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.

 

alexquiche-bledel-1

 

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!

 

alexquiche-bledel-2

 

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.

 

figgy-prosciutto-tarts-1

 

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!

 

figgy-prosciutto-tarts-2

 

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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Nick Iadanzipasto Platter

Australian Survivor, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the minority alliance once again tried to overcome the supermajority, El won immunity and Kate put in a dominant tribal council performance before ultimately being eliminated as the final pre-jury player.

Can we agreed that losing the last four boots just plain sucked?

We opened back up with the three leaders – El, Brooke and Flick – irritated by Sam for stepping out of line at last night’s tribal before Nick tried to throw himself a pity party, annoying Sam and Lee further. The next day Nick continued to drown in his self-pity while Flick continued to stew in her rage. So yeah, they’re really fun this episode.

Thankfully Brooke was more rational and spoke to Sam – oh wait, she too is not over it – before the El comforted Nick who was now painting tribal council as a series of personal attacks.

After a brief and – at the risk of sounding out of character – sweet, genuine emotional display from Nick, we then arrived at a reward challenge involving a series of rings and pegging – no joke – for letters from home.

Despite squandering the lead for his team, Nick secured victory before Kristie and El gave up their reward for Matt and Flick respectively. Kristie made sense, given she is playing the middle to perfection … and considering the fact that she won her letter simply by backing the winning team but El’s selflessness seemed pointless as Flick would stick with her anyway.

The victors then arrive at their reward for a cup of tea and their love where Sam started out by sounding like he was reading for the first time ever, Matt was endearing, Flick sweet, Kylie heartwarming, Lee babin’ / heartbreakin’ and Nick – again, shudder – genuine.

Guess I’ll keep waiting for that damn blindside, right?

They then joined the losers where Matt pledged to stick by Kristie due to her kindness – well played Kristie. Nick then approached Lee to sort through their issues, finishing with Lee apologising, while Nick then confronted Sam who seemed less into buying what Nick was selling.

Finally we made our way to the much touted record breaking challenge, made famous by Ozzy Lusth, where they all had to hold onto a big pole. Seriously, are they just trying to win me over with challenges with smutty connotations?

Anyway after almost six hours on the pole, Brooke bartered with JoJo for her letter from home before stepping off and giving Kylie immunity … sending Nick into panic mode.

They returned to camp where Brooke took the opportunity to read her letter, giving off a hint of a winner edit … meaning I’ve now claimed a winner edit for most of the people left in the game meaning I should be correct, once. Maybe.

After the brief emotional interlude, the scrambling began with Nick telling Matt and Kylie to split the vote between Sue and Kristie, while Sam again lead the charge to get rid of Nick before confusing everyone with who would be throwing votes on Sue in case of an idol.

The tribe then arrived at tribal confused as to what their plans were before JoJo made Brooke feel awkward for proclaiming she was 90% safe, then Matt offered up that he was feeling 99% confident making Nick paranoid enough to call out his closest allies before Sam once again started laying into Nick … and then Nick commenced echoing Kate, calling out the alliance and outlining the hierarchy. Like Kate, it was all for nought as Nick was booted from the tribe to become the first member of the jury.

Now I know I have been hard on Nick these last couple of weeks but he is actually a dear, dear friend of mine after we met at university where – you guessed it – I was running a scam as a lecturer. Fun fact, my teaching methods actually inspired the character of Mr G.

Nick could see through my scam and worked with me to sort out my life. He is a really great guy and despite being labelled a snake on the show, he couldn’t be sweeter – he was playing hard and it was easier for people to label him as a villain to get ahead.

While he was disappointed to exit the game, making the jury was more than enough for him to get down celebrating over a big Nick Iadanzipasto Platter.

 

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Less a recipe and more of a guide, an antipasto should be packed full of delicious meats, cheeses and vegetables that you love, eaten greedily with a generous glass of wine.

Or bottle. Enjoy!

