Nicken Migniadanza

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

Previously on Australian Survivor Sharn’s attempts to play both sides during Phoebe’s boot made her a target with Dave, who questioned how he could trust her. Thankfully for her though poor Nick was the one left feeling all alone and not sure how to survive, given he is the obvious next target. Over at Vakama Harry found an advantage to stop the votes being read at one of the upcoming tribal councils, which could cause issues for Brooke’s plan to blindside Flick. After losing another immunity challenge, Brooke got to work rallying the troops to get revenge, however Harry grew nervous that it was all a ruse to blindside him instead. That feeling snowballed at tribal council, leading to Harry standing up to play his advantage and put a stop to tribal. Ultimately AK stood up and convinced him that he is safe and needs to trust him, which was enough for him to stand down and leave Flick to be blindsided from the game.

That night Mokuta were experiencing fireworks of their own, as Tarzan and Jacqui bickered, leaving the rest of the tribe to feel like the kids watching their parents’ marriage dissolved. Oh and most importantly, they were bickering because Jacqui was farting like a trooper. Which makes her instantly 80% more charming.

We checked in with Vakama the next morning where Brooke was giddy to have followed in Lydia’s footsteps and took revenge against the person that blindsided her. Whether it benefited her game or not. Speaking of her game, Brooke was desperate to find out what the advantage Harry went to play was so that she could plan against it. One by one, she, AK and Locky pulled him aside to try and get the information out of him and honestly, I love his ability to stay quiet with a shit eating grin on his face. Harry was feeling good about his decision to stay quiet, though wanted to use it for ultimate impact and as such, looped Shonee in on its power to plan for the future. Talk obviously turned to what happens should they win the next immunity challenge and whether they should pass it off to Nick to protect him and make sure the key to their merge plan sticks around.

Speaking of Nick, he was all alone doing the dishes in the shallows, knowing that he was busy working to earn favour and get him and Lee out of the horrible position that they have found themselves in. While he appears to be out, Nick knows that Survivor is all about ups and downs and as such, he just needs to find a way to ride it out until he can find a crack. He caught up with his two closest allies, who are actually one ally and one enemy. Nick’s hope was that they could work together to get to the merge, reunite with Shonee and Harry and take control. Sadly for him, obviously, Sharn has no interest in working him and worse still, David can see how nervous he is and as such, he wants to put him out of his misery and kill the chance of Harry and Shonee taking control. As such, David pulled Nick aside to set a trap, floating the idea of another secret, unlikely alliance. He floated cross-tribal alliances, big moves all the while planning to eliminate any options that may arise.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where the tribes would climb over a wall, slide up a big, hard pole, dive from the top into the water, swim to release puzzle pieces and then use said pieces to solve the puzzle. With the victors getting BLT sandos and Bloody Marys, so you know Shonee is happy. With that motivation pushing her forward, Vakama got out to an early lead, until Mokuta outclassed them on the pole with some human centipede action. And most importantly, Nick and Lee grabbed each others bums and undercarriages. That being said, neither tribe was really good at it. Mokuta extended their newfound lead, collecting the puzzle pieces before Harry mounted the pole. And given Nick was on the puzzle portion for Mokuta, they solved it and won reward before Vakama even made it back with their pieces.

Before exiting to enjoy their BLTs, Jonathan advised Mokuta that they were able to take someone from the losing tribe to share their spoils with them. Without hesitating, they selected Brooke before Jonathan obviously gave them one other choice, with them eventually settling on Shonee, hoping that she would be the smallest eater. Clearly unaware how much she loves a sandwich. Particularly when it comes with a side of information, despite being on the losing tribe.

Back at Mokuta the tribe – plus Brooke and Shonee – got to work pouring their bloody marys and whipping up their BLTs, much to the disgust of Jacqui who just did not want to share. Everyone was far more welcoming, not so subtly asking about what happened at the previous tribal council. Or in Moana’s case, asking if she and Locky were making out yet. Shonee quickly noted that Moana was running the tribe and as such, when she was summoned to share their first conversation, she gamely played into it and knew her future safety could depend on it. Eventually she made her way to her actually friend and ally Nick, who desperately tried to let her know how screwed he is on the tribe and that David is the one gunning for him.

