Mikesican Polloway

Main, Poultry

Given Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers is but a week away – I mean, Franny will already have another member of her first boot gang – I decided to bury the hatchet with Mike Holloway to celebrate its return.

While I generally reserve these countdown dates for my most favourite victors, I’ve never really appreciated Mike’s game and feel it is time to apologise for trying to ruin his reputation in the Survivor community.

Say what I do about his at times questionable gameplay, he did make a compelling underdog and made it to the end by equalling the individual immunity record. Obviously that doesn’t make up for the fact he horrifically misplayed the auction advantage situation, nor the fact that he was at times overbearing … but without him, nobody would have stood up for Shireen while she was being abused and that moment is enough for me to overlook the rest.

I’m not going to lie, it was an extremely awkward phone call to make when I called to invite him. And yes, it took him an extremely long time believe I wouldn’t throw acid in his face on arrival but he did, eventually, agree to drop by and let me apologise while counting down to next week’s premiere.

Again, it was super awkward for a hot minute after Mike’s arrival but we eventually got back into the swing of our friendship – we met while working construction together in Texas – and had a delightful night together. As friends, thankfully for both of us.

We laughed, we cried and reconnected as we gossiped about who took his place in the cast of Survivor: Second Chance (we both agree it was Andrew ‘at least you made the jury’ Savage). We then distracted ourselves from throwing shade on Savage by toasting to upcoming season, over a delicious Mikesican Polloway.

 

 

Sure this name is clunky but once you’ve tasted this Mexican inspired roast chicken, you will no longer be passing any judgement. Fresh, spicy and packing a punch, this tender roast makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside … and wanting to say God bless Merica. Well, that is what Mike said, anyway.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mikesican Polloway
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 large free-range chicken
olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 limes, zested
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, quartered
3-4 potatoes, quartered
2 red capsicums, quartered
a small handful of coriander

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the cumin, ground coriander, paprika, lime zest, oregano and salt and pepper with a good lug of olive oil and rub on the outside of the chicken. Prick the two limes with skewers, then stick them up the chicken’s bum.

Place the garlic, onions, potato and capsicum in the bottom of a baking dish, toss through a lug of olive oil and place the chicken on top. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 200°C and roast for an hour and fifteen minutes.

When the chicken is golden and crisp, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate to rest for 15 minutes … before carving, serving and devouring with the veggies and a sprinkling of coriander.

 

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Kent Nelsonion Rings

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara and Anneliese were voted out of Samatau and were saved by the game’s first twist, switching tribes instead. As there must be balance, Ben and Henry volunteered to switch from Asaga, leaving the Jac of Jacry all alone. After losing immunity, Luke then finally claimed the upper hand, pulling in the new Asagans and booting my dear Queen Jacqui.

Returning to camp, Luke was feeling hella confident after blindsiding Jacry and taking control of Asaga … which feels more like pride cometh before the fall. Michelle was also thrilled, as was Tara who pointed that each of the original tribes were eight and eight, making me feel like she isn’t all Asaga strong. Poor Kent on the other hand, was feeling on the outs and was desperately trying to keep his feelings in check.

We returned to Asaga the next day where Anneliese and Tara were feeling up, surviving against all odds. Sarah then pointed out a rainbow and made my heart swell. On the other end of the mood spectrum, Kent was still feeling pretty crummy though hoped that being underestimated could help him dodge yet another vote. Anneliese, Tara, Sarah and Michelle then gossiped about Kent, with the latter saying that Odette and Kent were behaving like the children she nannies. Though she DGAF that he is against her, since she is playing harder. Do I have a Jacs replacement already?

Over at Samatau, Ziggy was fanging for a swim while we finally heard from Bern? Ben, who said that as the youngest, he was missing being doted on by his parents though was glad to be on Samatau, where people were respecting him. We were then treated to Jarrad trying to woo him over, which my gut is saying is going to end up like Ziggy flipping to Tara and Locky. Ben agreed to get rid of Henry to get further, though I reiterate, the conversation seemed more about seeing if Ben knew about an idol rather than aligning.

On the Henry note, he was feeling extremely confident in his charm, and the majority he left back at Asaga … which was destroyed at the last tribal council. Shit is gonna be awkward in a few minutes!

As expected, JoJo arrived for reward where my little Henny arrived to discover that his girl was booted at the last tribal council, leaving Luke and Tara with the biggest shit-eating grins imaginable. He tried to act like it didn’t hurt, but you could tell it really did. Locky then spoke about how good it was to see both Tara and Anneliese, which started painting the target back on their backs. Jonathan then explained the rules for an ice-cream reward, where the tribes had to push a cart of puzzles up a course before building a palm tree.

Kent was inexplicably removed from the challenge for medical reasons, before Ziggy and Locky completely dominated Luke and Jericho to get Samatau out to a huge lead. Ben being Ben, he then struggled with some knots before the combination of Henry, AK, Ben and Tessa tried to maintain their lead with Anneliese, Sarah, Odette and Jericho on their tails. Close to the end, Samatau discovered they had made some mistakes, allowing Asaga to claim a come from behind victory. Which is obvi my favourite kind.

