Chicken & Cherry Ballotine

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 12 new queens arrived in jolly old London town to see if they could live up to my hype after the epic first season. Immediately thrust into a Wimbledon inspired photo shoot, Lawrence brought a stunning mess to the pic and took out the first victory of the season. Meanwhile on the mainstage the queens were tasked with two looks inspired by their UK gay icon and one proving why they’re the icon of their hometowns. Despite controversially rocking ASOS, Asttina took out the first victory victory while Joe Black was read for filth for not hitting her references and Bimini for being sloppy. But in the lip sync, she was anything but as she stole the show and saved herself sending the iconic Joe out of the competition.

The queens returned to the Werk Room with Bimini shell-shocked by the experience while my sweet Veronica just could not comprehend that someone as iconic and famous as Joe Black was eliminated first. Lawrence meanwhile was just processing the fact that the competition really can flip on its head in the matter of minutes, though did caution that maybe Bimini should pop on some undies. Speaking of Bimini, after scrubbing the mirror clean, as is their duty, they begged the girls to escort them to the couch so they could finally whip off their shoes. 

Sister Sister warned the girls that they have no idea how it actually feels to be in the bottom, while Lawrence continued to work her way further into my heart by telling them that they have no idea how it feels to top either. While they all laughed, Bimini wanted some drama – preach – and asked who the safe girls thought placed in the top and bottom. While Cherry got awkward, A’Whora was more than happy to share that everyone sans Lemon really thought Asttina should have been in the bottom thanks to her ASOS jacket. This led to Asttina pointing out she won and as such, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks and they all just need to step their pussies up. Leaving Tia to rightly suggest they de-drag and go home.

Oh and Lemon tried on Bimini’s outfit which is iconic but not relevant in the slightest. I just love them both.

The next day tensions had returned to normal with Asttina proudly rocking the first badge of the season. Veronica mentioned that she was missing Joe already – bless nerdy boy Veronica, I love him so – before Lawrence admitted that Joe left her some nails as she didn’t really have enough to last the competition. This led to some killer banter between her and Lemon and ugh, the UK girls just have so much charm, wit and talent – I love them all! Cherry asked Tia if she was going to step up her runways now, with Tia admitting that she got her three shit ones out of the way so they all best get ready to be dominated. Oh and to us, she still doesn’t know how to read A’Whora.

Oh and I did not recognise Ellie out of drag and was V confused where that person had come from. Again, not relevant but thought you should know.

Ru arrived to put the queens to test in this week’s mini challenge where they would be required to ride the pole. By casting their vote for their drag cabinet for Secretary of Shade, Trade Minister (aka the hottest), Leader of the House of Lording It up (aka the cockiest) and Baroness Basic before stuffing the Pit Crew’s ballot box. With their votes, obviously – this is the BBC after all. After Ru tabulated the votes, the cabinet was announced with A’Whora elected as Secretary of Shade, Tayce won Trade Minister – Asttina was robbed – Lawrence Chaney won Leader of the House of Lording it Up and Baroness Basic went to Tia Kofi. Obviously.

Oh and then Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they’ll be singing and performing live – Charlie was right – in the debut performance of Rats: The Rusical. With only Michelle to help get their vocals over the line. Oh and then Tia was given the power to cast the show, given she was called basic and damn, this is going to be fun. Wait, no, Tia just wants it to be good and isn’t going to ruin it for anyone else. Sigh.

Veronica was feeling her singing oats, Asttina too was confident while Veronica and Cherry fought it out for the lead role Evita, with Veronica ultimately getting it, given it is the harder role and Tia wants to look after the less confident Cherry. Tia asked Lawrence why she was being so quiet, with Lawrence admitting to straight up being terrified given singing and dancing are not her gig. A’Whora was ultimately given the villain – which tracks –  while Bimini requested the non-singing role paired with it. The hoodrat parts went to Tayce and Ellie, after the latter was forced to audition for Tia. Sister, Cherry and Lawrence meanwhile formed a trio, with Sister not caring enough to fight being cast as the Rat Pack extras and Lawrence continuing to spiral with nerves. Leaving Tia the show stopping cameo for herself.

On the mainstage the queens met with Michelle and her vocal coach Dane Chalfin, with Sister, Cherry and Lawrence clearly nervous. A’Whora and was told she was holding back while Bimini was firing on all cylinders. Veronica quickly shut up everyone that doubted her while Asttina was lost next to her. Ginny rocked it as Judy Stench, while Tia was cautioned that by going the route of giving herself the smaller role she really needs to nail it and steal the show. And finally, Tayce and Ellie were both called out for being difficult to understand.

Michelle and Dane exited leaving Jay Revell and Kieran Daley Ward to get the girls up to speed with their choreo. Immediately flooding Ginny’s basement. Once again Bimini was super confident, while A’Whora just couldn’t rough it up for the role. Tayce and Ellie slayed, Veronica and Asttina worked well together, though Veronica was starting to get in her head that she really needs to win. Which may not end well. Ginny and Tia forgot their lines while Lawrence just wanted to slink into the background as she struggled and poor Cherry just wanted Lawrence and Sister to get it together so they can work through what they need to do. Lawrence started to break down, sharing that she is struggling to be this far out of her comfort zone while the rest of the girls tried to rally around her. It was relatable and sweet, so I’m obviously not going to be shady about it.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone full of energy as they got into rat drag, except for Lawrence who continued to get more and more nervous. On the other end of the spectrum, Tayce and A’Whora were busy flirting it up and alluding to their past time together. Cherry and Sister spoke about how happy the are to have each other in the competition, with Cherry sharing that she grew up as a traveller and how that contradicts with being gay. Despite the fact all the women in his family are camp as hell, the men, however, are all super butch. She spoke about struggling to be proud of being gay and share emotions and well, it was just a really nice wholesome bonding moment and again, I love them all.