 

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Nick Iadanzipasto Platter
Serves: 4-6, greed dependent.

Ingredients
buffalo mozzarella balls, torn in chunks
sliced prosciutto
jarred – not judgement – roasted artichokes, drained
sundried tomatoes, drained
chargrilled peppers, drained
mixed olives
cherry tomatoes, quartered
fresh basil, leaves picked
clove garlic, cut in half
ciabatta, sliced

chilli flakes

Method
Place the ingredients around the board based on your preferred aesthetic, sprinkle with the basil leaves and chilli.

Toast the ciabatta, rub with the cut garlic and drizzle with oil.

Add the toast to the board and devour. Or you know, just devour.

 

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Veal Gottliebocca

Main, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

The Spice Girls said it best, when they said something something when two become one. Yes, as the title of the episode blatantly told us – it’s merge time!

Before that however, Scot continued his trend of alternating between being nice and evil every second episode, Tai was brutally assaulted by a chicken and everyone’s favourite ice cream entrepreneur was having his bulge sized up by the brawns.

I don’t know why they were doing it but Jason/Sarge/whatever-he-goes-by mentioned planting his seed, so I assume it was sexual.

Either way, Debbie was excited though highly unsurprised to have made the merge before the episode turned into High School with the beauties and the brawns ganging up on the brains.

Hell we even had Probst making smutty teen jokes like he is Jenna Maroney.

“Tai’s balls banging into each other … never good.”

“Nick with a lot of movement – his balls dancing all over the place.”

Sadly though, Neal’s body turned to puss and he saved the (rest of the) nerds when he was evacuated from the game … also saving someone from the indignity of being the merge boot, rendering immunity pointless and making this cruel jerk watching at home in Ponderosa cry.

I first met Neal in the early noughties while scamming rich people in Sausalito, when I ran into him while cruising the docks for semen seamen. While Neal was not interested, he did take me in and offered me room and shelter until I got back on my feet / found myself a sugar daddy.

I was in that really awkward early teenager phase at the time, so I wasn’t very successful with the sugar daddy – despite being very eager. Thankfully Neal was kind enough to give me a job at his ice cream shop and I was able to play an integral part in the success of Three Twins Ice Cream.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, Neal was in a pretty bad way when he made it to Ponderosa (as the first jury member – yay!), so I’m very thankful that I was on hand to provide him with the love and care that he needed.

As a respected witch doctor, I am a global leader on treating infections, major ailments and also reading auras, which while not necessary to this story, is a fun tidbit for you to mention around the water cooler the next time you have talk to your colleagues.

Shudder.

Anyway, as the single point of truth on effective infection treatment I can confirm that the only answer is alcohol – wipes, rubs or ingested, it does the trick. Even when it is cooked off like in my Veal Gottlieboca

 

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Veal, despite being the politically incorrect meat, is pretty delightful … particularly when wrapped in the salty goodness of prosciutto, cut with some lemon and doused in a splash liquor.

I mean, has medicine ever tasted this good? Aside from the one that tasted like cherry starburst when you were a kid, obviously.

Enjoy!

 

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Veal Gottliebocca
Serves: 3 or 6, depending on the size of the escalopes.

Ingredients
6 veal escalopes
6 sage leaves
6 prosciutto slices
¼ cup plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
20 g butter
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
200ml marsala
½ lemon, juiced

Method
Beat the veal with the under side of a frying pan to even out their thickness. It is also great at helping you work through your post evacuation feelings.

Place a sage leaf on each steak, fold the steak in half and press together, wrap with a piece of prosciutto and lightly dust it all with flour.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan and sauté quickly on one side until light golden. Season with salt, pepper and add the garlic and parsley.

Flip the steaks over, add the marsala and lemon juice and cook for another few minutes. Until the liquid reduces slightly and the veal is perfectly cooked.

Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes and avoid making eye contact with the various Survivor infections.

 

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