top five fought hard to snag immunity and guarantee this safety, with Hayley once again coming out on top. As such, the tight Brains alliance decided to load all their votes on Flick and rid themselves of the final Brawn. That is until George realised Flick wasn’t hunting for an idol, and as such, he grew paranoid that she already has one. With that he joined Cara and loaded their votes on Wai JIC. While Flick thought she was gagging the rest of the tribe as she played her idol, her sole George vote was rendered useless as the beautiful Queen Wai was sent from the game.

The next day George was lounging about quietly in camp before Cara snuck up and scared the shit out of him. The duo then mucked around all cute like, as they praised their unbreakable bond, grateful to have had each other to navigate the game. Cara desperately wanted the two of them to make it to the end together, but also knew that that would be a very difficult task. 

And well, already this feels like the ads about turning on each other won’t be like SuE’S bIG m0v3!?

Meanwhile Flick and Hayley were tending to camp as Flick shared with us that she is pretty much just planning an immunity run to the end because, well, that’s her only real option. Despite that, she pulled Hayley aside and once again pitched that the two of them join together and break up the duo of George and Cara. And given George is the chattiest of Kathy’s, she thinks he is the biggest threat to both of their final tribal councils. Once again, Hayley agreed that it was a wonderful idea despite intending to stick with the duo should Flick not win the next immunity since she can easily beat the others in the final immunity challenge.

Undeterred, Flick approached Cara and pointed out that she needs to make a move for the jury by taking out George if she wants any chance of winning. And well, Cara was not interested at all. As such, she went for a walk with George with them having a good old laugh about not voting each other out next which TBH does make me more and more nervous. As does the fact George just wants anyone but Flick to win immunity. Which is where this is ending up, right?

The duo quickly worked out that should Flick be immune, it would likely finish in a tie between Hayley and George meaning the duo would need to compete in a fire challenge to continue in the game. Knowing that George has no fire skills at all, Cara pulled him aside and coached him how to use a flint and while it was a bit slapstick at the start, she did prove to be a decent teacher.

Dear Jonathan arrived for the massive final four immunity challenge where the group would face off by racing over a net to collect balls which they will use to release puzzle pieces. They would then build a ladder with the puzzle pieces, untie a bucket and then fill it with water and walk it through hurdles before using the water to release even more balls which they then have to land in a ball puzzle.

Desperate, Flick got out to an early lead, whipping through the challenge as the others just tried to keep up the pace. Hayley overtook her with some killer throws however, quickly building her stairs as Flick and Cara lagged slightly behind. George eventually joined the fun on the stair puzzle as Cara joined Hayley on the bucket section. Well, briefly. As Hayley started landing her balls while Flick finally finished with her stairs. Hayley had landed three balls by the time Flick closed the gap and joined her at the puzzle. As Hayley landed her fourth ball, Cara joined the fun and quickly landed a ball just after Flick. Flick and Cara methodically landed their balls as Hayley grew more and more desperate before Flick slipped in and snatched immunity.

Back at camp Flick was thrilled to finally have a bit of power in the game, before realising that the final immunity challenge is usually endurance and as such, Hayley is the biggest threat to her game. With that in her mind, she approached Cara and quickly locked her in on the Hayley vote.

But all was not lost yet, as Hayley realised she was the biggest threat and Cara and George flipping Flick would send her home immediately. Hayley pulled Flick aside and shared how grateful she was to have spoken the day before, doubling down on the need to get rid of George if any of them want to have a chance at winning. Obviously Flick agreed with this plan too, so off Hayley trotted to chat to Cara where she learned that Flick was playing her and was planning to vote her out as the only threat to winning final immunity. Which obviously panicked Hayley, asking Cara if she was truly considering turning on her. Rather than say, pointing out that Cara needs Hayley there in the final challenge if Cara wants any chance of winning, given Flick has the jury stacked in her favour.

As Cara laughed about the absurdity of Flick suggesting Cara help her win the next challenge, she rightly pointed out that Hayley would take her to the final two if it was the three girls at the end. Hayley reiterated how important it is for Cara to make a move and get rid of George to give herself a shot, but she just wasn’t sure whether she could do it emotionally. Hayley then found George and made the exact same plea to him, pointing out that if he is in the final three with Flick and Cara, he has no shot of making it to the end and has to settle for third place. She then locked in her vote for Cara and told him that she hopes he joins her but understands if he doesn’t. And then up and left him.

George and Cara then caught up, pledging their love for each other and praising each other for the games they have played. They then joined Hayley and the trio gave each other a group hug to celebrate their successes before heading to tribal council for their official break up.

At tribal council the jury were delighted to see Flick wearing immunity before she shared that it is nice to feel calm and secure after a good week or two of being the target. George admitted that without immunity, Flick would be a goner but instead, one of the close trio is going out. Hayley admitted that while she, Cara and George all have different compelling stories, they need to get to the final two and given neither of them are great in challenges, they need her. She pointed out that Flick is definitely going to win in the final two, given the jury loves her, but their chances are better against her and whoever is in the final three with her and Flick would be the one she would choose to take.

George reminded Cara that Hayley is the ultimate challenge threat, while Cara simply praised Hayley’s killer pitch. George tried to create doubt, pointing out that Hayley winning final immunity is guaranteed if she gets there with Hayley pointing out that that isn’t the worst thing, given Flick beats anyone at the end. Flick pointed out that she will be going strategic with her vote, while George and Cara both said that they would be sticking with their final two leaving poor Hayley to once again reiterate that they need to think beyond three now and instead look to two and who they would have the best shot against.

With that the tribe voted and both George and Care turned on each other, with Hayley banding with George to send Cara out of the game to join the far-better-than-winning Fourth Place Robbed Goddesses Club.

As Cara walked into Jury Villa, I couldn’t contain myself any longer and ran out to pull her in for a big hug. You see, the empath Real Estate community is quite small and as such, Cara and I quickly bonded and became the best of friends. I didn’t tell you I was a Sydney Real Estate Tycoon? Oh, I was. Anyway, Cara and I are dear friends, so I was gutted to see her felled so close to the end. Until I remembered the aforementioned placement as a FPRG, after which, I toasted to her success and whipped up a comforting Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs.

Despite my passion for all things balls, I never got the appeal of Spaghetti and Meatballs as a kid. I think it probably has something to do with the fact I felt there was less sauce involved and as such, resented it. But then I woke up to myself and realised that those big juicy balls, dripping in sauce and covered generously with the sharpest parmesan are perfection. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Enjoy!

Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
250g pork mince
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
¼ cup breadcrumbs
small handful Italian parsley, roughly chopped
100ml milk
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery stalk, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
500ml passata
100ml water
1 tsp raw caster sugar
500g dried spaghetti

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Start by combining the minces, four garlic cloves, the egg, parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley and milk in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch together until well combined before rolling into 12 large meatballs. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and saute the onion, carrot and celery over medium low heat for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the remaining garlic and cook for another minute before stirring in the oregano, basil, passata, water and sugar. Bring to the boil before reducing heat to low and simmering for 15 minutes.

Once glorious and thick, stir through the meatballs, pop on a lid and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

While that is simmering, cook the spaghetti as per pack instructions before draining, serving and topping with the big, saucy balls. And then coating in parmesan.

And then devouring.


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Wai Chimichangas

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Poultry, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 18 icons fell by the wayside and only six remained in the game. As one of only two Brawns left in the game, Dani continued her reward streak by winning the ultimate spa reward, where she finally convinced Hayley to flip on George. Before any further discussions could take place, they ventured to the immunity challenge where Wai came from behind and upset everyone to win immunity. And by upset, absolutely delighted as she screamed and cried from the shock of it all like a pure icon. We learnt that Hayley and Wai continued to play the middle, debating between the two remaining pairs to join with to get to the top four. Flick meanwhile found an idol, giving an edge to the Brawns so she held on to it before she and Dani discovered Hayley was not in fact with them and as such, Dani was booted from the game.

The next day Wai and Flick were counting down the sleeps left in the outback while the girls spoke about how cold it is getting overnight. Talk turned to the champagne reward with Flick admitting that she couldn’t shut up in the hot tub, giddy from the excitement, champagne or both. Meanwhile Hayley shared with us that she stuck with the Brains at the last tribal council because Dani and Flick said that they would never vote for Cara, Wai and George at the final tribal and since the former duo have the most friends on the jury, getting rid of them was her priority. Hayley and George caught up and reaffirmed their loyalty to each other, agreeing that like Dani, Flick needs to go otherwise she destroys them all at final tribal.

Speaking of Flick, she was feeling super lonely being the last Brawn standing though given she has a hidden immunity idol, she is at least guaranteed final four. Which is a problem for the Brains, given they are committed to voting her out and no other option. So, someone is about to get burnt.

While Flick knew that she was safe for one night, she realised that she had to plan longer term and as such, pulled Wai aside. Immediately the duo agreed that going to the final three with Hayley makes the most sense for both of their games, given no one can beat the unbreakable Cara and George duo. Wai and Cara caught up while hunting for supplies, with the former admitting that she doesn’t want to play by the rules anymore and wants to make the game her own. And well, part of that includes taking out George as the biggest threat while also calling him out for bordering on mean from time to time.

Next up in the personal recaps was George who was proud of his game, narrowly avoiding the boot week after week and making the biggest moves. He shared that his biggest priority is to make the right choice to get to the end and win, rather than make friends. As such, George caught up with Hayley and shared that his only shot at winning is against Hayley and as such, they need each other. Which is the only real pitch to keep her from flipping on him, so well done George.

