Korean Pork Jonburgers Blonde

Burgers, Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top five competed in the General Erection Roast to win the votes of the panel. And well, there wasn’t really any competition to be honest as Danny absolutely annihilated the dolls and easily took out victory. At the other end of the pack, Peppa knew she would struggle but thankfully took the energy of making the crowd pity her which gave her more of a so-bad-it’s-good vibe. That being said, the biggest surprise was Pixie Polite who got stuck in her head after a slow start and managed to bomb the challenge despite being so naturally funny. While Cheddar was annoyed about being placed last in the run order, though still managed to get laughs. As such, it was Pixie that landed in the bottom with Peppa before she won her fourth lip sync and eliminated Ms Polite from the competition.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have officially made it to the finale and get the chance to take out the crown. While Peppa was bad at maths – she sent home a third of the cast, not a quarter – we quickly moved on as the dolls toasted how strong of a performer Pixie is. After briefly praising Peppa for another killer lip sync, the dolls congratulated Danny on earning her fourth badge and well, let’s just say, she now has the momentum and the fire to take out victory. And honestly, could we please just do a double crowning of Danny and Cheddar because they honestly both destroyed the competition. Though given UK has never crowned someone with four wins, maybe this is Peppa of Jonbers’ to take?

The next day the dolls were still well and truly overjoyed to make it to the top with Jonbers delightful, Danny talking about her talent uniting feuding cities while Cheddar reminded them that it all comes down to how they perform this week. And well, Peppa was just iconic. Ru interrupted the kiki to announce that to snatch the crown, the dolls will have to perform a megamix of Ru’s music – get that cheque, Ru – and write and record their own lyrics before performing live on the mainstage. Peppa would be going solo on Sissy that Walk, Cheddar snagged The Realness and Danny was given Call Me Mother, leaving Jonbers with Kitty Girl, which tracks. Oh and they will obviously get the chance to spill the tea with Ru and Michelle.

As soon as Ru left the dolls split up to listen to the songs and while Peppa was obviously very very confident, Danny was terrified of keeping up with the music but knew the biggest barrier would be the one in her head. Cheddar too was worried but given she dances in the club – lol – she is just going to try and relax. They soon split up to work through their lyrics while Danny dropped by the mainstage to talk to Ru and Michelle, talking about how energised she is by the competition and how it has completely evolved who she is as a performer. I mean, remember when she realised she was hot? Michelle praised her for her confidence and for always bringing Danny to everything, leading to her opening up about a horrific hate crime in high school and how her parents moved her to a new school and told her to start fresh and as such, she fully accepted herself and flourished. Danny opened up about how desperate she is for the crown and how there has never been a winner like her and that she looks forward to representing them.

Jonbers was up next and completely charmed Ru and Michelle from start to finish, opening up about manifesting her way to the end of the competition and thanking them for their feedback. Michelle praised her for applying everything they said and growing, while Ru was impressed by her fashion, leading to her breaking down over how much her mother’s 70s glam inspired her to serve such sickening looks. Jonbers opened up about feeling like people never believe in her but now, despite not liking fart jokes back in the day, she is fully into the poo party. I shit you not – pun intended – that was said.

White Salt was thrilled to be reunited with Black Peppa for a cheeky little kiki, talking about how hard she fought to make it to the end. Ru praised her for never staying within the box and always giving something different. She opened up about how much her parents’ rejection when she came out made her the person she is now and how much she is fighting to be a support to her sister. Peppa opened up about wanting the crown to inspire people to keep pushing, fighting and to always believe in themselves. Even when other people tear you down.

Rounding out the conversation portion of the evening, Cheddar spoke about how great and diverse Manchester is. Michelle asked her why such a star like her finally opted to participate, with her admitting she hadn’t been excited by drag for a while and wanted to shake herself out of it and when she got the list of challenges, she felt invigorated for the first time in a long time. She opened up about feeling like she can never embrace herself as a talent due to her working class upbringing before admitting that whether she takes the crown or not, she is a star. Though trust she does want that validation.

The dolls came back together to meet Claudimar Neto – swoon – and a duo of zaddy back-up dancers to learn their choreography and well, let’s just say, my basement was more flooded than Danny’s. Peppa was up first and obviously killed the rehearsal given this is totally what she does best. Cheddar meanwhile got to serve sex with the dancers and um, BRB, for reasons. Danny was next and while she was nervous, she worked super hard and you could see just how much the competition has meant to her, despite the struggles. Oh and then Jonbers was super charming and silly and ready to redeem her performance in Girl Groups.

And well, who knows their left from right, anyway?

Coronation Day finally arrived with the dolls even more excited than the day before, talking about how great their performance is going to be. Jonbers was excited by the prospect of being the first no badge winner while everyone was clearly ready to fight for the win. As they started to beat their mugs, Cheddar spoke about how she didn’t expect it to be as tough as it is while Jonbers was proud to prove she is talented and prove the naysayers wrong. Danny praised Jonbers for being so unique and reiterated that she deserves her place in the final, while Cheddar was thrilled to have reminded herself of all that she can do and wanted to make her family proud. They started reflecting on their favourite performances of the season with everyone agreeing Peppa’s plea for laughs was one of the highlights, while Cheddar was just so grateful to see how she stomps the runway.

And well, I love how happy and loved up they all are. So maybe we do a four-way crowning this season, please Ru!

Mama Ru, Michelle, Graham and Alan took their places on the judges panel as the top four took to the stage to perform their new megamix alongside their fallen sisters and damn, it was good. Even the mega mix was an absolute bop! Peppa was fiery and fierce and damn she can turn a show. I mean, I barely stared at the dancers bouncing junk. Cheddar was silly and sensual and oh so polished, giving drag Bowie and I lived for every moment. Danny was perfect, sassy and hit every moment of choreography despite not being confident before Jonbers arrived and owned the show giving charm and energy and well, is Kitty Girl just the best song for a finale because she, Trixie, Shangela, Kennedy and Bebe should do a collab because it was stunning.

On the Grand Finale Eleganza runway Peppa slayed in a checkerboard rocker gown and while it was so unexpected, it was perfectly stunning. Cheddar was an iridescent alien bug goddess and ugh, she looked so glorious. Danny was a gorgeous sexy phoenix, rising for the ashes and well, this is going to be a very tight race. While Jonbers gave the sexiest celtic warrior I’ve ever seen, complete with a stunningly damaged shield.

The judges lived for Peppa’s journey on the runway, grateful to have witnessed how strong of a performer she is. Not only that, she delivered stunning looks week after week and as such, earnt her place in the top. While Alan admitted he loved when she was in the bottom as she was so good at lip syncing, while Peppa was just glad they saw how energetic she is. Cheddar received wall to wall praise for bringing vulnerability, always looking stunning and growing as a performer, while never losing sight of herself or what the challenge asked of her. Ru then called her a pro, so tragically I guess she doesn’t win. Cheddar on the flipside opened up about how grateful she was to participate in the competition and to evolve. 

Danny too was praised for everything she did in the competition, for being funny and always giving beautiful, creative looks. Oh and she is dripping in charisma. Danny started to breakdown over how much the competition means to her and how happy it makes her to be praised. Jonbers meanwhile was praised for being a chameleon, growing week after week and always giving them something unexpected. Oh and they obviously lived for her serving such stunning looks. Jonbers opened up about how the competition made her believe in herself and she always fought, knowing it would inspire someone.

Peppa was up first to dish out advice to her younger self, wishing the world wouldn’t be so unkind to her, but to always remember she is amazing and to never give up because she will be free and that is when she will shine. Cheddar told five year old Michael to not try growing up too fast and to enjoy being young, silly and to be ready for all the love in the world and how much she deserves said love. Danny told her younger self to not let her mum cut her hair, before encouraging her to push through the trauma and bullying, and never give up because she will succeed. Oh and to listen to your father and not look so fucking orange. Jonbers told two year old Andrew to always dream big and to never let people questioning her get her down, to always fight and know that you will be loved and deserve the world.

And well, like Graham, I am sobbing.

