Karlic Lagerbread

Bread, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

In case you haven’t noticed I have a real affinity for the elderly, particularly when they are as kind and sweet as my dear friend Karl Lagerfeld.

As soon as our eyes locked in his interview to replace my as Pierre Balmain’s assistant in the 50s – using my calculation, Stockard Channing would have been well into her 60s at the time – I knew that I had found a lifelong friend. I also had the inkling he was destined for greatness, and as such, would need a powerful muse to help him on his way.

After three years in the job, I convinced him it was time to move on and landed him a job with Jean Patou where I proudly inspired two collections per year, for five years. While his first collections were poorly received, I told him to stand by his skin-baring silhouettes (and get my goods out there for the world to see).

My trick to being such a successful muse? A constant state of nakedness to inspire them with my beauty … or to make something to simply cover me up.

Given how busy he is with all his labels, we haven’t caught up in just over a year so it was a delight to just hang and relax in our sunglasses and high starched collars.  We laughed in a sophisticated manner, gossiped, I tried to inspire a few collections – it is winter here, so expect fur to feature next season … I looked great on my rug – and devoured his favourite Karlic Lagerbread.

 

 

Fun fact: despite what the book The Karl Lagerfeld Diet would have you believe, this is the only thing Karl ate in his pursuit of losing 42kgs in 2001. Maybe the dickload of garlic cut through all the carbs, butter and cheese – who knows?

In any event, it packs a punch and is oh-so-delicious. Enjoy!

 

 

Karlic Lagerbread
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 baguettes
100g butter, at room temperature
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed (I did say it was a lot!)
¼ cup parmesan
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the butter, garlic, parmesan and parsley in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Cut the baguettes into 2cm slices, leaving joined at the bottom. Spread the garlic butter generously between the cuts and wrap each baguette in foil.

Place the garlic bread in the oven and bake for about  twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and glorious. Devour immediately.

 

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Jonathan LaPagliatelle

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Pasta, Vegetarian

He’s baaaaaa-aaaaack! This time next week we’ll have witnessed scruffy Oz-Probst – and my dear friend – Jonathan LaPaglia snuff his first torch of the season. And I will have screamed for smelling salts as the euphoria/orgasm rendered me unconscious.

Yes – that is the long winded way of saying Australian Survivor is back and I couldn’t be happier to announce that once again JoJo requested my presence in Samoa to act as his houseboy / culinary comfort chef for the castaways.

I’ve known Jo for years, after a chance meeting at the University of Adelaide where I was skulking about the med school trying to meet a future doctor to take as my husband. While he had zero interest in pursuing a relationship due to our similar appearance (read: killer guns), we became friends against all odds and I was quickly taken into the LaPaglia family.

While there was a period of ugliness after Anthony refused to get Josie Alibrandi gender-flipped – and that time I tried to torch his car when I was overlooked for the hosting role – we remain the closest of friends and I was thrilled to spend two months together in Samoa, catching-up, feasting in front of the contestants … and I assume doing weights.

To celebrate the impending return of Australian Survivor, I flew Jojo over to discuss how we felt the season went – really good … unless the editors really drop the ball / can’t be paid by Channel 10 – over a big fat bowl of my Jonathan LaPagliatelle.

 

 

I’ve long held the belief that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – I actually coined the phrase, NBD – and this is the first dish I ever made him to win him over. Warm, fresh, creamy and tasty, it is the second most fun I’ve had getting sauce over a man’s face.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan LaPagliatelle
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
bunch of shallots, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
200g button mushrooms, sliced
5 sprigs of thyme leaves
250g chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
500g tagliatelle
250g mascarpone
200g baby spinach, washed and drained
100g parmesan, grated

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook off the shallots and garlic until the island love nest – or kitchen – is aromatic. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for a further ten minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned.

Add the stock and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and simmering for fifteen minutes. Season and keep warm while you cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

When the pasta is al dente, add the mascarpone and spinach to the the mushroom mix and stir until combined and the spinach wilted. Stir through the pasta and half the parmesan, before serving, generously drowned in the excess parmesan.

Devour immediately with your big strong, LaPagli-esque arms and think of how they’d hold you tight in winter. Or something.

 

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Chicken Corbin Bleu

Main, Poultry

I know, I know, I’m late! I’m so sorry … but Corbin had his work cut out for him and I couldn’t just kick him out as soon as he finalised a gameplan for me reconnecting with Zac now, could I?