My love Jonathan arrived for the final five immunity challenge where they would have to face off crawling across a pole to retrieve sandbags which they would use to knock off blocks, use said blocks to knock off a key and then the key to release a grappling hook. And what happens with the grappling hook, you ask? Well, they use that to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle.

Obviously Hayley and Flick got out to an early lead while poor Wai struggled to cross the log. As the other four started tossing their bags at the blocks, George opted to press pause and help Wai out so they could all continue on in the challenge together. Cara overtook the others and was first to start with the blocks, but was quickly joined by the rest of the tribe. Cara was first to make it to the grappling hook and jagged her puzzle pieces before anyone else joined her. As Cara worked through the puzzle, Hayley quickly won all of her pieces and joined her while the other three languished at the back of the pack. While Cara slowly pulled away, she discovered that one of her pieces was wrong as Hayley closed the gap, before George joined them. But it was all for nought as Hayley figured out the last piece and quickly secured another individual immunity win.

The tribe returned to camp with George thrilled by the outcome of the challenge, given they just needed Flick to not win. As such the Brains were comfortable with piling all the votes on Flick, with George taking it one step further and encouraging her to go find a hidden immunity idol, completely unaware that she already has one. As such, Flick got to work pretending to wander around camp looking for an idol so the Brains don’t get spooked and ruin her plan to get rid of George with her one vote.

Flick reflected on her journey throughout the season, glad that her social game has gotten her to this point. Particularly since she has had to fight against her grief for the last week. Sadly Flick was caught by George sitting quietly by the billabong and as such, deduced that she already found the idol and as such, he needed to switch things up. He quickly ran back to camp and found Cara, sharing his suspicions and suggesting that the two of them stack their votes on Wai instead to guarantee one of them isn’t idolled from the ground. Which is a great plan and shows his killer instincts for the game, but damn, don’t let me lose Wai.

While Cara was all on board with the plan, solely because of her trust in George, she was nervous about splitting the vote without looping Hayley in and thus potentially burning a bridge. After a brief back and forth, Cara put her foot down, very concerned about leaving Hayley out this close to the end and telling George she isn’t just going to blindly follow him and either way they go is risky.

Speaking of said risks, Flick pulled Hayley aside and pointed out that the alliance of four is barrelling towards a 2-2 tie and as such, one of the duos needs her to make it to the final three. Which is classic, logical survivor. But Hayley said that she was only on board if Wai was willing to flip. Which she obviously was, despite the fact George wasted time in the challenge to help her along.

At tribal council Hayley spoke about how grateful she is to be wearing the immunity necklace this close to the end. Wai meanwhile was grateful that George helped her in the immunity challenge, showing a side of him that not many people are seeing in the game. George put it down to just doing the right thing by his friends. As Flick spoke about being out of options, George started whispering to Cara about sticking with the safe vote and not splitting. George admitted that he told Flick that she wasn’t going to make it to Day 45 while Flick gloriously pretended to be down and out.

Jonathan asked Flick what happens when she is gone with Flick suggesting a girls alliance could form to oust George, otherwise they will split down the line of duos with the added complication of Hayley probably wanting to sit next to George at final tribal council. Hayley then suggested that maybe she has an idol and this is all a ploy before Wai admitted this would be a perfect time to leverage Flick however if you don’t pull it off correctly, you risk yourself going home. Hayley was nervous that this vote was make or break for each of them, while George just cautioned everyone to err on the side of caution.

With that, the tribe voted before Flick gagged them all by playing her idol and despite wanting to be the sole vote to finally get rid of George, he and Cara stuck with their plan and loaded two votes on poor Queen Wai who joyously exited the game.

Sweet Wai was an absolute delight as she arrived at the Jury Villa, equal parts disappointed to be out of the game and thrilled by how well she did despite being the obvious first boot. As soon as she saw me she let out the same squeal she did upon winning immunity, thrilled to be united with her dear friend. You see, Wai and I are part of the same literary circles and have been best friends for years and years. Which is why I knew that after 44 days in the bush, she would need a big plate of Wai Chimichangas to help recover.

I know I say this a lot, but I really love Mexican food. Even if my versions err more closely to the Tex Mex side of the equation. In any event, these spicy little numbers are near perfection – hot, rich, earthy and sweet, by the time you add some fresh avo and lime, you’ve got yourself a new favourite meal.

Enjoy!

Wai Chimichangas
Serves: 2 famished friends or 4 regular peeps.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushin’
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ cup tomato paste
½ cup chicken stock
400g tin diced tomatoes
4 cups shredded roast chicken
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup sour cream, plus more for serving
2 cups refried beans
8 flour tortillas
1 ½ cups Mexican cheese, grated
Lady Guagamole, to serve
small handful coriander leaves, to serve
lime wedges, to serve
hot sauce, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onions for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further minute. Stir through the tomato paste before adding the tomatoes, stock and chicken. Season and bring to the boil before reducing to a low and simmering until most of the liquid is reduced. Then stir through the sour cream.

To assemble, place your tortillas on the bench and divide the refried beans between them, smearing in the middle to leave ‘clean’ space around the edges. Add some of the chicken mixture – about half a cup – before a sprinkle of cheese. Fold in the sides and roll like a burrito before transferring to a lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat the process until down.

Brush each chimichanga with some oil and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve immediately slathered with guac, sour cream, coriander, hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. Whatever you prefer.

Then, obvi, devour.


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Chilli & Herbaden Chooke

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the producers continued to go balls to the wall with twists, loading up the tribe with three immunities which were won by Emmett, Dani and Andrew. They then learnt that they would be the only ones eligible to vote at tribal council before Jonathan gagged us with just what exactly he meant by eligible, as the trio were forced into a fire challenge with the winner being the sole person to cast a vote. Despite Andrew being a straight up ‘survival expert’ and Emmett having more bravado than the Golden God himself, Queen Dani took out victory and cast the sole vote to boot Baden from the game.

That is when we were gagged with one final twist from production, as he was sent to the majestic Redemption Rock where he awaited an opponent to return to the game. Caught up in the myriad of twists however, fate intervened and poor Chelsea was medevaced after tribal council. And while she is still technically in the game at this part of the story, *spoiler alert* her stay in hospital didn’t help and she had to be removed to make a full recovery.

But more on that later, ok?

While the Brawns tribe anxiously awaited to learn whether Chelsea would return, they got together to lock in their loyalty to each other while the Brains quietly sat back at camp wondering how to get themselves out of their current predicament. And in the middle were George and Cara, who were catching up by the shore and re-pledging their undying loyalty to each other. And only each other. With that, George pulled the Brains aside to leak more information to them about Kez leaving an idol for Flick. And while she already sold George and Cara out before the last vote, Hayley was unsure how she was going to use this to get herself out of her current predicament.

Back at camp poor Dani was really struggling, breaking down over missing her closest friend Chelsea and unsure who she could trust moving forward should she officially be pulled from the game. Emmett pulled her aside to make sure she was ok, with her admitting that in addition to worrying about Chelsea, she is also regretting sending Baden home over Hayley given she is sure that she can’t trust her moving forward. Particularly since George wandered by, right on cue, to point out that Hayley is busy hunting for an idol, just like he told her to.

Wanting to clarify things, Emmett pulled George aside and told him that Hayley told them that George and Cara have been leaking information to the Brains. And while George vehemently denied it, I don’t think this is ending well for George. Because while Emmett believes him for now, I can see the truth coming out with a little more cursory digging.

My love Jonathan returned to oversee the next immunity challenge and advised that Chelsea is not out of the game yet, however she also won’t be at the next tribal council. With that out of the way, Jonathan explained the tribe would each negotiate a wobbling curved beam while balancing a table with a rope and spelling immunity out in block form on top. Oh and you know Emmett was confident he’d be able to make it three from three. Andrew and Emmett were neck and neck at start, until Andrew dropped his stack. Hayley and Dani started to close the gap before Dani dropped hers leaving Hayley as the closest to catching Emmett. Until she dropped, while Emmett slowly and calmly focused on the task at hand. Maybe I shouldn’t have been shady about the confidence, given he is apparently a beast?

While everyone continued to close the gap and then dropped their stacks, Emmett was cool, calm and collected and earned another well deserved victory.

Back at camp Hayley was well and truly fed up with her current predicament, knowing that idols are not enough to make it to the end. That being said, while the Brains were out hunting for idols, George caught up with his allies to encourage them to vote for Hayley given she is the most threatening, despite them wanting Andrew out next due to his challenge prowess. And well, George’s persistence made Emmett wonder why he was so desperate to get rid of Hayley instead.

George ran off to find the missing Dani, with him convincing her that they all need to vote Hayley at the next tribal council rather than split it. With her in, he then decided to get all of the Brains to join in the fun and send Hayley out of the game in a landslide. He told Andrew she threw his name under the bus with the Brawns before Hayley watched him go person to person to ensure they were on his side. With that, she decided it was time to guarantee he can’t smear her name anymore and get rid of him ASAP. And she had just the information to get the Brawns onside – the fact that Kez handed off the idol to Flick after they executed her blindside together!

While George was trying to woo Wai to join the anti-Hayley train, Hayley approached Emmet, Flick and Gerald to spill all the information that George had been feeding her since the merge. After telling them about George tipping her off about the Laura vote and Kez’s idol, she agreed to join them to vote out Andrew if that is what they need from her to prove trust. She wasn’t sure if she could believe it however, catching up with Laura and Andrew who agreed that they should load all their votes on Gerald as the least likely to be protected by the rest of the Brawns. Andrew assured Hayley that George and Cara are definitely with them and the Brains are ready to run the game, however Hayley, obviously, was still not buying it. At all.