The top four were joined backstage by The Vivienne, Lawrence and Krystal for a kiki, opening up about how amazing the experience was. While also how tough it has been. The Vivienne assured them they have a bright future ahead of them, though it does take work and to never take it for granted. Lawrence told them to stay humble and always treat their fans with respect, given they pay their bills while Krystal told them to not look at anyone else and just shine, no matter what happens.

The Viv, Lawrence and Krystal returned to the stage to form the peanut gallery to watch over the eliminated queens of season 4. Just May looked like regal Geri – which is v on brand, obviously – Starlet was a delight in baby blue tulle, Copper was stunning in royal blue, Sminty was perfection in a white gown – complete with twerk – Le Fil gave anime warrior, Dakota was glam in pearl while Pixie was gorgeous in an emerald green and gold gown. The top four took their place on the mainstage where Ru announced that only two would continue to lip sync for the crown. And those queens were not Jonbers or Peppa.

Jonbers was slightly ahead as she walked off the stage for them to set for the final lip sync, so I pulled her aside and gave her a massive hug. I then went full drunk Ellie Kemper in Bridesmaids and held her close and, through gritted teeth, reminded her how damn talented and beautiful she is. And how much she deserves not just her place in the top four, but of the Korean Pork Jonburgers Blonde.

This tweaked Antoni number is now one of my favourite burgers. The fresh lettuce and tangy kim chi work perfectly to cut through the richness of pork. Then you add in a little bit of gochujang mayo and well, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Korean Pork Jonburgers Blonde
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 tbsp gochujang
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 shallots, sliced
¼ tsp smoked paprika
675g pork mince
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp chilli flakes
4 Briocher Bünsberg
butter lettuce, leaves removed
1 lebanese cucumber, sliced
1 cup kimchi

Method
Combine the mayonnaise, gochujang, lemon zest and juice, half the shallot and smoked paprika in a bowl. Cover and transfer to the fridge to set.

In a large bowl, mix the pork, ginger, remaining shallot, ginger, sesame oil, salt and chilli flakes together until well combined. Form into four patties, pop onto a lined plate, cover and place in the fridge to set for about half an hour.

When you’re to get grillin’, remove the patties from the fridge and lightly oil a griddle or skillet. Place the pan over medium heat and once scorching, add the patties and cook for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another five.

To assemble, split the buns and top with the patties, some gochujang mayo, lettuce, cucumber and kimchi. Before devouring with a big side of fries.


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Justerrine Brennan

Lunch, Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, 18 new castaways were dumped on the now traditional isles of Fiji to put themselves to the test in the ultimate game. And by ultimate, we’d all far prefer it to still be 39 days, but once again, I digress. Despite having some new editing tricks – hello drones – the dramas were the same at the three tribes as everyone had varying degrees of success setting up camp and starting fire. After Baka lost the first immunity challenge, Elie quickly flipped on her plan to lead a strong, all female alliance and instead decided to target Morriah for being weak. With Gabler immune, hair-goals Owen became the target for the other side, though thankfully his locks lived to see another day, as Elie ended the chances of the women taking control of their tribe.

Back at camp – or Baka at camp, specifically – Owen pulled the tribe together to apologise for his nervous scrambling and thanked everyone for saving him and trusting in him. Leading to Elie and Gabler admitting tribal council was a trust exercise and now that they’ve been able to prove it, the five should be unbreakable. Now Gabler was solely focused on getting the tribe fed, spirits lifted and ready to win challenges. Right on cue, an epic storm rolled over the islands and while everyone didn’t look to fare well, the fact that Baka was without a flint, means they are truly at a disadvantage. Though bless, the next morning, they used it as a learning moment and quickly decided to work on getting the roof of their shelter secured. While Owen was also very concerned about Gabler’s health, given he was clearly on struggle street after three days.

Over at Vesi, Jesse and Dwight were far less concerned about repairing after the storm and instead were hunting for an idol and talking about the dynamics of their tribe. They noticed it was kinda split into three pairs, with Nneka and Cody close, Noelle and Justine closer and as such, Jesse decided that Dwight should be his island wife. We then learnt a bit more of Dwight, who was essentially a child political journo which is iconic. After that detour, Dwight suggested to Jesse that Cody is the biggest threat and that he would prefer to align with the girls, while Jesse definitely wasn’t threatened by him, giving Cody is clearly just here for a good time. And therefore, super easy to navigate around. Someone he wasn’t vibing with was Justine who was busy making eye contact with spiders and as such, also seemed a wee out of her element.

And just like that, a duo is already divided.

Over at Coco the tribe were doing a little ballet or yoga or something, followed by some back cracking from Ryan. Karla reiterated she is literally aligned with everyone in the tribe, though she would most like to take out Geo first. The only concern being about how his bestie zaddy-Ryan would react. As the duo went hunting for nuts, Geo opened up about his coming out experience and how it ended with his parents kicking him out of home. Which is absolutely fucked and I am so glad he used it to make a life for himself that he could be proud of. And well, to put it simply, fuck his parents. Ryan meanwhile was gushing about how close he and Geo were and ugh, give Ryan the win, in addition to my heart.

Back at Vesi Noelle was talking Cody through putting on her prosthesis, which he explained to Nneka and Jesse was important to him as he watched one of his friends lose their leg and then die from cancer in High School. Which goes a long way to explaining why he is so upbeat, silly and adventurous. Flipping to Baka, Owen went for a walk to get water for the tribe where he shared to us that he was trying to keep his old-grump personality under wraps. Particularly if he were to find out everyone was hunting for idols instead of helping him keep everyone alive. Right on cue, Jeanine and Elie were busy looking for said idol while trying to decide whether they should focus on adding Sami or Owen as their third. Elie likened Sami as her responsible, independent older child while Owen is her needy baby, and given the boys don’t appear tight, she was confident pulling one in would be an easy win. Which obviously meant Sami was floating the idea of an all male alliance at that very moment.

The tribes reconnected with Probst for the next immunity challenge where they would swim to a cage, climb in and release a large snake containing number tiles, use the tiles to solve a combination and then release puzzle pieces, which they would need to solve. With the winners getting immunity and a full fishing set, second getting a few fishing items and the losers getting some face time with Probst at tribal. Given the snake was ridiculously heavy, everyone struggled to get through the first phase until Elie fell off while holding on to it which gave them the lead, while Coco and Vesi were left to nip at their heels. Well, Coco at the very least, as Nneka kinda gave up on helping with the snake at Vesi, leading to them falling way behind. So far behind in fact that Jeanine and Elie secured the win for Baka with ease, just ahead of Coco. Sending Vesi to tribal council, while Noelle looked on angrily from the sit out bench.

Which, relatable.

Back at camp the tribe got a quick little pep talk from Cody, before pivoting to scrambling with Cody knowing he would have his work cut out for himself to protect his bestie Nneka after bombing the challenge. As the girls locked in their plan against Nneka, she approached Jesse and Dwight to see if they’d be open to keeping her. We dabbed out and checked in with the triumphant Baka who were riding high on their first victory, with Elie particularly thrilled to have had the hero moment in the puzzle given she struggled at school growing up due to her ADHD and dyslexia. As the tribe discussed how best to use their fishing gear, Gabler ignored everyone’s suggestion to pop a rope on the Hawaiian sling given he had never used one and immediately put a target on his back. That somehow led to Jeanine going through his bag to get confirmation whether his idol expires after the second tribal council or his second tribal council. Which ended up being the latter, meaning she, Elie and Owen needed to figure out a way to navigate around it should they actually want to take a shot.

We returned to Vesi for the more pressing scramble with Justine approaching Dwight and Jesse to figure out a split vote plan to navigate Nneka potentially playing her shot in the dark. Sadly for her, she needed Jesse to pull it off and given Justine had already made him more nervous than Nneka, Justine girl, you in danger. Jesse caught up with his island wife Dwight to see how he was feeling about the upcoming tribal council and while Dwight was more interested in aligning with the girls to weaken Cody, by way of taking out Nneka, Jesse was also aware that Dwight does not have a vote and as such, he can’t help either way. Justine approached the duo and admitted that she wasn’t sure she could trust Jesse, which made him want her gone ASAP. And Dwight? Well, he wasn’t bothered.