Lol, I totally could have but that would be really poor form! Even for me.

While reaching out to Corbin for help means that he no longer owes me – I’m the one that convinced Ken Ortega to cast him in HSM – I truly believe it will be worth it. Corbs was patient, kind and smart as a whip, proving why we’ve been such close friends for more than a decade.

Then he refused to tell me who wins Battle of the Network Stars because – and I quote – “I don’t think you should start gambling again since you lost your last two homes.”

Yuck.

I mean, sure, he is right and it is very sweet … BUT GIVE ME THE INFORMATION I NEED TO EVEN UP WITH MY BOOKIE, DAMMIT.

Anyway … despite that late breaking drama, it was so nice to see Corb again, talk about our concern for Misch and devour some glorious Chicken Corbin Bleu.

 

 

Cordon Bleu is one of those dishes that need no spruiking – salty smoked ham, gooey bubbling cheese and the crisp crumb work together to create perfection. I mean, bacon and cheese? You can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Corbin Bleu
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
4 slices swiss cheese
8 slices smoked ham
1 egg, whisked
½ cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
olive oil
fries

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Slice a pocket into each chicken breast where the tenderloin joins the breast. Stuff a couple of slices of cheese and ham into the pocket, close the fold and secure with some toothpicks.

Place the egg, flour and seasoned breadcrumbs in three bowls. Dip the breasts in the flour, followed by the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for half an hour, or until golden and browned.

Serve with fries and devour, immediately.

 

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Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza

Main, Party Food, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand the final four spent a lot of time talking about redemption island, while those at redemption island used their time to destroy camp, sure that they’d be returning to the game after the last battle. Which they didn’t, with Shay becoming the tenth person eliminated and Mike and Jak stuck rebuilding redemption for god knows how long.

And they were well pissed about the sitch. Moping in the charred remains of their shelter without any food, after confidently devouring it all pre-battle.

Back at camp, the tribe were also shocked to discover that no one returned with them but at least at shelter and food, I guess. Thankfully Nate told horrifically boring stories to keep them as equally tortured. While Barb continued to await getting voted out and giving up on her glorious victory … until a noble steed or two arrived, bringing with it some much needed motivation to give us the victor we deserve.

Not wanting to keep me waiting long, Matt arrived for the next immunity – and video message from home reward – challenge where the tribe had to complete a mega obstacle course, while balancing balls on poles. Which I hope Nate loses solely because his family are terrible singers and I can’t suffer through it all. As usual, Tom got out to an early lead until Barb was overtaken by the equine power, closed the gap and then, shock of all shock, took out immunity over Tom. In the most physical challenge of the season.

Slay queen, you need to win this. She then got to watch her video from home and was most excited to see her horse, instead of her family. “They’re big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves” – Barb, a fucking icon.

The tribe returned to camp where they all congratulated Barb on her victory, all shocked by what transpired … none more so than Barb, who thought it was lovely to take it out. Not allowing the moment to settle, Avi quickly pulled Tom aside to worry about Barb’s victory potentially changing her mind on helping them win, and instead playing for herself. Like that is a bad thing.

Back at redemption, Mike and Jak were not enjoying their squalid, half-destroyed, foodless camp … of their own making. Jak then decided he looked like Abe Lincoln, which he did not. Nor did he look like a Babraham Lincoln.

Meanwhile over at Casar, Nate appeared to be giving up while chatting to Avi, accepting that day 35 is good enough. Which I hope is a half-arse attempt at reverse psychology. Apparently the scrambling was not interesting though as we returned to redemption island where the boys were speculating about who won immunity and how the next tribal council will shake out, making me wish it would hurry up already.

Back at camp again, Barb was feeling very emotional – I think about booting Nate, but I’m not sure exactly. She then gave him a pep-talk about him winning redemption which begs the question, why vote him out if you want him back in the game? The olds then speculated how the votes will stack up for Tom and Avi when they make final tribal. It was all very confusing.

We finally arrived at tribal where Barbs talked about the similarities of dominating the game and raising children, exposing the fact that she may actually be playing to win and the not wanting to win is actually a fake-out to get further. Again, queen! Nate spoke about his ability to read people and admitted that he will probs be voted out in a matter of minutes.

Which is what happened, despite Barb’s considering flipping to save her fellow oldie.