Arriving at their ice cream reward, Jericho seemed to cream his shorts while the rest of the tribe were feeling pretty damn good. Just not cream in your shorts good, you know. He then devoured a shit tonne of ice cream before pointing out his lactose intolerance. They then started throwing hella shade at AK – which I can always get behind – before Anneliese stubbled upon a clue which led her to another, which she got sprung trying to find.

Before we could see if Anneliese had just screwed herself, we returned to Samatau where Henny was smarting over Jacqui’s boot while the OG Samatauns were thrilled – or angry, I don’t know – to discover Tara and Anneliese survived. While Henry was shook, Ben tried to use it to his advantage by pointing out to AK that he has no options left without Jacqui.

Back at reward, Anneliese was still removing husks from the palm pretending that she was looking for firewood where she finally found the clue without anyone noticing. It instructed her that the idol was hidden at the next immunity challenge, as such, she decided it was important to share the clue with someone to run cover, choosing Naomi Campbell’s mate Sarah. Thankfully Sarah was thrilled with the news, as she could use said news to extricate from her newly formed alliance of Luke and Jericho … filling me with equal parts hope and pride.

Things were still not looking up for Henry on Samatau where he spoke to Locky about how he was royally screwed without Jacs. He obviously then decided that creating his own beach-drawn game would be the best way to ingratiate himself with the tribe, which won over Ziggy and made Ben look like an absolute moron. That being said, Tessa and AK knew that his likability was a problem for their games and because of that, he needs to go ASAP.

Anneliese and Sarah awoke on day 24 to plot how best to snatch the idol at the upcoming immunity. Given the fact Anneliese is becoming the puzzle queen, she couldn’t actually snatch it for herself and instead handed over the clue and responsibility to Sarah to snatch.

On that note, JoJo returned for said immunity challenge where Jericho gloated about the previous reward before Henry pointed out that he and Ben were on the outs and in desperate need of a win. The challenge involved the tribes transporting disc along a rope challenge before releasing them, pushing them up a ramp, into a barrel and then up a shoot – where the idol was hidden – to release the puzzle pieces. As seems to be the case, Samatau got out to an early led with Ben – shockingly – turning in a strong performance, while poor Sarah was left to untangle the discs for Asaga solo. Will Sarah even make it to the idol before Samatau finish? It isn’t looking good.

Samatau continued to extend their lead, getting the puzzle pieces before Sarah – finally joined by Jericho – had even finished the first obstacle. Anneliese then paces the course, desperate to snatch the idol while Samatau snatched immunity. After successfully taking the idol, Anneliese joined her tribe before Henry handed an idol clue over to Jericho out of nowhere making me hopeful that he planted a fake idol where he found the old one and I forgot. Did that happen and we’re about to see Luke or Jericho humiliated? Please.

The defeated Asaga returned to camp, trying to make themselves feel better about their loss. While everyone was upset, Luke was loving it since he was in control … which feels like he is being set up for a fall. Anneliese and Sarah disappeared to discuss their alliance, with Sarah continuing her strong gameplay by confirming she Anneliese’s idol is hers alone and she wanted to work with her as best as she could.

Sensing he is next to go, Kent opened up his strategy shop down the beach hoping to lure people over to discuss options with him. After an awkwardly long period of sitting lazily at the end of the beach, Tara approached Kent to see if he was open to getting rid of Michelle which is what he was hoping anyway. Tara then approached Anneliese to get rid of Michelle, which the latter wasn’t keen on given the fact Sarah wouldn’t be keen on it. Tara then approached Luke about keeping strength, with Luke suggesting Odette – who is the strongest woman left in the game – instead of Kent.

Michelle, Anneliese and Sarah discussed the upcoming vote by the fire, where Michelle started to drink the overconfidence kool aid which appears to have rubbed Sarah the wrong way. She then approached Kent to discuss the fact he and Odette were next to go, which he countered that the options were actually Michelle and Kent. Given that Sarah is aligned with Michelle, she tried to sway the vote to Luke or Jericho instead to lock in a majority and take control.

They arrived at tribal council where JLP was quick to rub in the fact they completely bombed the immunity challenge, with Jericho and Luke  explaining the loss in an extremely basic manner. Michelle spoke about how difficult the challenge was, before Anneliese admitted that they are kinda screwed given the fact that Samatau was stacked with athletic members. Michelle then raised some eyebrows talking about getting rid of threats and keeping people she can trust, rather than strength. Odette, Jericho and Luke debated which was the right option, before Michelle and Kent were outed as causing most of the disharmony in the tribe. After talking about not really getting on, Kent offended Michelle by pointing she doesn’t contribute much at camp. She then challenged him to point out how he does any better, which he struggled with. Sarah then spoke about the fact there is a clear majority, though those on bottom should be working hard to claim back the majority. Despite signalling that she was on the precipice of flipping, Sarah stuck with current majority to take out my speedo loving daddy Kent.