Jesse approached Cody and Nneka to discuss the upcoming tribal council, giving them the deets and straight up vibing. Feeling good about getting rid of Justine, Cody turned his attention to idol hunting where he quickly stumbled across the Beware Advantage. And despite the risk, took it and immediately lost his vote unless he was able to convince each person in the tribe to give him a unique bead from their bags to activate his idol bracelet. He got to work, admitting to Jesse what happened and they set to work securing the rest. Cody decided he would wear a palm frond hat at tribal council and as such, needed to bedazzle it with beads, asking everyone to give him theirs. Which worked, for everyone but Noelle, who had already made a bracelet out of hers.

At tribal council Cody admitted they were crushed to lose immunity, before gushing about his iconic hat to Probst and how the tribe all helped by gifting him their beads. Justine admitted she would like a hat, with Cody offering to make one should she survive. She opened up about knowing she is on the block given everyone is paired up in the tribe and she hasn’t talked strategy with Cody at all. Dwight opened up about the fact everyone knows he doesn’t have a vote tonight, while Jesse and Nneka admitted that it may seem silly for him to have shared that intel, in the game it makes sense. Talk turned to the potential idol, with Nneka trying to distract while Noelle was genuinely in the dark about the situation.

Cody admitted that Dwight losing his vote likely won’t impact tribal council while Noelle felt that nobody had done anything wrong and as such, tonight was a tough decision for everyone. Though she was planning to vote for strength so they don’t have to come back. With that the tribe voted – including Cody, who was able to get the last bead from Noelle in a flashback – which tragically led to her friend Justine being booted from the game. JUST LIKE I PREDICTED BY ANOINTING HER THE MODERN ERA JESSIE CAMACHO?!

Which was not something she delighted in when I gave her a hug at Loser Lodge. She was understandably super bummed to be out of the game second but I reminded her that an iconic early boot – that is gorgeous to boot – will live on in the hearts of us gays for decades to come, just like Jesse, and as such, she should be proud of herself. And while I don’t know if it was that or the Justerrine Brennan that cheered her up, all I know is that she was happy when I exited.

While this terrine gives off big turducken energy, I assure you the pork and chicken combination is damn near perfection. Sweet, succulent and packed with a juicy-earthy punch, this is the perfect thing to feast on for dinner, or have cold at a picnic. She. Is. Versatile, mama.

Enjoy!

Justerrine Brennan
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush
1 onion, diced
12 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 chicken breasts, diced
500g pork mince
⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
⅓ cup dried cranberries
¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onion over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Transfer to a bowl.

While the onion gets chill, use 10 of the bacon rashers to line a 1kg loaf tin, leaving excess to hang over the sides. Add the chicken, pork, pistachios, cranberries, nutmeg, thyme, sage and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir until well combined. Press the filing into the tin and fold the overhanging bacon over to seal tightly. Oil some foil – lol, rhyme – and cover the terrine. Again, tightly.

Transfer to a roasting pan and half-fill – the roasting pan, obvi – with boiling water and pop in the oven to bake for 90 minutes. Once cooked, gently remove from the water bath, uncover, drain excess fat and leave to cool.

Once cool, transfer to a baking tray and cover with foiling and pop something heavy on top – filled tin cans work best – and transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.

To serve, unmold the terrine, brush with a little oil and pop in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Then, finally, devour.


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Itejan Weddillay Soup

Main, Soup, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the rapidly expanding jury was filling up with members of the former Masu tribe as everyone started turning on each other, rather than going after their pre-merge counterparts. While Steffi and Marian were locked in with each other, their other ally Meryl was not so solid and was ready to make a move, resulting in the blindside of Steffi. That obviously led to Marian seeing red, as she spit fire on her way to aligning with Dino. After taking out immunity, Marian was nervous about Meryl skipping out on tribal council with her pass. This led to an epic planning where Dino and Co. convinced her that they needed her vote, sending Marian out of tribal council while the rest of the tribe brutally blindsided Meryl.

Back at camp Marian was thrilled that Meryl had fallen into their trap and sent her back to camp before the vote. The remaining tribe soon joined her with Shane thrilled that the move brought the tribe together, with Marian congratulating everyone for pulling it off. With Killarney still sure that it was all her plan, which obviously annoyed Phil, given he, Felix and Dino are the ones that actually put in the work. Talk turned to how well Meryl took her blindside, with everyone agreeing her positive attitude is indicative of how great the season has been.

The next day Felix woke up his tribemates with news of an upcoming reward challenge, leading to speculation about why the challenge was starting so early in the day. Begging the question, is it a tough challenge or an epic reward? Like say, the loved ones visit. This got everyone hopeful about potentially spending some time with their loved ones. Killarney opened up about the recent loss of her mother and her partner in the space of a month just before the game and while she is still struggling with her grief, she is proud of how hard she has fought despite it. And oh god, I’m crying before we even got to the challenge!

After drying my tears, the tribe caught up with Nico where they learnt they would have to race on a balanced rig to spell out the name of the season without knocking it over. With the winner getting a big schnitty reward, alongside a cheeky call with their loved one and an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. This got Marian crying, while everyone agreed that seeing their loved ones would be the biggest advantage they could ask for. With that, the challenge kicked off with Phil absolutely powering ahead with Killarney nipping at his heels. Well, until she knocked her blocks off. While Felix and Tejan closed the gap, it was all for naught as Phil quickly took out the win.

Nico obviously decided to give him a little dilemma, offering him the chance to take two people on reward with him but only if he was willing to forfeit the food and advantage. The tribe kindly all told him to play it smart and hold on to the entire reward, while Tejan clarified how using the reward invite works and if he would simply be joining Phil on the reward, rather than taking it away from him. After the assurance both of them would get to go, he played his token and headed out for a little bit of love. And a share in the advantage. As they exited, Dino started to break down over the thought of his fiance sitting at her computer, about to be told they wouldn’t be talking and ugh, it is all too sad. And that is before Killarney even started worrying about how to keep her head in the game while still mourning.

Phil and Tejan arrived at their reward, giddy to smash some food before getting their video call. Oh and the advantage for the upcoming immunity challenge. While Phil didn’t want him to get the advantage, he was glad to have Tejan there with him and to have the chance to talk about potentially aligning. Hoping to split the immunity challenges between them and make a move against Dino and Marian as the last big threats left in the game. And while Phil hated the idea of turning on his friend, he knew it would be necessary eventually.

Speaking about Dino, he and Marian were talking about the threat Tejan poses to their games with Killarney joining the fray and agreeing that an immunity run could screw everyone up. Dino opened up to us about how he wants to progress with his biggest threats – Marian, Phil and Felix or Shane. Speaking of the latter two, they were bonding and floating the idea of working together while back with Marian and Dino, she didn’t want Killarney or Tejan getting anywhere near the end with her. Shane joined them, as Marian speculated who would take her to the end if she was in the final four with Phil, Shane and Dino.

Back at reward, Phil was first up to call his family and immediately started sobbing as he saw his wife and kids. He opened up to them about how tough the game has been, though assured them that he is focused and fighting through, sticking to everything they planned before heading out. He tagged out with Tejan who truly lit up when his partner, niece and nephew popped his sweet angel dog on screen. And ugh, his partner is so cute, telling him to just focus and make it further than he did in his first season. The duo then bonded over the chance to see their family, with Tejan thrilled by how much the reward has given him. And hoping it pays dividends in the long run. In my heart, for his dog.

The next day everyone started speculating about the immunity challenge, while Marian grew focused on getting rid of Felix to bring Phil back to her loving arms. She then told Dino that Felix has been throwing his name around, while Dino told her that he in fact was throwing out her name. Felix meanwhile genuinely started throwing out Marian’s name, given it frees up Shane to align with him and take control with the goats. Felix and Tejan then floated the idea of getting rid of Marian, with Dino assuring them that getting rid of Killarney is all that she really cares about at this point.