On the mainstage Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Sheridan Smith for the premiere of Rats: The Rusical which opened with a flush. Literally. Veronica had a fire from her very first note, Ginny was hilarious, Lawrence continued to struggle with her nerves and Bimini was delightfully bonkers. Tayce and Ellie missed a cue, but managed to end their duet strongly. Lawrence warmed up throughout the show and leaned into her comedy, Sister was demented and Cherry kinda go lost, despite nailing rehearsal. Bimini owned her duet, despite A’Whora warming into the role. Attina was well and truly overshadowed by Veronica which is more a compliment to the latter, given Asttina was giving it her all. Oh and Tia’s strategy paid off as she stole the damn show with a killer final number.

On the Surprise, Surprise reveal runway, A’Whora slayed going from groom to bride. Lawrence was a bit awkward going from blueberry to tartan, Ginny was an icon, revealing the EXACT same dress under the first one, just with a bottom window included, giving them the hole nine yards. Cherry was camp and demented, going from yellow puff to pregnant lady. Tia had a killer concept going from leather daddy before slaying as a showgirl or the dancing lady emoji. Ellie went from Scarecrow to Tin Man before offering a third look, as the Cowardly Lion. Asttina Mandela went from death to sexy ninja and damn, my basement is not just flooding but overflowing. Sister Sister was a floral dame before going full dominatrix demon, in the best way. And then Veronica arrived and stole the damn show, going from Stepford Wife to full blown robot. Poor Tayce was next, going from cape to gown to dying in a bodysuit and well, I feel sorry for her following Veronica. Bimini then walked out in a corset with balloons full of paint which was an iconic concept that tragically just failed as hard as Asia and the butterflies. 

Ultimately A’Whora, Ginny, Asttina, Sister Sister and Bimini were deemed safe, leaving the rest to be praised or read for filth. Lawrence sadly was the latter with the judges feeling she was good in the show but needed to get out of her way. And her reveal was quite boring. The judges felt Cherry’s inner saboteur took her down this week and while she was good, she fell flat. The judges lived for everything Tia Kofi did this week except for her showgirl look. Ellie received universal praise for everything she did but well, they clearly loved everything Veronica Green did just that little bit more. I am so proud of her! Oh and Tayce was praised for looking stunning despite being overshadowed in the show and well, very basic on the runway.

Backstage Bimini was thrilled to be safe but heartbroken her reveal didn’t pan out. Ginny spoke about it being so much harder than they expected. The tops and bottoms returned, with Lawrence feeling ok. Sister Sister admitted that she felt Lawrence brought her down this week, with Lawrence getting offended while Sister just wanted to find a way to keep going rather than breaking down. Tayce said the judges felt everything she did was a bit flat while Cherry felt like she was being ignored, despite being in the bottom and clearly emotional. She shared she was scared and wanted to get out of her head. Talk turned to Veronica being quiet and riding under the radar, with her hoping it was a warning shot that she was here for victory. Oh and Tia was thrilled to learn that she is hella basic and congratulated the girls for identifying it earlier.

Ultimately Tia and Ellie were deemed safe, handing Veronica an extremely well-deserved victory before Lawrence’s personality saved her from the bottom two, leaving Cherry and Tayce to battle it out to Memory. And holy shit, while it isn’t exactly the most drag friendly song, the duo serve it, tapping into the emotion and frankly, breaking my heart. Both girls felt every feel however Tayce had light and shade, going from heartbreak to rage, quivering lip and fire in her eyes. Despite Cherry rocking it as a fragile leading lady, it wasn’t enough as Tayce was sent to safety and poor Cherry was sent home. Vowing to fight and never let anyone overlook them ever again.

Backstage I was still COVID naive as I pulled Cherry into a massive hug and reminded her how great she is and how proud of her I am. You see, I first met Cherry a decade or so ago when planning a family member’s traveller wedding (I was meant to appear on a rival reality TV show about these weddings, but D’Andra Simmons got me removed like I was LeeAnne in that defunct show).

But I digress.

I was taken by Cherry’s charm and nervous energy, so I took her under my wing and encouraged her to shine. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am her drag mother. Thus the pride. But I digress, again. Cherry was thrilled to see me backstage and glad I had a delicious Chicken & Cherry Ballotine waiting to cheer her up again.

The salty prosciutto and tart cherries work harmoniously to create a ballotine that you can’t stop devouring. Particularly when feeling down or if the weather is shit. Or if you are happy. Or you know, whenever – this is just really tasty and super easy.

Enjoy!

Chicken & Cherry Ballotine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
½ cup morello cherries, drained and chopped
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp grated parmesan
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices prosciutto
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half to form two thinner fillets

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Combine the cherries, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, thyme, oregano, garlic and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Meanwhile line the prosciutto on a piece of cling, with the long sides overlapping. Place the chicken breast pieces over the top, before forming the stuffing into a sausage and placing in the middle. Roll the chicken into a sausage, using the prosciutto to seal it in.

Place seam side down on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and the prosciutto crispy. Leave to rest for ten minutes, before slicing into discs and serving with a generous heaping of mash.


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Phoebeef Wellingtimmins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the swap left David and Phoebe all alone on Mokuta, forcing them into a tight alliance. Sadly for Phoebe, it was short lived as she decided to also align herself with her fellow season 1 contestant Nick. Feeling slightly, David immediately cut her off emotionally. To make matters worse, he then found a hidden immunity idol and vowed to use it to get some humiliating revenge on her. Thankfully for her though, she found a clue to a hidden immunity idol at the last reward. Despite coming very closing to a humiliating defeat at the immunity challenge, Nick destroyed the puzzle and single handedly sent Vakama back to tribal council once again. With no other option, Mat desperately tried to convince Locky that the tribe couldn’t afford to lose any more strength and set his sights on targeting Shonee. And again, uuugggh. Thankfully Shonee’s charm won out once again however, as the tribe banded together to send Mat from the game.

We first checked in with Mokuta where Lee was doing some nerdy-host cosplay, leading the tribe in an island version of Young Talent Time. First up David showed off his best island modelling, stomping through the sand in his leather jacket WITH HIS BUM HANGING OUT. Oh god, I am wet – have mercy! Jacqui did some body building, Sharn did a tongue twister – and got massively burned by Nick, who pointed out that if she spoke like that at final tribal, maybe she wouldn’t have lost – before Zach shocked everyone, stopping my heart for a brief second, with a sultry flamenco.