We returned to the hungry trio of Vakama boys where we learnt that Jacqui left her clothes on the pontoon after the challenge. And as such, they stole them to make a scarecrow. Though Harry did plan to give it back, given that merge is right around the corner. The girls returned to camp and tried to downplay the majesty of the sandwiches before sharing that Nick ignored them so as not to give his tribe another reason to vote him out. Knowing that his ally is in danger, this made Harry even more inclined to pass off the advantage should Mokuta lose the immunity challenge.

My love Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to hold a rope tethered to a platform and walk between the platform and a series of blocks, stacking the blocks without tipping the platform with the rope. First tribe to finish snatching immunity. Vakama got out to an early lead, but given how quickly people could flip their stacks, we all know it could mean nothing. Brooke became the first person to get to three blocks, though quickly dropped. Jacqui was close to three before dropping, pissing her off and making her toss her rope in anger. Much to Zach’s frustration. By the time she threw her second tantrum and took out Zach’s stack, he was furious. Ultimately Brooke was the first to complete her stack, leaving her to stand at the end, desperately willing her tribe to hurry the F up and join her. Which they did, leaving AK and Shonee to catch-up while Mokuta just tried to get on the board. Given it is quite boring to write about the back and forth of blocks, Shonee finally claimed immunity for Vakama, sending Mokuta and her ally Nick back to tribal council.

Much to Nick’s dismay. Particularly after Harry explained the advantage to his tribe and Locky cautioned him to hold on to it to so as not to put a target on their backs come merge.

Back at camp the tribe were annoyed to lose the challenge, more specifically so at Jacqui, given her tantrums were the reason for said lost. That being said while the tribe were annoyed at Jacqui, David was thrilled to be going back to tribal council to get rid of Nick. And somehow call it a blindside. Moana channeled Abi-Maria, thrilled to vote him out given he has dared to vote for her three times. Wisely David wanted to make this vote a unifying move to keep the tribe strong heading in to the merge, so Moana got to rallying the troops while David pulled Nick aside to loop him in on the fake plan of the tribe joining together to get rid of Jacqui.

While David thought he was pulling the wool over Nick’s eyes, Nick knew that David was planning to target him which made him angry enough to force him to put his money where his mouth is. As such, he pulled Lee and Sharn aside to float the idea of blindsiding David with an idol in his pocket. The spoiler being that he has to work with Jacqui and Tarzan to split the vote and get rid of him, or the worst case scenario of his puppet Zach. Nick caught up with Jacqui to let her know that David has been throwing her name around and given she fought with Zach at the challenge, it looked like she may actually flip just because she likes Nick better.

Meanwhile David was feeling confident about the upcoming vote, though was nervous about where Sharn’s loyalties actually lie, given she has maintained her spot in the middle. David and Moana pulled Sharn aside to give her the chance to pledge her undying loyalty and while she kinda did, she also hated the thought of turning on Nick.

At tribal council David pretended that last tribal’s idol flash wasn’t a cocky move and instead was him telling his allies that they can trust him and have something that can protect them. Which Nick obviously called bullshit on. He then doubled down, saying that the last vote also was a terrible move for him and being on the wrong side has made him the biggest target. Moana tried to downplay her rage, assuring the tribe that this is the group she wants to ride with after the merge. Nick agreed, though was far less convincing, while Lee tried to bail him out and reiterate that Mokuta will own the merge. David spoke that the upcoming vote is what will dictate the merge for the tribe and whether they go in strong, or fractured. Tarzan spoke about trust, Zach spoke about needing to play it calm, even if he had heard his name thrown around.

Jacqui inferred that a blindside may be imminent, while Moana outlined the merge plan for the tribe to get rid of Vakama before turning on each other. And as such, she needs to eliminate someone that may work with others and while she may have mistrust with people, she knows that she needs to let it go and move forward together. David spoke about trust, trying to channel Queen Shane Gould in the process before Sharn shared that she hopes that her loyalties can be proven after this vote, despite how painful it may be. Nick tried to play up his trustworthiness as a last ditch effort before the tribe voted. And tragically cut him from the game.