Since he is the Chief Financial Officer of a Government Department, I have long known to keep my dear friend Kent on my good side. How do I do that, you ask? By whipping up a big batch of my Kent Nelsonion Rings.

 

 

Despite the fact it is bleedingly obvious that you can’t go past fried food when looking for comfort, I figure I should do my best to sell you on these babies. Though the crisp batter, sweet, melting onion and whack of salt kinda do that for me, no?

Enjoy!

 

 

Kent Nelsonion Rings
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 large onions
125ml milk
1 egg
70g flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
oil, for fryin’

Method
Slice the onions into 1cm wide rings and heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat until 180°C.

Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together, separately – aka wet together, dry together – before whisking them all together.

Dip the onions in the batter and fry a few pieces at a time for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to some kitchen towel and repeat the process until the onion is all gone.

Season with salt and pepper and devour, in a melancholic yet accepting manner.

 

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Lamb & Date Davis Tajine

Main, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously – aka a few seconds ago – on Survivor New Zealand, Mike tried to scramble after Tom took out a record equalling fifth immunity challenge. Showing how little he knew about the current situation in the tried, he came for Barbs which backfired gloriously as she berated him in front of the jury before joining the rest of the tribe to send him to the jury.

AFTER HE VOTED FOR RV.

Back at camp, Tom filled everyone in on the fact that Mike threatened him on the way into tribal before Avi told us that he was planning to ask Barb to get voted out next to give him another vote on the jury. Avi girl, bye.

The next day they were speculating about the duration of the season before Avi collected treemail announcing the final immunity challenge before making some hilariously obvious statements that made me angry. Anywho, the challenge – aka the Andrea Boehlke memorial redemption victory challenge – required them to balance a jug on the end of a hard rod, aka a tit-fuck … I assume.

In any event, Nate dropped out within seconds, followed closely by Barb. Three hours later Matt got sick of waiting for a victor and decided the boys had to put their arms behind their head which was the beginning of the end as both boys started to wobble, while obvi, still digging deep. Then out of nowhere Tomgel fainted, fell off the box and, most tragically of all, handed Avi immunity by default.

Back at camp Barb congratulated her boy Avi on winning immunity on a technicality before Nate started in on trying to get out of his mess and throw the target on Tom, the biggest threat to threat to both of their games. Nate tried to convince Barb to force a tie between he and Tom, which she took to Avi who tried to get her to fall on her sword. He then struggled with the thought of voting out Tom due to his loyalty, which TBH is super boring.

Meanwhile Barb extricated herself from the situation and hung out with Tom by the shore and had a good old cry, where she admitted that if she were on the jury she would vote for Tom over Avi because the latter has done nothing but be nice.

Putting us out of our misery, we arrived at tribal with the final four 1 and 2 point 0, now with Avi immune! Tom tried to convince everyone of his loyalty, Nate hoped that surviving without winning a challenge … despite winning a challenge being the only reason he returned to the game, was good enough for everyone. Barb was sassy and Avi spoke about working hard to win immunity, despite the fact he only one because of a medical episode. And I work in healthcare, so you know it is true.

Like the first final four tribal, Nate was voted out in the exact same three to one decision. Though this time he got to join me for a Lamb & Date Davis Tajine, so don’t feel too bad for him.

 

 

Rich yet delicate lamb, plump, sweet dates and a spicy tomato sauce? Sign me up to become the final boot anyday … though don’t, I’d rather win. I’m simply highlighting this is delicious, ok?

Enjoy, dammit!

 

 

Lamb & Date Davis Tajine
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp freshly mince ginger
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm chunks
2 tsp each ground cumin, paprika, coriander seed and chilli
1 cinnamon quill
800g canned crushed tomatoes
800ml chicken or beef stock
2 sweet potato, cut into 2cm dice
350g pitted dates
cous cous and fresh coriander, to serve

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large pan and sweat the onions, ginger and garlic until so fragrant, you can’t take it anymore. Add the lamb and cook, stirring, for five minutes, or until completely browned. Add the spices and cinnamon quill and cook for a minute.

Add the tin tomatoes, equal parts chicken (or beef, depending on how you like to mix your meat) stock and sweet potatoes, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for half an hour, or until the sweet potato is tender.

Add the dates and cook for a further five minutes, before serving on a bed of fresh cous cous … and devouring.

 

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Andrea Gumboehlke

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Officer Sarah shared information of her vote steal advantage with kween Cirie, winning her and I over. Wanting in on the action Sierra then shared information about the legacy advantage with Sarah, which backfired as Sarah targeted her to get a hold of the advantage – successfully blindsiding Sierra and securing the advantage for herself over Sierra’s closest ally Brad.

Maku Maku returned to camp where Aubry, Andrea, Cirie and Michaela were shocked about why Sarah pretended to be shocked about Sierra getting the boot. This made Andrea nervous and immediately want to target her, on the flipside Cirie was keen to keep her on side and take her to the end as a goat.

The next day Sarah then explained how the legacy advantage worked, none the wiser that we already know about said advantage from Jessica and my wet-dream Kengel last season. Her reenactment of her shocked face was on point though, before gloating about her total of two advantages. Which she plans to use to get rid of Andrea ASAP.