At tribal council George tried to downplay any complexity within the tribe, praising the power of the majority alliance. Hayley agreed that she and the remaining Brains are well and truly at a disadvantage before talk turned to trust, with George sharing that he likes to see how people react under pressure and that is what builds his trust. Gerald got sick of the non-talk, pointing out that Hayley came to them this afternoon and aired everything that George and Cara told them to do to save Laura. 

Hayley admitted to everything, while George denied it and said that it is all a lie and he will not buckle to the pressure Hayley is trying to put on him. Emmett pointed out that buckling under the pressure isn’t a confirmation or denial, so pressed him to just admit it or deny it rather than dancing around it. This got George spiraling, while Hayley calmly pointed out he is still acting like a politician, much to the delight of Emmett.

Dani whispered to Hayley that she believes her before Hayley asked her fellow Brains to either confirm or deny the information, with Wai and Laura backing her while Andrew wasn’t willing to throw George under the bus yet. Hayley stepped in and pointed out that George promised Andrew he was with them tonight, with George denying it, much to the frustration of Andrew. Dani continued to wrack her Brain, wanting to trust Hayley before Hayley tripled down, pointing out that she knows that Flick has Kez’s idol. And how does she know that? George told the Brains.

George continued to get more and more defensive, with Hayley admitting that she is truly fighting for her life and has absolutely nothing to lose. With that, the tribe voted and despite airy all of George’s dirty laundry, the Brawns stuck together and booted Hayley from the game. And by from the game, to Redemption Rock where she was reunited with her closest ally Baden.

Hayley caught Baden up on everything that happened and how unwavering the Brawns are when it comes to George. Baden rightly pointed out that it blew up in her face and that even though the Brawns probably believed her, they were always going to get rid of them ASAP given they’re the bigger threats. And well, I kinda love sassy Baden schooling her for ruining both of their games. Despite how much I still love Queen Hayley.

Things were less tense the next morning as Baden and Hayley assured each other that winning your way back into the game is good for the resume. Baden agreed that he is probably better placed now if he returns, rather than just staying. He then shaded Hayley saying if she gets back, she’d be well placed to take out second at this point as Hayley ranted about people lying when they way they aren’t playing to win.

Meanwhile at the Fire camp, the Brawns started to panic about what Chelsea’s lingering absence means before Jonathan arrived and shared that Chelsea has been diagnosed with temporary balance issues, meaning that she had to be removed from the game officially. With her one regret being that she couldn’ say goodbye to her tribemates. But you know, we already covered that.

Jonathan kindly assured them that she would be fine and not to worry about her before he left, leaving a crying Dani alone, heartbroken to have lost the one person she could trust moving forward.

The Fire tribe arrived to meet Jonathan by a stream where they learnt that neither Baden or Hayley had officially been voted out of the game and instead, the duo would be facing off in an endurance challenge to hold on to a pole suspended over water for as long as they can, with the victor returning to the game and the loser going home permanently. And while they were both desperate to get back into the game, it really isn’t the most interesting challenge to write about, other than to say that the Fire tribe were clearly rooting for Baden while Emmett pointed out that this is not something he would want to compete against Hayley on.

While Baden struggled the entire time, Hayley was like a statue as she focused on the task at hand. Ultimately winning her spot back in the game after only 20 minutes, as zaddy Baden definitively exited the game to become the King of the Jury. After casually burning his buff, obviously which just seems a tad cruel, but whatever.

I audibly – and theatrically – gasped as Baden arrived at the Jury Villa, given I had blown a month of my salary on an unnamed betting site to say that he would sit in the final two with Hayley. After processing my shock, I pulled him in for a big hug and told him how heartbroken I was to see his game end. You see, Baden and I are dear friends as I’ve worked extensively in the cycling world. As is oft the case, I left the industry in a scandalous cloud after some of my medical practices brought down one of cycling’s biggest stars. But Baden being kind, he kept in touch. No doubt because he is just so kind and always abides by the rules, so he didn’t have to fear my reputation bringing him down with me.

After explaining to him the importance of being the King of the Jury and his requirement to set the tone of how they behave, we quickly disappeared to enjoy a Chilli & Herbaden Chooke.

Like Baden’s spicy personality on Redemption Rock, this little roast is delightfully packing a punch. Add to that the sweet, fragrant herbs and the glory of stuffing this little netted number is near perfection.

Enjoy!

Chilli & Herbaden Chooke
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
5 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
100g breadcrumbs
1 egg
2kg chicken, butterflied and deboned but retaining the skin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sriracha
2 garlic cloves, minced|
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
kitchen twine or butcher’s netting

Method
Heat the butter in a skillet over low heat and saute the onion for ten minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Transfer to a bowl and mix together with the lemon zest, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano and breadcrumbs. All to cool before mixing in the egg.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Lay your butterflied chicken on a chopping board, skin side down and lay the stuffing down the centre like a long sausage. Roll the chicken to enclose before trussing the roast with twine, or my favourite, butcher’s netting. Mainly because I’m not great at knots.

Rub the roast with a little bit of olive, season with a whack of salt and pepper and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

Meanwhile combine the oil, sriracha, garlic, muscovado and salt and pepper in a jug. Once the chicken is on it’s way to getting hot, hot, hot, remove from the oven and baste with the chilli sauce. Reduce the oven to 180C and return the saucy chicken to cook for a further half an hour, basting every ten minutes or so to get it nice and sticky.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, pour over any of the remaining chilli and leave to rest for ten minutes before slicing, serving and devouring. Like a King of the Jury, for instance.


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Mitchroom Shawiss Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor poor George was still left right out despite a string of hero moments in the last couple of immunity challenges. Though thankfully for him, he did manage to find a hidden immunity idol despite Baden finding the clue hidden away at camp. At the immunity challenge Benny became the bane of everyone’s existence due to moving letters – which were incorrect anyway, as an aside – and as such, Simon quickly turned everyone against him. After Big D flipped to the other side in the first round, Shannon and Queen Kez joined their rivals to boot Benny from the game.

We kicked things off at the Brawn tribe where the group were living their best lives as Gerald served his sexiest model poses. All while Simon looked on, heartbroken that he is no longer the zaddy of the tribe. While Gerald was feeling irritated that Shannon flipped the night before, he assured us that he was still loyal to his majority alliance and as such, just wanted Simon to chill out with the grumps and keep things as jovial as possible. That being said, Gerald was also committed to keeping an eye on Simon, given he is clearly on the hunt for an idol and as such, the majority can’t afford to let him get it. Sadly for Simon, as soon as he spotted the idol he was under the watchful eyes of Flick and Kez, so he couldn’t make a grab for it yet. 

Though mere moments later, fate clearly intervened as they left and he returned to the tree where it was hidden, grabbed it and was buoyed by hope.

Over at camp Brains, Joey was thrilled to hit double digits though was desperate to score a reward for their tribe given he is so overwhelmed by hunger. That being said, he is sitting pretty in the tribe and doesn’t have to worry about getting the boot and as such, he assured us that he can persevere. We then learnt he works in finance, but that means nothing because he planned to go to the next challenge in drag, wearing his buff as a top and as such, my basement is flooded and I’m questioning everything I know.

The tribes met up with my love Jonathan for the reward challenge which would see them log-roll for a bountiful feast of toasties. Which immediately had the Brains dripping, but hopefully that translates to dripping back at camp as they jaff things up. First to face off were Flick and Hayley with the latter once again defeating a professional athlete in a challenge to give the Brains a lead. Sadly that was it for Brains domination as Emmett destroyed Andrew – who ended up cracking his nads on the log on the way out before Simon straight up challenged Joey to the next round and quickly destroyed him. That left Dani to defeat Cara for the win, which she did though not because she tried to scare her off the log Scooby Doo style.

Back at the Brawns camp the tribe were thrilled to see their newest loot and giddy to get down to whipping up their sandie jays. None were happier than Simon though, given he was sitting pretty with an idol AND then found a second one in their reward as he collected hessian sacks that he could use for fishing. He was confident nobody saw him and returned to camp to smugly eat the sandwich as King Gerald shared with us that he saw the entire thing play out. The rest of the tribe meanwhile fried up their toasties while Daini worried whether he should feel bad for the Brains, rather than protesting a lockdown and making the COVID situation worse.

Speaking of the Brains, George and Cara were bonding over their upbeat vibes while Baden grew tired of being hungry. And you know, the fact that he couldn’t find the idol he has a clue for since he is currently riding solo just like George. If only the duo put their differences aside, aligned and got to work taking over the game. And reading my mind, George decided now was the time to check in with Baden and as such, caught up with him by the billabong to see how he was feeling. As they cracked it out doing yoga, George shared that he had found the idol without a clue and while Baden was glad to be put out of his misery, he was more grateful that George shared intel with him and as such, he too has hope in the game.

My beloved Jonathan met up with the tribes once again where this time they had to race to release a series of balls, catch them, play skee ball, carry it through a mud pit and then land it in a suspended pyramid. And Brains, there is no puzzle, so I worry you’re in danger. That being said, Brains got out to a 5-2 advantage in the ball section of the challenge, so maybe I’m wrong again. Wait, nope. While they were first to get to the skee ball section, Brawn took the lead as George struggled to land his ball. While they eventually got to the final apparatus, they were no match for Brawn who finally snagged their second immunity challenge win with minimal competition.

Back at camp the Brains were heartbroken to have another immunity loss and while George was feeling the heat since he single handedly lost the challenge,  he has the idol so was completely unbothered by things. And since the rest of the tribe are focused on taking him and only him out, this isn’t ending well for someone else. Joey meanwhile was confident in his numbers and well, Joey girl, you in danger I guess. He caught up with his allies by the water and quickly locked in the vote for George, while George decided to get politicking, quickly pulling a counter alliance together against Andrew, Joey, Georgia and Laura.