Meanwhile at Mokuta everyone was clothed, while AK was suffering in his jocks for having kept Mat as long as he did. Harry on the other hand was growing more and more nervous, unsure whether getting Mat was the right move, given he a Shonee are now on the bottom. Harry pulled AK aside and the duo ran through the numbers on both sides and tried to fashion a series of plans to get to the end. While Harry wanted to keep him on side, he was concerned that AK’s mind was wandering even further and needed to be wary of when he started crunching the numbers to get rid of him. But for the moment, he was confident that everyone was trusting him.

Back at Mokuta the tribe were keeping themselves busy doing house work and bonding. Sharn shared that she was thrilled that their winning streak had allowed everyone a little more time to bond, before listing out all the alliances on the tribe – OG Mokuta, OG Vakama, Zach, and lastly, Phoebe and David. Phoebe was well aware that she was on the bottom on the tribe, however, and that Moana will vote her out at the very first opportunity she gets. That being said, Phoebe did find a clue to an idol and as such, was confident that she could snatch that and that she and her only ally David can take back control. With that, Phoebe pulled David aside to let him know about the idol clue and pledge her undying allegiance to him. Sadly for her, while he made her everyone promise under the sun, he has no interest in ever working with her again.

Phoebe ventured off to collect the idol, going from termite mound to termite mound, but alas, she couldn’t. With that, David went to find her and share that her absence from camp was arousing suspicion, so he offered to check for idols for her, while directing her away from the one he assumed it would be hidden in.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge which was simply tug of war over a pool, with the person to pull the other in scoring a point for their tribe. With the first tribe to three scoring a delightfully packed lunch, complete with juice box. First round saw Locky face off against the washed-up gladiator slash reformed misogynist, with Locky easily washing Zach by pulling him straight into the drink. Moana tied things up by destroying Brooke before Lee gave the lead to Mokuta by pulling off AK. Sorry, AK off the platform. Flick tied things up against Phoebe leaving Shonee to battle Jacqui for the win. AND HOLY SHIT, Queen, icon legend Shonee, absolutely destroyed her and won the challenge for her tribe. Because with Mat gone, somebody needed to step up. ICON.

Who’s strong now Abbey, Lydia, John and Mat, huh?

Vakama returned to camp to find their packed lunch, complete with sambo, snack, juice box and a little treat from home. Shonee’s being a sweet pair of sunnies like the absolute icon that she is. We then learnt that Harry proposed between his seasons, with her sending photos while his son Oscar couldn’t be bothered sending him shit. Locky got a letter from his sister, Flick broke down over her message from her fiance, as did AK and then everyone followed suit. Except for Shonee, who’s future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades. Wait, no, Shonee started crying when she discovered the size of her club sandwich. This woman is an icon and needs a GoFundMe right about now.

Back at Mokuta, Moana was doing her best Evil Kermit cosplay which made Phoebe feel super nervous. That and the fact she is quiet and also managed to build a super strong alliance. Meanwhile Phoebe caught up with who she thought was her super strong ally and the duo agreed to hunt for the idol again, with Phoebe venturing into the bush while David quickly grabbed the idol behind their shelter without arousing suspicion. He quickly found Phoebe and continued to help her search for the idol in an ever growing panic, gleefully trolling her.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were forced to pair up once again and hold themselves up, leaning over a mud pit, with the last pair left standing securing immunity for the tribe. Sharn and Jacqui quickly became the first duo to drop, followed by Brooke and Shonee – with the latter body slamming her on the way down – and Locky and AK back-to-back, leaving Harry and Flick to fight it out to protect their tribe. After a long struggle Phoebe and Nick dropped, leaving David and Tarzan to fight for Mokuta. And you just know David has no interest in winning immunity. With that  the two duos put in a valiant effort before Tarzan of all people fell in, handing new Vakama their first immunity win.

Back at camp Jacqui wasn’t overly disappointed to have lost the challenge, more concerned about figuring out how to spend Phoebe’s name. Moana and Tarzan too were worried about spelling, before Moana admitted that she is thrilled to target Phoebe again as she is too bigger threat. And more importantly, underestimates her. Moana then got to work rallying the troops, pulling Zach in to her larger alliance to replace Mat while Jacqui worked on Sharn and Tarzan worked on Nick. Zach then joined the fray, going to Lee to pull him in before Lee suggested that getting rid of Phoebe may not be the best idea given she has allies on the other tribe and as such, should they make the merge, she may be able to protect them.

Moana checked in with Zach and didn’t feel overly concerned to have lost Lee’s vote, while Lee caught up with his season mate to assure her that she does have people supporting her and to go out and rally them. With that, she charmed Sharn and Zach before reporting back to Nick, with him assuring her that they can be trusted. Oh and then she caught up with David, who told her that they need to stop being paranoid and just relax and trust in the people that they trust in. And then vowed to us that he will blindside her in a humiliating fashion.

Deep in the jungle David and Sharn caught up in the hopes of locking in an unlikely alliance before Moana joined them to round out the final three. They trio pledged allegiances, swore on their families and promised to share any intel they collected. After dispersing, Sharn shared that while she wants to align with them, she can’t get rid of Phoebe tonight as it will burn her bridges with Nick and Lee. As such, she pulled them aside and told them everything they wanted to hear before making her final decision at tribal council.

At tribal council Moana spoke loving the honesty of tribal council, while David was just looking forward to finding out where exactly the lines would be drawn. And becoming a bird of prey, or something? Phoebe admitted to being nervous, given she has already been voted out of this tribe once before, though was hopeful to scrape through again. Moana on the flipside was unsure why she was targeted at the last tribal council, leading to Phoebe brutally eviscerating her, sharing that she became a target because she socially isolated herself on the original Vakama and sat alone in the shelter. Oh and she was targeting her. Moana defended herself as being quiet before Phoebe spoke about being swap screwed, thanks in no small part thanks to Moana shit talking her to anyone and everyone. Nick admitted to just wanting tribal cohesion, before Moana interrupted proceedings to assure everyone that she doesn’t have an issue with Phoebe and everyone insinuating it is driving her mental.