I honestly feel like we’re stuck in the darkest timeline right about now, which is what I screamed at Nick through tears as he walked into Loser Lodge. I mean, to think but a week ago that season 1 hadn’t taken a single hit, and now, we’re down to two left. While Nick had played a lower key game than his first outing, the swap well and truly screwed him and while he had to elevate his 

 

 

I’m not sure if these are a legit thing, or if this is just an Australian chicken shop speciality that has rolled over from the ‘80s, but they are great, so who cares? Salty bacon and the punch of garlicky butter elevate the chicken and make it truly sing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nicken Migniadanza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 tbsp butter, softened
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 chicken thighs
1 sprig of rosemary, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices streaky bacon

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the butter and garlic in a bowl.

Place the chicken on a cutting board and sprinkle with the rosemary and season well with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Roll the chicken into a tight round and wrap with bacon to keep together, securing with a bunch of toothpicks.

Place on a lined baking sheet, top with some garlic butter and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven to rest for five minutes before serving with some Gabriel Mash and devouring. Fearing for the safety of the remaining rascals.

 

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Earl Colecano

Baking, Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Fiji

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, we have a cast! I know we’ve officially known that Aubry, David, Kelley and Joe were Shangela-ing their ways back to the Island known Extinction for a couple of months, but we know who will be joining them!

Can I tell the difference between Chris, Dan or Eric despite one of them being bald? Nope. Do I care and love them all based on nothing else? Sure. Do I want Victoria’s hair? Of course. Are Julie and Reem going to be my fave newbies? Duh. Do I hope that Aubry and Kelley pair up like Aubry, Sandra and Cirie should have in Game Changers? Unequivocally.

Anyway, I have a lot of strong opinions about everything, so it was convenient that I had my dearest friend Earl Cole – the undisputed King of Fiji – drop by to join me and listen. While he wasn’t as opinionated as I was, he did agree that the winner is likely going to be someone that gets voted out pre-merge and manages to woo everyone whilst struggling on the Island Of Extinction.

While I am blindly hoping Aubry finally snatches a win, unless Joe channels Pearl Islands-era Savage, Hatch, Tyson, Locky or the Contenders boys and goes nude. In which case I am all in on him winning.

Given I quickly got thirsty, I needed something bready to sop everything up and distract me with a different kinda of joy. As such I whipped out a Milk Bar – third time this year, I know – Volcano, convenient rebranded as an Earl Colecano.

 

 

Like Bagel Bombs and Crack Pie before them, Milk Bar’s volcanoes are insanely addictive and delicious and can warm your soul even through the most brutal of polar vortexes. Creamy, herbed potatoes, sweet onion and a punch of gruyere are all you need to wash your troubles away.

Enjoy!

 

 

Earl Colecano
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 recipe Mother Dough, from Katey Sagal Bombs
3 garlic cloves
½ cup double cream
⅓ cup milk
1 bay leaf
1 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper
100g streaky bacon, diced and fried until crispy
2 potatoes
vegetable oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, whisked
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Method
Prepare the Mother Dough as per Katey’s recipe – which is totally Christina Tosi’s – and leave to prove.

Meanwhile crush the garlic with a knife and chuck into a saucepan with the cream, milk, bay leaf, rosemary, ½ tsp of salt and a good whack of pepper. Bring it to the boil over medium heat before turning off, covering and leaving to steep for half an hour.

Thinly slice the potatoes and cover with iced water.

Preheat oven to 160C.

Layer the potatoes in a small baking dish, sprinkling with bacon as you go, until you’re out of both. Strain the steeped cream, pour over the potato and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering with foil, topping with weights – aka cans – and transferring to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

While the potatoes are setting heat a lug of vegetable oil in a small saucepan and add the onions and leave in the pan for a couple of minutes without stirring. After that, reduce heat to low, add the remaining salt and cook for about half an hour, or until soft and caramelly.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Divide the dough into four equal pieces and flatten to form 20cm discs. Split the onions amongst the discs and top with a square of the potatoes. Oh, cut the gratin into squares – there will be left overs and on behalf on Christina, you’re welcome. Fold up the edges and pinch to enclose before rolling into a ball and placing on a lined baking sheet.

