Porchettarina

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España 12 new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to slay. Tragically though, not everyone could stick around – this isn’t All Winners, or half of the season 13 and 14 episodes – as Marisa, Ariel, Samantha, Jota, Onyx, Diamante, Sethlas and Juriji exited. At the top four, the dolls madeover older members of the LGBTQIA+ community and while Sharonne and Venedita slayed – with the latter winning her second challenge – Estrella and Marina didn’t shine as brightly and landed in the bottom. Thankfully though, Supremme knew that all four were worthy of a place in the final, keeping both of them around to battle their sisters for the crown. But first, they all had to get back together!

Supremme kicked off the reunion welcoming the dolls back to the Mainstage to talk shit about the season. Oh, and to crown their Miss Congeniality. But more importantly Yara Sofia sent in a video message to send them her love and praise them on a killer season, followed by Samantha Hudson at the salon mid-bleaching, sweet old icon Karina who I sadly hadn’t heard of before the show and Manila Luzon who gave up on speaking Spanish after the first sentence. And well, needless to say all the dolls were touched. Particularly Onyx, who was thrilled by Manila’s message about not needing a crown to win. Because, duh, she is a sexy icon.


We then got a series of recaps of each of the top four’s journeys and while everyone clearly slayed the game this season, if Marina’s full frontal doesn’t take the crown, it has to go to Sharonne, right? Or did I just jinx her? In any event, Estrella was thrilled to narrowly make it through to the final as was Marina, while Sharonne admitted the last few weeks of the competition were truly stressful and emotional, whether you were in the top or on the bottom. Being a humble icon, when Supremme inferred it was obvious she was making it to the end, she spoke about the fact the competition is all about luck and she got lucky that the judges liked all that she had to offer. While Venedita was glad to get a win just before the finale and have that confidence boost going into the final challenge.

That was followed by a filler segment watching the eliminated queens audition tapes and well, the production values were on point but yeah, it was all filler. Except for the fact we learnt Drag Sethlas has a tonne of money because her outfits were on point and looked expensive.

Talk turned to Estrella and Samantha being stupid, fun and/or loud in the Werk Room, and while some of their sisters lived for it Ariel felt they kinda took a lot of air out of the room and made it hard for the quieter girls to shine. And well, Ariel Rec is hot and I love her, so I accept her take as gospel. Despite loving the madness her sisters brought to the show. Everyone turned their attention to Jota’s penchant for lies and exaggeration, with her reading them for saying she lies when she simply embellishes her stories. Though the Lola Flores shawl she said she owns is definitely Lola Flores’, despite what her sisters have to say. When it came to talking about Diamante and her potential lies about having no sewing skills despite turning an epic look, everyone was a little more open to believing her.

We finally turned our attention to the epic feud between Marina and Juriji, which importantly centred on Marina’s penchant for gross farts. While Juriji was happy to talk it through and resolve things, Marina wasn’t really looking to move on given she felt very disrespected by Juriji at that moment and she isn’t sure how to talk about it. Juriji admitted she too felt disrespected during their fight, but even that didn’t seem to make her want to resolve things. Particularly when they had to talk about their feud when Sethlas teamed up with Marina, because it only made Marina angrier at her sister. Despite Juriji explaining that she felt she has never fit in and them telling her she was the weakest was a trigger to her.

Before recapping the looks of the season Pedro ma’tuckin’ Almodovar sent the dolls a message praising them for their runways dedicated to him. And admitted he shared the videos far and wide in the fashion world and ugh. Is Spain the prime franchise, now?

Supremme then tasked the eliminated queens with stomping the runway in a look they couldn’t show with Marisa opting for a killer art look, shagadelic and dedicated to Picasso. By way of the loom. Ariel slayed as a smurf cleaner to a queer superhero, while Samantha rocked a TV, Jota mashed up neon ballet with latex rocker gimp, Onyx was a sexy flapper vampire, Diamante came out of the closet as houndstooth and Sethlas was a showgirl charity pin. Ultimately the queen that won the Best Lost Look sash was first boot Marisa and well, it’s what she deserves.

They then gave another prize for the Hungriest Queen, with this time only Estrella and Juriji eligible for the prize. Though obviously that one was going to Estrella, who found a way to work eating into any and all challenges. Talk turned to who should win the season with everyone pleading their case before the queens voted and were split between Estrella, Venedita and Sharonne. And since this reunion is starting to feel like election coverage, we then finally learnt who the queens voted as their Miss Congeniality of the season – Samantha Ballentines! And well, wasn’t she thrilled to get some 1-on-1 time with the zaddy Pit Crew who delivered the sash!

As the exited the mainstage, I quickly pulled Marina aside to give her some late breaking sustenance and encouragement ahead of the final challenge. How lucky is she to be next in the alphabet after Estrella! While my favourite moment of hers from the season was due to my aggressive thirst – free the peen! – she also slayed from start to finish, giving a polished collection of creative runways and also shining in the roast. As such, I carved her off a chunk of Porchettarina and toasted her success.

There is honestly nothing better than a perfectly cooked porchetta. Sweet and juicy meat, melting away in your mouth with a hearty crust of crackling and a delicate punch of herbaceous garlicky heaven? Swoon.

Enjoy!

Porchettarina
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg pork belly, boneless
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
8 cloves garlic
½ tsp kosher salt, plus extra for salting
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Start by scoring both the skin and meat side of the pork belly to form a cross hatching.

Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds in a dry, medium-heat frying pan until nice and fragrant before popping into a mortar and pestle alongside the peppercorns, garlic and salt until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl and mix through the sage, chilli and oil.

Rub the paste over the meat side of the pork and then roll to form a log and using kitchen string, tie it along the meat in intervals to secure. Transfer to a roast pan with a rack and aggressively rub the skin with the additional sea salt. Transfer to a fridge for 8 hours or so to allow the skin to dry. I may have cut a corner here, which is why we’re missing out on glorious crackling.

When you’re ready to go, preheat the oven to 220°C and rub the excess salt off the skin. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes before reducing heat to 150°C and cooking for 2 hours.

Depending on how the crackling has gone, you could then crank the oven back up to 220°C for ten minutes for a final crisp, or pop it under a hot grill for five minutes. But ideally, that shouldn’t be necessary.

Rest for ten minutes or so before removing the string, slicing and most importantly, devouring.


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Drag Slidlas

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls travelled time – not in the way we do it here, which is legit time travel which again, we invented – as they threw a little centuries ball. As they traversed the past, present and future of drag, most of the girls soared however none moreso than Drag Sethlas, who finally scored a well deserved win. Tragically as the rest of the girls were solid, aside from Estrella’s terrible designed 30th century look, Diamante landed in the bottom opposite her for not doing enough, rather than being a mess. Which tragically led to Estrella destroying the lip sync and sending Diamante home. Again, on a very solid week.

Backstage the dolls were delighted to see that Diamante had left them the antenna from her look, though Estrella did worry that maybe it would bring them bad luck. Which TBH, is not something she could really risk right now. The one thing they could all agree on was that they would miss her kind spirit. Oh and then Estrella pressed her titty on the mirror, which is important. Marina meanwhile told Estrella she was lucky to get the lip sync song she did, before they quickly swept any drama aside to congratulate Sethlas on finally jagging a well earned win.

The next day the queens were butching it up talking about football for some reason, before getting back to normal as they recapped their own ball. With everyone agreeing Estrella’s dumpster fire outfit belongs in a museum. Or to be burnt. Supremme dropped by before they could reach consensus, challenging them to a little itty-bitty mini challenge where they would get into quick drag, write a fighter introduction/poem and get into skydiving suits. And no, that is not something that is lost in translation, the dolls are just as confused as we are.