Sharn calmed things down and shared that her vote was all about building relationships before David decided to put on a bit of a show, pulling out his idol – well, one of – and telling everyone that he is out of play tonight and that he would burn his tribal and play it tonight. While Phoebe called him out given he was safe, Nick reminded everyone that pulling it out doesn’t necessarily mean he will play. With that the tribe went off to vote, Nick cast his second vote and David held on to both of his hidden immunity idols. As the votes were tallied, they piled up at five apiece on both Mo and Phoebe, much to the confusion of the tribe, given there are only nine people in the tribe. This meant that everyone had to revote and with Nick’s second vote out of play, Sharn flipped her vote to avoid rocks and joined David, Jaqcui, Zach and Tarzan to boot Phoebe from the game pre-merge. Again.


I honestly think this is the worst reaction that I have ever in the history of my reality TV commiseration meals. As soon as I saw her walk into Loser Lodge, I dropped the glass I was holding and screamed for what felt like an eternity. I then threw my arms back, started spinning on the spot and asked the ether what they were waiting for.

I then realised that I had gone full Jennifer Love Hewitt, asked Pheebs to slap some sense into me and then collapsed into her arms and sobbed uncontrollably. I mean, Phoebe, icon of the game and killer player, once again found herself booted pre-merge again. AGAIN?! It literally took all the strength I had in me to make my way into the kitchen and plate up a deliciously crisp,medium-rare – and what I assumed would be the victory meal – Phoebeef Wellingtimmins without making the pastry soggy with my tears.

 

 

Delicate and flaky on the outside, rich, robust and full of flavour on the inside, there is nothing better than a beef wellington. The perfectly cooked piece of beef, generously slathered in mushroom and wrapped in prosciutto? It is simply put, perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Phoebeef Wellingtimmins
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 x 200g beef fillets
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
50g butter
250g mushrooms, finely, finely diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
100ml dry white wine
12 slices prosciutto
4 slices puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat oven to 200C.

Place the fillets on a lined baking sheet and rub with olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and leave to cook for fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven to cool, then transfer to the fridge while you prep the rest.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil and the butter in a large skillet and cook the mushrooms for about ten minutes, or until very soft. Add the thyme and cook for a further minute before adding the white wine, bringing to the boil and reducing to a simmer for a further ten minutes. Remove from the pan to cool completely.

Once both components are chill, lay the prosciutto out in overlapping groups of three on a chopping board. Spread with half the mushroom, top with the fillets and smear with the remaining mushroom. Roll each group into a tight bundle, leaving you with four, meaty mounds. Is this Drag Race?

Place the sheets of puff pastry on a work surface and top with the aforementioned meaty mounds. Brush the far end of each with the egg and roll and fold until you have a beautiful little pastry pocket, using as much or as little creative flair as you like. I was sad to see Phoebe go pre-merge – FUCKING AGAIN –  and as such, channelled my pain into some creativity.

Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with egg and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Allow to stand for five minutes before devouring, with some comforting Gabriel Mash.

 

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Hawaijohn Eastoegiana

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the All Stars were playing the game hard, with David and Mat forming a cross-alliance alliance, protecting themselves … until a tribe swap split them up. After the swap, Shonee and Zach returned from exile – oh, they were sent to exile – and rejoined the tribes, where Shonee commenced an epic revenge arc. Almost saving Lydia, Jonathan announced that instead of tribal immunity, both tribes would be going to tribal council and instead, one person from each tribe would win immunity. Sadly for Lydia, her individual challenge record grew to 0 from 2, as Jacqui and Brooke snagged them for each tribe. After the challenge, Vakama continued Shonee’s revenge agenda, and planned to axe the skier, while on Mokuta, David was desperate to blindside Nick. Sadly for him, his ally Phoebe had no interest in losing her season mate. Oh and Moana wanted to weaken David by getting rid of Phoebe. At tribal council they were shocked to learn that while both tribes will be voting someone out, the duo would then compete in a fire challenge, with the winner living to see another day. Each tribe then voted out Lydia and Phoebe before Pheebs absolutely destroyed Lydia, sending her from the game for good. After losing another individual challenge.

The next day things were looking pretty peachy at Vakama, as John showed his bum off to the tribe as he found a gloriously popable pimple. While he seemed to have everything, zaddy John – oh how I’d love to pop his pimples – was feeling all alone, after losing his allies back to back. With that, he tried to make friends, bonding with Mat over the fact they’re both apparently the sweetest, ocker men in the world. Proving more adept at the game than I assumed, John also knew that Mat was also in danger and as such, they really need to stick together.

Meanwhile Flick, Harry and Mat were talking about how interesting slash dramatic the previous tribal council was, with Mat just grateful that Phoebe was able to slay Lydia for him. Once again. That being said, he was still feeling left, right out, given he is well on the bottom of the swapped tribe. Which John literally just told us. Reminding us that Locky is a far better player than anyone gives him credit for, Locky pulled Mat aside to feed him a little bit of information and make him feel like he can trust him. And while it is smart gameplay, Mat could see right through it and as such, was desperate to take him out. And fuck with his mind. HARD. Inspired, Mat pulled John aside to see whether he’d be interested in working together. John’s one stipulation was to keep Harry safe before Mat assured him that Harry is far from being his concern, instead wanting to rally the numbers to take out Locky and break up the power alliance of he and Brooke.

We ventured over to Mokuta where Jacqui and Nick were trying to get a Coles endorsement, as she cooked the rice and joked around. Not feeling in the laughing mood, Phoebe was pissed to have been voted out last, though extremely thankful to have a second chance and show EXACTLY what a bottom can do. As such, she got to work working the tribe, pulling David aside to explain why she looped Nick in on his potential blindside, in the hopes that they can work together again. She assured him that she only wants to do what is best for the two of them and while Dave wanted to be bitterly angry at her, he felt like he needed her to survive, and as such, was well and truly stuck with her. Knowing that Phoebe and Nick were tight, and that Moana had fed him the incorrect information ahead of the last tribal council, Dave was feeling all alone and for the first time in two seasons, felt nervous.