The tribe reconnected with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would have to stand on a ledge and balance a block of wood between a beam and their heads. With Phil and Tejan getting to start the challenge five minutes after everyone else, which is an epic advantage. Before the duo even started Marian lost her focus and dropped out of the challenge. Tejan dropped as quickly as he started, before Shane dropped out of nowhere. After fifteen minutes, Killarney dropped, soon followed by Dino leaving Felix – who was shocked not to be the first out – and Phil to battle for immunity. Eventually though, the advantage proved to be too much to overcome as Felix dropped his block and handed Phil immunity yet again.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his challenge win, with Killarney growing nervous about his new found beastly ways. Marian meanwhile was worried about how close Felix and Phil were getting, catching up with Dino and Shane to talk about who they should target with Marian wanting to get rid of Felix, while Dino knew Tejan and Killarney were also a risk as the remaining goats. As Phil, Felix and Killarney went down to the beach to fish, they noticed a symbol on a rock with Phil quickly pouncing on it and jagging a clue to a hidden immunity. Though tragically, he could not find it. While he was searching, Killarney admitted that she was finally ready to trust that Felix wants to work with her. And given she allegedly orchestrated the Steffi and Meryl blindsides, she felt he was lucky to have her.

Phil gave up on his search and joined up with Marian and Dino to plan the vote ahead, with them suggesting getting rid of Felix given his final four is clearly him and the goats. Speaking of Felix, he was busy catching up with Shane, who spilled the beans about Dino and Marian coming for him. Which obviously filled him with dread. Felix and Tejan then caught up, debating how much they can trust Shane while he was wondering how he can work the information if it comes out. Shane then caught up with Tejan, talking about the impending chaos, while Phil continued to desperately hunt for his idol.

Felix caught up with Phil, with Dino soon joining them to block any chat. After Felix wandered off to hunt for the idol, Dino checked whether Phil was ok with the thought of Felix going, with him admitting that he still wants to work with him but also wanted to get the trio to the end together. Phil and Felix caught up while Dino continued the hunt for the idol, before Killarney asked permission to start hunting for the idol. She then threw Phil under the bus, sharing that he found an advantage on the beach which made Dino fearful that it meant the boys had already commenced turning on him.

The next day Dino continued to worry about his place in the game, getting up early to look for the idol in the hope that Phil hadn’t found it yet. Marian meanwhile caught up with Phil and told him that Killarney told her he found a clue and while he tried to tell her his clue told him it was at the Outpost, she knew it was a lie and quickly became wary of him. Phil finally told Dino about the clue in the hope that he could help him, with Dino sadly deciding it meant he had found the idol already. And Phil girl, you’re in danger. Well, when you next lose immunity.

Tejan and Felix meanwhile were hanging out by the shore, speculating about what was going on with the tribe with Felix growing paranoid. Though admitting he would prefer to be paranoid, rather than getting voted out. Felix and Phil caught up, with the former sure that he was the target for the rival faction and as such, they needed to lock in the vote against Tejan. Despite the fact Phil was ready to turn on Dino but 24 hours earlier. The trio then caught up, with Phil trying to bring them together and block out all the noise floating around camp in the hope of dealing with whatever else they were planning down the track. 

After splitting up, Phil finally found what he was looking for. Well, kind of, as he got another clue, directing him to look for said idol at tribal council. Sadly for him, Shane saw him find it and as such, quickly took the information back to Marian and given Phil is clearly the biggest threat, they decided that they needed to take a shot at Felix to weaken him. Marian and Dino caught up, with the former pointing out that Phil is on his way to winning the game and as his biggest threats, they need to take out the people he wants to take to the top three until they can take a shot at him. Shane filled Tejan in on the plan, who was annoyed as he wanted to take out Dino or Marian instead. After talking to Dino, Tejan approached Felix to tell him of everyone conspiring against him, seemingly unaware it could cost him the game. But since he made a fake idol, maybe he will get lucky.

At tribal council Felix admitted to feeling very nervous about the upcoming vote, while Marian said it was a very confusing day at camp as everyone came up with rival plans. Tejan admitted he was very much a target, with Felix laughing about it all being a lie, given he knows for a fact he is the target. He then spoke about wanting to take a goat to the end, while Marian and Dino started whispering about who to vote for between Tejan and Felix. Tejan admitted that he thinks he has been perceived as a goat, while Dino said that he would far prefer to eliminate the goats, Cirie style, given the goats take up a seat at final tribal council and makes it just that much harder to get to the end.

Felix said he was debating between sticking with what he knows and changing things up, while Tejan mentioned that the biggest threats need to worry because the leftovers could band together and take control. Felix continued his fight to say, reiterating that him being there the next day is best for most people’s games. Tejan then unveiled his fake idol, with everyone knowing it is fake. Felix pointed out that Tejan’s game has been to float along in the middle, so while people think they have him, they can’t trust he will stay with them. Phil whispered to Killarney to put down Tejan, while Marian confirmed with Dino that they were voting for Felix before they headed off to vote. And promptly voted Tejan out, despite him not playing his fake idol because he felt everyone had his back.

Tejan was in good spirits as he arrived at Ponderosa, despite the blindside. He knew that he was a target and while his decoys and plans didn’t come together, he was happy that he exhausted all of his options and went out swinging. While a game like Tejan’s is not over showy TV, he expertly navigated the middle and reduced his target, which carried him all the way to the top 7. And that in and of itself, is enough to justify a piping hot Itejan Weddillay Soup.

While this little number is traditionally a hybrid of cheap meats and veggies – or marriage, if you will – the resulting soup acts like a bowl of love. Warm, hearty and oh-so-soothing, it is the perfect way to cure a cold, miserable day.

Enjoy!

Itejan Weddillay Soup
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
250g pork mince
1 onion, diced
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
⅔ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste
pepper, to taste
3L chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach
1 chilli, thinly sliced (and seeds removed if you can’t handly the heat)

Method
Pop the minces, onion about ⅔ of the parsley, an egg, the garlic, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the parmesan in a large bowl with the salt and a good whack of pepper. Scrunch until well combined. Using wet hands, form into 1 tbsp sized meatballs and pop on a lined baking sheet.

Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat and once rollicking, maintain at a light boil. Gently drop in the meatballs and cook for about five minutes, or until tender and cooked. Whisk the remaining parmesan and eggs in a jug before pouring in the mixture, stirring, aiming to make thin strands of egg. Add in the spinach and chilli and cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat and stirring through the parsley and seasoning to taste.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving and devouring, with extra lashings of cheese for good measure.


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Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls

Main, Party Food, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World, the remaining dolls were cast in the latest rusical, West End Wendys. Well after Jujubee took out her third reading challenge and was given the honour of casting it, before opting to just select her role and let the other girls scrap over them. Despite this fair approach, Baga was very angry about her role because she wanted Juju’s – should have won the reading challenge, no? Despite this, she honestly did a good job, while Jimbo faltered for the first time in the competition while Juju continued to struggle. At the other end of the pack, Pangina and Janey slayed and were deemed the top two of the week, with Juju assuring the latter she still has the fight and can’t go home. Which she didn’t, as Pangina won the lip sync and cut fellow front runner Jimbo.

Backstage the dolls were well and truly gagged by the loss of Jimbo, while Juju was just thrilled – and a little shocked – to have been saved once again. Pangina admitted she is probably the most hated person in Canada right now since she just can’t seem to stop eliminating their queens, while Baga was the angriest person in Britain, ropeable that her bestie was cut despite a stellar track record. When they sat down, Baga confronted Pangina about her choices and while she tried to say it was because Juju did better in the challenge, Baga told us that it was bullshit. Janey meanwhile had selected Jujubee to go, further frustrating Baga given it was the right call and therefore Pangina should just admit why she chose to eliminate Jimbo. 

While Mo just questioned what black magic Juju has tapped into to stop the girls from eliminating her. Oh and Baga vowed to get her revenge on Pangina for Jimbo, which could finally make Baga interesting again. Despite my love for Pangina.