Nate arrived at redemption to a very warm reception from the boys, where he was quick to fill them in on Barb’s immunity win and her alliance with Tom and Avi. Meanwhile back at camp it was Tom’s turn to begin his descent into madness, rambling and playing the drums, alone, by the fire. Give him the cheque, I’m done – if I learnt anything from Kirstie, it is that madness always wins. While he continued to entertain himself, Avi and Barb discussed whether they should have sent Tom to redemption the night before.

We returned to redemption island where Nate complained about how awful it was and marvelled at Mike and Jak’s ability to tolerate the place. We then got an extended monologue from Mike talking about being the king of redemption, setting up his inevitable return before Jak summed it up most succinctly, announcing he hated it.

After a brief period of speculation from those still in the actual game – Barb thinking Jak would lose the battle, Tom went with Nate – we arrived at the final battle and the end of redemption island, where Jak, Mike and Nate had to stack Nicaraguan coins on the hilt of a sword. I mean, I used the word hilt but I have no idea if that is what it is … but i’ll leave it in anyway. In any event, I’m referring to the handle, ok?

Given that it was a fiddly endurance challenge, it didn’t make the most riveting challenge … though Mike’s nipples were on point, literally. Then out of nowhere, my on-again-off-again friend Jak dropped a coin while placing it on the stack and found himself out of the game for goods.

While I was a bit standoffish when he arrived at Loser Lodge, I was able to convince him to pop on the loin cloth and I softened. Well, not softened, but I was feeling happy enough to whip him up a comforting Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

 

I may feel hot and cold about Jak, but I never question my love for his pizza namesake. The sweet chutney is cut by the zing of the onion, add in the creaminess of the avo and you’ve got pizza-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
1 onion, finely sliced
400g chicken breasts, diced
1 cup fruit chutney
salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and brown the chicken until cooked all the way through. Add the chutney and a good good whack of salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

When everything is set, roll out two bases and smear them both with some herby passata. Top with some sliced onions, the chicken and avo, and then drown in some mozzarella.

Transfer the pizzas to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and glorious. Then devour.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay and Tom buried the hatchet before Shay quickly unburied it, played dirty and tried to get him. They then all got dirty in a very sensual, muddy challenge which led to Tom winning over Barb whilst sharing Avi’s reward before returning to watch Shannon permanently eliminate herself from redemption.

Jak and Mike returned to redemption island, shocked to still be in the game on no man’s land. They then threw some shade at Shannon and were generally a bit obnoxious. Meanwhile back in the actual game, the tribe were feeling bad for Shannon’s loss and were being nice about the boy’s skills … though they all admitted to not caring for either of their returns.

Oh and Tom has decided Shay needs to go as Shannon has already promised to vote for her if she makes it to final tribal. I honestly can’t keep up with those two.

Nate and Shay took a leaf out of Barb’s book and discussed strategy and the threat Tom and Avi’s relationship poses – particularly given the potential returnees – all whilst reclining. Avi broke up the plotting and tried to reaffirm his alliance with Shay but did admit that Tom is having doubts her.

Shay then did the rounds, sidling up to Barb and her nemesis Tom to see where their heads were at and try and place a target on anyone but her. Less than a minute later, Tom floated getting rid of Shay with Nate and Avi, which the latter was not onboard with at all. Though he really had no option given no one trusts her, nor wants her around.

Nate then got word that Shay spoke about him being homesick and decided she was hoping people would boot him for that, despite the fact we all know that he’d go to redemption … and then the jury and could not possibly go home before the end of the game anyway. So yeah, I’m not actually buying that it’s a nefarious plot.

Wanting to get in on the action Matt returned for the next immunity challenge, involving beams, poles and balls, which is right up my alley. Despite starting strong and throwing the kitchen sink at it, Avi was first out of the challenge. Shay and Tom miraculously survived the second round of the challenge before Nate and Shay quickly dropped out when moving to the last section, followed by Barb, handed Tom his fourth immunity in a row, firmly painting a target on his back.

Back at camp the tribe were chatting about the challenge before out of nowhere, Avi took off running down the beach for no reason. He returned later and downplayed his minor breakdown before Tom pulled him aside to continue trying to turn him against Shay. Meanwhile Nate talked about getting rid of Avi given his likeability and the fact that anyone would beat Shay.

Avi continued to try and save Shay but TBH, it seemed more like lip service given the fact he didn’t really talk to anyone else about saving her. Nate floated an Avi blindside with Barb and while she seemed open to the idea, was ultimately non-committal. Which she confirmed by running straight back to Avi.

Meanwhile on redemption, Jak continued to tell unfunny jokes while he and Mike speculated who would be joining them that night.