Moana too was reeling from the previous tribal council, annoyed that her perfectly executed blindside was blown up by and twist. And Phoebe’s killer fire skills ruined it for her. That being said though, she planned to use their vulnerability to her advantage and secure Dave’s allegiance. He and Moana then caught up by the shore, with Moana letting him know that Phoebe actively wants him out before the merge and while he may feel betrayed, she did it to protective. She then gave one of the single best pitches in all of Survivor, pointing out how her changes and messing with the votes protected her and, and … am I in love with Moana again?

Wanting in on the action Jonathan arrived for the reward, which turned out to be a tribal version of the survivor auction where each tribe would get $2000 to spend, but the prizes would all be individual, with maximum bids capped at $500. The first item was a mystery scroll and while the bidding started off calmly, Phoebe jumped up to $500, completely screwing her tribe. AND I LOVE. And her tribe, totally hated. She then learnt that she had won the Shane Gould reward, where she and a person of her choosing from the other tribe would get to snack on everything won by everyone else. She selected AK and honestly it was so pure … until Mat started throwing shade at her choice to annoy the tribe. Next up Harry spent $160 on avo toast, Mat spent $340 on a Flintstones-sized steak and mash, Nick was gifted a message from home for $340 as he has a newborn at home – and Flick didn’t want him to feel like it was gifted – and obvs, I am crying.

After some intense bidding on a covered item, John snagged a margarita pizza for $300 – and booooo, Brooke hates pizza – John then caused some drama, trying to drive up the price of a Mexican parma and beer before Lee bought it for $460, converting another to the glory of the Mexican parma. Meanwhile at the feast seats, Phoebe started spilling all the deets to AK before Jonathan pulled out some burritos and margies, which Locky bought for $240, sadly not sharing the margs with Shon. And just like that, the auction was over and while Phoebe was overwhelmed with joy, Moana was ropeable and ready to vote her out. Again.

Back at camp a well fed AK was mocking everyone for their empty, starving stomachs while John seethed about losing a Mexican parma once again. And not saying fuck it to his target and buying it anyway. But sadly, he was trying to play smart and as such, needed to keep a low profile so that he and Mat could make their move. Meanwhile AK took the intel he received whilst dining with Phoebe, with the group confirming that under no circumstance, can they let Mat make it to merge. Just as Mat walked up to join the conversation.

Meanwhile over at Mokuta, Sharn was quick to highlight Phoebe by asking about her feast before she wisely declined the tribe’s lunch rice. Sadly that small gesture meant nothing to her tribe, as Moana continued to see the opportunity to get her out and solidify her alliance with Dave. She then did an ASMR confessional that lasted threeeeeeeee miiiiiiiinnnnnuuuuuutttteeees. While she was fulfilling fetishes, Dave and Sharn went out hunting for an idol, to make sure Phoebe doesn’t snag it, with the Golden God finally joining the fray this season, and triumphantly securing his idol. Much to his cum face’s delight.

My love Jonathan returned to our screens for the latest immunity challenge where each tribe would try and hold a disc between two pairs of feet, with a bucket of water tethered to the top. Drop them too low and the water drops, eliminating the pair from the challenge with the last ones standing winning for their tribe. Out of nowhere, Mat and Flick were the first to drop from the challenge for Vakama, followed by Locky and Harry, leaving AK, John, Brooke and Shonee to try and keep them all safe. After twenty-something minutes, Jacqui and Sharn became the first Mokuta team to drop before AK and John dropped, leaving Flick and Shonee – the weakest – to keep everyone safe. After 50 minutes, Tarzan couldn’t hold out any longer, dropping for Mokuta, leaving Zach, David, Moana and Phoebe to win for their tribe. They were quickly followed by Moana and Phoebe, leaving Shonee and Brooke to battle David and Zach. Remember when Shonee was considered the weakest? Fuckin’ lol. Sadly for them, I jinxed their powers, with Brooke pulling them down after two hours, handing immunity to Mokuta yet again.

Back at camp, Vakama settled into their usual rhythm of scrambling ahead of tribal council. Locky was thrilled to be returning since his alliance were working closely with Shonee and Harry, and as such, can finally slay Mat. Locky and AK caught up to lock in a split vote between Mat and John, making the former paranoid enough to flush his idol and send John from the game so they can get rid of Mat net. Knowing that he is screwed, Mat pulled John aside to figure out who to pull across with them to take control. Mat pulled Harry and Shonee across to try and take control, with the icon and Harry assuring him that they are well and truly on board to take control. Being deadlocked in four, Mat identified Flick as the one at the bottom of the other group and got to work convincing her to come across.

With that, Mat and Harry pulled Flick aside to see how she was feeling with Flick reminding them that all she cares about is loyalty. Mat used that to his advantage, telling her that Locky and Brooke warned him not to trust her, and that her safest bet was aligning with them. Well and truly shitting herself, Flick was open to the idea and oh my god, how had she not had a confessional when she may be screwing over Brooke. AGAIN. Meanwhile Harry and Shonee excused themselves to debate the pros and cons of voting out Mat, John and Locky, while Shonee admitted that she simply can’t think because she is too full from her back-to-back revenge.

At tribal council AK admitted to happily decimating the OG Mokuta tribe, while Shonee agreed that she was happy to team up with them as they are well and truly dead to her. And she has no other options. Harry spoke about a hierarchy, despite the harmony which Brooke vehemently denied. John gave a sly chuckle before admitting that he has no idea, given he is playing the left, right out. AK denied the hierarchy, playing up the fact they all agreed on the next steps. John continued to go in like a freaking icon, pointing out that Locky and Brooke are in love and also in control and as such, everyone else is playing for third and fourth.

Mat spoke about the importance of building trust, Harry said that playing easy may be right for a certain amount of time, but eventually people will be ready to make a move and make it happen. John continued to stir the pot, taunting Flick for being on the bottom of the alliance , which made my fellow GC legend well and truly nervous about her place in the game. Though hopeful that her trust is not misplaced. Harry then gave advice that the best way to stay out of the firing line is to shoot first, which Mat reminded everyone is only correct if you don’t miss. He then pulled out his hidden immunity idol and taunted the couple before the tribe headed out to vote. Surprisingly Mat actually played his idol, saving himself from a tied vote with John, and sending my former nude zaddy from the game.