Things were far more zen the next day with Pangina proud to have two badges on her chest, though admitted it is a new week and she is nervous starting over again. Almost as a subtle reminder that she chose Jimbo because she only focuses on their last challenge. Blu admitted anyone can be in the bottom at any time with Janey assuring her she is always just safe, so there is no need for Blu to worry about having to send someone home. While Blu didn’t want that storyline, Jujubee admitted she would gladly take the role of the consistently safe queen. While Mo read Baga for wearing a velvet smock, questioning whether it was laundry day in the Chipz household.

Before we could find out why Baga was wearing a repurposed theatre curtain, Ru dropped in to announce that this week the dolls would be playing Snatch Game. This time in a Family Feud style panel instead, with three dolls partnering with Michelle while the others would get to work with Katie Price. Sadly not as Katie Price, played by Bimini Bon Boulash. And as last week’s winner, Pangina could assign everyone’s family. As they sat down to kiki, Mo asked Pangina if she was nervous about Snatch Game while Jujubee just reminded her the job is to make Ru laugh. Nothing more, nothing less. Pangina then grabbed Juju and Baga to join her on the family Price, leaving Janey to worry she left the three weaker ones together to bomb on Team Visage. Even though her plan could backfire and she get overshadowed by her strong sisters.

Ru dropped by to check in with the dolls with Pangina sharing she is going to be playing Mariah Carey and while she doesn’t see herself as a funny queen, she had made Ru laugh before so was starting to feel confident. Janey meanwhile wanted to do tanning mum, though Ru suggested she should do her back-up option James Charles, despite the controversy. After Ru read Juju for doing Liza, Juju opened up about doing Cher and while she isn’t going to be the BEST Cher, she is going to make Ru laugh. Trust and believe.

Mo was up next with Ru reminding her she doesn’t have the best track record in Snatch Game, trying to talk her out of Gordon Ramsey and her back-up option BeBe Zahara, instead pushing for her to do Billy Porter. Aka Broadway Mo. Ru was thrilled to see how Blu would follow up her filthy Mary Berry, with Blu sharing she would be playing Mike Myers as Austin Powers. Ru praised her for being filthy and hilarious, leading to her breaking down over her insecurities in the past and using that filthy humour to distract from her doubts. And well, Baga is going to be playing Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes from Misery and you know she is going to knock it out of the park.

The dolls ventured to the set where Katie Price admitted she just wanted to make Bimini proud – icons support icons after all – while Baga had Ru in hysterics from the very first sentence. Pangina’s Mariah was great while Juju was ridiculous and nothing like Cher, though did have Ru in stitches. Which, again, is all the matters with Snatch Game. Janey started strong while Blu’s busted teeth for Austin Powers were an absolute delight while poor Mo just leant into the word pose and honestly, is Billy Porter just a heightened version of Mo?

Baga was hilariously scary as Kathy Bates, giving us a narrative from start to finish. While poor Pangina seemed bland by comparison when it got to the end, given Juju was as ridiculous as Ginger Minj doing Michelle Visage on Battle of the Seasons. And it was perfect. Poor Janey suffered a similar fate as Pangina given Blu and Mo were bouncing off each other and delighting Ru. Particularly sweet Blu who was just, well, perfection. As was Juju saying Cher was short for Cher-cuterie. But you know, Blu whipped out Dr Evil half way through and threatened that Graham was being held hostage over a hot vat of smegma, so there is no way she is losing.

Elimination Day arrived with Baga ready to claim her first victory, while Pangina gave Juju a kitty bag. I’m not sure whether it was important, but I did enjoy it. Janey asked the girls what they felt about Ru encouraging her to ignore the potential controversy of playing James Charles, which led to Blu vehemently suggesting they all need to stay safe and not piss anyone off on the internet. While Janey encouraged her to acknowledge any controversies that come her way and to power through it. Pangina opened up about being cancelled when she was a judge on Drag Race Thailand, leading to Juju questioning whether comedy has been impacted by cancel culture. 

Baga admitted she rarely edits herself, though she has never made jokes that aren’t about her which makes it hard for people to get offended by her. Mo pointed out that some jokes were never funny, they’ve just been allowed to get by until people finally started calling them out while Baga just encouraged everyone to live their lives and make themselves the jokes.

Ru and Michelle were joined on the panel by Clara Amfo and Michelle Keegan as the dolls stomped the Luck be a Lady runway. Blu was up first as a stunning forest green irish leprechaun dame – complete with B Witched quote. I mean, she said THE THING – some people say I look like me dad! Janey was a sexy roulette wheel barbie, Juju was a golden lucky kitty while Mo was perfect as a completely lit up showgirl. Baga was a more literal leprechaun than Blu, while Pangina was the sexiest slot machine ever, complete with coins dripping out of her pussy.

Blu received universal praise for her Snatch Game, particularly for flipping the script in the middle and knowing when to pivot with her humour. Oh and they lived for her runway. Janey’s choice to play James Charles was read given he isn’t really even funny, though everyone agreed she looked stunning. Juju was praised for her choice to be a parody of a parody of Cher and being so fun, while her runway was read for not being clear. Despite the fact she looked stunning. Mo received praise for having fun in Snatch Game, though it was her pink flamingo showgirl that was absolutely beloved. Baga received universal praise for her Snatch Game performance and for doing a different character, though her runway was read for being dressed up for St. Paddy’s day. While poor Pangina was read for not bringing Mariah Carey in Snatch Game, despite looking just like her. Though they loved her runway. LOVED it.

Ultimately Blu and Baga were named the top two queens of the week before Ru gagged everyone by announcing that should you not be in the top, you’re now in the bottom and as such, they’re all up for elimination.

Backstage Blu was thrilled to finally make it to the top, particularly in Snatch Game, despite the fact Baga was sure she did slightly better than her UK sister. Blu asked the bottoms whether they felt ok with their placements, with Janey and Juju admitting their critiques were justified. While Pangina was just straight up heartbroken.

Baga first caught up with Janey, vibing on how real she is by admitting she was one of the worst this week. Baga then asked her who she should send home, given she was unsure. Pangina admitted to Blu how sad she is to land in the bottom, while Blu told her that she loves her though she is tempted to take out her biggest competition. Baga meanwhile told Mo that she felt she did third best in the challenge and straight up won’t be eliminating her, while Juju told Blu that if the rules didn’t change, she knows she wouldn’t be in the bottom. This time. Blu asked Juju if she would save her next week, with Juju admitting she would have to judge on the challenge and as such, Blu should do it too. Which is wise.

Janey and Juju caught up, with Janey not sure about what the girls will do while Juju wanted them to vote on the smoothest balls. Since she would win each and every day. Baga and Pangina caught up next with Pangina suggesting Janey was worse in Snatch Game and wanted Baga to make the moral decision and be fair. Just like she was, which made Baga annoyed for Jimbo all over again. Mo meanwhile straight up told Blu that she will keep her in the competition if she is in the top next week, which Blu snapped up while Juju told Baga she knows she wants to compete against her in the final and as such, they should stay together. And then Baga assured her that she is safe. Janey meanwhile told Blu how much she wants to stay and feels she deserves it, with Blu admitting the season would be lacking something if she had ended up going home in the first week.

As Baga and Blu took the stage, Ru appeared to be judging Baga’s sloppy outfit while Blu was just thrilled to already have her win in the bag. And then when Let It Go by Alexandra Burke kicked off, it was a done deal. While Baga gave her brand of demented camp, Blu was intense, fierce and oh so cheeky and well, it was perfect! Even while Baga screwed up her cartwheel and rolled around the stage flashing her tuck, Blu was giving more, rocking star jumps and well, it was stupid in all the right ways. After Blu took out her rightful victory, the cluster of bottoms took the stage before they were even more gagged than last week as Blu went full Naomi Smalls and eliminated the iconic Pangina Heals.

Pangina straight up sobbed her way to exit while Janey, Mo and Juju held on to each other in absolute shock. While Blu looked like she was about to throw up, instantly regretting her choice to cut the icon as Pangina sobbed from the side of the stage. I mean, she was giving Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone by way of Scarlett Harlett, she was that damn scared.