As the rest of the tribe bonded by the fire, George disappeared to go get water and then returned to camp wearing his immunity idol in an iconic, bold move. As everyone started to shit their pants. While everyone tried to act confident that he may not play the idol, he lay in the sun waiting for someone to come and talk to him. While they sat in camp mocking his move. With that, George instead pulled Cara and Wai aside to talk about voting for Joey or Laura. Cara opted to go and try woo Rachael and Hayley, while the cool kids suggested Mitch was a good option to vote out instead. Given he is so focused on being the leader, which is something they don’t want to deal with.

The four then approached Rachel to woo her on side and while Rach was keen, she was also listed as fifth at best before they got to her and that feels obvious. She then caught up with George, who quickly got the politician hat on, assuring her that this is the time to prove loyalty to each other and to show trust. While Rachel was just thrilled to be the swing vote with Hayley, as they appeared to prefer to get the vote off Laura and instead on to someone else. But I’m often wrong, so prepare for Laura to be savagely booted despite us never getting to know her.

At tribal council George was still rocking the idol with an open shirt look and was almost selling it, while Joey was still cranking up the energy to an 11 just like Kate Ceberano in a radio interview (another story for another time). He did admit that things started to get nervous at camp, while Rachel agreed that coming to tribal is a chance to see where everyone stands. Laura admitted there are personality clashes in the tribe, while Cara countered by saying the relationships are fluid and that people continue to evolve. Joey disagreed and said that there are definitely firm names assigned to the alliances, with Rach agreeing things were happening while Mitch felt that his relationships are post-alliance. Which is never a great thing to think in Survivor.

Rachel admitted that the length of time between their first vote and now has complicated things while George charmingly pretended that he didn’t have an idol before reminding everyone that the vote is about drawing a line in the sand and as such, they need to trust who they trust and just embrace it. Mitch reiterated that George is pretty much off the table, while Joey suggested that he doesn’t care about George wanting to make another tribal council about him despite feeling nervous about the power of the idol. Joey then got savage talking about how George saved five people at the first tribal but somehow ended up with no allies and as such, he wasn’t concerned about anything George tries to pull off.

Though George gave zero Fs, given he is playing the game differently to other people and therefore doesn’t care about Joey’s shade. Wai questioned whether the idol would get played while Rachel didn’t worry whether George would play his idol. While George just wanted Jonathan to acknowledge his body-ody-ody. Before Hayley reiterated that trust is all that anyone cares about and as such, that is what it is about tonight. And Andrew just wanted everyone to get along.

With that, the tribe voted, George played his idol – needlessly, might I add – as four votes landed on Laura and the rest on Dr Mitch, sending him from the game. Much to his confusion, shock and the shady commentary about the brutal blindside from Geroge. As Mitch cussed him out as he exited tribal council, unaware that George had nothing to do with the vote.

By the time Mitch arrived in my arms at loser lodge he was a little less angry, I assume because he got to see me, his dear Brisbane friend. You see, I was pretending to lecture as medical school when Mitch was training and while I was swiftly fired in shame, Mitch saw me as the broken person that I am and as such, tried to look out for me. Which eventually developed into a friendship. Aka a tale as old as time. Anyway, I knew that Mitch would be fanging for some comfort after his brutal blindside and as such, whipped up a big batch of our traditional Mitchroom Shawiss Burgers.

I had never thought of popping a mushie on a burger – unless it was the vego star of the dish, obvi – until I experienced the magic, beauty of Five Guys. A glorious place where bags are topped with fries and you get to decide every single element you can add on a burger. And lets just say, mushies, swiss and some onions are a near perfect trio to elevate a burg.

Enjoy!

Mitchroom Shawiss Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 cup button mushrooms, roughly chopped
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
4 Briocher Bünsberg
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
4-8 slices swiss cheese

Method
In a small saucepan, heat a lug of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and sweat for about ten minutes, or until soft, sweet and caramelised. Reduce heat to low and keep warm, adding dashes of water if they start to catch.

Meanwhile, heat another lug of olive oil in another saucepan or frying pan and once hot, add the mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until the mushrooms release all their liquid and suck it back up again.

When you’re almost ready to eat, scrunch the mince in your hands and then form into 4 hockey pucks. Brush the remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Once scorching, sprinkle salt and pepper on the tops of the patties and add seasoned side down in the pan. Immediately flatten with a metal spatula until 1cm thickness and immediately season the other side of the patties. After a couple of minutes, flip the patties, top with swiss cheese and cook for another minute or so until they’re the desired doneness.

To assemble, toast the inside of the buns, spread each side with some mayo, top with the cheesy patty, some onion and the mushroom.

Then devour, greedily.


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Serena ChaChagine

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 5, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on … hang on, wait a minute. Why do I always do this?! I mean, the ads even told us it was a Ru dawn and a Ru day. And now, well, that day is here. At midnight in the US, which honestly is perfect for me Down Under

But I digress.

A’Keria C. Davenport was the first to ru-turn to the Werk Room looking like a vision in all gold, she was joined by Jiggly and ugh, I live for her and am so glad she is back, fully embracing herself as a strong, gorgeous woman, in a little black dress to boot. Next up was Jan, living her Jantasy despite the jandemic and I hate myself for loving her and her jan-do spirit as much as I do. Particularly since she knows she was an 11 at all times last season. She was joined by Ra’Jah O’Hara in a gorgeous purple and blue jumpsuit and she is happy, friendly and ready to prove that she is a damn icon. Then Ginger Minj arrived looking a mess as a toad, but damn am I thrilled to see her back after her sub-par performance in All Stars 2.

Particularly for her warts joke.

Yara Sofia arrived for her third turn, manic, crazed and barking like a dog and OH SHIT, have I missed her. Despite not loving Silky very much, her entry was iconic with a full glass of milk in her titties and ugh, will I actually love them all this season? Supporting that theory, my love Pandora Boxx returned looking stunning, complete with butt puns and gah, it is so good to have her back. Particularly if Rob Anderson manifested her being paired with Serena and there being no other pairs. Scarlet Envy was next to join the fray, with her season 11 nemesis Ra’jah living and well, it makes me so happy. Oh and speaking of Serena, she is back and damn, did she have a glow-up because it is time to cha-cha bitch. 

Sonique finally arrived and owned the entries, quoting the transphobic entry line and reclaiming it as her own. It is powerful, she is funny and damn, I am SO glad to have her back. Next up was Trinity K Bonet, still charming and ready to slay, with Bianca’s encouragement playing in her head this go around rather than her inner saboteur. Last up was Eureka for her sixteenth attempt at the crown, this time with All Stars lips. And thankfully, still serving killer looks.

With that, Ru finally arrived to inform the largest All Stars cast EVER that they would still be a democracy this season, with everyone voting. And then alluding to a game within a game. But then changed the subject to the 14th queen, who it turns out was just the legendary Miss Piggy, who would be overseeing the reading challenge.

Kylie Sonique Love kicked things off reading A’Keria for being another losing Davenport, TKB went in on Ra’Jah for being an early out and Silky for being a mess, Jiggly destroyed Pandora for having no fans and Serena for being an alternate. Ra’Jah then arrived and savaged former-nemesis Scarlet’s beard, Eureka went in on Ginger’s relationship and then Pandora killed reading Eureka for being there. And then Ginger rightly got a supercut of destroying all of them. Serena was given the rattlesnake edit before Yara was demented and delightful, Jan tried to read Sonique but was read back in return before A’Keria was mean about Ra’Jah’s chances in the competition, Scarlet went for A’Keria butt implants and Silky was confusing but eventually got one in on Eureka.

Obviously Ginger took out victory, before Ru announced that they would be competing in the traditional premiere variety show. Which saw them all quickly split up, snatch a station and kiki. Ra’Jah and Serena were both ready to rewrite their narrative this season and prove that they are stars, before Ra’Jah celebrated the diversity of the cast. Besties Ginger and Jiggly caught up and were delightfully ridiculous, with Ginger knowing that she shouldn’t join the bitter old lady brigade again. Silky meanwhile praised Serena’s glow-up and celebrated her return, while Ra’Jah admitted her strategy was to get to the top and then stay there. And I am living for this version of Ra’Jah.

Elimination Day arrived with Eureka sharing that she’d be doing a song about her mother, while Sonique was doing a song to reintroduce herself to the fandom. Meanwhile Trinity K Bonet was just hoping to break the comedy show curse, given it was her choice to do stand-up. As they got ready Scarlet and Sonique spoke about what the game within a game could be, with all the girls derailing it by talking about whether they have a strategy. Silky laid out that she is not planning to play games and wanted to be fair, while TKB was nervous about being a bit of an island in the cast since everyone had friends or former castmates joining them.

At the variety show Jan mocked her face crack moment after being announced safe, then slayed her vocal performance about living her Jantasy. Pandora was charming and stupid and ugh, THIS is the Pandora I love, as she lip synced like a maniac, complete with titty confetti. Jiggly’s song and dance, to her own Jiggly-centric rap was a bop, Kylie was GORGEOUS as a golden burlesque singer – sans Wagon Wheel Watusi.

Oh AND THEN RA’JAH SEWED A DRESS IN 60s, I SHIT YOU NOT. I CAN’T GET OVER IT.

A’Keria gave a technicolour lip sync that had Michelle gagging, despite the green lighting. And then, ugh, Trinity bombed her comedy show. Badly, despite reading her grandma for filth. Eureka had a surprisingly good voice while singing live, complete with projections on her dress. Scarlet then dazzled with a bubble burlesque number which was both fresh and iconic. Silky then straight up played piano and sang gospel, Serena promoted her wig line, Ginger gave a poppy performance of perfection and then Yara was ridiculous as she bounced her titties all over the stage. Which was iconic, despite nobody knowing what was happening.