Given there was a giant gong between Supremme and zaddy pit crew, it should have been obvious that the dolls would be sumo wrestling. For an advantage in the upcoming Maxi Challenge, so you know the dolls were ready to battle. Somehow little Sethlas destroyed Venedita, Estrella quickly beat Sharonne before Marina eliminated Juriji. Tragically. In round two, Sethlas was quickly disposed of by Estrella before she then destroyed Marina. Earning herself the advantage of selecting who everyone would be partnered with in the upcoming Maxi Challenge, where the duos would film Spanish tourism ads. Obviously she selected to work with Sharonne before popping Juriji and Venedita together, leaving Sethlas and Marina to form the third duo.

Supremme departed and left the girls to prep their commercials with Estrella worried about being overshadowed by Sharonne’s talent, though was confident they would continue to work well together. Sethlas and Marina meanwhile looked enraged to be working together, though bless Marina, she focused on writing before they pivoted to shit talking Venedita and Juriji. Who as they predicted were planning to lean into being sexy bimbos and while Marina and Sethlas thought it would be a bad idea, you know they will turn it.

Sharonne and Estrella were first to make it to set with Estrella getting her face sandwiched by the Pit Crew’s butts, so win or lose, she won today. Sharonne then got topped and well, I don’t know if they had a plot but consider me on the next flight. Venedita and Juriji were so fun and stupid, AND had the Pit Crew fucking in their fake dunes, so again, I’m sold. Rounding out the shoots, Marina and Sethlas struggled. Badly. Though maybe because they had a lot less sex in it?

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Marina and Sethlas admitting that they would have preferred to work with someone else, while Sethlas shaded Estrella for taking the easy route of teaming up with frontrunner Sharonne. They split up to prep for the runway with Marina getting this week’s emotional moment, talking about how close she is with her mother and how she is struggling without her and her dad around for support in the competition.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Ruth Lorenzo on the panel as the queens debuted their Raffaella Carra looks for the Night of 1000 Raffaellas runway. Estrella was a vision in red, peeking out of an umbrella and being an absolute delight. Venedita too chose a red look, giving disco diva glamour and ugh, it was perfection. Juriji was stunning in a simple white gown, complete wth shimmering boobs and a phone hidden in her crotch. Sharonne was a golden diva and looked stun-ning while Sethlas was a bronzed beauty in a sea of fabric. Oh and then Marina stole the show in a sequined, cabaret style look.

When it came to the commercials, Sharonne and Estrella were totally demented and showed off pit crew booty, so yeah, that is a win to me. Despite it making zero sense. Though bless their passion for the glory hole. Oh and the judges loved it and both of their runways. Sethlas and Marina’s ad was far more sexed than the taping led us to believe, and somehow, it made less sense than the first one. The judges meanwhile read it for being too filthy and not showing any light or shade. Marina’s runway was praised for playing into her strengths, while Sethlas was read for being too abstract in her approach. Venedita and Juriji’s ad was hilariously camp and culminated in seagulls shitting on them. So yeah, the judges lived for it and them. Particularly praising their chemistry, despite it being quite stereotypical. When it came to their runways, both where praised for looking absolutely stunning and doing Raffaella proud.

Supremme decided now would be the right time to make them all shady, asking who should go home tonight with Sharonne singling out Marina for a lack of personality. Estrella said that Sethlas should go home because of her shitty ad, while Marina said Juriji though couldn’t give a reason. Sethlas thought Juriji should go because she isn’t showing enough diversity, while Venedita and Juriji agreed Marina should go for her sub-par performance in the ad.

Backstage the dolls were well and truly feeling tense, while Sharonne tried to remind them that it wasn’t personal and they need to move on. While Estrella tried to make Sethlas feel better about saying her, she ended up saying that Juriji isn’t versatile which filled her with rage. When she got sassy with the girls, it was Sethlas’ turn to feel enraged as she cussed out Juriji for disrespecting her. Before Marina thankfully pointed out she is the one that was named the most and as such, they should chill out. Sadly it didn’t work as Sethlas continued to bitch about Juriji not being versatile and the judges not expecting the same from her, before they thankfully split up to freshen their mugs.

Ultimately Sharonne and Estrella both took out the win, while Juriji and Venedita were thankfully sent to safety leaving Sethlas and Marina to lip sync for their lives. Obviously, to one of Queen Raffaella’s songs, Que dolor. And while I was expecting Sethlas to absolutely demolish Marina, the latter absolutely slayed. Giving all the camp fun and fancy footwork the song required, embodying Rafaella while Sethlas was kinda just there and while she did give us a surprising glitter reveal near the end, it wasn’t enough to save herself as Marina stayed in the pocket and saved herself.

Despite being heartbroken to have missed out on the finale, Sethlas perked up when we were reunited backstage. You see, as a short man, I have an affinity with the Carina queens, given we always meet up at platform conventions. Which is where Sethlas and I first became friends as little fellas. As such, it was such an honour to be there for her in her lowest momentand reminding her how much of a star she is over a big ol’ batch of Drag Slidlas.

Rich, sticky barbecue pork, mised with the creaminess of the slaw and the tartness of the pickle work together perfectly to deliver a quick and easy snack, that also feels like you’ve put in a tonne of effort. Which, TBH, is important.

Enjoy!

Drag Slidlas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups pulled pork
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 red chilli
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp smoke essence
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
16 slider rolls
2 cups Benjamin Slaw
8 dill pickles, drained and sliced

Method
I’m going to assume you’ve got a favourite pulled pork recipe, or you’ve got some pre-prepped. That is for no other reason than me being lazy and not living for the fattiness of the pork. In any event, get the meat ready first and foremost.

While the meat is getting prepped, combine the vinegar, garlic, chilli, muscovado sugar, tomato paste, dijon mustard, smoking essence, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and pout over the warm pulled pork.

To assemble your sliders, cut all the buns in half and spoon some slaw on the bottoms of each. Top with a couple of slices of pickle, followed bu the pulled pork before devouring, greedily. You could also add some swiss cheese if you want some cheese in the mix, but these are so tasty, you honestly don’t need to worry.



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Jacksonkatsu Fox

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor we witnessed every idea Jeff and Co. came up with for twists during their lockdowns. Due to quarantine, the season was shortened to 26 days, but due to the aforementioned twists, it proved to be an even more intense season. And since they shoot two seasons back to back, they could gag a second cast with everything they came up with (though sadly they were also unable to course correct anything that didn’t work). 

But enough about last season, as three new tribes sped towards the beach in boats where we met buff as hell Jonathan, half-blind hurdling icon Drea and super cute vet Omar who wore a flamingo shirt like an icon and was totally ready to be underestimated and then strike. Just like Erika last season! Lydia is essentially Gen Z female me, hating camping, the outdoors and physical activity though loves Survivor and is willing to put herself out there for the adventure of a lifetime. Daniel meanwhile was thrilled to finally make the cast, Marya was looking to find herself, Lindsay was ready to rise to the occasion and zaddy Mike was ready to take advantage of his one shot.

Or if you’re good enough, 4-5. Amirite, Rob and Sandra?

Finally the three new tribes met Jeffey on the shore where Maryanne was thrilled to embrace the rollercoaster and ugh, she is so giddy and joyous I can’t help but stan. Maryanne opened up about her shock at having made the cast and she was just so damn happy, while Mike was just thrilled to be chatting with THE Jeff Probst. Issuing a warning that the most well-rounded will take out victory, while Zach hilariously tried to be cool by telling Jeffray that they’re about to find just what it takes to win.

Jeffrey quickly split everyone up into their starting tribes with Taku in Orange, Vati in Green and Ika wearing Blue before immediately tasking them with their first challenge where one at a time two people will run out to collect paddles from different spots in the jungle before the tribe paddle around a buoy to collect bamboo, which someone would use to form a pole to collect a flint and earn meagre supplies to await them at their camp. Jonathan, Daniel and Tori were up first to collect the paddles with Jonathan and Tori getting Taku and Ika to the earliest of leads. Though given Daniel straight up dislocated his shoulder when he tripped over, that is to be expected.