Back at camp Nate and Avi went for a walk to where Nate quickly covered his tracks, telling Avi that he tested Barb’s loyalty for him. While Avi didn’t buy it at all, it was a nice try. Barb filled Tom in on what was going down, which made Tom annoyed by Nate. Tom then quickly tried to convince Avi that getting rid of Shay was still the best idea before heading off to tribal.

At tribal, Matt made quick work of making Nate cry by reminding him about the game. He then asked Avi about flipping and set him up for a massive case of the guilts. Avi said he felt it was important not to turn on your own, before Nate pointing out they’ve already had to do that in the game and Shay mentioned that she has a clear conscience and isn’t responsible for sending anyone to the jury … and reconfirmed how much she trusts Avi.

But it turns out she shouldn’t as Avi joined the rest of the tribe to vote her out of the game, again. While she was clearly bummed, she told her tribemates there were no hard feelings … until she got to redemption island that is, where she joined Jak and Mike to talk smack about Avi. Who Mike is still referring to as RV.

The next day at camp Avi continued to go full Blanche Dubois, having dreams about abandonment whilst realising he is now taking after the villainous Shannon … who is only a villain to herself and a passive aggressive Mike. At the other end of the spectrum, Tom was loving life with Shay out of the game and Barb Marley – who is now the last surviving female and really wants to win an immunity – appearing thrice daily.

Avi then started to foreshadow his downfall talking about how shocked and betrayed he would feel to be voted out next, which is how Shay felt when he flipped on her last night.

Back on redemption Shay explained that despite him flipping on her last night, she was working Jak and Mike overtime to help save Avi if they return by painting him as a non-threat.

After a brief interlude of Tom and Avi discussing how to play Mike if/when he returns, Matt returned to the screen for a paired off reward challenge for nuts. NUTS. I mean, I love we some nut but damn, on day 33 I’d want a fucking steak. Anyway, there was some kind of noughts and crosses style game for an island pick and mix, which Avi and Nate quickly took out thanks to an early mistake from Tom. But again, it was just for nuts … so who really cares.

Thankfully for Avi, it meant they were able to take their full sacks of nuts to a secluded section of the beach to bond and see where things go. Sadly Avi wasn’t able to lock in Nate’s trust or talk any strategy, so instead he reclined and tried to win him over with his masculine wiles.

Upon returning to camp, the final four (now) joined together on the shore to watch the sunrise and start black-market crab racing. After her crab turned out to be a rock, Barb reaffirmed her commitment to giving up on the game to focus on getting Avi and Tom to the final three … when she is by far the best remaining winner.

Talk once again turned to redemption island and the potential returnees, with Barb coaching Avi on how to win the game and the best way forwards depending on who comes back. Avi then joined Tom who made it obvious he was far more deserving of taking out the victory, given he actually seems to understand the game.

Finally we got a reprieve from all the talk, with the redemption island dwellers destroying the place on their way out to the battle … expecting it to be the last, which it clearly is not. Oh my, the fucking lols. Before we get to see their hilarious reactions when they realise they have to return to their mess, Shay, Mike and Jak competed in the Crystal Cox memorial challenge where they have to keep to poles balanced between the back of their hands and a beam.

Despite going better than stripped Olympic medalist Crystal Cox, Shay wasn’t able to outlast the boys and found herself out of the game, for realsies. While the boys were more heartbroken to discover they’d be going back to their destroyed camp and not returning to the game, yet.

While I had to explain to Shay that she wouldn’t be able to call her husband and smash any brownies after being eliminated, she was ok with the booby prize – my Shayonnaise Swain.

 

 

I mean, sure, mayo is a condiment and not a meal on its own. But when has that ever bothered me? Plus … it is pretty delicious, so shotting it isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup canola oil

Method
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Either whisking by hand, using a stick blender or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer – the latter being my preference – constantly whisk the mixture, while slowing adding the oil, allowing it to come together before adding more oil. Continue whisk on medium until the mayo has come together and it thick and glorious.

Cover and chill for a few hours before devouring … within two days. I feel it is too icky to keep it any longer.

 

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Amyrican Adams Pasta Salad

Pasta, Salad, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

It is hard to remember a time when Amy Adams wasn’t a critically acclaimed darling with five Academy Award nominations under her belt. But there was, and that time was ‘98 … a year before her screen debut in Drop Dead Gorgeous.