Brush the dough with egg and cut a deep X in the top of each. Fill each with a quarter of the cheese, leaving excess to erupt out the top. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden, brown and the cheese is crispy.

Leave to rest for ten minutes before devouring. If you can.

 

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Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls

Hashbrown: The End, Main, Side, Snack, Street Food

Now I know I said I don’t have favourites when I caught up with Carol way back when – you know, before Dylan and Ellie – but there is no denying that Titus is he true heart and soul of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From scamming Kimmy in the early episodes, to lemonading and fighting with High Schoolers, Titus has my heart. And that is because of the iconic work of my dear friend Tituss.

Oh and it doesn’t help that he was based off me. Thanks Teens!

While I didn’t meet Tituss until he appeared on 30 Rock, I was blown away by his hilarious performance and immediately attached myself to him. And vowed to get him a damn Emmy one of these days.

Despite not making that a reality – yet – Tituss never throws shade at me when we have our monthly catch up to gossip and gulp down as much pinot noir as humanly possible. Which we obvs just refer to as the gossip and gulp date.

In any event, Tituss was thrilled to add another date to our busy dance card, particularly in light of the end of him playing me. As is oft the case, we laughed, we cried – which is becoming more and more prevalent as the end approaches – and gorged on as much comfort food as possible. Like some Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls.

 

 

Bet you thought I was going to make a red wine themed meal, no? Well instead of going with the literal interpretation, I instead opted to take another phallic symbol and form it into something just as comforting. And how do you go past smokey sausage wrapped in warm, doughy pastry? You can’t.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
300g raw chorizo, casing removed
300g chicken mince
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame seeds

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the chorizo, chicken, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot and rosemary in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch with your hands into it comes together in a cohesive ball.

Cut each piece of puff pastry in half and divide the dough into four. Shape into long sausages and place close to a long edge of each piece of pastry. Tightly roll and cut each into 4-6 pieces and transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam side down.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden, flaky and cooked.

 

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Domenicken Liver Abpâté

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After being technically booted from the game – and being whisked out of time to join me for a date – Laurel grabbed the urn and walked up to cast the sole remaining vote for the winner. Which lead to Probst opting not to read that vote and instead take it back to the US to pick the winner … meaning Laurel truly, finally got to make a game changing decision.

Just not the one she was really aiming for. Though it was definitely the one she deserved.

With that, Probst moved his hand deep inside Tony and Woo’s urn and pulled out Laurel’s vote which crowned Wendell the Survivor: Ghost Island sole survivor and left Dom to realise his fears had come true by not facing him in a fire challenge.

New curse to reverse though? So, that’s something.

Anyway, Dom played a killer game and despite making the bone-headed move to call out Chris’ day one decision and instantly started a feud, he managed to make a solid relationship with Wendell and they complimented each other perfectly to get to the end.

But buddying up with Wendell wasn’t his only move, his ability to make friends with literally everyone – except Chris – is the reason none of the moves ever came to fruition this season, as either Kellyn, Laurel or Angela would tell him – oft knowing it was against their best interests – and he would be able to avoid the boot or even needed to play his idols.

As such – and I’m not just saying it because it finished in a tie – he truly is the best to never win (behind Cirie, obvi). And because of that, I gladly pulled out a big fat Domenicken Liver Abpâté to dull the pain of just missing out on victory.

 

 

Pâté is something I have loved my entire life, until I discovered it was made from livers when I was ten and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it for six horrible years. Which I regret as much as Dom regrets not trying to get rid of Wendell on day 38. Rich and earthy, it is the perfect accompaniment to your pain, wine and a big old sourdough baguette. Oh – and I obvi just adapted this recipe, because who the hell can just trial-and-error with livers.

Enjoy!

 

 

Domenicken Liver Abpâté
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp currants
100ml verjuice
1 ½ tbsp water
⅔ cup port wine
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp gelatin
pinch of allspice
100g unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
500g chicken livers, trimmed
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Soak currants in verjuice overnight.

Combine the water and half the port in a small bowl and dissolve the gelatin in it for five minutes. Bring the remaining port to a light simmer in a small pan with the sugar and allspice. Add the softened gelatin, cook until well combined and remove from the heat to cool completely.