When Lindsay and Drea made it to the next paddles, they found a note announcing they had to decide whether to untie 20 knots each for an advantage or just collect their paddles and move on. When Hai joined them, the trio decided to go for the advantage but they all had to promise not to screw each other over and keep it secret. They then rubbed each other in the mud and blood supplied to prove how hard they worked to collect their paddles. When they reunited with their very confused tribemates, Taku continued to power ahead while Ika fell further and further behind despite Tori’s strong start. After Jonathan single handedly pulled his tribe’s boat into place, Marya quickly built her pole though it broke allowing Rocksroy enough time to collect the flint for Ika in a come from behind win.

After Ika and Tuku were sent off to their camps, medical were called in to fix Daniel’s LaGrossa moment as they quickly popped his shoulder back into place. And just like that, they too were on their way.

At Ika Zach was thrilled to be living out his superfan dream though was nervous how this new era could influence his chances, given he is an expert on the old era of the game. The tribe quickly introduced themselves where we learnt Swati was proudly in the national guard and ready to prove her skills and buck the trend as the obvious young, female early boot. At home she was driven to succeed and as such, she was ready to bring that into the game and ugh, Maryanne or Swati for the win, I guess. She started braiding palm fronds with Tori and Zach where they realised that as the younguns, they should align. Which is the same thought Romeo was having as he and the oldies were busy building fire and quickly locking in an alliance.

Over at Vati the tribe discovered that for losing the first challenge, they had two options to win their flint, pot and machete – either do a puzzle as a tribe or one of them would be isolated from the tribe to fill a barrel with sea water. Given Mike was clearly the one that would have to fill the barrel for his tribe, he suggested they use their brains and as such got to work counting the triangles. As a designer slash genius, Jenny took control though and they quickly figured it out. 

Meanwhile at Tuku, they were struggling with Jonathan straight up coming up with 30 less triangles than Omar and as such, they split in half with three working to solve the puzzle and the others starting on the shelter. Jonathan being assigned to the latter team. After getting their supplies, Mike quickly got to work building the Vati shelter and proving his worth. We learnt he was the first Puerto Rican fire captain in Hoboken and ugh, he is so sweet and I love him. Particularly seeing how joyous he was to get fire for his tribe.

Back at Ika, the younguns looped Drea in to join them in vocalising the Survivor theme song, while Rocksroy just desperately tried not to lose his shit at their noise. Instead, he channelled his skills as a stay at home dad and directed everyone to get to work so they’d have a shelter before things got dark. Thankfully though, Drea had his back and cautioned him to tone it down a little bit, lest he paints a target on his back. After making fire, Drea went for a walk to finally learn what advantage she, Hai and Lindsay scored in the first challenge, which turns out is the new Amulet Advantage. This advantage had to be played in conjunction with any that are left in the game, with three joining together to become an extra vote. If only two are left in the game, the duo would score a steal a vote and the last player standing would ultimately end up with an idol. And honestly, this sounds way more like a curse to me.

That night at Taku, Jackson rallied his tribe together to share that he is trans and this is his second time applying, but the first as a man. His tribe quickly rallied around him, essentially giving him a cool, whatevs dude, we love you! He then opened up that his family never supported him growing up, however when his mum got sick and needed care, he moved in with his parents to look after her and was able to build a relationship while he cared for her before her death and damn, why am I sobbing in episode one?

The next day Lydia was thrilled by the tribe’s progress at building the Vati camp and quickly locked in an alliance with Hai. Noticing that they were a pair and Jenny and Mike appeared to be another, Chanelle pulled Daniel aside and pledged her undying loyalty to him. And just like that, they all are pairs! Though given Daniel is totally charming everyone, I’m going to guess he will have more options than just Chanelle should things go south. He then opened up about having leukaemia as a teen and WHY AM I CRYING AGAIN?

We checked in with Ika where Zach and Romeo bonded over being super skinny, with Zach using that to try and lock in an alliance. Back at camp they started to bond with Drea while Tori disappeared to hunt for an idol under the cover of looking for taro. And while she thought she had them all fooled, they knew exactly what she was up to. She and Zach went for a walk where Zach filled her in on the speculation, though it appeared the damage was done.

The peace at Taku was interrupted by a boat instructing one of them to jump on and, they will later learn, go on the first summit of the season. Maryanne volunteered though pretended to be scared it was a curse before eventually meeting up with Jenny from Vati and Ika’s Drea. After bonding on the very long trek to the top of the mountain we learnt that Maryanne was ready to slay the game for all the other weird kids of the world and Jeffrey, stop the show – just give her the million dollars now, please and thank you! As happened last year, the trio then split up to figure out whether they should protect or risk their vote with a split decision giving the risky ones an extra vote while if the decisions were unanimous they would either all keep their votes or all lose them. Jenny chose to protect her vote assuming the others would likely – and did – risk it, guaranteeing she keeps her vote and gifting the others an extra.

The next day Jeffrey arrived at Taku where Lindsay was busy forcing Jackson to drink more water given he had been dizzy the entire day before. Which coincidentally was the reason for Jeff’s visit. After pulling Jackson aside, we learnt that Jackson had weaned himself off lithium prior to the show but he still had some in his system, which made it too dangerous for him to continue in the game. And was the exact reason for the dizziness. He opened up that he started taking lithium due to the stress of caring for his mum but didn’t want people to assume it was due to being trans and ultimately, thought it would be completely out of his system before the game began.

He and Jeff returned to camp where Jackson announced that he wouldn’t be able to continue in the game, with Maryanne immediately breaking down over his departure. As everyone cried and praised him for being so open, they bid him farewell and he tragically sailed off as the first boot. Technically.

As soon as he arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled him in for a big hug and told him how proud I was of his brief stint. While Jackson was only there for a few days, his openness quickly endeared himself to me and I assured him that they would be silly not to bring him back for another season. With that, we laughed, as I continued to quietly weep, before smashing a big batch of Jacksonkatsu Fox in honour of his all too short game.

While pork chops of the ‘90s loom scary in my mind, these are the perfect way to enjoy these delights. Crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside, they are delicious before you even start slathering them in tonkatsu sauce. Which is obviously a must.

Enjoy!

Jacksonkatsu Fox
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
1 cup flour, for dredging
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 pork loins or chops, each about 1 ½ centimetres think
salt and pepper, to taste
⅓ cup vegetable oil, for fryin’
¼ cabbage, trimmed and sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
⅓ cup tonkatsu sauce, for drizzlin’ and dippin’

Method
Pop the flour into one bowl, the egg in another and the breadcrumbs in another. Score each side of the pork – to avoid curling as the fat shrinks – and whack with a mallet until it is a smooth cutlet. Season to taste. Working one at a time, coat in the flour, followed by the egg and then in the breadcrumbs, until well covered. Transfer to a plate and repeat the process until done.

Heat a good lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the chops, two at a time, for about five minutes. Flip and cook further a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining pork.

To serve, place a pile of cabbage on a plate, cut the meat across the bias and layer over the cabbage before drizzlin’ with tonkatsu sauce. Then, obvi, devouring.


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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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Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sophie was feeling her oats as the cockroach of the season, despite the fact she only miraculously dodged the boot twice in a row due to a twist and Alex quitting rather than skill or gameplay. Identifying Khanh as a big threat, she realised aligning with him could be mutually beneficial and approached him about aligning. Which he sadly had zero interest in. With Sophie gone from the tribe, the alphas were outnumbered on Blood, though after losing the immunity challenge miraculously were able to make some new friends. After Amy found an idol, she was ready to make a strike on Sandra and take control, however the Queen had already sadly scooped them up as they banded together to boot Amy’s bestie Jay.