While Leslie Miller wasn’t an Oscar bait role, Ames’ performance was pitch perfect and I knew from the start that she was destined for greatness. As is often the case when I get that feeling, I immediately hitched my wagon to her and vowed to make her a big big fucking star.

Thankfully Amy never held my advice that Cruel Intentions 2 was a good idea against me, and listened to me when I suggested she co-star with my dear friend Ben in Junebug. You may have heard of it? It is the one that put her on the map, snagged her first Oscar nom … and first Oscar robbery at the hands of Rachel Weisz.

Everybody knows that Michelle Williams and Ames’ should have tied for Supporting Actress that year, but I’ve digressed.

Ames’ is super busy filming Sharp Objects and doing reshoots on Justice League, so I was so touched that she wanted to make the time to catch up and celebrate the movie that launched her career … and her words, our best friendship. Isn’t she a doll?!

Given cook-outs are the best thing about Fourth of July for non-Americans, I decided to continue you rolling with the rapidly revealing theme and whip up another (not so healthy) salad, this time in the form of my Amyrican Adams Pasta Salad.

 

 

Like Kirstie before her, I prefer my salads to be as un-salad-like as possible. Don’t be fooled by the capsicum, tomato and carrot, this pasta salad isn’t very healthy … but damn is it delicious!

Enjoy!

 

 

Amyrican Adams Pasta Salad
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 carrot, grated
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combined everything in a bowl.

Stir.

Devour.

 

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Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts

Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand Barb continued to dominate from the comfort of the hammock, whipping up the troops to blindside Sala … who was tragically felled by Mike in a memory challenge.

Back at camp the tribe were speaking about Mike’s redemption dominance before Shannon randomly broke down in tears over being branded the villain. Hey – ask Abi-Maria, they have more fun, so suck it up … or you’re dead to me? She then gave a very raw confessional about being someone that needs people to like her, which is super relatable and has softened me up a little bit.

Given that she is a genuinely nice person, Shay took Shannon for a walk to make sure she is ok. Sadly for Shay, no one was buying that it was genuine, laughing about her scrambling from the comfort of the shelter. That being said, she would totally use Shannon as a number if she were so inclined … and you just know she’d love an opportunity to flip once again.

Not wanting to be left out of the action, Avi pulled Nate aside to see how long the plan had been brewing and where they stood. This set Nate’s tears off, as he cried about missing Sala and still feeling guilty. Fucking hell, I’ll root for you too Nate. Damn, is it only Shay I’m not rooting for at the moment? I mean, Jak is annoying … but he wears a loincloth which is a plus.

Wanting to keep things moving quickly, the tribe was summoned to a one of my favourite immunity challenges – the nighttime cultural story and quiz challenge! I mean sure, it isn’t the most exciting thing to write about, but the mood lighting and fires just get me feeling lit … which I think I’m using correctly. In any event, Tom made quick work of the challenge and after Matt took an excessively lengthy time verifying the discs were gold, took out immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tom, though really didn’t seem genuine. I assume concerned about Matt’s battle with colour-blindness?

The next day, Shannon, Avi, Shay and Nate played cards which made Barb thrilled since she was keen for a bit of down time, evidently desperate to finish off the book she’s been reading so far. With the queen away, Nate and Avi decided now was the best time to target Jak to continue weakening Mike’s numbers … and to get some peace and quiet.

Back at the camp, Jak was blissfully unaware that he was the next target and as such, locked in the chance to wear his loincloth to tribal, which TBH would be a hilarious way to go. Avi then decided it was important to pretend that he was expecting to go, to lull them into a false sense of security and I assume, to keep plan loincloth on track.

Given that Barb was taking a break from the hammock and people, Avi started to get nervous that maybe he wasn’t as safe as he thought. On the flipside, Barb was feeling hella confident and spoke about how predictable it was with everyone rolling over and following her plans. Jak then decided to follow her around like a puppy, spooking the shit out of Shay, Shannon and Avi before tribal.

Jak slipped out of his clothes and into something more comfortable, heading off to tribal like a low-rent George of the Jungle making he wish that Lee had been inspired to go with this ensemble instead. He then butchered pronouncing Nicaragua and I stopped feeling oddly aroused.

Matt then set Avi up to win over the jury, talking about how hurt he was by Sala’s boot. Nate then gave a completely non-committal statement, Barb spoke about how it was a necessary evil to take out Sala. Avi said he felt shitty about the game requiring people to turn on the kindest, which Barb brushed aside as naive as they headed off to vote.