Given that it is a double boot, Probst jumped straight into the action for the first immunity challenge of the episode – the classic house of cards challenge … though this time it was on a balancing table.

Aubry got out to an early lead after finally joining the season, casually chatting about her boyfriend (the insufferable) Cochran. Michaela and Andrea caught up, before quickly dropping out. Brad dropped his stack, as did Cirie and Sarah, while Aubry continued to dominate with a slow and steady wins the race mentality. Michaela and Troyzan caught up, then dropped … seriously this is boring commentary, no? Despite needing to take cards off to get enough height, Aubry took out the challenge – and almost Probst with that hug – breaking the time record by over ten minutes.

The tribe returned to camp, mystified by Aubry’s mad skillz and probably wondering why she was allowed to enter the game on day 33. Cirie and her mob got together to lock in the vote against Brad. Proving to still be as tone deaf as always, Michaela went to find Brad and direct him to stop looking for an idol and to instead go fishing.

Yeah he took it as a threat and it was, but Monica would totally go fish for everyone as she is such a nice, neat lady.

Andrea tried to get Aubry and Cirie to turn on Sarah as the biggest threat over the boys, which backfired as Cirie went to Sarah and floated the idea of getting rid of Andrea instead of Brad.

With that little bit of confusion, we arrived at tribal where Aubry spoke about the ‘we’ being a bit more solid these days, to which Sarah agreed that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. On the flipside, Troyzan argued that given he has zero options (or chance at winning) – sorry Kass, he took your Spencer-appointed title – if anyone flipped to him, they’d have the most loyal ally ever. Forever, BFFs.

While Aubry agreed, she noted that with eight people left there is still a lot that could happen. Cirie and Andrea spoke about the lack of pre-tribal scrambling … which I assumed was just cut because of the double boot. Brad agreed that he didn’t scramble with Andrea, figuring that since he’s voted against her twice now, she wouldn’t be interested. Sarah then started her jury speech a few tribals too early and reiterated that when she was a juror, she rewarded gameplay and would like the jury to reward her for voting all of them out. Which Aubry countered with the fact you need to make an emotional connection, which is what she lacked in Kaoh Rong and lost her the game.

As they went to vote, Brad gave a last ditch plea for the majority to think about the fact that one of them will go out fifth, inevitably regretting not taking out their alliance earlier. Whether it was Brad’s work or not, Cirie, Sarah and Michaela all flipped to the minority to take out Andrea … blindsiding Aubry and earning Cirie and playful tickle on the way out the door.

Say what you will, girl sure can handle a blindside with grace and a smile.

Given that both Dre Dre and i are beloved members of the media, it is obvious that we’d be the dearest of friends. And so I knew that despite loving the chance to be slaughtered by kween Cirie, she would be sad and in desperate need of a Andrea Gumboehlke.

 

 

Hot and spicy, yet creamy and smooth – this baby has everything you need to be a successful Survivor contestant slash friend.

Enjoy!

While it is obvious … who will join me next?

 

 

Andrea Gumboehlke
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1kg boneless chicken thighs
vegetable oil
500g smoked chorizo, cut into thick coins
⅓ cup plain flour
2 onions, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 green capsicum, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup okra, thickly sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp filé powder

Method
Combine 1 tablespoon of salt with the pepper, paprika and cayenne and toss through the thighs, until coated.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven and add the chicken and chorizo, stirring to brown the edges but don’t worry about being too pedantic. Transfer the browned meat to a plate to rest and bring the liquid to the boil.

Add the flour and whisk until it is chocolate coloured, 15 minutes should do. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions, before cooking for ten minutes. Add the shallots, celery, capsicum and garlic, and cook for a further ten minutes.

Whisk in the broth, add the bay leaves, thyme and reserved meat and bring to the boil. When going nuts, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Stir in the okra, Worcestershire, hot sauce and filé powder, and cook for a further hour. Remove from the heat, season to taste … and then devour with steamed rice and plenty more hot sauce.

 

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Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

There was only one person I could spend actual Cinco de Cuatro with and that is my dear friend Jase Bates.

Well, actually, I’m still a bit iffy on the logistics of which day Cinco de Cuatro falls on but I’m rolling with the day before Cinco de Mayo thing. Just roll with it, ok?

Jase is on my my dearest friends – because he is born in ‘69 (lol) and shares my husband’s middle name – so I am super stoked that he is Arrested Development’s lead and earnt him the plum gig of catching up with me on the big day.

I first met J in the mid-80s through his sister Justine – who I shared a torrid affair with on the set of Family Ties – and was immediately taken by his wit, charm and obvious talent that I could use for coattail riding. Fun fact: when my other friend from Family Ties – Mick J. Foxy – was looking for a lead in the Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, I knew he was the only person that could take on the role.

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

Anyway, given his career resurgence I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Jasey-B lately, so it was so nice to sit back, take a breath and gasbag about everything we’ve missed over the last few years.