There is no denying that Pangina was absolutely gutted by the time she reached me in the Werk Room. I immediately pulled her into my arms and tried to calm her as best I could, assuring her that she did a great job, is a star and her elimination will never, EVER, change that. With that, I finally cheered her up and reminded her that above all else, All Stars is a game and as such, this just positions her as the mostest robbed queen of all time. Which was enough to get her laughing as we smashed some celebratory Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls.

Like John Eastoe – bogan zaddy of Australian Survivor – before us, Pang and I have a passion for parmigiana varieties. We also live for sausage roll variants, which essentially makes this the greatest meal of all time. Cheesy and dripping in marinara sauce, these babies are near perfection.

Enjoy!

Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
500g Italian sausages, casings removed
200g ham, diced
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Amber Marinara Sauce
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry, just thawed
1 cup cheddar cheese
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C and line a pair of baking sheets with paper.

Pop the meats, onion, garlic, ½ cup marinara sauce, breadcrumbs, herbs and one of the eggs in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch until well combined.

Line all the pastry out on a bench and cut in half. Divide the mixture into 8 and form into a long sausage, laying each in the middle of each rectangle of pastry and sprinkle with some cheese. Whisk the remaining egg and brush either side of the sausage. Roll the pastry to enclose the sausage and cut into 2-4 portions, depending on the size you want. Pop the portions on the baking sheet and brush with some more egg. 

Place the baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, drizzle with some marinara sauce and some cheese and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp. Devour immediately with more sauce, if required.


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Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs
Serves: 4.

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

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

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

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

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

And then devouring.


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Simon Meeso Ramen

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

Previously on Australian Survivor Hayley continued to be an absolutely dominant icon, pulling Dani aside to float the idea of booting Simon from the game with an idol in his pocket. Unaware there are actually two idols in his gorgeous pockets. After Brains once again lost immunity, Rachel and Laura tried to get George to see sense and flip back to the Brains to give himself the best shot. He didn’t, which tragically led to Queen Rach leaving and poor Laura left all alone on the Brains tribe.

We checked in with the Brains who were waking up from the coldest night, which honestly is how my heart feels now that the legendary Rachel is gone. But since I wasn’t aligned with her, I guess things were frostier for Laura who was all alone on the tribe with nobody. Though being a determined fighter, she was going to find a crack whether it kills her. After going for a walk to get everyone’s water, George suggested someone should follow her and obviously he then immediately chased after her. He realised that he was almost as screwed as her, so suggested they should finally start working together to take control. Which is really something he should have done when the Brains would have had a majority. And given that, she wasn’t really buying it as an option. Though she was buying into finding an idol.

He then returned to camp and let a massive fart rip which is important, if you ask me.

There was less gas going on at the Brawn camp where Simon was proud to make it to the halfway point of the game and glad that he arguably has the strongest alliance left. An alliance that is working with the Brains and has an easy boot lined up in Flick. Oh and his two hidden immunity idols. And while he looked happy sparring with Dani, the fact that she jabbed him in the gut is meant as foreshadowing, right?

To make me more nervous that we’re about to lose our speedo king, he told Dani and Chelsea about his second hidden immunity idol. And you just know that means Dani is ready to get the ol’ Sandra Bullock going because two idols making the merge in someone’s pocket is a very dangerous thing.

My love Jonathan returned for the latest – or is that last, thanks to TV listings – tribal reward challenge where the tribes would row out to pontoons to collect rings and then race to land said rings on to oars that when flipped, spell out reward. And should they win, they get to visit the survivor candy and store and well, I don’t love sweets but those brownies looked delightful. And the maltesers too, TBH. As is oft the case, Brawn got out to the earliest of leads until Baden straight up snapped his oar due to brute force. Then Emmett happened, coaching everyone through the challenge and pushing himself to the absolute limit. Quite literally, as he pushed them to shore. Both tribes were neck and neck when it came to tossing the rings, until Emmett pulled away, landing all six rings and winning reward for his tribe.

And Laura is finding an idol at the reward, isn’t she?

After arriving at the site of the reward the tribe were gagged to learn that they would each be visiting solo and while George wanted to be strategic, Kez quickly suggested they draw straws. And well, fate was on Laura’s side as she was up second after Cara and that much more likely to find an advantage. Particularly since Cara could only focus on the sweets, quickly smashing everything in sight. Wait, no – she found the advantage in a tube of lollies! And what an advantage it was, giving her a VIP ticket to the next tribal council, including two votes that she could use to swing things in her favour.

By the time Laura made it to the store, she went searching through everything for an idol but tragically came up empty handed and instead, realised that she just needs to guarantee the tribe wins the next immunity challenge. She was followed by Emmett who smeared extra candy over his body for later, Gerald just smashed strawberries, George finger banged every vessel and then Kez straight up destroyed everything in sight.

We returned to camp Brawn the next day where Dani was still focused on blindsiding Simon ASAP, pulling Hayley aside by the billabong to finally get things moving. While Hayley was terrified about the prospect of him making the merge, Dani assured her that they can pull it off. She then suggested they throw the next immunity challenge and Hayley needed to get her troops on board, given Dani has already convinced Chelsea. Aka, her people. Which Hayley quickly did, telling her fellow Brains and Flick about the idols. 

The first pressure point being that they need to throw the immunity challenge without making it obvious.

As such Jonathan made his triumphant return for the immunity challenge where everyone on the tribe would stand on balance beams and hold a rope to keep a disc steady while trying to balance balls on it without dropping. And well, SImon offered to sit out and damn, this is just going to be too easy, isn’t it? And by that, something will go wrong, won’t it. While Brawns were wanting to throw it, they took an early lead in the challenge as Gerald and Kez struggled for the Brains. Thankfully for team ‘throw the challenge’, Chelsea successfully made Brawns need to reset while poor Simon kindly cheered them on from the side, encouraging them to keep focused and not be hard on themselves. Obviously Brains started to pull away as Brawns successfully looked frustrated by their failings before Brains put everyone out of their misery and snatched immunity.

Before they departed the challenge, Cara opted to play her VIP ticket advantage to the upcoming tribal council for her and a friend to cast votes. But obviously not be eligible to receive them. In any event, she chose to bring George along with her and well, you just know this is going to spook Simon into playing his idol, isn’t it?

Back at camp Simon was heartbroken to have lost the challenge, though was glad to finally be able to get rid of his other nemesis Flick. After spotting her chatting to the Brains, Chelsea offered to break up the conversation and stop them from planning something. And by that, she went up to keep Simon calm enough to not play his idol. Simon then went to lock in the Flick vote with Andrew and Baden, though was willing to throw out the fact he will play his idol to keep them scared. When they returned to camp, Flick ran off to hunt for an idol with Chelsea pretending to tail her to make it look more authentic. 

Chelsea then pretended to be sent back to camp, forcing Simon to follow her instead and unwittingly left everyone else talk and solidify the plan. Dani meanwhile was reminding everyone that if it was her, she would play one of the idols which appeared to make Hayley nervous. Though Baden just gave them the ol’ Gene Cousinaeu, telling them that they just need to give the acting performance of their lives. And honestly, I love him. Almost as much as Hayley, who was nervous Dani was building this up as her star move and as such, wanted to build a counter plan to throw some votes on Dani just in case to guarantee Flick’s safety.

Like the brutal icon she is!

Hayley then caught up with Baden by the billabong and they agreed to load their votes on Dani, with Baden offering to talk to George and Cara as soon as they arrived at tribal council to guarantee they vote for Simon too. Given he is the only person they trust. Baden meanwhile returned to camp and worked to ensure that the Brawns were still feeling good and not realising that he and Hayley were actually staging a coup and guaranteeing the numbers for the Brains post merge.