After Ru reiterated the rules, Eureka, A’Keria, Jiggly, Jan, Kylie, Scarlet and Ginger were sent to safety. As the dolls untucked backstage, Jiggly was thrilled to have survived the first week while Ginger was happy to at least have won the reading challenge and to prove herself. Again. Jan threw out another Jan pun, while Eureka asked the girls to help her strip off to take a seat. She then charmed the girls by saying that she was shocked they weren’t the tops, while Ginger expected Silky to win despite Scarlet being sure it was Yara’s on lock, giving how much Ru was living.

Jiggly identified TKB as a bottom, while Eureka felt Pandora would be joining her along with Serena. Ginger loved that she got a plug in for her wig line, before Jan celebrated that she wasn’t even annoyed about being safe. And Scarlet was thrilled to be feeling joy this time, as was A’Keria. Kylie shared that she was sprialling before starting the competition, though was ready to show that she had grown thanks to Ru. Eureka then broke down about losing her mum and was so endearing, leading to Jiggly talking about how much Eureka’s tribute to her mum meant to her. 

Jiggly then spoke about how she spent so long doing sex work to survive, that she didn’t even realise that she was broken on her first season. She and Kylie told the group about growing after coming out as trans and it was such a beautiful, loving conversation to have and I am so glad they are so open to sharing. Ginger spoke about how she didn’t even recognise who she was on Season 7, talking about how much hate she got that she still doesn’t even know how she processed it. Eureka praised her for being a trailblazer for big girls, before Sonique gave them all a pep talk about how them being so vulnerable and open is what makes them special. 

Oh and Ginger then spoke about the positives of meeting fans, with Scarlet admitting that she was one such fan of Ginger’s in the past. And then Jan reminded us that season 12 really had the worst experience, given she hasn’t even toured as a Ru girl so is still waiting to meet fans.

Back on the mainstage,  Silky was read for not fully taking it there in her performance, despite looking gorgeous and literally playing the piano live. Trinity’s look was praised though she was read for her obvious bomb. Ra’Jah received universal praise for her dress in 60 seconds number, as did Yara for her ridiculous tiddy-shaking performance. And I am so happy for her. Pandora’s joyous brand of ridiculous was praised for serving comedy, while poor Serena was read for not exactly executing the performance given everything else looked so beautiful and polished. Ultimately Yara took out the first victory of the season, while Pandora and Ra’Jah were deemed safe, as was Silky. Meaning either TKB or Serena were going home.

Talk turned to the voting backstage, with the girls talking about their strategies with Kylie admitting that she knows well enough not to share her strategy. They were interrupted by the tops and bottoms returning from their critiques, with Yara giddy to announce her victory to the safe girls, before Trinity and Serena shared they were in the bottom. Yara pulled Serena aside, with the latter sharing that she is heartbroken to be in the bottom after all these years. Meanwhile TKB shared that she doesn’t even know what happened at the variety show, though plead her case to the girls, reminding them she is here to prove herself. The bottoms switched places – how versatile – with Serena telling the girls she is here to fight too, while TKB reminded Yara about how much she wants to be there.

And Yara was just straight up confused. 

With that, the dolls voted and Yara made her way to the mainstage where she learnt that she would be facing off against Coco Montrese and oooooh, gurl – you in danger Yara! As soon as Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk started, both the dolls were ready to fight, but honestly, Coco is just SO good at lip syncing. Even while Yara was stripping and bouncing her titties, Coco was hitting every letter and proving why she is arguably THE lip sync assassin of the franchise. Again, she is just so good. With that, she took out victory and had to reveal that the group had voted to eliminate the delightfully redeemed Serena ChaCha.

Serena was crushed to unanimously be booted from the game by the group, particularly since Yara voted for Trinity and could have changed things with her victory. That being said, my dear Serena was delightful as she wrote her farewell message, before breaking down to discover the other queens’ notes praising her for her growth and charm. Oh and seeing the massive Serena ChaChagine I had waiting to celebrate her rudemption.

Rich and hearty, despite not having a meat in sight, this tagine is a pure delight. And while that was an accidental rhyme, you know I deliberately left that in. Because like the tagine, it is fun and full of flavour. Right?

Enjoy!

Serena ChaChagine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 pinch of saffron
olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ras el hanout
1 tbsp tomato paste
¼ butternut pumpkin, diced
1 eggplant, diced
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1 onion, cut into segments
1 red capsicum, cut into strips
1 yellow capsicum, cut into strips
1 potato, cut into eighths
salt and pepper, to taste
400g tin diced tomatoes
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
couscous, mint, flaked almonds, yoghurt and harissa, to serve

Method
Place the saffron in a cup measure and infuse in 1 cup of boiling water.

Meanwhile, heat a lug of oil in a tagine over a medium heat and sweat the garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and ras el hanout for a minute or two, or until nice and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook it off for a few minutes before loosening with the saffron infused water.

Stir in the myriad of diced and sliced veg before adding the tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and apricots with a good whack of salt and pepper. Give a good stir, bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour or so, or until the veg are tender.

To serve, layer your bowl with a dollop of couscous, followed by the tagine and whatever combination of herbs, yoghurt, harissa and almonds float your boat. And then devour, like a rudeemed champion.


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Turkita Mean Tostadas

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, Ru and Michelle made the perilous trip to the southern hemisphere and after two weeks in quarantine, joined Rhys Nicholson on set to join ten of the best Aussie and Kiwi queens. One by one the departed, with Jojo tragically robbed first though winning the honour of being the Down Under Pork Chop.

She was followed by Art Simone, but that meant nothing, because after Coco was felled in Girl Groups, Art was returned to the competition in a pile of trash. Which honestly is how the fandom reacted to the lack of explanation about her return.

We then suffered a major emotional blow, as the delightfully, iconic Anita Wigl’it was tragically felled. By Karen dressed as Schapelle Corby, no less. This set off a chain of events I’d rather forget as Etcetera Etcetera, Maxi Shield and Elektra Shock left back-to-back-to-back, leaving the top four – of Karen from Finance, Art, Scarlet and Kita Mean – to battle it out for the crown.

Which Anita’s business partner and Elektra’s boss, the lovely and supremely talented – not that Supremme – Kita Mean to take out the first title of Down Under’s Next Drag Superstar. And keep it firmly on New Zealand soil.

While she was overwhelmed by the experience at the start, Kita grew from strength to strength throughout the competition and by the time it came to the finale, there was no other person that should have been crowned.

Which is convenient, since she was.

After taking out victory, I pulled her into my arms and grabbed her by the face and through gritted teeth, told her that she is the most damn talented queen I’ve ever seen and I am so proud of everything she has achieved and I can’t wait for her to take over the world.

And did I mention I love you Kita?!

If that intense display didn’t sink in, I hope that my Turkita Mean Tostadas convinced her.

Inspired by those made by the iconically flavour-packed Half Baked Harvest number, these tostadas are the perfect way to honour a victory. Hot, spicy and layered with creamy, sweet and tangy flavours, they’re damn near perfect. Just like Kita’s run.

Enjoy!

Turkita Mean Tostadas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
500g turkey mince
1 onion, chopped
400g tinned diced tomatoes
2 chipotle chillis in adobo, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
1-2 avocados, mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded and washed
coriander leaves and sour cream, for serving

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the turkey and break up the mince with your wooden spoon until it is cooked through. Add the tinned tomatoes, chipotles, garlic, chilli powder and cumin with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for ten minutes or so, or until reduced. If it gets too dry, add water in ¼ cup increments throughout the process.

Meanwhile run the tortillas with a little bit of olive oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for five minutes, or until crisped and lightly browned.

To assemble, place a sprinkle of cheese on top of six tortillas and top with the remaining six. Bake for another couple of minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and plate your cheesy shells before topping with the meat mixture, mashed avo, extra cheese, sour cream, lettuce and coriander.

Devour, ravenously, like you just won Drag Race.


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Dragfast Vulcanos

Breakfast, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España ten gorgeous queens entered the Spanish Werk Room and were quickly tasked with creating a look from trash. After riding uno toro bareback, which is my idea for a glorious Saturday night. The Macarena – who shared her passion with nudity – lacked polish on the runway, while Dovima’s polished look left her unable to walk. Despite flashing a ball on the bull, Carmen was bested by the artistic and glorious Hugáceo. And Dovima managed to lip sync her way to safety as my nude icon The Macarena found herself becoming the Chuleta de Cerdo.

The queens returned to the Werk Room, overwhelmed to have lost the first queen. They then danced the macarena as Dovima cleaned the mirror. Which is the right balance of a beautiful tribute and the ridiculous that I love. Inti was glad to have the weight of The Macarena off her back, while Dovima was just sad to have sent home someone that had supported her. Pupi being the icon that she is called shade on the show of emotion as Carmen kindly gave her a pep talk. Oh and then sweet Arantxa turned the attention to Hugáceo and congratulated her on her victory, before Vulcano shared that she thought Carmen should have won.

Which is deliciously shady.

The next day the dolls were feeling their oats, with Carmen, Dovima and Sagittaria forming a new villainous trio known as the Ugly Busters. Spraying everyone with hairspray and annoying the shit out of them and, sadly, us. The hole in the ozone layer was given a reprieve with the arrival of Supremme for this week’s mini challenge where they had to unscramble words using the letters pulled out of the sexy, super-sized pit crew member’s underwear. As is oft the case, let’s be honest, nobody cares about the words – and Hugáceo was only thinking about cold sores – all that matters is the pit crew are stunning and we get to watch them pull the coloured letters through the mesh sides of their underwear. Mesh, without pixelation. Swoon.