Oh sweet zaddy John. While I was thrilled to once again take him in … my arms, and provide him with all the love and comfort in the world, the lingering thought in the back of my mind was the fact he didn’t align with Shonee. And as such, he deserves it. Plus, his nude scene quota was way lower, so I was willing to see him go. Though maybe that has something to do with the fact watching him walk away floods my basement?

After a brief few hours berating him for picking the wrong allies, I apologies for not being sensitive, offered to make it up to him and got around whipping him up a commiseration meal. And because I am nothing if not petty, I opted to continue to deny him another Mexican parma, and instead gave him another glorious version, the Hawaijohn Eastoegiana.

 

 

Now I know the way to Zaddy John’s heart is through the Mexican parma, but I wanted to offer him something familiar, with just enough interest to keep things spicy. In the hope it keeps our passion fresh. Perfectly cooked schnitty, dripping in fresh, hot marinara – lucky Winners at War filmed close by – and topped with salty prosciutto and the sweetest of sweet pineapple, you’ve got a near perfect meal. Plus, you know pineapple keeps us tasting our best

Enjoy!

 

 

Hawaijohn Eastoegiana
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 large, skinless chicken breasts, halved through the middle
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
1 cup Amber Marinara Sauce
8 slices prosciutto
8 pineapple rings
125g ball mozzarella, sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Beat eggs in a large(ish) bowl. In a second bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan, and chuck the flour, or you know place it gently, in a third bowl. As you can imagine, I like it more rough when John is around.

Place the halved chicken breasts between cling film sheets and bash out with a rolling pin until they are about 1cm thick (don’t worry too much about this…mine generally end up looking pretty ugly anyway). Dip the fillet in flour, followed by the egg, then the breadcrumb/polenta/parmesan mix. Place in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Remove chicken from the oven. Drizzle a thin layer of marinara sauce over the chicken, cover with a couple of slices of prosciutto and top with the pineapple. Drizzle a little more sauce before covering in mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and golden.

Serve with fries. Copious amounts of fries. All over John’s beautiful body, as you mourn the loss of nude scenes.

 

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Pia Mintanda Soup

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap

After fifty days in the Fijian jungle, after Anastasia was booted from the game first thanks to Pia’s machinations, Laura was booted in lieu of Baden. They were followed by – yep, happening again – Susie, Nova, Steven, E.T., Sam, Sarah, Hannah, Casey, Matt, King RossAndy, Shaun, David, Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey, Luke and Harry, leaving Pia and Baden to battle it out at the final tribal council.

And to say Pia dominated is a bloody understatement.

She clearly articulated her game, stood up to people that downplayed her achievements and really drove home to Baden how bad his final decision was as she claimed the first unanimous victory of the series.

Bow down to Pia Miranda, the one true Queen of Australian Survivor. Nay, Australia. Ever since she smacked that bitch Carly Bishop in her film debut, Pia has held a special place in my heart. I first met her on the set of Alibrandi when I was part of Anthony Lapaglia’s entourage slash personal security detail to protect him from Matthew Newton. Pia and I quickly bonded, so I vowed to protect her as well free of charge.

A few months later we were catching up and decided to tune in for the finale of this new little reality show called Survivor, and while watching Rich defeat Wiggles we fell in love and both vowed to both play and win the game some day.

While my moment in the spotlight is yet to come – I am growing my man bun first to make people think I’m relaxed rather than driving my anxiety and strung higher than Everest – I am so proud to have born witness to Pia’s game. From narrowly escaping becoming the first boot, her charm quickly found her solid allies that she could use as a shield while dominating the game socially. Which is ultimately what handed her the game and title of Sole Survivor. And the Pia Mintanda Soup prize that goes along with it.

 

 

While pea and ham soup is enough to make most people shudder at the thought of peas in soup, this baby is so good it will win you over. Like Pia. Glorious sweet peas and a good whack of mint work perfectly with some salty prosciutto to fill your heart with joy and make you feel like a Champion. Again, like Pia.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pia Mintanda Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g frozen peas, defrosted
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup thickened cream

Method
Combine the peas and stock in a dutch oven and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour. Add the mint and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further ten minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Heat a lug of oil in a fry pan and cook the prosciutto for a couple of minutes, until glorious and crispy. Transfer to some paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile blitz the soup until nice and smooth. Return to the heat and stir through the cream. Season if required, going lighter on the salt than the pepper, and cook for five minutes.

Serve immediately topped with a cross of prosciutto and devour. Victoriously.

 

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Brendan Shapear and Prosciutto Pizza

Main, Party Food, Pizza, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribe swap but Malolo 5-4 deficit on both of the new tribes, filling Kellyn with joy and allowing a newly introduced castaway Bradley’s head to explode. Tragically he wasn’t cursed by Ghost Island, where Chris from new Naviti was sent to be humanised while his ex-Naviti chums plotted to jump across tribal lines and take out his ally Angela. Sadly for them, the Maloloans had different plans, flipping the script and taking out the more threatening Morgan … who willed her legacy advantage to Domenick on the way out.

Back at camp Dom was feeling upset by the blind side, as was Angela who they turned on. Dom and Wendell felt they were now enemies with everyone and with their backs against the wall, Dom finally shared the intell that he had a legitimate idol. Rather than the fake one he shared with everyone to make Chris even more suspicious.

The next day Dom discovered he had been willed the legacy advantage and vowed, wait for it, to reverse the curse.

Throwing us straight into the action, Probst returned for the first reward challenge of the season where the tribes had to fight over a ring, and hold both the ring and a pole at the same time. So, basically any given night. It was for PB&J, so all the OG Navitians quickly forgot about their shock at Morgan’s departure.

Chris and Wendell made quick work of father and son duo Michael and Brendan, Laurel and Angela scored another point for Naviti despite Jenna and Kellyn’s best efforts. Some nipple play from Sebastian and Bradley gave Malolo their first point over Domenick and James, though tragically that was as wild as things got as Laurel and Libby dominated Stephanie and Des, and secured reward for Naviti. Tragically they didn’t select who would go to Ghost Island and the Survivor Gods punished Kellyn for her fear, locking her in for a visit and returning her to camp in time for the next challenge … and potentially tribal council.