Melt 100g of butter in a pan over low heat and cook the cook the onion and garlic for a about ten minutes, or until translucent and sweet. Add the livers, rosemary and thyme to the pan with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes or until just cooked. Like, still pink in the middle just. Add the verjuice and currants and cook for a further minute.

Transfer everything to the food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Pack into a container and gently pour the cooled jelly over the top of the pâté and leave to set.

Once set, devour with a baguette and forget they’re livers.

 

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Stephunghi Gonzalizza

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

Previously on the 35 prior seasons of Survivor, the Survivor Gods started storing up every bad mistake any contestant made in a mental bank like a psychopath that is awful, but thinks they’re the victim (Janet – I know you hate millennials, so stop asking me about Microsoft Word as if it is my fault it isn’t working). You know them, we all have one. Erik handing over his hidden immunity to Natalie, Jay playing David’s fake idol, James getting booted with two idols in his pocket, Sierra handing off the legacy advantage to the person that blindsided her, the fucking stick and I assume, the entire Ulong tribe.

Anyway, they withdrew them from the bank and shoved them on an exile like island, and now it is up to 20 new castaways to reverse the curse or flame out in equal epic situations. Like the fucking stick.

Arriving on the beach to meet Probst, we were thrilled to discover they weren’t being shoehorned into a random theme and just got to form the Malolo and Naviti tribes. No heroes in sight … well except for zaddy Brendan of Malolo who was selected to represent the tribe for the ambiguous event Jeff teased to them after laying out the theme. On the flipside, young Chris volunteered to represent Naviti before anyone else had a chance to offer. Their task? Well it was thankless, having to select two people to complete an unknown challenge – one physical, one puzzle.

School teacher and owner of my heart Brendan selected baby Michael for the physical aspect and Michaela and Hannah’s baby Laurel for the puzzle, while Chris selected Sebastian – under the sea – for the physical and Desiree for the puzzle. On account of Morgan literally throwing herself out of sight to avoid being selected. The runner was required to, wait for it, run through obstacles to collect keys that the puzzle solver uses to unlock pieces and solve said puzzle. As Probst is want to do, added another twist to the the challenge where the winner would get a shelter building kit and a fishing kit, in addition to their meagre supplies. However if the loser knows their losing, they have a widow of time at which they can forfeit the challenge, get the booby prize of a fishing kit … and hand the winner 20 eggs and a flint in addition to their haul. See, thankless task.

The guys were neck and neck throughout the obstacles – Michael must have had a juicebox – before both falling apart towards the end. Of course Brendan gave his best fatherly, PE teacher pep talk and my basement flooded. Both Des and Laurel seemed to make quick progress on the puzzle, however Chris disagreed … pulling the plug on Naviti and handing Malolo a flame grilled feast to gorge in their dining room. Jeff immediately worked to stir up some drama, identifying all the people on Naviti – well the one – who wouldn’t have given up on the tribe.

Over at the camp of kings, Michael quickly worked his way into my heart which makes me feel all kinds of icky since he is 18.  Though not to his tribe, who he is telling he is 23. The tribe quickly got to work setting up home, where Donathan worked to learn who everyone was and warm my heart with his genuine, sweet nature.

Over at Naviti, Kellyn lived up to my own preseason hype, talking about how she recently made some major changes in her life and was genuinely super thrilled to be around everyone else on her tribe. Likeable Tony Lite Dom them led construction on their shelter, since he legit is in construction, and christened Sebastian Sea Bass on account of his occupation. Sadly that got him off on the wrong foot with old Sea Bass who quickly moved to align with Chris and set their sites on Dom.

The next day we checked in with Jacob who looks like Fozzie Bear and managed to lose his shoes while by the beach. This made him feel even worse, since he and Donathan are clearly not as physically fit as the rest of his tribe. To counter that, he went off hunting for an idol … which gave the rest of his tribe enough time to talk about said idol hunting, and paint a big ol’ target on his back. He then stayed back alone at camp under the guise of getting the fire going while the tribe bonded and looked for food together. Thankfully they weren’t aware that he used said time to pour the rice into his socks to see if there was anything hidden in the container.