At the sight of his first vote, Jak started to shit himself – thankfully not literally. The votes continued to roll in as he found himself booted from the game, with his booty on display but that wasn’t all, he also had a very cheeky grin.

Mike was thrilled to see Jak arrive, but I don’t know if that was because he was happy to see his friend … or caught a case of my confusing thirst? Laying on the praise, the tribe returned from tribal to talk about Jak’s ability to be laughed at.

The next day Shay and Avi talked about how screwed they are and threw some shade at Barb, talking about how she was a threat as a goat because everyone wants to go with the end with her and she is controlling the game but not aware of what is going on. Confused? Same because from where I’m sitting, Barb is killing it and is the most deserving of taking out the crown. Shannon on the other hand was mildly more aware, talking about Barb’s threat level while talking to Nate about taking either Barb or Tom out, should either miss out on immunity.

Speaking of which, Matty boy returned for the latest immunity challenge which involved scaling some hard poles to collect sacks which you then had to toss into boxes. Just pause to think about how much smut my dear Probsty could add to this event. Shay got out to an early lead, quickly followed by Shannon and Avi … but when it came time to tossing sacks, the boys really shon. Challenge beast Tom took the lead, with Shannon, Nate and Avi close behind. Tom’s sack-handling shone supreme, landing him his third immunity in a row.

Everyone but Tom was feeling extremely nervous and as such, got to work scrambling. Completely shocking me, Tom decided his best move would be to align with Avi and his island nemesis Shay. Barb was gunning for Shay, while Shay, Tom, Shannon and Avi were targeting Barb. Shannon told Shay that neither she nor Tom wanted to sit next to Avi at the end, while Avi and Tom continued their reconnection with the latter suggesting that getting rid of Shannon is the best move. Nate however felt nervous about Tom’s newfound power and was concerned about keeping Shay in the game.

The boys then approached Barb to float the idea of getting rid of Shannon and while she thought Shay is the better idea, she was more than happy to get rid of Shannon if it means she can stay another day. Shannon on the other hand was just desperately trying to sell herself and her trust worthiness to stay in the game. Shay was feeling nervous for Shannon before hell froze over and she and Tom buried the hatchet and agreed to work together to further their games. Shay then took it one step further and agreed that going to the end with Avi is a losing decision, giving Tom the ammo he needs for when he wants to dig up the aforementioned hatchet.

Which he did, moments later … leaving me hella confused as the tribe rolled into tribal. Even more confused by Professor Sala’s look in the jury. It may shock you to know that I find his loo ba-ba-bangin’.

Tom told Matt how much he’s needed to win these immunities, Shannon spoke about changing her gameplay and being concerned that it would be her undoing. Nate then spoke about the Sala blindside also having a profound impact on the game. Shannon made up for her early flubs, pointing out how little chance she has of winning considering the boys all hate her, which Shay agreed with … making the target on her back just a little bit bigger than Shannon’s. Thankfully for Shay, it didn’t cost her the game as Shannon found herself going to redemption island for an extremely awkward reunion with the boys.

Despite my and Shannon’s expectations, Mike and Jak were rather welcoming when Shannon arrived at redemption. Though it could have been due to the fact that she was voted out and they were just happy to see her lose. She was still thinking it best to duerme como las delfinas aka sleep with one eye open.

Meanwhile at camp, Tom was quick to confirm that Shay wasn’t blindsided by the Shannon boot before they all spoke about how important it is for Shannon or Jak to get rid of Mike, for everyone’s sake. None more so than Avi, who is in the best position and can’t afford someone back in the game that won’t take him to end / lay down for his victory.

The next day Shannon was thrilled to have not been murdered in her sleep by a vengeful Mike and was thankful that they were getting along. They then talked smack about the people left in the game, particularly Barb and her hammock … the ultimate alliance. Jak then made a pun worthy of this patch of cyberspace, which I’m super impressed by.

Back in the game, Tom, Shay and Avi spoke about Barb appearing flat and just wanting to sit in the hammock with her book … which is literally what she has been doing the entire game. Tom decided to check in with her to see how she was handling the votes in the previous tribal when she decided to drop the bombshell, that she has zero interest in making the final three. Barb, in the screaming words of Tyra, HOW COULD YOU?! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU. I HAVE NEVER YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS BEFORE.

We then found out Shay eats peanut butter and tomato on toast. That is so fucking disgusting that it broke me out of my Tyra-nce.