Arriving at Ghost Island Kellyn faced her fears of being alone head on. After a two week hiatus, Kellyn was giving the chance to play for an advantage … however given the precarious numbers advantage on Malolo, opted not to risk her vote at the next tribal council. The thought of making the wrong decision triggered memories of being blindsided in her personal life and completely changing everything, endeared her to me even more.

Back at Naviti the newly formed tribe were giddy while devouring their PB&J before Chris tried to get to the bottom of the last tribal council and how Morgan ended up going. Angela quickly filled him in on Dom and Wendell’s betrayal, with the two hightailing it to the Malolo 4 to lock in a six-person alliance and take them out. Dom and Laurel were not huge fans of the idea, preferring to work with Wendell and Dom because they like the former more. Laurel then made a beeline for Dom who filled her in on the idol and locked in an alliance while Donathan pulled in Wendell and TBH became couple goals.

Jiffy Pop returned for immunity where the tribes were required to swim out to a cage, release a chest, carry it across a bridge … open said chest and land the balls on a narrow ridge. Remember when Michaela dominated this challenge in Millenials vs. Gen X? Iconic. Anyway, Malolo got out to an early lead thanks to Michael and his partially see through jocks while Naviti couldn’t even get past the cage before Malolo made it into shore. Naviti continued to lag, allowing me plenty of time – as should you – to oggle the men in wet jocks. However out of nowhere Brendan started knocking balls off the ridge, giving Naviti the chance to catch-up and snag immunity. Much to the delight of Naviti, in particular Donathan who used the celebration as an excuse to plant an adorable peck on Chris’ cheek. Bless him, her is adorable.

Back at Malolo, the OG Maloloans were feeling dejected while Kellyn was thrilled to have trusted her gut at Ghost Island. Bradley on the flipside was feeling super smug and likened himself to dominant winners on day 12 and rubbing in her impending doom to Stephanie. Bradley then went off to rally his troops and confirm which sitting duck should be taken out, deciding that one of Michael or Brendan need to go. While Chelsea argued for Michael, Des made the case that Brendan is the person they wouldn’t assume Naviti would target and therefore he is exactly the person they should be targeting.

Down by the shore Michael and Brendan filled the girls in on their idol find, bringing Stephanie and Jenna to tears at the prospect of somehow taking out the douche-lord Bradley. Michael then assured them they would be taking out Bradley and that he would be pulling out James’ idol mid-way through tribal to spook someone into flipping.

At tribal council Sebastian confirmed their alliance would stick together, while Des couldn’t appear to read the room. Stephanie commenced the attack on Bradley, pointing out that he babysat everyone all day and didn’t give them the opportunity to find an in. Michael then joined the fray, pointing out that Chelsea and Sebastien were definitely on the bottom before Brendan jumped in and asked Sebastien if he truly believed jerk Bradley would take him, a likeable, strong, provider further in the game. While Bradley gave a robot we are equal, beep boop response, Stephanie quickly jumped in and questioned his sincerity. Sadly Kellyn quickly pointed out that they are at war so should be expecting them to try and sling mud.

Probsty tried to get Des’ opinion before Michael jumped in and presented his idol, telling the story that since James left with two in his pocket, this one now had the power to protect two people and he would be playing it tonight while Malolo would be voting Bradley. Feeling the heat Bradley returned to his favourite pastime and complained about his bad luck at them incorrectly identifying him as a mastermind. Probst and Michael then continued to prod Chelsea and Sebastien about making a big move and taking out Bradley, while old sour face got more and more anxious. Bless Kellyn, she tried as hard as she could to diffuse the situation while Michael proved that kids are hella manipulative these days.

Michael then played his idol, first for he and Brendan before reading the room and switching to Stephanie. Tragically that was the wrong move as old Naviti stuck together – probably shouldn’t have told them Bradley would go if the idol play was correct – and piled their votes on Brendan, sending my zaddy out of the game as the fourth boot.

Now I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but it seems like oldies are all falling on reality TV shows this week, with Erin and now Brendan – similar to the double Morgan boots last week. I mean sure they both filmed at different times, but between that and my recent birthday I am really feeling the ageism at the mo, you know?

Anyway … Brendan is literally the sweetest man to walk the earth so wasn’t flipping out when he arrived at Loser Lodge. Which was kind of good because I was ropeable and if he didn’t talk me down I’d likely be banned from ever going to Fiji again. While it took me a while to calm down and I eventually got him to show some signs of disappointment, they disappeared immediately when he lay eyes on my Brendan Shapear and Prosciutto Pizza.

 

 

Sweet, earthy and salty, this pizza is so simple, yet do good. And better yet, looks hella impressive with absolutely no effort. None. Nada.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brendan Shapear and Prosciutto Pizza
Serves: 1 zaddy and his friends.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
200g prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced
2 tsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
balsamic vinegar, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata, sprinkle over the herbs and drape over the prosciutto. Toss the pears with the muscovado and place on top of the bases. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle over the cheese and bake for twenty minutes or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven, lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar and devour, in a melancholic fashion. Think how island hot Brendan would have been.

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Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 8.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

Allow to rest for five minutes, before devouring.

 

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Alexquiche Bledel

Baking, Main, Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Snack

In the words of my ex-lovers’ hit song, we’ve come … to the end of the road. And while I usually can’t let go when in these situations – which inspired both Misery and Fatal Attraction – I am coping ok knowing that it is Thanksgiving – happy Thanksgiving ya’ll – and, more importantly, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life drops in under 36 hours (at time of publishing, obvs).

It has been such a wonderful week and a bit celebrating with Loz, Ed (RIP), Yanic, Scott, Kelly, Keiko, Liza and Melissa, but at the end of the day nothing beats spending time with my (probably favourite) girl Alexis Bledel.

Obviously that has nothing to do with my wonderful friendships with the others, it is just that Alexis and I have such a special bond that not even her marrying Pete Campbell could break us apart.