Given how busy I have also been with my career resurgence, it was an exhausting chat and we desperately needed something hearty enough to give us the require energy to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro … enter my lengthily titled Jasalbondigas Batemen.

 

 

You know how much I love both meat and balls, so it should come as no surprise that I would go straight to a Hispanic meatball in honour of our Mexican celebrations.

Spicy, comforting and oh-so-tasty, these babies go perfectly with some Portia de’arrozi, beans and dickloads of cheese. Hell, eat it after a cheeky Jessica Flaulter and wash it down with a Will Horcharnetta.

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp hot paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
raw caster sugar

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and oregano in a bowl. Scrunch the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into 12 meatballs. Place on a tray, cover and chill for half an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic, and cook for five minutes or so, or until translucent and sweet. Add the bay leaf and hot paprika and give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. When bubbling away, drop in the meatballs and spoon over some liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the balls are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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Quesandillaz-Twine

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Tavua continued to dominate immunity challenges, which was very lucky for Troyzan. Unluckily for Mana, Debbie went from lovable-nuts to scary after missing out on sandwiches while over at Nuku J.T. and Aubry’s plot to boot Michaela backfired on the former, sending him out of the game with an idol in his pocket.

Oh and Sandra stole the sugar, blamed it on her closest ally and still came out clean.

Back at camp Aubry gave her best Adam Klein impression while congratulating the people that blindsided her. Despite it being fairly obvious why it was J.T. over her, Aubry asked them why she was saved before correctly identifying that Sandra was running things and is the best player out there, royally screwing her in the process.

Over at Mana, Tai decided to make the most of last episode’s hidden immunity idol clue and get his wood wet under the cover of darkness. Turns out, that little process gives you a happy ending. What a damn surprise.

Clearly getting hot and bothered, Jiffy Pop arrived for what the tribes assumed was an immunity challenge which was instead another swap were Sandra and Varner became the latest people to be completely screwed by the game, ending up on new-Nuku with Ozzy, Sarah, Andrea, Zeke and Tai.

Everyone else but Debbie ended up on new-Mana, while Deb found herself without a tribe and a pony, heading to exile island until one of the other tribes boots someone to make room for her.

New Mana arrived – or returned – to camp where Troyzan was thankful to have some allies, while Brad was feeling screwed though was hopeful to hook up with Troyzan – which is a weird porno I’d give a shot – given his One World connection to my girl Monnie Culpepper.

Over at new Nuku, Sandra and Varner did their best to ingratiate themselves to their new tribe members. Sandra being Sandra, remained calm and was sure that she would be able to find her feet.

And just like that, Zeke and Ozzy went for a walk to reaffirm the need to get rid of Sandra, before rallying their fellow ex-Tavuans and lining up a decoy boot in Tai. Which given his past will not go well if he finds out, despite knowing Sandra is the biggest threat.

Feeling uneasy, Tai approached the Nuku well hoping to find their hidden immunity idol … which he did, bringing his total for the episode to two and the season to three.

Why couldn’t it be Sandra?

We then caught up with Debbie who was approaching what she thought was Exile Island and instead landed on a luxury yacht complete with feast and – oh wait, here is the shitty part – cockstainCochran to provide advice … and thankfully something useful in an advantage.

Hatred aside, this is a crazy showmance I can get behind. And I assume, so can Debbie who is more excited to see him than the presidents and prime ministers she has, of course, also met.

Debbie then told her potential new boyfriend about how confident she was and ragged on Brad ‘fuck you’ Culpepper, before Cochran presented her with – what I assumed was an engagement ring – the options for her advantage. She of course elected the worst advantage, the extra vote – which has booted its holder every time it has been played before – rather than an advantage for her tribe at the next immunity challenge or my personal favourite, a kit to build a fake immunity idol.

Sadly a devious revenge plot where she gives a legit looking fake idol to Brad to boot him will not come to fruition.

The next day Zeke and Varner connected by the beach where Varner shared how desperately he wanted to make the jury on his third game. Zeke, knowing he should start making Sandra and Varner relax, told Varner how much they wanted Tai out of the game. The entire conversation made Sandra anxious … but Sandra is smarter than mostall players, and knew something wasn’t adding up.

Not wanting to leave us hanging too long, Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity challenge as new tribes where they were required to get wet, pull themselves off … a platform and over monkey bars before running to shore and placing their piece(s) in a cart and pulling them into shore.

Obviously it ended with a puzzle.

Mana got out to any early lead, which despite Varner’s best efforts to pull up a load, never went away, sending Mana to tribal council.

Back at camp, Zeke reconfirmed the need to get rid of Sandra, while Varner was feeling confident it was Tai. Again, Sandra’s superior intuition shone as she felt nervous – for the first time in three seasons – and approached Ozzy, Sarah, Zeke and Andrea about booting Tai to avoid a Kaôh Rōng kaôh-lition.

While Sarah and Ozzy weren’t wanting to budge on the Sandra vote, they acknowledged how persuasive and right she is, and that they do need to break up the trio of Tai-Aubry-Debbie.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tai then approached Varner to tell him that Sandra was indeed the target … allowing Sandra time to come up with a plan, which is never a good thing.