Nate was feeling homesick and on the outs, so was completely in the dumps. Given he is super kind, he decided to approach Avi and check in and see where he stood with the tribe. Showing a fair bit of skill, Avi quickly told Nate exactly what he needed to hear and gave what genuinely sounded like a solid plan. Shay and Tom continued their reconnection by the fire, talking about how they trust Avi which means they trusted each other … which they immediately contradicted in confessionals.

Back on redemption Jak and Mike were playing mind games … but all I took away from the situation is that Mike’s nips were on point.

In the land of the living, Tom pulled Nate aside to discuss their plans which spooked Shay who dobbed on him to Avi. The boys then had a heart to heart on the beach, where Tom appeared to win Avi over – despite the fact Shay was telling the truth – though Avi was smart enough to suggest all three of them discuss it later, to force it on them. Avi then approached Shay to tell her he trusted Tom and was sick of her stirring the plot, which is either a brilliant move … or an absolutely terrible one. So yeah, literally one of the two options.

Matt finally returned to preside over one of my favourite challenges, where the tribe need to writhe around in mud before wiping the mud off their bodies into a bucket … for an overnight spa reward. The boys got out to a quick start, though the girls seemed to be playing smarter with Barb piling the mud in her hair. Given we can’t see into their buckets and the commentary would be super boring even if I could I’ll cut to the chase, Avi won and elected to take Tom for never winning a reward and Barb … because Shay and Nate need to bond to further Avi’s game.

They returned to camp and washed off the filth of the challenge while Avi and Tom read Shay for filth – boom tish – before agreeing it is important to check in with Barb and make sure they’re on the same page. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Avi approached Nate to make sure he was ok with his decision. Since Nate saw it as the closest decision to indecision, he didn’t seem to mind. Meanwhile Shay approached Tom to apologise for overhearing his plan to get rid of Avi to reconfirm their alliance before they went their ways.

After a brief interlude of journalling, horseriding, feasting, drinking, relaxing and making final three pacts – albeit with Barb going out in fourth – Avi, Tom and Barb returned to the depleted Shay and Nate. They then decided it was a great idea to rub the reward in their faces and talk about how great it was to be clean and well rested.

Putting an end to the gush fest, Mike, Jak and Shannon were brought in for their battle, which the latter two weren’t feeling very confident about. Shannon and Mike spoke about burying the hatchet, which made Avi nervous given the fact Mike has been able use redemption island to win the favour of the jurors on their way out.

The battle is another one of my Survivor favourites, where they each had to hold their arm above their heads tethered to a bucket of water until someone drenches themselves … which generally favours women. As expected, Jak struggled from the get go, while Tom and Shannon looked strong. After 15 minutes that would have been about two on screen which ultimately felt like hours, Shannon dropped out of nowhere sending her out of the game as the ninth boot.

While she was insanely gutted to be wiped out of the competition, she was thrilled that her booby prize was a delicious Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

 

Make no mistake, these babies are small but they pack an absolute punch. The quince and prosciutto are both robust, but work perfectly with a bit of fig and some blue cheese … just to really up the ante of strong flavours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
25g butter
1 onions, finely chopped
100g quince paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
200g prosciutto, sliced
2 figs, thinly sliced
125g hard blue cheese, like Stilton
2 eggs
⅓ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and sweat the onions for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the Quince Paste and vinegar, and stir heat until melted. Season and remove from the heat.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into a muffin pan. Divide the onion mixture evenly amongst them, top generously with some prosciutto, a slither or two of fig and some blue cheese.

Whisk the eggs and cream together and pour amongst the tarts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and set.

Allow to rest for five minutes, before devouring.

 

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Ben Whishawbi Peas

Party Food, Side, Snack

Let’s start with the best news – despite my mad science skillz, I did not accidentally engineer a way for two men to procreate meaning that Benny Whish wasn’t dropping by to spring a decade’s worth of child support payments on me.

The bad news is that he isn’t still curled up in a ball pining over me … which is just odd and kind of rude, TBH.

I first met the other Ben while he was starring in Hamlet in 2004. I played the roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and let’s just say I spied action on and off the stage. Oh the action off stage …

Our torrid dressing room affair quickly blossomed into love and I vowed to make him a star, and us a power couple … fulfilling my fantasy to date someone that looked similar and shared my name given it didn’t work out so well with Batfleck.