At tribal council Cara and George admitted that they aren’t sure where their two votes would be going tonight and as such, wanted a full performance from the tribe. Dani being an icon told them that Brawn don’t play like that and as such, they need to calm down and relax because their votes won’t mean anything. As Baden whispered that their votes would make a difference. Flick gave the perfect performance as the woman on the bottom, with Dani and Simon both agreeing that she is going home tonight. As Baden continued to try and get Cara and George’s attention, despite talking about it being a straightforward vote.

Dani continued to play up her confidence in booting Flick from the game, while Hayley spoke about her fears that votes don’t always go where they need them. Baden continued to whisper to Cara and George about Simon and his idols and while things were going well, Simon caught them and asked if they had anything to add. With that Simon spoke about always being nervous and damn, Dani and Chelsea looked like they were ready to snap. Simon continued to talk about blindsides and Flick still having a chance until her torach was snuffed. And damn, this is blowing up, isn’t it?

With that Cara, George and the tribe voted, Hayley continued to be a savage icon who I stan and Simon blew out his thong on the way to cast his, which is super ominous. And while he noted it, he calmly held on to both of his hidden immunity idols as everyone started to smirk. And those smirks turned into full blown smiles as the votes were tallied, piling up on him before Dani was gagged to see three votes come in for her. Ultimately though it was my speedo king who was blindsided with two idols in his pocket.

Given Simon is such a fan of the game, he took his blindside in his stride and was so damn upbeat and kind when he arrived in loser lodge. You know, despite having his dream brutally ended. I pulled him in for a hug and reminded him that while he was booted, it was in an iconic fashion and as such, he will always be remembered in the series. And well, I’d gladly welcome him back next season already.

After catching up – we’re dear friends, training at the same Brisbane gym, obvi – we laughed, cried, plotted out his story for the next All Stars. But most importantly, I then got to work whipping up something nourishing to lift his spirits. Aka my Simon Meeso Ramen.

This take on the Antoni modern classic is near perfectionly, full of umami goodness, but all at once sweet and salty. You know, all of the good things. Add in a kick of chilli and a punch of fresh herbs, you’ve got a dish as perfect as Simon looks.

Enjoy!

Simon Meeso Ramen
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 tsp sesame oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
250g pork mince
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup miso paste
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2L chicken stock
4 large eggs
400g udon noodles
2 medium carrots, julienned
4 shallots, sliced
½ cup corn kernels
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
Microgreens, sprouts and coriander, to taste

Method
Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a stock pot over medium heat and cook the garlic for a minute or two. Add the pork and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go, until browned. Season with salt and pepper before adding the miso, ginger and stock. Stir until well combined before bringing to the boil, then reducing heat to low and simmering.

Meanwhile, soft boil the eggs – aka drop them into rapidly boiling water and cook for 5 minutes – and cook the noodles as per packet instructions.

While the rest is happening, add the carrot, shallow, corn and sriracha to the ramen and stir. When the eggs are done, run them under cold water and peel, and drain the noodles.

To serve, place the noodles in four bowls, top with ramen and then split the eggs and place one in each bowl. Top with microgreens, sprouts and coriander, and if you’re spicy like me and Simo, more sriracha. And edible flowers, which i did before King Simon kindly told me to eat the prettier one, while he takes the ugly dish. Thus, the ugly photos.

I mean, isn’t Simon the sweetest? I mean, he is as sweet as this!


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Jason Porkstein Chow Mein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shaun meanwhile was busy searching everywhere for the idol.

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Jason Porkstein Chow Mein
Serves: 4-6.

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

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

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

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

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


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Pork A’Whoragu and Gnocchi

Main, Pasta, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens turned themselves into superheroes, using all of the items we hoarded during lockdown. So basically, toilet paper, flour, yeast and eggs. After winning the reading challenge, Sister took hoarding to the next level and snatched literally everything from the loot before the other girls were even able to make a play for anything. Tayce drew inspiration from Baga with her steel wool scraps, while A’Whora destroyed and took out her second victory with one of the best design looks to ever grace the mainstage while Sister looks like she was living in the Mushroom Kingdom, on mushrooms. After Tayce landed in the bottom opposite her, the extra hoarding proved all for nought as Tayce once again assassinated the lip sync and sent home another Sister (Sister).

Backstage the girls were thrilled to make the top five, with Tayce particularly feeling giddy about felling another queen. To the point that she couldn’t even read her farewell message correctly. Lawrence meanwhile was nervous for Tayce, knowing that she can’t make it to the end on lip syncs alone. But given what we’ve seen, can she? The girls congratulated A’Whora on her second victory, before talk turned to Lawrence being on a bottoming streak and as such, A’Whora felt she needed to turn it up or get out of the way. Ellie decided to make things awkward and share that she felt they were going to be the top five after the COVID break, with A’Whora agreeing but telling her that she thinks she will be the next to go since she doesn’t have a badge.

Oh and Tayce admitted she has no idea what comes out of her mouth in confessionals which doesn’t add anything, but is important and adorable. And explains why I love her so.

The next day Ellie was still fired up about the girls underestimating her, vowing to step it up, play the game and prove herself in the competition. With Bimini doubling down and sharing that if she really doesn’t get a win soon, she may as well pack up and go home. A’Whora and Ellie’s arguing about the crux of the last challenge was interrupted by Ru arriving for this week’s mini challenge where the dolls would dress in boy drag to compete in the Masc 4 Masc Singer to “Hey, Kitty Girl” with the butchest topping. Ellie opted to take a risk, pivot and go with ‘80s androgynous realness, while A’Whora was flooding Ellie’s basement in her leather daddy look. Lawrence looked like Conchita Wurst’s brother, Tayce was a young Iggy Pop and Bimini looked like Sid Vicious and Kid Rock had a baby. 

All of the dolls were totally demented and while Tayce was my personal favourite and A’Whora’s hilarious assurances of not knowing who Lady Gaga is, it was Ellie who took out a well deserved victory. And as such, she was given the power to decide the order in this week’s love themed comedy show maxi challenge. Oh and perform in front of my legendary friend, Dawn French. 

The girls split up to work on their sets before, as she promised, Ellie opted to go in and set each and every queen up for failure. She put the weaker girls at the start and end, with A’Whora and Tayce taking out each slot while popping herself after A’Whora followed by Bimini and Lawrence before the aforementioned icon, Tayce. Lawrence immediately blew up, pointing out it was a terrible line-up and not only set up everyone else poorly, but that it will also screw herself over. Ellie stood up for herself though, pointing out it is a game and she needs to play it. Lawrence questioned whether she thinks she can actually score victory, with Ellie pointing out that following A’Whora is her best shot and she needs to take it. Much to Tayce’s delight.

Oh and then Ellie made the mistake of asking whether everyone is happy with their place, with Bimini assuring her that she will slay no matter where she performs while Lawrence cussed her out yet again. As Tayce delighted in the drama. Poor Ellie started to spiral, with Tayce and Bimini assuring her that playing the game isn’t wrong and to not feel bad about it, the latter pointing out again that good material is good no matter where it is placed. As Lawrence and A’Whora continued to simmer in the corner.

Speaking of A’Whora she was first to meet Alan for a tutorial and given most of her jokes were beeped, we only know it was filthy and not much else. Ellie justified placing everyone where she did, before delighting Alan with her dirty, deep voiced alter ego. Despite the set feeling a bit confusing. Bimini admitted that she has only performed stand-up twice, meaning she absolutely destroyed her rehearsal and left with not once piece of feedback. Lawrence thankfully didn’t let her anger get in her way, landing her punchlines with minimal direction required. And Tayce, bless, walked out and charmed her way into the rehearsal, having Alan in hysterics before even getting to material. Then Alan told her to focus on her love for beans on toast and well, I hope that is good advice.

Elimination Day rolled around with Lawrence and A’Whora admitting that sleeping on the order only made them angrier at Ellie, willing karma to strike her down. Lawrence desperately tried to get the tawdry details out of Tayce and A’Whora’s past, with them admitting that they are just friends. Tayce then spoke about her first ever date, which resulted in multiple STDs and made her lose her trust in men and brought down her self-esteem as she questioned why she hasn’t found someone to love her. This bonded Tayce and Lawrence, united by their insecurities and how drag gives them the confidence to take over the world. And ugh, again, I love them all so much.