With that, they arrived at tribal where Andrea announced that they would continue in the tradition of the season – like All Stars before it – to boot the biggest threat, while Ozzy spoke to the back of Sandra’s head about the positives of keeping a bigger threat as a shield before Sandra announced that she was confident it was her as no one was talking to her.

This spooked Tai … who then commenced talking in circles, confusing himself and making the rest of his original, original Nuku tribemates. Sarah then mentioned being open to a couple of options, spooking Tai even more before Sandra said that she’d vote for whoever he wanted her to. Before he whispered a name to her.

He then gave Varner the same name, to which Varner mentioned they still needed another person. The rest of the tribe wanted the goss … so Tai then announced that he was now considering Ozzy, spooking Ozzy, Zeke, Sarah and Andrea, who then commenced their own whispering.

After some back and forth and everyone being confused, they threw their hands in the air and decided to just vote … which sadly – and I hate that I’m even typing it and never assumed I would have to – resulted in my dear friend, sass-monster and greatest player of all time Sandra Diaz-Twine being voted out for the first time.

Thank fuck those fuckers fucking applauded her on her way out the door. The stupid fucks. The Queen is dead, long live … the D-list returnees rounding out the cast?

While I was fuming by the time she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sandra took her first ever boot in her stride … until I convinced her to break into both camps while they were at the next challenge and burn their camps to the ground. FYI, that is why they were crying in the next episode preview.

As you know, I met Sandra when I was her server at Outback Steakhouse and we quickly bonded over being fiery, sassy and persuasive. While she has never been able to get me out there as a contestant – she tried for Blood vs. Water but Aras got jealous – I was scheduled to appear as her loved one, which is probably more of a tragedy than seeing the Queen and Malcolm felled within a fortnight.

Obviously that meant I was in desperate need of some comfort food, meaning I had to whip out my famous Quesandillaz-Twine.

 

 

An ode to my girl’s winning ways, these quesadillas are the absolute best – spicy, cheesy and with a good whack of chilli, the crunch in your mouth and go a long way to help even the sharpest of pain.

Enjoy … if you can!

 

 

Quesandillaz-Twine
Serves: 1 first-time boot and her irate firebug of a bestie.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
400g canned diced tomatoes
400g canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 avocados, pitted and diced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
canola or vegetable oil, for frying
8 tortillas
250g sharp cheddar, grated
1 lime, cut into wedges
sour cream

Method
Brown the mince in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking-up with the wooden spoon as you go. Add the garlic, onions and a good whack of salt and pepper and  cook for a couple of minutes, or until the onion is just translucent. Add the spices and cook for a minute, before adding the tomatoes, black beans and paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes, or until the liquid is pretty much gone.  Remove from the heat and stir through the avocado and coriander.

When you’re ready to devour, heat a large clean skillet over medium heat and add a lug of oil. Place a tortilla in the pan, sprinkle half with cheese, top with the mixture and more cheese, because this is comfort food. Fold the tortilla over to form a semicircle, pressing down on the quesadilla to set. Flip once, cooking a couple of minutes each side. Repeat the process until the mixture or tortillas run out, I don’t mind which.

Cut the quesadillas into wedges – because you don’t need to feel guilty if the food is hand-sized – and serve with a squeeze of lime juice, a dollop of sour cream and, of course, hot sauce.

Devour, in honour of Sandra.

 

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Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune

Australian Survivor, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor – yes, I have to stipulate that now – Vavau neared extinction after the tribes absorbed resulting in major casualties in sweet, angel Craig and Aganoan goddess Phoebe.

We opened up right on schedule with the melancholic Vavau tribe, now down to three comparing their level of skeletal-ness. I literally can not pick a winner of this competition though.

Thankfully the tribes convened for what they thought was their next challenge where the Vavauns were surprised to discover they’ve been saved from themselves as the tribes actually merged and were treated to the Survivor Auction.

Conner walked away with the first two items, blowing all his money in the process, Sam bought some mediocre looking nachos, Brooke got a very cheap bath – why did no one bid against her? – while Lee got the ultimate prize – an advantage – for only $80, before Nick paid $440 for a covered item … which also turned out to be an advantage in the game.

The tribe arrived at their new camp, the former Vavau tribe, which made the old Saanapuans wistful for their days of opulence over at their camp. Instead they were stuck in the Survivor slums which Kristie and Phoebe attempted to burn to the ground but a week ago.

They immediately got to work scrambling as one tribe, with Flick leading the charge against Conner while Sue rallied the counter alliance to topple Saanapu. I’m not sure who should tell them the immunity challenge hadn’t even occurred yet?

Lee then disappeared to the well to discover his advantage, which is to block someone voting at tribal council.

Nick then disappeared to the well, at a different time, where he discovered he paid $360 more than Lee for an idol clue rather than a guaranteed advantage. Thankfully he found the idol … however sadly it was just after being sprung by Lee who is now wary of him.