The next day things were very zen over at the Water tribe as Nina shared how well positioned she was in the tribe and how she was excelling at the game. While I would have loved to hear more from Nina, I was just as distracted as the cameraperson was when her ally Jordie started to repeatedly flash his bum. And just like that, I was back to stanning our overall king. Despite the excitement and the joy of hearing how well Nina is playing, I couldn’t help but become filled with dread as she opened up about being confident in her chances of making it to the end.

The two tribes reconvened with Jonathan where Sam spoke about how united their tribe was, which perfectly cued up JLP to tell them to drop their buffs. Yep, it’s tribe swap time! Given there were 19 people remaining, Sandra, Amy, Dave and Jordan were joined by Shay, Nina, Jordie, Josh and Mel on Blood, while Khanh, Chrissy, KJ and Sophie welcomed Sam, Michelle, Croc, Ben and Jesse on Water, leaving poor Mark tribeless. Well, for a moment, as he was given the right to choose which tribe to join, ultimately selecting to join Blood. Much to the absolute rage of his wife Sam, who was SO ready to play with him. Not wanting to play with their loved one however was Nina, who was heartbroken to be on a tribe with her mother given she now has a huge target on her back. And once again, dread.

Before we could enjoy any drama, Jonathan explained that to take out the reward four people at a time from each tribe would battle in a boat tug-o-war competition to capture a flag, with the first new tribe to three scoring a reward of hot dogs and soda, so you know I would have died to win if I was out there. First up Ben, Croc, Chrissy and Sophie faced off against Mark, Jordan, Mel and Sandra, with the new Water tribe quickly scoring the first point. Josh, Mark, David and Jordie methodically then worked together to tie things up over Croc, Khanh, Jesse and Ben. Sandra, Mel, Shay and Nina worked hard on the third round though were eventually overpowered by Sophie, Sam, KJ and Michelle who scored the second point. Oh and then Ben, Sophie, Croc and Chrissy blitzed through the next round, jagging reward for their tribe. And most importantly, we got to see Ben cheering in his speedo, so everyone is truly a winner.

Back at camp the new Water tribe were delighted to find their hot dog cart, quickly getting to work smashing their snacks and soft drinks. While Sam was thrilled they proved themselves as a new tribe, Chrissy was just thrilled to finally have Croc by her side before talk turned to the fact that Mark was given a choice to join the tribe with Sam and instead opted to keep themselves separated a little longer. Which Sam admitted was a strong strategic decision, despite it hurting. After Croc spoke about feeling bad for those that couldn’t reunite with their pair, Sam and Sophie went for a walk to clear the air and while Sophie promised there were no hard feelings, Sam was very sure that she couldn’t be trusted.

Chrissy interrupted the calm celebrations when she noticed a clue hidden in the side of the cart, quickly rushing to it to snatch it without anyone noticing as she shoved it up her pants. Successfully managing to keep it there, unlike Sharn. Well, until she and Croc awkwardly hugged and she handed it off to him. Back at camp, they went for a walk together where they read their clue and upon Chrissy figuring out where their idol would be, darted off to the river to jag it without anyone noticing. With Croc planning to keep it secret, given that is the advice Sandra gave him and ugh, I now love Croc.

We finally checked in on the new Blood tribe where Jordie was thrilled by how the swap played out for him, keeping him with all of his closest allies and in the majority on the new tribe. And well, to say he was confident is an understatement. Jordie immediately identified Sandra as the biggest threat and vowed to get rid of her ASAP. Essentially. Mark opened up about deciding to stay away from Sam, knowing it was the safest option for them, despite it not being what he truly wanted. As everyone washed off in the water and formed quick bonds, poor Sandra was left alone with Dave back at camp and attempted to try and start over with him, given it is her only option. While she was hopeful Nina’s strong bonds and likability would be able to help her out, she was still very nervous.

Speaking of Nina, she was thrilled to still be on a tribe with all of her allies but sadly – though wisely for her – she approached them to assure them that should they want to vote out her mum, she will be ok with it. While she quietly wondered to us whether she could really bring herself to break her mum’s trust, she also felt it would be hard to cross her allies too.

The tribes reconvened for the immunity challenge where Jonathan explained they would chop through a rope to release a net, climb said net to cross a tower, collect some boxes on balance beams, climb up another tower where they would drop the boxes over the side in an attempt to release a ball. And then use said ball to solve a table maze. Josh got Blood out to the earliest of leads, though they were quickly overtaken by Water who whipped up the nets. After Michelle fell on the balance beams, Blood managed to pull ahead again. Well until they struggled to smash their boxes, giving Water a huge lead while solving their table maze. Sadly, they couldn’t get it together as Nina started to talk her tribe through the puzzle. Though not quickly enough, as Water narrowly took out immunity.

And left Sandra to contend with her Day 16 curse. Much to my mildly simmering rage.

Back at camp Nina quickly apologised for choking while calling the challenge while the rest of the tribe tried to rally and raise her up. Sandra meanwhile stressed about having to go to tribal council on Day 16, though she was hopeful Nina’s connections may be able to keep around for another few days and break said curse. Not wanting to rest on her laurels though, Sandra caught up with Mark and pointed out she has issues with Dave should they be looking for a target, while Dave, Jordie and the cousins hung out to lock in the vote for Mel. Nina went for a walk with Shay and Josh with them filling Nina in on the plan to get rid of Mel, given she is clumsy and may be a liability in future challenges. Which was music to Nina’s, and importantly my ears. 

Sandra meanwhile was back in the water with Jordan, Dave and Amy, with them shocked by the fact Water are willing to get rid of one of their own despite being in the minority. Sadly it was at that moment that Jordie decided they really should have some fun with the vote and instead take out one of the weaker OG Blood women in the form of Sandra, and then at a whisper, Amy.

Jordie, Josh and Mark giddily locked in the vote for Sandra given she is not only weaker and from the rival tribe but most importantly, a massive threat. While Jordie and Josh wanted to give Nina a heads up, Mark assured them it was too dangerous given she could get Shay to play her idol to save her mother and ruin not only their plans but their alliance. Speaking of which, Nina, Sandra and Shay were catching up and well, this better end with an idol play otherwise I’ll be heartbroken. While the trio felt the vote was still going Mel’s way, Sandra worried about what would happen after that given there is nowhere else for her to hide. Even though she isn’t even hiding anymore.

Mark, Jordie and Josh caught up with the other former OG Blood members and Mel to float the Sandra plan and tragically everyone seemed thrilled to jump on board. Thankfully though Nina could tell that Mark and Mel were acting weird with her and as such, felt like something was up. While Jordie caught up with Sandra and assured him the plan was still on Mel, desperate to claim the scalp of Sandra in a blindside.

At tribal council Sandra spoke about being happy with the new tribe, reiterating how proud she is to still be in the game. Mel opened up about being nervous about the upcoming vote, while Mark tried to downplay the fact the original Water tribe hold the majority in this new tribe. Which Jordie reiterated, though far less eloquently. Shay mentioned that she would be voting on strength, given she is desperate for some food and to get another win. This got Sandra fired up, announcing that is not how Survivor works or how it is played, given one person is not a deciding factor in losing a challenge. Sandra then doubled down and pointed out that alliances are more important because come merge, the weak will outnumber the strong and once the strong people start losing immunity, they are immediately booted. Unless they have allies willing to protect them.