As A’Whora took the stage, it was very clear that she didn’t opt to clean up her act, having the entire second half of her set bleeped, while the start was all about sex and had the judges chuckling and cringing in equal measure. I mean, even Tayce was blushing in her confessional. Ellie Diamond was up next and delighted the judges with her demon voice, though I still didn’t really get it. That being said, she was having fun, she was smutty and when she started to confuse the judges, I loved it. Despite it ending out of nowhere.

Bimini was up next and owned the stage from the very first moment, with smart jokes, killer punchlines, references to the judges careers and a great rhythm. Again, just give her the down crown – Bimini is a star. As Lawrence feared, following Bimini was the order equivalent of climbing Everest. But damn if she didn’t work hard to overcome it, having the judges in stitches from the very first moment. Until she took an extended time to get to her final punchline and lost the momentum. Rounding out the show, Tayce brought her usual charm to the performance, shading her competitors and delighting everyone. Before Meg Ryan-ing over her passion for beans. Sadly that was it, as she then went through a series of small lines which ended with it being a story for another time, with her potentially needing to bring one of those stories up to flesh out this time.

As always A’Whora slayed on the Stoned on the Runway runway, complete with stoned IV and stunning headpiece. Ellie meanwhile was a sexy, angel Dolly Parton before Bimini killed it once again as a sexy, punk, acne breakout. Lawrence was a pink, stoned alien, while Tayce was glorious as a shimmering, metallic warrior and ugh, I love it.

The judges lived for A’Whora’s outfit, though she was cautioned to maybe edit her material for the audience, given the show is on the BBC. That being said, Alan commended her on coming out and opening the show with such confidence. Ellie was read for not having rhythm in her set, though the judges lived for her snow queen runway. As is becoming a trend, the judges lived for everything Bimini did, praising her killer material, her intelligence and her chameleon, brave and stunning runways. Lawrence was praised for everything she did, however as feared, she clearly couldn’t overcome following Bimini despite comedy coming most naturally to her. Tayce was praised for surprising everyone with her comedy chops, despite the judges wanting to hear the end of some of her stories. And rightfully, they loved everything about her runway.

Backstage A’Whora’s rage exploded, furious that Ellie’s plan worked and she clearly landed in the bottom. Ellie once again tried to explain her position and admitted that she felt horrible about upsetting her and Lawrence. This obviously didn’t sit well with Lawrence, who tore into Ellie again because at the end of the day, she could have changed the order if it bothered her, but she didn’t. Once again Tayce was the only one seeing sense, reminding us that if you stumble, maybe you should have looked at the floor if you thought someone was trying to trip you. Ellie pointed out Ru was delighted by her choices, which made Lawrence even more incensed with Bimini rightly pointing out that the latter’s rage runs much deeper than the order.

Ultimately Lawrence was once again pipped at the post by Bimini, which in my opinion would have happened no matter where either of the performers placed in the line-up. Ellie meanwhile managed to save herself, simply by not being as filthy as A’Whora, who landed in the bottom with Tayce. Poor A’Whora was fighting back tears as Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me started up, but boy did she push through. The besties channelled their obvious emotions into the performances, hitting every lyric and selling the pain of the song as they fought for their places in the competition. Sadly for A’Whora, it wasn’t enough as Tayce well and truly took her place as the lip sync assassin of Drag Race UK, sending her best friend and roommate home.

A’Whora quickly found me by following the sound of my screaming tears all the way back into the Werk Room. While I wasn’t willing to jump in and pile more hate on Ellie – I live for the drama she caused, obviously – I did admit that she and Lawrence were hard done by, though I don’t really think their order in the performance would have changed things for either of them. A’Whora and I then started screaming at each other before I pulled her in for a hug, apologised and told her how heartbroken I was she didn’t make the finale. But as always, I reminded her that being robbed is always better than overstaying your welcome and as such, we both felt better. Though how can you not when you’ve got a big bowl of Pork A’Whoragu and Gnocchi in front of you?

This tweaked Laura Sharrad number – hey, we all watched a lot of Masterchef during lockdown, ok? – is near perfection. Light, fluffy gnocchi and the aggressively spiced ragu pair perfectly to create a heart, robust meal that soothes any and all pains. Particularly of the post-boot variety.

Enjoy!

Pork A’Whoragu and Gnocchi
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 onion, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 carrot, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
650g pork mince
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground clove
1 cup red wine
1.6kg canned diced tomatoes
500g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into a generous dice (larger pieces, less water absorbed)
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
110g plain flour, plus extra to dust
shaved parmigiano, to serve

Method
To make the ragu, heat a good lug of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrot until soft and sweet. Season well. Stir in the pork, cinnamon and clove and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Add the wine and tomatoes, bring to the boil before reducing to low and simmering for a couple of hours, or until reduced and thick.

While the ragu is simmering, get to work on the gnocchi which despite my best instincts, I make from scratch from this given I feel it is necessary for the delicious ragu. As such, pop the potatoes in a pan of cold water – this is important – bring to the boil and cook until just tender. Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for a minute or two to get rid of all the excess moisture. Allow to cool completely.

Pass through a ricer or mash aggressively until smooth and your rage sorted. Add the nutmeg, eggs, a pinch of salt and flour and gently bring together with your hands until it has just come together and no more

Once it has come together, dust the bench and your hands with flour and take about a quarter of the dough, roll into a 1.5cm thick log. Slice into 2cm lengths, use the back of a fork to roll the gnocchi to give you the imprint – press the fork down into the length and pull towards you – and place on a floured baking sheet to rest. Repeat the process until they are all done and allow them to rest for an hour or so.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and repeat until they’re done. Then fold through the ragu and serve with a generous heap of the parmigiano. And devour, regally.


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Jonathan Dan Bennoodles

Main, That Is So Fetch Week

Hey, do you know what day it is? Of course you do! It’s October 3rd aka Mean Girls Day aka the entire reason for this year’s That’s So Fetch Week going public. I know you were probably hoping that Tina or Linds would be dropping by, but they have both already gone here … and Linds is still busy stopping that child trafficking ring. So following in Mands and Dan’s footsteps is none other than Aaron Samuels himself, Jonathan Bennett.

Aka the entire reason we have Mean Girls day.

As I alluded to yesterday, Dan Fran and I had a tragic break-up on the set of Mean Girls due by my infatuation for Jonathan which culminated in our torrid affair. Tragically it ended too – maybe because I am too much like Regina George – but Jono and I have been the best of friends ever since.

Hell, I even forgave him for writing the Mean Girls Cookbook without me, that is how close we are. Though considering he chose to go with an actual chef over someone that tries things he finds only and quadruples the garlic content and adds chilli, I really had no right being offended in the first place.

Giving how busy he has been successfully writing a cookbook and hosting a baking show, Jon and I haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like lately. I mean, as besties we Skype each day, particularly since I introduced him to his Amazing Race-r boyfie Jaymes, but there is nothing like the real thing of hanging out with your friends in the same room. Smashing some Jonathan Dan Bennoodles.

 

 

Once again proving my non-chef credentials, this dan dan was inspired by a couple of recipes I found online though hella simplified. And probably nothing like how it should taste. Rich, nutty, spicy and fresh, this baby will fill you with joy and put a fire in your belly. Given the heaping of chilli, obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan Dan Bennoodles
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
500g pork mince
3 tbsp Chinese chilli oil
1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
½ tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp raw caster sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
400g udon noodles, cooked as per packet instructions
1 cup baby spinach
1 bok choy, quartered
1 shallot, sliced

Method
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat and cook the garlic and ginger for a minute. Add the mince and cook for a further couple of minutes before reducing the heat to medium and adding the chilli oil, spices, sauces, sugar, stock and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce reduces.

Cook the udon as per packet instructions and add a tablespoon of cooking water to the pan if it starts to get too thick. Add the baby spinach and bok choy to the pan, and cook until heated through before tossing through the noodles.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with shallots and devour. Because it’s October 3rd.

 

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