After I purchased the rights to Perfume to try and snag my first Oscar, he brutally stole the role out from under me. We went through an extremely messy break-up that even the divine Cate Blanchett could not fix, despite her best attempts on the set of I’m Not There.

I’ve utilised the following decade to tear him down at any opportunity, so was super surprised to hear that he wanted to reconnect. Needless to say, I was extremely wary when he arrived … but shock of all shocks, he wanted to apologise for the Perfume slight.

While it doesn’t bring me back the Oscar I was robbed of, the fact that he could admit that I would have done better with the part is enough for me to forgive him. Plus – it is pride month and since we’re both married gay men, I was softened by the idea to double date. I’m a sucker for the community.


He on the other hand is a
sucker for my Ben Whishawbi Peas.

 

 

While this used to be our go to post-coital snack, there was something oddly pleasant about sitting down with a beer and the spicy snacks, to work through our issues and celebrate actual happy relationships as adults.

Seriously, being this mature makes me sick … but these babies don’t – enjoy!

 

 

Ben Whishawbi Peas
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup wasabi
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Method
Preheat oven to 100°C.

Place the peas on a lined baking sheet with the olive oil, toss to coat and bake for about three hours, or until they are well dried.

While they are baking, combine everything in a jug.

Remove the peas from the oven and transfer to a bowl and toss through the wasabi coating. Return to the baking tray and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until dry and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Cheazy-E Bacon Cob

Bread, Dip, Party Food, Snack

Reconnecting with Pete Doherty to discuss turning our life story into a musical got me feeling all nostalgic and emotional, and as such, I felt it was high time to get the time machine out and check in with a dearly departed friend. One that I’d always wanted to spin our life story into a movie, but was never able to due to a (since ended) feud with Ice Cube.

Yep – I went back to the early ‘90s to see my boy Eazy-E.

Given his somewhat sudden death occurred during a period I was banned from entering the U.S.A., I was never able to say a final goodbye and that is something that has weighed on my soul ever since. Though not enough to keep me from getting deported/banned from the U.S. 60 times since, the latest being by the Cheeto in Chief last month.

It should come as absolutely – said in my best Gia Gunn breaking character as Kim Kardashian voice – no surprise that I grew up in Compton with the N.W.A. and was an integral member of the group … until I was asked to leave for causing too much drama with rival crews. Despite being ‘released’ from the group, it was always accepted that if Eaze is the godfather of gangsta rap, I am definitely the godmother due to our close, unshakeable bond.

Fun fact: Straight Outta Compton was written about me as a cheeky nod to the fact that I’m anything but straight. That song is so much more cerebral than people think … and really should be the anthem for next year’s pride. I mean, I’m practically the OG Babadook.

I decided it was best to go back to ‘93 at the peak of his feud with Dre, as it wouldn’t arouse any suspicion since we’d get together every few nights to talk smack about Dre and plot his downfall. I know inventing time travel is a luxury but like SpiderMan, I know that with that great power comes great responsibility and it is often hard not to try and fix the past for my friends.

I mean, I had HIV medication packed and was ready to save him, butterfly effect be damned, but I backed out after he gave a rousing speech about how everything happens for a reason, carpe diem and Dead Poet’s Society. You may not be aware, he was a passionate fan of that movie … even more so than my year nine English teacher who clearly assumed he was the second coming of Robin WIlliams’ character.

He was not … and I’m well off tangent.

Given that I knew he didn’t have long left, I decide to whip him up his favourite, extremely unhealthy dish, my Cheazy-E Bacon Cob.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is not a healthy dish … but damn is it delicious. I mean, there is no way any combination of cheese and bacon could go wrong.

Just remember, this is a sometime food – enjoy!

 

 

Cheazy-E Bacon Cob
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 cob loaves, one for the dip and one for extra dipping croutons
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
4 shallots, finely sliced
250g cream cheese, softened
½ cup double cream
⅔ cup sour cream
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1 cup cheddar, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Cut the top off one of the cob loaves and scoop out the bread. Place the hollowed cob on a lined baking sheet and cut the remaining bread – excluding the lid – into bite size pieces and place on another tray. Dice the remaining cob and place on the second baking sheet. Set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon and shallots for about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the cream cheese, double cream and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat for a couple of minutes, or until combined. Add the cheeses, bacon, shallots and a good whack of salt and pepper and mix for a further minute.

Transfer the filling to the hollowed cob, place the lid on and bake for half an hour. Remove the lid and bake for a further ten minutes, adding the remaining bread to crisp up.

Serve immediately and devour.

 

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