The dominant alliance then found a pink piece of cloth and decided friendship bracelets were the best way to highlight the pecking order before they arrived at their first individual immunity challenge.

Sadly I was not competing as I would have dominated, I’ve never met someone that grips a pole quite like me!

After what seemed like an eternity, the poles got wet and slippery – according to JoJo, I didn’t actually see rain and think he was just feeling inspired by Probsty – before Kylie’s memory lapsed and Brooke took out immunity.

We returned to camp for the actual scrambling where we were reintroduced to Flick who seems to struggle with pronunciation before Nick got to work over-explaining a vote split, Sam worked his way into my good books by trying to turn it on Nick and Sue got to work dominating with a plan to screw Nick’s split vote.

The tribe – oh did I mention they called themselves Fia Fia? They did – arrived at tribal with me quite confused as to what would happen. Flick was confident, Nick was quietly confident and Conner was trying his best to throw the target on to someone else.

Anyone.

JoJo then opted to call out the friendship bracelets and attempted to throw them all under the bus as we headed into the vote, however poor Conner ran out of luck and found himself voted out.

While I’m sad that Sue’s plan didn’t come to fruition just for Nick’s tantrum alone, Conner was a legitimate threat and made sense however telling him how much of a scrappy underdog he was, isn’t what he wanted to hear as he stepped out of the game.

I’ve recently been teaching law in Canberra which is where I connected with Conner – seriously, why universities continue to hire me is beyond puzzling. As you can tell from the game, Conner is perceptive and could pick up on the fact I was not a qualified lawyer or professor. Despite this, his kind heart got in the way and we started a friendship despite his better judgement.

Thankfully for him though, that friendship meant I knew exactly what he needed as he exited the game – his favourite, my Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune.

 

arroz-conner-pollo-bethune-1

 

Hearty, warm, spicy and soothing – this dish is the epitome of comfort food while also packing a punch. Delicate saffron, a kick of cumin and the tart olives? Enjoy!

 

arroz-conner-pollo-bethune-2

 

Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup white wine, or as much as your drinking allows
pinch of saffron threads
6 chicken thighs fillets, diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
1 ½ cups short-grain rice
3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 cup pitted green olives, rinsed and drained
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, drained and roughly chopped
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the wine and saffron in a bowl and allow to steep.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook until browned.

Reduce the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes and paste and cook stirring for a minute. Add the wine/saffron and bay leaves and cook until reduced slightly, about five-ten minutes.

Stir in the rice and stock, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking for about half an hour stirring occasionally. Or until the liquid has all absorbed.

Remove from the heat, stir through the olives and capsicum and leave to stand for about ten minutes.

Then serve and devour.

 

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Rohan Maclaren Cheese

Australian Survivor, Main, Pasta

Previously on Survivor, Rohan’s junk threw out the clue I assume to make way for my …well, before JoJo declared a merge which was actually an absorbed tribe situation, where Nick was a dick to Jennah Louise, setting up his eventual downfall and Kat, I assume learning from her favourite Resort Report CEO turned on Aganoa filling Craig with some arrogance.

Hopefully this isn’t the pride before his fall.

We made our way over to new Saanapu where Jennah Louise was rightfully feeling pretty screwed, fuelling what I hope will be her comeback storyline.

Returning to Vavau, Kate tried to take over the mantle from Joe, Wigles and Vytas by furthering her game via yoga. Kate, show me your idol in some printed jocks and you get my vote.

After some absorption disguised as a merge rage from Phoebe, everyone started feeling hella XTina circa ‘02 when they saw JoJo and were pumped to get dirrty. Either way, I was sweating as their clothes came off.

There was rubbing, writhing and everything to fill Probst’s mind with smut before Nick’s repeated cock-grazing of Lee lead to a victorious shower. Seriously, I didn’t embellish any of that eroticism. This show is getting, gooooood yo.

We followed Saanapu to reward where a soft core porno was playing out before Jennah commenced her work to join forces with Kylie to try and overthrow Saanapu and screw Nick – who after trying to take my man Lee, is dead to me – again.

Back at Vavau, they had to accept the fact that their erotic exploits would have to stick to the ocean. But erotic is erotic and they seemed happy rubbing each other down, particularly Rohan who enjoyed spilling more ex-Aganoan secrets while talking smack about Kat while she was in earshot.

I assume it is a spokesmodel feud.

While Rohan was losing friends, Craig went wandering to find the Vavau idol … with the entirety of his tribe. So yeah, not exactly stealth. But it didn’t seem to screw Spencer in Cagayan, so maybe it will work.

After an aggressive storm tore through both camps, Lee soaked his shorts (rather than ours for a change) and Sue was well pissed which I hope blows over as I desperately want her to win. We then arrived at immunity which was my favourite challenge which once resulted in Probst saying my favourite quote of all time, “Malcolm’s pants are now completely off.”

After a hard fought battle – and a beautiful love story between Lee and Rohan in the second and fifth rounds – Saanapu won immunity. But let’s be honest, Kate was the true winner showing her challenge beast side and so were the audience with the copious amounts of man butt in the final round.