This speech spooked Shay, given she thought she knew what would be playing out while Jordie spoke about every season being a clean slate and kinda pretending like Sandra isn’t a damn icon that could wash each and every one of them any day of the week. And well, he better moon us tomorrow if he gets his way tonight because I am growing tired. Nina admitted she is nervous about the upcoming vote, with Jordie pretty much saying he isn’t looking forward to facing a loved one back at camp which narrows down the boot to one of four people, but really only Sandra. Speaking of the Queen, she admitted that she is definitely expecting to receive a couple of votes at tribal council, though continued to speak strongly, reiterating that being a pair is strong and as such, made Josh and Jordan nervous about potentially being the only pair left in the tribe.

Jonathan then asked Nina whether she felt being a pair was important and when Sandra tried to look her in the eye, she told her to look at Jonathan instead as her eyes welled up. This well and truly got Sandra nervous as she spoke about knowing what she signed up for, though she still looked gutted. Before reminding us that the queen stays queen.

With that the tribe voted and tragically, there were no miracles as Shay played her idol for herself – not sure why, though – and Queen Sandra was unanimously booted from the tribe. Once again swap-screwed on Day 16. Which is why I threw the most epic tantrum Charters Towers had ever seen when I got word that Sandra’s curse had completed its hat trick before she claimed her triple crown. 

My tantrum wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t cute, though I would argue it was completely justified.

Sandra is a complete and utter icon and if her new tribes would only stop losing the first challenge after a swap, she should be a lock for the merge after enough time to endear herself with her new people. Instead, we’re left with the brutal tragedy that one again, Sandra is not on a jury at the worst but more ideally addressing one.

While I was heartbroken by her placement on paper, her run on Australian Survivor has only managed to cement her status as the best to ever play the game. Her strategy is simple and logical, but one that not many people could pull off season after season with her finesse.

As soon as I saw her enter the Pre-Jury Villa – no Loser Lodge for MY queen – I immediately started sobbing and ran into her arms. While she wasn’t receptive to my ideas for her to disown Nina and adopt me in her place, or to find Jonathan and production and force them to re-shoot tribal council, or even add a new version of Redemption Rock where Sandra is automatically given the win; she was grateful for my enduring love and support and glad that I was once again by her side on Day 16 to eat our feelings, this time with a Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine. A meal I had tragically thought would manifest the third win, rather than enacting her curse for a third time.

Now I can not take ownership of this recipe – that is Jock Zonfrillo, with some minor tweaks for my preferences – I knew Sandra’s return from retirement needed to be marked with something decadent and regal, worthy of her legacy. This very baconny, very cheesy number is near perfection – smokey and umami, sweet and salty, it is the only glorious meal worthy of someone as glorious as the Survivor GOAT.

Enjoy!

Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine
Jock Zonfrillo’s original recipe
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
50g thinly sliced smoked pancetta
25g smoked salt
25g dark muscovado sugar
10g ground black pepper, to season
10g hot smoked paprika
10g ground star anise
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.2kg pork belly
1 cup cloudy apple juice
150g sourdough, blitzed to form crumbs
230g sharp aged smoked cheddar, coarsely grated
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
120g unsalted butter, diced
60g flour
2 ½ cups milk
130g blue cheese, diced
130g Fontina, coarsely grated
130g Talleggio, coarsely grated
salt and white pepper, to taste
400g smoked bacon lardons
1 bunch shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
3 x 400g cans sweetcorn, drained
¼ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Start by working on your bacon rub by placing the pancetta on a lined baking sheet and cooking in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to remove grease and allow it to cool. Once chill, combine the pancetta with the smoked salt, muscovado sugar, black pepper, paprika and star anise in a food processor or blender and blitz until crumbed.

Next, score the skin of your pork belly and rub it with oil followed by all but 2 tbsp of the bacon rub, getting it on the meat and skin until it is gorgeously marooned. Pop the pork belly on a rack in a baking dish, skin side up, and pour the apple juice into the dish. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, before reducing the heat to 180C and cooking for a further hour. Keeping an eye on the apple juice in the pan and topping up with more, or water, should it run dry. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

While the pork is getting gorgeously browned, combine the bread crumbs, 100g of the smoked cheddar, parsley and the remaining bacon rub in a bowl until combined.

Next step – FYI, there are a lot of steps and it is what Sandra deserves, so deal – melt half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour, whisk and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk to combine before returning to the heat and bringing to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining cheeses and cooking for a further couple of minutes, or until well combined. Season and keep warm.

In another saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and cook the lardons for five minutes or until starting to caramelise. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for further five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the corn and stir until warmed through.

When the smells have you more than ready to eat, cut the pork belly into a dice, reserving the crackling for a side or to top. Combine the corn and lardon mixture with the cheese sauce, before folding through the pork belly and sour cream.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with the crumb and pop in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately and devour, eating all your feelings away before the next episode.

And remember, the Queen will always stay Queen. Day 16 curse be damned!


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June Jambalaya

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race the second batch of queens arrived to discover a half-used Werk Room before they were put through the same paces as their already-moved-in queens. Complete with a second first elimination. From start to finish, Angeria slayed more than Camden’s heart, oozing charm, personality and most importantly, all the damn polish. As such, she kicked off her debut with back to back mini and maxi challenge victories. At the other end of the spectrum, Daya and DeJa struggled with their performances and letting the judges know who they were, ultimately ending with sweet Daya being eliminated.

Backstage DeJa was shellshocked post lip sync, though was glad to have well and truly filled the dolls with nerves over her assassin ways. As they tried to process the loss of Daya, Alicia Keys popped up in the mirror to announce the arrival of the other six queens. And just like that, it was on. Kornbread was thrilled to see her seamstress DeJa was in the room, while Jasmine was thrilled to see Kerri given she is a superfan of her mother. The dolls spoke about who went home from each group with Kornbread talking about Orion’s short story while nobody batted an eyelid at the name Daya Betty from the Methyd dynasty. Most importantly, Willow was gagged to see a child other than Willow in the competition in the form of Jorgeous.

The next day the dolls were still trying to get to know each other while Bosco was just hoping to continue her streak of highs, despite the fact there are more girls. Ru dropped by and immediately welcomed Orion and Daya Betty back to the competition and well, I’ve been bamboozled!? Orion was thrilled for a second chance while Daya was just ready to prove all the girls wrong and let them know that she is a threat. Ru then followed this twist with another twist, where each doll would select a RuPaul candy bar and sign their name on it. Should the queens lip sync, the dolls are to take their chocolate bar to the runway and should they be eliminated, they open their choccie and if it is just that, they go home but if they grab a golden one, they get to remain.

So Survivor, does Willy Wonka, does Ru.

One by one the girls selected their bars before Ru announced that this week, the queens would be throwing a ball with each group getting a theme of their own. Group One would be running the Hide and Chic Ball, serving Zebra Print Resort, Leopard Evening Gown and serving a final Wedding Gown Eleganza, aka a self-made animal print delight.Meanwhile Group Two would be serving looks in the Red White and Blue Ball, rocking the rival runways of Red Hot Resort, Evening Gown Down – All In White – and Wedding Gown Eleganza in red, white and blue.

As soon as Ru departed, the dolls pillaged the supplies and quickly got to work on their final, showstopping looks. Bosco meanwhile was thrilled to be assigned animal print given it speaks to her on a deep level. She then kikied with Maddy about her heterosexuality, with Kornbread joining in and learning more about her girlfriend. Kerri then eavesdropped and only just  realised Maddy was straight and ugh, I love her.

Jasmine meanwhile was ready to prove her killer design skills, given she turns a new home-made look each week back at home. June on the flipside was starting to spiral, given she is not a crafty queen despite knowing how to style an outfit. And based on Bosco’s assessment of her ideas, she should be worried. DeJa meanwhile was feeling confident, ready to show the judges everything she’s got. Kerri meanwhile had no idea how to sew, but thankfully Jasmine is so starstruck by the Colby name that she was willing to do anything for her. While the outfit looked a mess, Kerri was feeling her oats and that was enough to make Bosco happy.