In any event Pupi apparently took out victory despite the fact I personally won, particularly as they started bouncing their junk around. Again, sans pixelation.

With the boys farewelled, the dolls were tasked with splitting into two girl groups and writing and recording a song about being a diva. As the winner of the mini challenge and the last maxi challenge, Pupi and Hugáceo were team captains with Pupi snatching Inti, Arantxa and Dovima for herself and Hugáceo going with Carmen, Sagittaria and Killer, and as the last queen standing Vulcano was allowed to choose her own team. Ultimately going with Pupi and Co.

Team Hugáceo quickly got to work brainstorming names, settling on The Metal Donnas while Team Pupi seemed to be living their best lives and were well and truly embracing their stupid. Pupi admitted that she can’t sing to save herself but assured her team that Killer Queen is definitely worse and will bring her team down more and as such, they shouldn’t worry about her.

Team Pupi were first to record the song with Supremme before she dropped the bomb that they’d also be premiering their song on the main stage with full choreography. After the queens worked past the gag, Pupi kicked off the recording and thankfully was nowhere near as bad as she made out, which is honestly a great strategy in these instances. And then when she added straight porn moans, I was sold. Arantxa meanwhile sounded like she was chanting, Vulcano seemed nervous, Dovima was dirty in all the right ways and Inti seemed to be better than the awkwardness that was coming across. Team Hugáceo was up next with Carmen needing to add more fire to her performance, Sagittaria needing to find the beat, Killer Queen killing it and Hugáceo feeling overwhelmed and then bombing as they couldn’t get out of their head.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Hugáceo feeling nervous but ready to work her performance and save herself after struggling the record. Talk turned to Carmen taking over leadership of the team at the request of Hugáceo before Killer spoke about how well they worked together. Oh and Pupi, still, was not trusting anything about Killer. Because she has the word Killer in her name. Carmen was confident that The Metal Donnas were far and away the better group, with Five and a Quarter  – hopefully something is being lost in my inability to translate – quietly working away in the corner to serve the very best looks possible. As Pupi continued to be a shady icon. And then Carmen and Killer got into a fight.

It all happened very quickly.

On the mainstage Supremme, Ana and the Javiers were joined by the absolutely iconic Paca La Pirana. First up were Las cinco y cuarto, with Arantxa’s verse making far more sense as she slayed the opening like the love child of Katya and Miley Cyrus. Inti was sexy and smart, Pupi was wild and hilarious … on her way to her climax, Dovima was channeling a bit of Miss Fame  and then Vulcano looked gorgeous but kind of blended into the background despite being 7 foot.

Las Metal Donnas definitely came out strong with Carmen channelling Shakira and Beyonce’s love child, Sagittaria flipped and splitted all over the stage. And then Hugáceo then had a massive fall from last week, despite looking like absolute perfection. And after that Killer’s energy and rocker look really slayed. See what I did there?

On the Night of 1000 La Venenos runway Sagittaria slayed in a striptease reveal complete with balls pushed up to serve the most realistic fish. Pupi was a flashing delight in a leopard print bandage dress with all the cutouts, Vulcano was stunning in a reveal from a saint to a whore, Inti was stunning in a white mullet altar boy gown before revealing a fishnet and lace dress. Killer Queen was stunning as the sluttiest angel I have ever seen. Dovima was so damn sexy in a red latex bondage madam look, Aranta was channeling Courtney Love in the late 90s in a black bodysuit with shimmering mesh dress over the top. And obviously Hugáceo was a gorgeous sight as she dressed like a straight up superhero, complete with her buns out. And then Carmen stole the show in a red cape before revealing an Eve and the Garden of Eden snake look which was just absolute perfection. Particularly with her buns outs.

Paca praised Inti and Carmen as the most like her friend Veneno, before Sagittaria, Dovima, Hugáceo and Killer Queen were sent back to safety before the judges heaped praise on Pupi for her complete turnaround from last week. She was fun, funny and totally in the game. Vulcano received universal praise for her looks, but not much else. Inti too was praised for her looks, though was read for not giving enough in her performance. She then shared how she knew Veneno and she encouraged Inti to transition and damn, it was beautiful. Arantxa was praised for her charm but was read for having inconsistent energy and not giving an iconic enough Veneno look. And then Carmen received universal praise for literally everything she did in both the performance and the runway.

Backstage the queens were just grateful to be safe, particularly since they thought they would be in the bottom once Hugáceo was grouped with them. They explained how their superhero outfit was a tribute to Veneon. They speculated who would be in the bottom with them all agreeing it should be Arantxa and Vulcano. Just like that, the tops and bottoms joined them with them quickly sharing that Carmen clearly has the win on lock, crying tears of joy in the process. Vulcano meanwhile was annoyed that she was tasked with losing the platforms, despite the other queens not having to ditch their heels. The girls were interrupted by Inti breaking down over the emotion of talking about Veneno and sharing their journey as a trans person. But Arantxa, being a sweet icon, quickly gave her a hug and supported her before the rest of the queens rallied around her to remind them how brave they were to share their story. Pupi admitted that hearing Inti’s story really moved her. While Dovima was annoyed that she couldn’t hate them all like she wanted to.

Ultimately Pupi was sent to safety as Carmen was handed her first victory of the season. On the flipside, Vulcano was enraged to find herself in the bottom while Inti’s killer Veneno look saved herself, and Arantxa found herself lip syncing against Vulcano. As soon as Veneno’s Veneno pa tu piel kicked off it was clear that neither queen wanted to go anywhere, but it was truly Arnatxa’s demented, maliable performance that stole the show as she sold sex while flipping around the stage and tearing off her outfit. As such, when the votes came in it was Arantxa that was saved as my love Vulcano exited the competition.

Thankfully both Vulcano and I were filled with the same simmering rage about the fact she was felled from the competition. I mean, normally I am being talked down but this time, I was able to feel mature as I allowed myself to remind Vulcano that being eliminated is nothing more than bad luck and that she will always be a talented icon. Being a calming influence is nott something I am used to, but I’m glad I was able to put that mood to use and perk Vulcano back up.

Thought maybe that was my Dragfest Vulcanos?

Combining the holy trinity of breakfast items, these little numbers are a kitsch delight that are also a winner when it comes to flavour. A little salty, creamy and spicy, the oozing cheesy egg is the perfect way to start the day.

Enjoy!

Dragfast Vulcanos
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
3 large potatoes, washed or peeled depending on the variety
6 rashers streaky bacon
5 eggs, whisked
½ onion, finely diced
2 tbsp chives
1 tbsp smoked chilli sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Cut each potato in half and hollow out to form a potato shell, placing them on a lined baking sheet with the larger side down. Wrap each potato with a rasher of bacon and hold in place using some toothpicks. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until the bacon is golden and crisp.

While the potato is cooking through, whisk the eggs together in a small bowl with the onion, chives, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper.

When the potatoes are prepped, add a sprinkle of cheese on the bottom then fill the potatoes with the egg mixture. And then topping with more cheese. Return them to the oven and bake for a further twenty minutes, or until cooked through. Top with remaining cheese and cook until melted.

Serve immediately and devour, happy in the knowledge that Drag Vulcano is an icon.


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Jason Porkstein Chow Mein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shaun meanwhile was busy searching everywhere for the idol.

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Jason Porkstein Chow Mein
Serves: 4-6.

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

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

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

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

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


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Coco Jumbalaya

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the queens were put through their paces in the inaugural Down Under Snatch Game. And while Anita slayed the game and stamped herself as a frontrunner, pretty much everyone else bombed. Hard. There was a Dolly without an accent, a Coolidge without the jokes, Lizzo without energy and Bindi Irwin without the Bindi, despite the fact the bogan take was still funny. Ultimately the latter two performances landed Coco and Art in the bottom two, and the remaining girls – and us at home – gagged, gooped and broken as Art was shockingly eliminated from the competition. Sobbing her way out the door.

Backstage the queens were in absolute shock, not only to have lost Art but I assume trying to grapple with the raw emotion they just experienced. Karen was speechless to have lost her bestie slash fellow front-runner, while on the flipside Coco was glad that winning the lip sync proved some drunk bogan lady married to her boss who said she would never compare to Art wrong. The one thing everyone could agree on is how the  departure of such a big name means the competition is well and truly wide open, with Etcetera desperate to leverage that opening – who wouldn’t – to put herself at the front of the pack.

The next day things were less shell shocked as the girls celebrated still being in the competition, with Kita pointing out she is now terrified to lip sync against either Coco or Elektra given they can both turn it the hell out. Bless, Etcetera suggested they could just both land in the bottom together and send each other home and save everyone else the worry!

They were interrupted by Ru who dropped by to put the queens to the test as full-bushed, sexy lifeguards. Etcetera was obviously demented and syched for the Gods before popping her balloon titties mid-rescue. Karen served clown realness with the fullest of full bushes, while Kita was giving the Pit Crew something to suck on. Elektra was hilarious, giving pube reveals as she saved all the lives. Coco meanwhile was giving me life as a slutty lifeguard. Anita then came out as lifeguard Yetta and I still stan her, while Maxi burnt her feet on the sand and Scarlet popped both tits and stole the show as the dumbest lifeguard of all time. 

Ultimately – and somewhat obviously – Scarlet and Elektra took out joint victory in the mini challenge. As such, the duo were team captains in a girl group battle for the premiere of the maybe-gonna-be-a-hit song Queens Down Under. You know, the iconic one from the one trailer the show got. Not that I’m bitter or anything. With the two pulled aside, Scarlet grabbed Etcetera Etcetera, Coco Jumbo and Anita for her team while Elektra went with Karen and Kita, with Maxi joining them by default. Which didn’t bother her in the slightest. Like a damn icon. Anyway the queens would write their own verses, record them with Michelle and then debut them on the mainstage with their own choreo. Because we are not ready for Jamal Simms to land Down Under, as much as I want him to.