Heading back to camp, former front runner Phoebe was feeling pretty dejected thinking she was on the way out while Sue was the dominant force of nature I knew she was and forced the idol information out of Rohan and continued to allow him to dig his hole even further.

Knowing that Rohan had the idol, Vavau made moves to split the vote and flush the idol, then debated turning on Kat while Kat reaffirmed the Rohan split, Phoebe moved to get the idol played on her and the vote turned on Sue leading to my complete and utter confusion as they made their way into tribal council.

After a bold tribal council with Phoebe fighting hard and working on deals during discussions and Andrew dancing around in circles, working on his arrogance and butchering the phrase shooting fish – not ducks – in a barrel, Phoebe played her/Rohan’s idol and saw Rohan voted out by Kat and Kristie.

While I felt for poor Rohan as he made his way into Loser Lodge, I was a little bit happy knowing that Sue has survived. Plus I knew it was close enough to the mud challenge that I could offer to shower my model friend – we met while I briefly worked in casting for a major fashion label … I think you know why I lost my job – without coming off as too lecherous.

Ro being Ro wasn’t angry when he made his way into my loving arms … but that could have something to do with the fact that he could smell my Rohan Maclaren Cheese baking in the oven?

 

rohan-maclaren-cheese-1

 

Like Rohan this dish has you salivating – cheesy, comforting and decadent, this pasta bake and its hint of truffle keep you coming … back for more and more.

Enjoy!

 

rohan-maclaren-cheese-2

 

Rohan Maclaren Cheese
Serves: Again I would say 1, functional society would say 4.

Ingredients
Salt and pepper, to taste
500g dried macaroni
1 tbsp truffle oil
60g unsalted butter
¼ cup plain flour
½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups milk
1 ½ cups shredded Gruyère cheese
1 ½ cups shredded vintage cheddar cheese
fresh chives, finely sliced to garnish

Method
Preheat an oven to 180°C.

First get cracking by bringing a large saucepan of water to the boil aka hotter than the hot tub with a swimwear model. Salt the water, add the macaroni and cook, stirring often, for just under the packet recommendations. Drain, return to the pot off the heat and stir through the truffle oil.

In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it starts to foam. Whisk in the flour, paprika and mustard, and cook stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk, season and return to the heat and cook, again stirring constantly for about five minutes.

Remove from the heat again, and stir through a cup of each cheese until smooth, melty and glorious.

Pour the sauce over the macaroni, give a thorough stir and transfer to a medium/large baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is golden and bubbling.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes, if you can. Garnish with chives and devour.

Yes – no serving, devour. This is single serve if you’ve just been booted.

 

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Potato Jems

Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness it is so great to finally be out of my Olympics trance. I know I am crazy sporty and won countless Olympic gold medals (which were all stripped away after Lance and I were found to be drug cheats) but damn, thank god they only happen every four years.

I mean, I can only handle so much thirst, you know?

Thankfully I have such sweet friends like Jem who drop everything – realistically I’m not sure how much she currently has going on, but anyway – when I call to come and help me through my dark hours and bring joy back to my life.

I first met Jem in the early 80s when we both attended the Stanwell School, where we bonded over a mutual love of music – she wanting to write and perform and me wanting to become the most prolific groupie of all time.

Needless to say, we both succeeded.

While life took us in different directions – and continents after I was deported for throwing too many of my knickers at Tom (his wife pressed charges, wench) – we always maintained a close bond and were really cute pen pals.

There aren’t many other communication options when you’re in prison, don’t hate me.

Anyway, after helping Jem break into the US market by suggesting her for The OC soundtrack we reconnected in person and started collaborating. The pinnacle of those collaborations being an appearance on the Sex and the City movie soundtrack. Girl loves a soundtrack.

Oh and her new album.

There was only one thing I could serve as we gabbed about life and celebrated the release of our/her new album and that is a big ole batch of my Potato Jems.

 

potato-jems-1

 

Let’s be honest, potato is probably the greatest food known to man.

Seriously pause and think about it for five minutes – potato.

Welcome back! How great is potato? Exactly.

Now picture it, grated and bound together with a kick of spice and fried to perfection. Crispy and fluffy, these babies are delicious.

Enjoy!

 

potato-jems-2

 

Potato Jems
Serves: I say one, you say 4.

Ingredients
1 kg potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
¼ smoked paprika
¼ tsp dried oregano
pinch ground chilli
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil

Method
Place the potatoes in a large pot of water and parboil for about 5-10 minutes, size dependent. Drain and allow to cool.

Once they have cooled enough to avoid third degree burns, grate the potatoes into a paper towel (or something clean and absorbent) and drain the potato, removing as much of the liquid as possible.

Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, combine with the herbs and spices, season generously and form into gem/tot shapes. Obviously I am not committed on the shaping part of this exercise.

Heat a very generous lug of oil over high heat in a large frying pan and fry the tots 4-5 at a time  and cook until golden and crisp all over – a couple of minutes should be sweet. Remove to paper towel to drain and repeat until they are done.

Then devour.

 

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