Then the dolls found a dead dragonfly on the floor, which Kornbread offered to pay Daya $1000 if she would eat it. AND SHE DID.

Willow meanwhile was struggling with the sewing given her fingers were too cold but thankfully, Kornbread is a delight and helped her with her pinning and got her a warm cup of water to help get the feeling back to her feelings and UGH, I love them both so much. Jorgeous meanwhile was giving a sexy silhouette in the hope of finding a man while Daya was hoping to dazzle the judges with frills and an ‘80s bridesmaid inspired look. Maddy was inspired with an old fashioned American wedding look, while Willow felt she was more inspired by Colonel Sanders.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to get ready as June pulled Orion aside to welcome her back to the competition, by explaining she wasn’t thrilled to see her return. But is now ok with things. Angeria meanwhile was busy flooding Lady Camden’s basement with her accent as she bonded with Willow and spoke about their drag styles. Orion opened up with Daya and Jasmine about her mom taking her own life a few years ago, admitting that she took up drag because of her mother and how she is dedicating her ball looks to her. And ugh, now I want Orion to win.

Kerri, Kornbread and Angeria meanwhile were talking about Kerri’s coming out journey. As Kerri spoke about being kicked out of home as a child, Kornbread started to sob as she shared that she too had to move out of home during high school. Kornbread went outside to compose herself before opening up with her sisters about how she is still trying to process her childhood traumas, though admitted that it would have to wait because they need to focus on the runway.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judges panel by Christine Chiu from Bling Empire. Alyssa opened the Zebra Print Resort runway giving me ski-sexy though was allegedly a jockey. Bosco thankfully slayed in an apres ski bodysuit. Willow meanwhile was a pastel delight as a mum heading to the hotel bar. Kerri was a stunning teenage belle while Kornbread slayed in a balck and white pantsuit before Orion slayed as an extra from Heathers. And June was perfect as a rich, sexy socialite. For the Red Hot Resort looks, Daya Betty slayed as a cross between a Simpsons character and Cindy Brady. Angeria was perfect in a red, mod number while DeJa was perfect in a floor length gown. Jasmine was beautiful as a lobster pin-up, Gorgeous was a Miami party girl while Lady Camden looked straight out of Studio 54’s resort off-shoot. Maddy meanwhile slayed in a jumpsuit, complete with a very white attempt at a twerk.

On the Leopard Evening Wear runway, Alyssa was an architectural dame, giving all the curves. Bosco gave clashing patterns and looked like a dream while Willow was a 90s delight in black on black leopard print. Kerri had a spinning fascinator and was a stunning CEO in a purple pantsuit while Kornbread was a vamp in black leopard. Orion was the sexiest hunter to take the stage before June was gorgeous in her too flowy gown that had her tripping down the runway. Daya slayed the Evening Gown Down runway in an all white, sexy choir outfit. Angeria gave the sexiest pastor known to man, DeJa gave a similar vibe though sadly following Angeria, didn’t stand out. Jasmine meanwhile was a delight in a frilled and fringed mini, while Jorgeous was an absolute goddess in a simple, fitted gown before Lady Camden was tied up in bows. And then Maddy was perfect in a dramatic moon and star gown and headpiece.

For the Animal Print Bridal Couture runway, Alyssa was a hoop-skirted delight in golden animal print. Bosco slayed, giving Betty Page does Cruella de Vil, while Willow gave clashing prints in a bridal pantsuit. Kerri meanwhile was feeling her oats despite the sloppy outfit. Kornbread was a sexy, snake print delight despite it also being a little sloppy. While Orion gave a polished outfit, giving the perfect hourglass with Peggy Bundy does the Flintstones. And June was a jungle delight, though literally hid behind a bouquet the entire walk. On the red white and blue Bridal Couture, Daya stepped out of Crystal’s shadow by making a replica of Crystal’s promo look. Angeria was perfect in a tight red gown with a white snowflake on the front. DeJa was stunning in a textured red mermaid gown, while Jasmine served stars and stripe realness. Gorgeous was a sequined delight while Lady Camden was a clash of fabrics, a little tacky but totally hilarious. While Maddy gave a literal Americana gown, thrilled to finally get married.

Alyssa, Bosco, Kerri, Kornbread, Daya, DeJa, Jasmine and Lady Camden were sent to safety backstage where they immediately agreed that they were grateful to be safe on the ball, despite some of them thinking they should have done better. Jasmine was the first to admit she felt she should have been in the top, annoying Daya who felt she definitely shouldn’t have been in the top. Alyssa meanwhile was disappointed because she came into the competition, desperate to win the Ball. Jasmine praised Camden for doing such a good job on the runway, though Camden admitted she really felt she was lucky to be safe. Kerri spoke about just wanting a little bit of feedback, while returnee Daya just wanted everyone to be happy and for them to kinda calm down.

Daya opened up about how happy she was to be in the competition and as such, was overjoyed to be safe. Kerri praised her for bringing such a different vibe into the competition and encouraged her to believe in herself. Though then the dolls opened up about being annoyed to see two extra dolls come back into the competition, Kornbread admitted she was frustrated, though still believes they all deserve to be there. Kornbread spoke about how good her outfit turned out despite her skills, before DeJa and Jasmine jumped in to claim their help. Kerri meanwhile was just thrilled to make it through the ball, while Jasmine said she would need help writing lyrics when they get to those challenges, given that is where she struggles.

Which surprised Daya, since she doesn’t shut up.

Talk turned to who would land in the bottom with Kornbread worried for her sister June, while Alyssa essentially wanted everyone to lip sync for their lives.

Meanwhile on the mainstage, Willow received universal praise for everything she served this week. Particularly given how strong her final look was and how perfect her workmanship is. Orion was praised for serving a beautiful mug and boy did she know it. Sadly, Michelle wasn’t thrilled by the lack of diversity in her looks while Ru just wanted her to give a little less. Which TBH, is the opposite of this show, but I digress. June meanwhile received praise for her first look before being read for filth for her second and third, particularly given she was clearly ashamed of her final look.

Angeria received praise for everything she did this week, with the judges particularly thrilled by her styling skills. Jorgeous too received universal praise for her first two looks, though the judges weren’t thrilled by the Evil Kenevil look she made as a wedding gown. Oh and she is winning the season, because Ru said she is born for drag, so I guess we can just pack this up?. Maddy was read for being a bit too pedestrian in the first category and not giving enough personality in her second look. While they lived for the personality she gave in her final look.

The two groups reconnected with Willow opening up about how much the judges lived for her. On the flipside, the dolls worried it would be a rematch between June and Orion in the lip sync. Kerri shared that she was worried June was feeling defeated all episode, as Kornbread jumped in to give her a pep talk before all her new sisters surrounded her with love. June opened up about how June has given her the power to embrace all the parts of herself and feel whole. Maddy opened up about her fears being in the bottom before Jasmine told any nervous girls to get prepping for the lip sync. 

As June demanded Alyssa take off her shoes and started to break down, Maddy calmly downed her drink in the corner while Orion watched on. Though given Angeria told her she wouldn’t be lip syncing, maybe she is right to just chill. Oh and then Maddy fired up in front of the mirror as she got ready for battle.

Ultimately Jorgeous was deemed safe before Willow took out a well earned victory, meaning Angeria too, was safe. At the other end of the spectrum, Orion found herself narrowly avoiding the bottom as June and Maddy were tasked with lip syncing for their lives. To our Kylie’s I Love It. Maddy was cute and energetic, giving loved-up diva while June was fierce and ferocious. She gave wig reveals and pulled her outfit apart, while Maddy just felt her oats and turned out a show. As she avoided the trip hazard that was the remnants of June’s outfit. Ultimately Maddy was able to save herself, leaving June to open her candy bar and tragically comie up chocolate. Making her the third first boot of the season, though the first one to officially stick.