The groups quickly split up with Elektra desperate to prove why she is here and show off her dance background, while over on team Scarlet she was focused on killing it with sharp choreography despite Etcetera and Anita wanting to take it easy so they could all shine. That being said the choreography is the least of their problems, given Coco was on struggle street with the first part of the process, her lyrics. Things were then interrupted by a massive blow up between Karen, Elektra and Kita but psych, it was fake to get into the other girls heads. But nobody really batted an eyelid after the initial excitement died down.

Another siren went off with Drag Race songwriter Leland and Troye Sivan Zooming in to encourage the girls. And just as I was about to write it off as a boring way of including celebrity guests in this COVID world, Troye Sivan dropped all the ways he wants it up the arse in such a filthy way, I blushed, flooded my basement, took notes on new positions and then silently pledged to stan that hero until the end of times. They then encouraged everyone to give all the personality in their performances, but nothing will ever show more personality than the mouth of my King.

Team Elektra – aka Three and a Half Men – was first to record their lyrics with Michelle. Karen kicked things off very flat, before Kita absolutely blew Michelle away with her energy and lyrics before Elektra knocked out some hilariously self-deprecating lyrics ripping on her basic drag. And then Maxi, girl, you in danger – she struggled to find a beat, let alone stay on the beat. Instantly making her teammates shit themselves. Though not in the Scaredy Kat way.

Team Scarlet introduced themselves as the Outback Fake-Hoes – is that a play on Queen Sandra’s favourite chain?! – with Anita continuing to knock everything out of the park, Etcetera feeling her oats while working her way further into my heart. Scarlet too was great but then again, anyway looks perfect next to Coco who really struggled to find any key, despite how much I love her charm and how hot she is as a boy.

Three and a Half Men were first to learn the choreography with everyone feeling great about Elektra’s work and grateful about how patient she was while teaching everyone. Backstage she shared that she hasn’t taught dancing in such a long time, opening up about how she lost her dance studio and then her home. The rest of the dolls rallied around her as she broke down about her pain and loss and ugh, now I am an Elektra stan as well as my lusting after her.

The Outback Fake-Hoes were less streamlined in their rehearsal process as Scarlet tried to be nice and let everyone have an opinion. Etcetera used the opportunity to help by leading from behind, which led to them spending most of the time fighting over what to do while poor Coco and Anita stood off to the side of stage, looking on in utter confusion.

But will it all be a massive fake out?!

Elimination Day rolled around with Etcetera stumbling upon a note in Coco’s workstation telling her to ‘watch out.’ While everyone was speculating about who could possibly have written it, Kita lamented sadly that she wished it was her to cause some drama. That being said, it was painfully obvious that it was Art. Which is the perfect kind of messy I love and now miss.

UPDATE: Art has confirmed it was she who left the note. Like a shady little producing icon!

Ru, Michelle and Rhys strapped themselves in – with Rhys fearlessly ripping on Ru and Michelle with hilarious results, swoon – as Outback Fake-Hoes took the stage. Anita’s filthy lyrics delighted the judges, Scarlet hit every beat of the choreography, Etcetera oozed charm and Coco really kicked it into gear from rehearsal, though still seemed out paced by her team. Three and A Half Men kept things more even as Karen served Australian Trixie, Kita was an absolute high-energy delight, Elektra was an absolute star and Maxi was the exact right kind of slutty-demented, working around any of her perceived weaknesses with ease thanks to her killer characterisation.

Am I now a Maxi stan as well? This is getting exhausting.

On the Bogan Prom Realness runway Etcetera was a total slapper in a pink juicy tracksuit fresh from gittin’ her nails done. Coco was full bush after pulling herself away from the man she was doing in the shrubs, Anita was demented and truly sold bogen chic. Scarlet slayed in a goon sack gown with ciggie necklace, offering gobbies to her teacher to further lock up this week’s victory in my eyes. Elektra was a total golden bogan babe with a tonne of accessories and then some. Kita meanwhile went a different route, serving neon rocker realness. Maxi was a damn star as the bogan chaperone, while Karen was a mess as her ruffly daughter, in the greatest way possible.

Ultimately Etcetera and Karen were sent to safety, leaving the judges to read Coco for messing up the performance despite looking like perfection. Ru liked her look on the runway but wished it was more elevated. Anita meanwhile was praised for not letting her stumbles in the performance hold her back and therefore slaying from start to finish. Particularly with her filthy lyrics. Scarlet received universal praise for everything she did, with Ru feeling more in touch with Australiana from witnessing her runway. Elektra was read for trying to be the Beyonce of the group, with them not loving the fact she is continuing to be basic on the runway. Kita was universally beloved, despite the fact she didn’t really serve the category. Maxi was read for struggling with the record, though praised for being so damn stunning and magnetic. With Michelle reminding her she is so much more than funny to boot, and encouraging her to lean into her beauty.

As the queens untucked Coco resigned herself to her fate in the bottom two, while Elektra gagged her team with the knowledge that she too is in the bottom. The only thing more annoying than being in the bottom for Elektra though, was how smug Scarlet was to receive universal praise.

Back on the Mainstage Anita and Kita were quickly sent to safety as Scarlet took out her first victory of the season, despite the fact Ru made it sound like she had already won multiple. Meanwhile Elektra was gagged to find herself in the bottom with Coco, thanks to her basic runways while a shocked Maxi was sent to safety. And as suggested at the start of the episode by Etcetera, both of the potential assassins were ready to fight tooth and nail to survive to Peaches & Herb’s Shake Your Groove Thing. Elektra once again let out her full Beyonce while Coco felt the song and damn they bounced off each other so damn well. Elektra gave the most fluid death drops to ever grace the mainstage, was high-kicking and an absolute ridiculous delight and damn, this is where she shines as the hilarious, scrappy fighter.

Despite Coco’s magnetism, Elektra bouncing in a split for an entire verse was too fierce to overcome as she once again saved herself, sending my love Coco out of the competition. While my arms were wide open ready to embrace my northern-ish NSW friend, she was less happy to see me on account of the fact I forced her to dress as a gorilla in week one.

As one of her dearest friends, Coco came to me for advice on how best to impress Ru, Michelle and my king Rhys, and I suggested celebrating the jewel of Coffs, the big banana. Other than the iconic Maccas you’d stop at on a drive to Sydney at Christmas when it was still in the ‘90s location, but I digress. You see, my young gay loins were well and truly girded in the coastal hub when I saw the Wallabies in the pool while staying at a resort in Coffs Harbour. The moment went on to inspire the scene in the second Sex and the City movie but also washed away any doubts of potential heterosexuality and ignite my passion for a big banana.

It was a truly touching coming of age story, in more ways than one, and Coco agreed to do me proud. And well, we all watched episode one so the less I say about it the better, though I do think the judges would have loved to hear my touching story. 

After apologising profusely for being out of touch – who knows how to do human interaction after COVID?! – Coco warmed to my tears and was just grateful to have a friend by her side. I reminded her that she gave good talking-head for the three episodes she was in and was a babe out of drag and as such, will always be beloved by the fandom. And will probs win an All Stars season if and when it happens, I can just feel it in me waters. With that, we sat down to dinner hand in hand and giddily ate up our friendship while smashing a fresh Coco Jumbalaya.

Ya ya yi, you thought I was going to cocoa our jumbo, didn’t you? While it was the more obvious option when creating a recipe for a friend as sweet as Coco, I instead wanted to highlight her spicier side. Like Coco, this baby as the rich velvety sweetness of the tomato and capsicum with some delightful depths from the chorizo and chilli kicking it into gear.

Enjoy!

Coco Jumbalaya
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red capsicum, sliced
2 chorizos, skin removed and filling pinched out into small meatballs
500g chicken breasts, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup basmati rice
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and saute the onions and capsicum for five minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Add the chorizo and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until they release some of their flavourful oils. Stir the chicken through the pan and cook for another five minutes, or until starting to brown on the outside.

Add the garlic, spice, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper – more so off the pepper, but that’s my preference – to the pan and stir for a minute or so before stirring in the rice. Pour in the tomatoes and stock, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is plump and rouged.

Serve immediately and devour, thinking of the biggest bananas you’ve been lucky enough to see.

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Sartay Simone Sausage Rolls

Baking, Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, Snack, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under ten queens from across Australia and the ditch – aka glorious New Zealand – entered a camp little Werk Room in Auckland to the sounds of kookaburras. Confusing? Yes. Quintessentially Down Under? You betcha. With that, the queens were immediately tasked with auditioning for the new Taika Waititi movie Thore. While she didn’t wow her fellow queens, Elektra dazzled and took out victory on the first mini challenge of the season. That success didn’t translate to the mainstage however, as she confused the judges with both looks of the Getting to Know You Ball. Jojo had a powerful message but her looks were read as unfinished, landing her in the bottom with Elektra. Meanwhile Trixie and Katya’s friend Karen from Finance was hilarious and polished, taking out the first victory. And then Elektra absolutely destroyed the lip sync and we tragically had to farewell the iconic Jojo, who thankfully will live on in the annals of history as the Down Under Pork Chop.

The queens returned to the Werk Room positively heartbroken to have lost Jojo, going through the all too familiar second episode realisation that this is a competition and all but one of them will go home without a crown. The queens admitted that they were all well and truly threatened by Elektra’s lip sync abilities and would stop underestimating her. On the flipside, Karen knew that she had made herself an instant frontrunner, but assured us she was ready to meet the high bar she set for herself. And as her biggest competition, hoped to get into Art’s head and bring her down.