You see, while I inspired aspects of most of the characters on Gilmore Girls, ASP created  Rory as beacon of hope to inspire me to greatness. While you could argue whether I’ve actually ever achieved greatness, let’s lay out the facts: I studied journalism at one of my country’s prestigious universities – again, we can argue the merits of the statement … but it is fact – I have attended Yale, I enjoy a close relationship with Barack Obama and have a passionate addiction to coffee.

I claim it as a win for life … and ASP.

It was such a treat to reconnect with Lex and chat about our similarities, my ideas for rebooting the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants franchise and to talk smack about our mutual nemesis Katherine Heigl. And the only thing we could possibly reconnect / talk smack over was my famous Alexquiche Bledel.

 

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I know what you’re thinking – we just had thanksgiving dessert man, what is your problem?! Well … you probs should have your thanksgiving meal sorted by now and this is perfect for all of your leftovers. So yep – game, set and match to me.

Plus this is delicious and light, like all good quiches are, in addition to being gluten free which lessens the guilt over going overboard on festive goodness. So enjoy, ok?

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Alexquiche Bledel
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1kg (roughly) sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chilli flakes
7 eggs
knob of butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
200g prosciutto, thinly sliced
handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup double cream
150g danish feta

Method
Preheat oven to 225C.

Place the grated sweet potato in a sieve and press out as much liquid as possible. When you think you’ve got it all out, agitate, and press for another five minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mix thoroughly with a pinch of salt and pepper, chilli and an egg to combine.

Press the mixture into a quiche or pie pan to form the shape of a quiche case. Place in the oven and bake for half an hour or so, or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Reduce heat to 160C.

While the potato crust is baking, heat a small knob of butter in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the leek for a couple of minutes, or until soft. Add in the prosciutto and cook for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through tomatoes and allow to cool slightly.

While they are both getting all Netflix – for tomorrow’s revival! – and chill, whisk the remaining eggs in a bowl with the double cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Head back to the quiche/pie and spread the leek, prosciutto and tomato across the base, crumble feta over the top. Pour over the egg mixture and bake in the oven for half an hour, or until just set.

Remove from the oven, allow to rest for about ten minutes … and then devour.

 

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Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts

Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

Previously on Survivor, the Millennials and Gen X tribes were no more as the tribes dropped their buffs – in addition, I assume, to Taylor and Figgy’s busy pants dropping schedule – and Jeff threw a third tribe into the mix, much to Michaela’s sassy chagrin. Thankfully the situation didn’t get any worse for our reigning Queen of Fiji with new Vanua heading to tribal council and CeCe continued in the season’s tradition in booting minority female.

We opened back up at new Vanua where the old, olds were proud of themselves for flipping to the youngins … on the one tribe they had numbers on, much to Zeke’s delight.

Meanwhile over at the new Ikabula tribe, Jay started on his winner’s edit in earnest while breaking my heart, searching for the hidden immunity idol to protect his fellow millennials like he would his mum and sister. Oh and when he wins he is buying his mum a house.

Swoon town – I think someone wants to take Kengel’s place in my heart.

Thankfully Michaela arrived on scene impersonating Jack Nicholson in The Shining to catch Jay and Will and add some humour to the scene and save me from feeling genuine emotion.

I assume feeling threatened by Michaela’s killer screen presence, Jiffy Pop arrived for a reward challenge where Figgy commenced digging a hole when seeing CeCe had been booted and her ally saved. Jeff kindly distracted the tribes from her stupidity to show them the array of sweets up for grabs during the blindfolded challenge.

It is hard for a blindfolded challenge to go wrong … for the audience, with toes broken and heads slashed open in the past, but sweet Kengel caressing his junk will go down with my favourite blindfolded challenge moment of all time.

That actually gives me an idea …

Anyway after a massive come from behind victory, Zeke and Michelle secured reward for their tribe and – of course – Queen Michaela took out second place for her Ikabula, before Hannah collapsed … on the sidelines, while not competing in the challenge. But hey, I get panic attacks so I’m not one to judge. Well, shouldn’t be at least.

After watching Figgy cry over missing out on reward, we returned to Vanua to watch them feast on their reward and listen to Zeke commence severing ties with the fellow kids. Over on Ikabula, Hannah walked Sunday through the fun of panic attacks while on Takali, Figgy and Taylor commenced making out – I assume for Figgy to reenact the Halle Berry role in the Monster’s Ball sex scene – and considered bringing their relationship out into the open.

Obviously Jessica and Ken were not shocked. At all. In the slightest.

Thankfully it gave Kengel the opportunity to display some killer sarcasm. Say what you will about it being the lowest form of comedy (fuck you, it is my life blood), this proves Kengel is hot and funny …  so I’m looking into venues for our December wedding.

Almost as if Jeff knew someone else was making a claim for my heart, he returned for an immunity involving my favourite item – BALLS! Despite a decided lack of ball puns, Michaela saved the challenge by once again unleashing the – to quote Alyssa EdwardsBEAST and singlehandedly won immunity for Ikabula by barking orders at Hannah and ensuring she wasn’t a hindrance.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she then commenced barking orders to Michelle and Zeke, coaching Vanua to victory and sending Takali to tribal council to boot another Gen Xer.

Sadly for her, Adam decided to flip from the bottom joining Ken and Jessica to break-up the lovebirds and vote out Figgy. Thankfully despite the fact it was pretty obvious she was going home, Jeff added some fun to tribal by offering to marry them, then and there. Again sadly, that didn’t happen.

While Figgy was obviously disappointed to find herself booted pre-merge – I mean, will TayTay dump her for it?! – I was quickly able to turn my friends’ frown upside-down (we met while working in radio in Nashville) and dry those tears with a batch of delicious mini Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

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Like the Figster, these babies are a little bit sweet, puff and wild, and quite tarty – but isn’t that why we love her, and them?

Enjoy!

 

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Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
¼ – ½ cup fig jam
250g prosciutto, roughly sliced
400g goat’s cheese, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place each sheet of puff pastry on a lined baking sheet – they can share, if they fit. Slather each generously with fig jam, top with prosciutto and crumble over the goat’s cheese.

Chuck them in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Devour as you cry over the horrific separation of figtayls. Oh-oh.

 

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