While June was heartbroken by the time she made her way into my arms backstage, I had well and truly got my ‘being the first boot is better than coming anywhere outside of the top 6’ line perfected and her mood quickly lifted. Though this time I also included the fact that doing what she was able to do in her two episodes while still a baby drag queen is super impressive and she needs to focus on the path ahead. Because her future is oh so bright. I know, I know, it was so kind of me even I was confused by who was speaking, as such, I served her the only thing I could, a delicious June Jambalaya.

Jambalaya is one of the easiest, tasty meals you can throw together. I mean, sure, this is probably not the most authentic you can have, but when you’re slapped in the face with flavour half an hour after you start making it, you won’t be complaining.

Enjoy!

June Jambalaya
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced chopped
1 red capsicum, cored and cut into strips
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp cajun seasoning
2 chorizos, cut into thick coins
500g pork steaks, sliced
4 cups chicken stock
400g can crushed tomatoes
1 ¾ cups long-grain rice
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and when hot, saute the onion and capsicum for about five minutes. Add the garlic, cajun spice and chorizo and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant and the chorizo is releasing its spicy juices.

Add the pork and cook, again stirring, for five minutes, or until cooked in the gorgeously red oils. Stir through the stock and tomatoes before bringing to a boil. Add the rice, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for up to 20 minutes, or until the liquid has almost all absorbed.

Then devour immediately, thinking how well you will go in your second season.


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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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Leemon & Porkarseldine Pasta

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Pasta, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the remaining Vakama were sitting ducks after losing Locky at the merge tribal council. Like Shonee before him, David was once again all about revenge though this time, he was taking it back to his previous season and eliminating anyone that wronged him. And well, Harry was the last target remaining. Knowing this, Harry appealed to Lee and Zach to try and get them to flip to the Vakama side and take control. After suffering through last season’s final immunity challenge again, Harry was once again bested, this time by Brooke. At tribal council, he worked hard to appeal to the boys’ need to play a better game this time around, however they chose to stick with their alliance for the time being and sent Harry from the game.

The next day Shonee was feeling completely isolated as the last rascal standing, though was glad to still have two friends in Brooke and AK. But Shonee being Shonee, she didn’t rest on her laurels and got to work making new friends with all the oldies that she has nothing in common with. She and Jacs spoke about their Sunday morning routines before she stumbled upon the fact that she and Tarzan are both from Toowoomba. And just like that, our queen has another bestie.

Speaking of Tarzan, he was busy collecting water with Lee who was thrilled to once again be edging closer to the end of the game. We then saw a clip of him in the final two when his family came out before the votes were read and I know where this is going, so I freely admit to being sick with dread.

Before we got to the tragedy, Jonathan returned for the reward challenge which is honestly a horrible pivot. The tribe would be split into two groups and face off one at a time, slide down a slide into a mud pit, wrestle for a ball and then shoot said ball into a basket. It was for a BBQ, so everyone was obviously thrilled. But honestly, Shonee cried over a sandy, so I assume their standards have dropped a bit. David and Tarzan were the first to face off, with David scoring the first point for himself, Brooke, Sharn, Zach and Moana. Which honestly seems pretty unfair. Sharn extended the lead with a huge over-the-shoulder shot while Jacqui wrestled her. Lee closed the gap slightly with a victory over Zach before Brooke defeated Shonee and extended the lead again. Up next, David scored another point for his team before AK even realised what had happened. Oh and then Moana put her footballing career to use, destroying Jacqui and securing reward for herself, Sharn, Brooke, David and Zach.

At reward the victors were thrilled to discover a tonne of food and drink before Zach worked to steal my heart, stripping off at reward and flashing his butt as he scrubbed away with mud. They joyously smashed food and returned for seconds before discovering letters from home. Sharn got a sweet acrostic poem from her kids before Moana broke down over a letter from her sister Vinny who she is the full time carer for, who drew their entire family and a letter from her wife, who she married just before playing the game. Zach’s sweet streak continued as he sobbed over his letter from his fellow animal sanctuary lover. Brooke meanwhile was thrilled to get to learn a bit about her tribemates, hoping it may give her a chance to find an in. We then learnt that David wears a flower in his hair at challenges for his daughter and that he is playing the game so that he can afford to move back home to live closer to his sons. And hot damn, I am now crying and do not even mind if David walks his way to the end.

Back at camp Tarzan, Lee and AK were washing the mud off and cleaning their clothes, with Tarzan and Lee nuding up and washing each other’s back. The joyous portion of the game however was interrupted as Lee was summoned off camera by a producer where he learnt that his mother had suffered a massive stroke and was unlikely to survive. Tarzan found him in the jungle where Lee broke down in his arms as he told him what happened before announcing that he would be leaving the game. Tarzan and Jacqui took him back to camp where he told Shonee and AK what happened before the victors were brought back to camp to say goodbye. The tribe huddled around him, hugging each other and sobbing over his pain and honestly, this is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen on Survivor. Even more than Deitz’s son in Second Chances.

Tragically his mother Beth passed away by the time he had made it to the Fijian airport, so I’m going to drop any pretenses of catching up.

Lee came into his second season a changed man, sure he was still a loyal provider, but he was also ready to play the game this time and I was loving watching where it was going. Hopefully he gets another shot to show off his growth, but in the meantime, we should all whip up a Leemon & Porckarseldine Pasta in honour of him being an all around nice guy.

The whack of lemon punches through the saltiness of the pork, leaving you a smooth, creamy bowl of comfort. Plus the broccolini and a little bit of chili join the fun to make it even better.

Enjoy!

Leemon & Porkarseldine Pasta
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
500g Italian pork sausages
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chili flakes
2L chicken stock
500g penne
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed, cut into thirds
300ml cream for cooking
1 lemon, zested and juiced
⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus more to serve
torn basil leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings to create a series of small meatballs. Cook, stirring, for five minutes or until browned. Add the leek to the pan and cook for a further few minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and chili and cook for a further minute to take the edge off.

Add the stock and bring to the boil before adding the stock, reducing to a simmer and cooking for about 15 minutes or until tender and the stock has reduced. Add the broccolini and cook for a few minutes or until the broccolini is cooked through. 

Reduce heat to low, tir in the cream, lemon zest and juice and the parmesan with a good whack of better and salt if you need. Cook until the sauce thickens up, about five minutes, before serving with some parmesan and basil.

Then devour.


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Porchetthan Zohndsiwch

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Africa, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Natalie continued to grow her portfolio of Fire Tokens despite being the first boot, finding the second advantage – to leave tribal before the votes are cast, thus making the person immune – and selling it to her ally Jeremy. Making her the richest person in the game and one step closer to an advantage in the return challenge. In desperate need of a challenge advantage was Sele, who once again were destroyed at the immunity challenge and sending them back to tribal council. After Danni grew nervous about her place in the old school alliance, she started to scramble and run her mouth, outing the aforementioned alliance in the process. Her paranoia only grew at tribal council, leading to the tribe banding together to oust her from the game and put her out of her misery.

We returned to Sele the next morning where Boston Rob was pranking Adam awake, I assume missing having his kids around and bonding with one of the youngest on the tribe. Adam shared that despite Danni’s unanimous vote thanks to Rob and his fellow old schoolers Ethan and Parvati turning on her, the tribe is still very much split between the oldies and the new school players. Though Adam knows that Boston Rob likes to feel like he is in control of the game, and as such, he needs to change things up and play a bit more like Adam. Adam and his ego caught up with Denise to discuss potentially taking a shot at one of the big guns. Aka Parvati. While Denise was nervous about upsetting her two closest allies, she was feeling mildly confident given she was willed Danni’s fire token and Adam returned the other half of her idol to her, giving her control of a complete one.