The mood the next day was far more upbeat as the top nine joyously entered returned, thrilled to have lived to see another day. Except for Art, who already was getting in her head as she grew a little bit salty about being pipped at the post last episode. Talk turned to this week’s challenge with Etcetera suggesting that maybe they would be tasked with doing a shoey, leading to the poor Kiwi girls chugging back a beer from someone’s heels. And then Scarlet suggested the Kiwis could bring in a sheep for them to fuck next week and given her past mistakes, that just landed with an ‘ooof.’

They were interrupted by Kylie mother tucking Minogue in lieu of Ru – maybe she was still awaiting her make-up? – who served her best possible RuPaul to tease this week’s challenge. And damn, could it really be happening so soon? Well, yes. Yes it is, as real RuPaul arrived to confirm that this week the queens would be playing the Snatch Game. Or as I wish it was titled Down Under, Skankety Skanks. But alas, it was not meant to be.

The dolls quickly split up with Maxi giddily sharing that she would be playing Magda Szubanski. Art meanwhile was going to challenge herself by not doing Kath Day-Knight – wise move, because Tayce was iconic – and instead portray Bindi Irwin. This of course was made muy awkward when Scarlet announced that she would be doing Bindi too, though she did have Jennifer Coolidge prepped as a back-up. Kita pulled the Kiwi queens aside to help her pick between Carole Baskin and Dr Seuss himself. Karen checked in with Art, concerned about the choice of Bindi while shadily admitting she has prepared multiple great options but wouldn’t be sharing which one she would ultimately do.

Ru dropped by to check in with the girls with Anita announcing that she would be playing ma girl Queen Lizzie. And given how she dragged Prince Andrew in the walkthrough, she is going to slay. Particularly given how ridiculous and hilarious Ru thought she was while they kiki-ed. Coco was up next to be read for last week’s shit outfit before sharing she would be playing Lizzo, with Ru cautioning her not to let her love of Lizzo get in the way of making jokes about her. Etcetera Etcetera was next to face Mama Ru and shared that she would be playing Lindy Chamberlain and oh fuck, God, this is going to be awful or amazing and no where in the middle.  Particularly since Art and Karen were gossiping in the corner about the choice being one step too far. Speaking of Art, she shared that she would be playing her own version of Bindi Irwin and while she had Ru in hysterics, it was all at Art’s charm rather than any teased Bindi-isms.

Just like that we opened up on Snatch Game with Michelle and Rhys as our contestants, with Karen unveiled as my queen, Dolly Parton, but with no accent or giggle at all. Art’s take on Bindi was all bogan trash which honestly is how I think she’d like to be if she were liberated off the Australia Zoo compound, Coco was high energy as Lizzo, Anita was ready to slay as Lizzie, Scarlet was solid as Jennifer Coolidge, Elektra was trying her luck with Catherina O’Hara, Maxi was Magda as the incomparable Lynne Postlethwaite, while Etcetera and Kita stuck with Lindy and Dr Seuss and well, the latter started slowly.

Etcetera on the other hand was hilarious in the way that made you so uncomfortable to be laughing so hard, thankfully sticking closer to lines from the famed Meryl movie rather than joking directly about the tragedy. Lucky for Kita, she really warmed up and went from strength to strength, while everyone else was just kind of there because this was well and truly Anita’s show. She was filthy, perfectly timed and just so funny. That being said, Karen and Art were the hardest to watch. Particularly since they came out of the gate so strongly and clearly were overwhelmed by the nerves. Oh and shout out to Elektra for not giving the most Moira Rose performance, but for at least committing to the absurdity of the character and Snatch Game in general.

At the end of the day, Ru declared Jojo the winner as she did not have to endure it. And while it was said in jest, are we in for another lip sync orgy?!

Elimination Day arrived with Scarlet confident it was one of the best Snatch Games of all time, which Art readily agreed with. On the flipside, Anita quietly pulled a face that said she definitely doesn’t agree with the assessment. Before we could dwell on these diametrically opposed views, Scarlet pointed out that she thinks Coco will be in the bottom with Kita sure that she would be the one to join her. Karen perked her up by (rightly) pointing out she only struggled at the start and quickly gained momentum. One thing they could all agree on was that Anita would definitely be taking out victory, while Karen quietly worried that Art didn’t do enough to avoid being in the bottom.

Talk turned to the queen’s families, with Kita happily sharing that her family is so lovely and supportive while Anita broke down sharing how difficult her relationship is with her father, despite having a gorgeously supportive mother and that she uses her upbeat persona to mask her insecurities and pain. And ugh, this has been a good episode if you love Anita like I do because now she must be protected at all costs.

On the Sea Sickening Runway, Art redeemed herself as a gorgeous green sea creature, Kita was slayed as the daughter of Ursula and Elsa. Etcetera Etcetera was once again a star dressed as a ye olde deep sea diver, while Coco gave us straight up sexy Ursula, though we are unsure if she mothered Kita’s look. Anita was a stunning siren on a diet of only seaman (same), Maxi served us glamorous old dame dripping in pearls while Elektra was gorgeous in a tight white gown, draped in a seafoam wig. Which was the only sea reference I could find. Karen rocked a camp shiny shark number, while Scarlet was all of the coral to draw attention to the dying natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef.

Ultimately Anita was called forward and immediately handed victory in the challenge because, and this is paraphrasing, there was no way anyone could beat her ever and why bother pretending. Kita and Etcetera were next up and were swiftly sent to safety, with the other six shocked to find themselves all up for elimination.

With that, the judges shared that they didn’t think Art’s Bindi Irwin went anywhere – and missed playing off Etcetera’s Lindy asking for help – and she appeared to rely on her funny rather than the character. That being said, they rightfully loved her outfit. Like Coco, they knew that her Lizzo didn’t hit the mark and sadly confirmed that she ended up missing her opportunity. Maxi meanwhile was read for being so into character that she didn’t interact with anyone. Elektra had the opposite problem, with them feeling she gave no Catherine O’Hara but lived for her interaction with them. Karen’s looks were praised while rightly was read for not giving any Dolly (despite it admittedly being super hard). Scarlet was praised for her Coolidge voice, but read for giving nothing more than her Coolidge voice. That being said, they lived for her look.

Backstage Art announced that they couldn’t clock who was the best in the Werk Room because straight up Ru hated all of them other than the safe three. Before you could even bat an eyelash, the queens all got to work learning the lip sync. Well, until Dannii ‘Foster Grants’ Minogue called in for quick kiki with the queens. Art used the opportunity to ask for advice on getting over their stumbles, with Dannii sadly not once mentioning getting behind your Foster’s for a quick cry before pulling yourself together. Etcetera continued to be the most damn charming person to ever grace Drag Race chatting to Dannii and all around being a delight. That being said, she was shady enough to gossip with Karen about how sure they were that Art and Coco would be lip syncing, despite neither living for zaddy Elektra’s look.

Ultimately Scarlet’s look saved her, as did Karen’s, while Elektra was saved despite her basic look, leaving poor Maxi – who did serve us an on point character – gagged to narrowly avoid the lip sync. With the shocked survivors looking on, Art and Coco got prepared to lip sync to Ru’s I’m That Bitch, and girl, did they both serve. Coco gave us all the charm and sex of Lizzo that was missing for her Snatch Game, while Art left literally everything on the floor as she desperately tried to avoid going home. Sadly, Coco truly was that bitch though and felt every lyric, leaving us and the rest of the queens gagged as the iconic Art Simone found herself eliminated from the competition.

With only a soz bitch from Coco.

Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty backstage as poor Art immediately felt the pressure on the nation crashing down upon her. I pulled her into my arms as she quietly sobbed, feeling embarrassed when she should only be feeling disappointment that she got unlucky in the challenge.

“Art, you’re so damn talented and the world is going to love you. You’re a star and honestly, it is sometimes better to be robbed than go far.”

“That means nothing.”

“At least you made it here?”

“How much wood would a wood chuck chuck?”

“That means, NOTHING.” Note: this is the grab they used in the final edit. Did I not tell you I’m a producer like Alexis Michelle?

“Art, I love you. It doesn’t matter where you placed, what matters is you now get to fill your mouth with some Sartay Simone Sausage Rolls.”

“Ok, that means something.”

Nothing turns a mood around – at least not in my household – like a delightful sausage roll. And given I have to mix them up so Alyssa, Fenella and Ross feel special, these little satay numbers are the perfect addition to our flaky fold. Nutty, crisp and with a little zing, they’re the perfect way to cheer yourself up.

Enjoy!

Sartay Simone Sausage Rolls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp chilli paste
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 eggs, whisked
salt and pepper, to taste
3 sheets puff pastry, halved
sesame seeds
satay sauce, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Combine mince, onion, garlic, peanut butter, breadcrumbs, fish sauce, chilli paste, lime juice and zest and an egg in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch together with your hands until well combined. The mixture will run on the moist side, so don’t worry though if you like, add another ¼ cup of breadcrumbs.

Line up the pastry sheets on your bench and divide the mixture among them, form six even sausages down the centre of each rectangle. Brush a little bit of egg on one side of each and roll each one up towards their eggier side.

Cut each length into 2-4 pieces depending on how you’re planning to eat them – lunch, snack etc etc as Lindy Chamberlain – and place them seam side down on a lined baking sheet. Once complete brush with more egg and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.

Transfer to the oven to bake for half and hour or so, or until golden and puffed.

Serve immediately with some satay sauce in honour of our iconic ninth place finisher.


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