With the plan casually outlined, Adam went to Michele and Ben to float the idea of targeting the iconic Parvati. Ben was keen to start working against Rob, while Michele was open to taking out Parvati given she is cutthroat and will strike soon enough. And she was confident that while he will be butthurt, he has no other options and as such, will need to come around. Next on his list, Adam approached Ethan to float the idea of getting rid of Parvati and while he knew it was a risky move, he knew he had to loop him in to keep him on side. Apparently. Ethan however was ropeable, given Parvati is his number one and he vowed to never turn on her.

Meanwhile over at Dakal Sandra was mixing up her game by filling the provider role. As she put it, this is her fifth time out there and is her farewell tour – please be a lie – so she may as well catch some fish to keep people onside. Off she went to cast a net in the shallows during low tide and while they lay in wait, Tyson shared how odd it was to be on the outs in his tribe. As such, he decided to try and turn the tribe against Sandra as an easy vote. He approached Yul and Sophie, and while Yul agreed that Sandra stirring the pot all the time was dangerous to his game, he changed his tune the next day when Sandra caught a baby shark in the shallows proving that she can be a provider and keeps life positive around camp. With that Yul pulled Sandra aside to let her know that Tyson was gunning for her, pissing her off and vowing to get rid of him first.

At the Edge of Extinction Danni was also trying to become the provider, spear fishing in the shallows and trying to remind herself that she isn’t out yet. The ladies were interrupted from their fishing by treemail, directing them towards a tree on the top of the hill featuring a locked box with a sign that told them that they already have all the information that they need. Amber scurried back to camp to search for things with numbers written on them to test the locks. While it was a logical theory, she proved incorrect which gave Natalie enough time to realise that the combination was a series of shells on the string attached to treemail. After tossing away one of the other clues and ruining the second, Natalie bolted back to the bo, unlocked it and discovered directions to a vote steal advantage which she could sell to someone for a fire token. She weighed up the options, knowing that she had to pick someone that would be willing to take a risk to ensure her third fire token, which would make her the richest person in the game.

We returned to Dakal where Tyson and Tony were still discussing the shark while Sarah discovered a note in her bag, which told her that the steal a vote would be hidden in the torch of someone on the other tribe. And she would need to go grab it tonight, under the cover of darkness. While she was nervous about everything that could go wrong, she knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so handed over her fire token and enlisted Tony to help cover for her. That night Tony grabbed ashes to smear over her face and when it didn’t work, they spat in it to make it stick and honestly, these two are like watching kids play. And I think I love it. Meanwhile at Sele Ethan was putting another log on the fire as Sarah approached. Luckily for her he went straight back to sleep while she crawled around camp in the pitch black before she finally found the torches on the side of camp. She nervously stood up and while she was snapping twigs and making an almighty racquet, she found the advantage and made it out of camp unnoticed.

Jeffrey arrived for this week’s immunity challenge where they would have to leap across ramp walls, dig up a ladder, use the ladder to grab a rope, toss said rope up to a platform, scale it and then, wait for it, solve a puzzle. Oh and the winning tribe would also get some chicken kebabs for good measure. As is becoming habit Dakal got out to an early lead, whipping through the physical part of the challenge and giving Sophie and Sarah a huge lead on the puzzle. Sadly for them, it was the famed tree puzzle which meant the lead was quickly eaten up, giving Rob and Michele hope. The two tribes went back and forth with the lead until they both came down to two pieces each after Sarah and Sophie knocked out two pieces while trying to put the last in. Rob and Michele tried to slot in the final piece before they could recover but the girls kept their cool, popped them back in and claimed immunity yet again. Begging the question, is Denise still cursed?

Back at camp Sele sat around the camp in silence, too scared to be the first one to make a move and potentially make themselves a target. Sick of waiting, Jeremy broke the stand off and walked away, leading to Ben and Denise quickly following him out of camp. Ben quickly locked in the plan to get rid of Parvati, given she is the most dangerous player in the game. Ben then filled Adam in on Adam’s own plan before Adam pulled Rob aside to see if he would be willing to flip on Parvati. Adam was hoping that the truth would keep him safe with Rob and while Rob seemed open to the idea, he immediately took the information to Michele and Jeremy and told them that Adam told him about the Parvati plot. While they tried to pretend it wasn’t the case, Rob steamrolled through their denials to get them to lock in a plan for Adam. Rob then got Parvati on board while Michele and Jermey quickly tried to come up with a plan B.

Michele thought that breaking up the trio was the most pressing situation, she was annoyed that Adam had spilt the plan and as such, considered getting rid of him instead. Michele decided that voting out Parvati was now too risky and would upset Rob and as such, getting rid of Ethan may be the smartest move. She approached Denise and Ben to catch them up before sharing that whatever happens at tribal council tonight will be because she and Jeremy wanted that to happen. Oh and that she totally deserved her win and haters need to back off.

At tribal council Ben spoke about the stand off after the challenge, which Jeremy added was because they thought they were cohesive after the Danni vote and the loss proved that they weren’t. Ethan agreed that it is hard to be united and as such, people are looking out for themselves and the people that they are working with. Adam spoke about the fact that the overlap of alliances makes it hard for any vote to be neat, and that someone else will always be annoyed. Michele likened it to dating, highlighting the importance of trusting your gut and going with what feels right.

Rob agreed that trust is important, though inherently nobody should trust anyone. Parvati pointed out that she is one of the targets tonight and while people are talking about options, she has none, given she came in as one of the most respected winners and few people want to work with her. Adam agreed that reputations make it harder for people like Parvati, or Rob, who straight up has a statue dedicated to him on another island. Rob was annoyed that Adam was reminding everyone that Rob and Parvati are on the Mount Rushmore of Survivor, while Ben tried to pretend he never had allies on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, despite being aligned until he blew it up. Denise admitted that there was bedlam after tribal council and everyone was going to everyone to find a plan that they were open to. Ethan spoek about the fact that he is trying to play things one day at a time as he doesn’t want to plan ahead if he can’t even get there.

With that the tribe voted and while I am thrilled that Parvati saved herself yet again, it came at the cost of Zaddy Ethan and that breaks my heart. In. To. A. Million. PIECES. I mean, I loved the look of confusion on Adam’s face when Ethan rather than Parvati was voted out but I would happy have not had that hilarity for just one more day of Ethan in the main game.

Like with Danni before him, Ethan found me behind the fire token exchange table, following the sound of my Kim Kardashian ugly cry. He picked me up as my legs trembled beneath me and pulled me in for a hug. With one arm holding me steady and the other warmly holding my head to his chest, he let me sob for eternity. And while it didn’t matter to him how long we hugged, only wanting me to be ok, the Extinction boat driver continuously coughed and tapped his watch to try and break it up. As such, the producer pulled him away as I screamed and reached for him, only managing to slip an Porchetthan Zohndsiwch in his bag.

 

 

Gloriously salty pork, nutty, creamy cheese and the zingy punch of mustard and rocket work perfectly to fill you with joy, even when you are at your lowest. Plus, there is crackling and crackling solves all problems.

Enjoy!

 

 

Porchetthan Zohndsiwch
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 ciabatta, cut into sandwich sized lengths and split in half
2 tbsp dijon mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices of porchetta
1 cup rocket

Method
I know assembling a sandwich hardly counts as a recipe, however I have lived a life this week – RIP Phoebe, Flick and now Zaddy Ethan – so I needed something simple enough to throw together through tears.

Soooo, to assemble, smear the bread with the mustard, layer a couple of slices of cheese on the base, top with piping hot pork on top and the rocket.

Close, devour and return to the game like the precious angel you are Ethan!

 

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