Back at Naviti things seemed to be going better, with their shelter coming along well and Wendell building fish traps with bamboo like a total boss. He then shared with us that he studied Law and hopes that people are going to underestimate him. Things were looking up for Dom, as Wendell had taken a shining to him and he and Bradley gave him a heads up about the Chris/Sea Bass alliance.

Jiffy Pop returned to the scene for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would run across a net bridge, collect ropes and use them to wheel a sled of puzzle pieces towards a table before, obvi, solving said puzzle. To up the ante, he informed the tribes that someone from the losing tribe would be going to Ghost Island which is good for them, as it makes them immune from becoming the first boot. Naviti got out to an early lead while poor Brendan tried to coach the kids of Malolo to keep their heads held high. Sadly they were no match for Kellyn, who led her tribe to victory on the puzzle while Michael looked beautiful pushing the pieces in with his crotch.

While Jacob tried to keep morale up after their loss, the Naviti tried decided to punish his positivity and send him to Ghost Island. Though apparently, they fell straight into his trap and he wanted to find out what Ghost Island was and get himself immune. Sadly though, he said that out loud and his entire tribe know that what his game. But to reiterate, he is immune and he needed it. So yay Jacob.

Finally we met Ghost Island where Jacob was welcomed by two giant tiki statues, multiple immunity idols, all of the torch snuffers from seasons past and a row of small urns with the instruction to smash one. Inside he found a clue, telling him to follow a row of flames where he found a game of chance offering him a secret advantage … if he wagers his vote at the next tribal council. He saw three pieces of bamboo on the table in front of him, one of which was locked. He correctly assumed that the key was inside of one of them, and he simply had to pick which one. Which he did, opening it to find the Legacy Advantage from Game Changers that Sierra cursed by telling Sarah it existed, only to be blindsided by the eventual victor moments later. But of course, there was a twist, this one requiring him to hand it off to a person of the other tribe, the person he selected being puzzle-averse Morgan.

Back at Malolo, Gonzalez decided it was a good idea to chastise everyone about their loss and tell them they should have used Donathan’s idea, which she tried to pass off as her own. Thankfully he wasn’t a wallflower, electing to tell James, Stephanie and someone else – it is episode one, give me a break – that he tried to speak up during the challenge and was instead told to shut up by Gonzalez. While Gonzalez tried to rally the troops, the other Stephanie worked hard to turn things on her and protect Donathan … which Michael was concerned about, since they really need to hold on to any strength they had.

Like Ghost Island, tribal council was creepy as hell, looking like the Blair Witch had sex with a tiki god. Probst got to work needling the tribe, leading to Gonzalez talking about Jacob being special … which no one seemed to take issue with. Laurel spoke about the need to stay strong, Jeff asked Donathan how he felt about that given he is so teeny tiny. Thanks Jeff. Obviously Mama Stephanie stepped in to defend he potential new boyfriend ally, saying that strength comes in different forms. Gonzalez then spoke about wanting to be a part of the puzzle section of the challenge, which Brendan alluded would have been super useful to know YESTERDAY.

Jeff then polled the tribe about whether alliances had formed, which everyone started giving answers to before Michael said something that triggered Gonzalez’s paranoia. She then got up and started whispering in Brendan and Michael’s ear to find out who they were voting for. Michael then adorably apologised for interrupting Probst to talk to Jenna and Laurel about what was said, while Donathan sat in the left-right-out position. Thankfully for him as the votes rolled in, Gonzalez’s efforts were in vain and she found herself out of the game unanimously as the first boot.

Make no mistake Stephanie don’t call me Stephanie Gonzalez was not a happy no longer camper to become the first boot. And while I didn’t add salt to her wounds by telling her I was thrilled her exit saved Donathan, it did take an extend period of time to calm her down. But how could you not calm down when a Stephunghi Gonzalizza is in front of you?

 

 

Earthy, sweet and full of flavour, there is nothing better than the simplistic beauty of a mushroom, goat’s cheese and truffle pizza. I mean, name a more iconic throuple. I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephunghi Gonzalizza
Serves: 1 angry, sassy first boot.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
500g mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
100-200g mozzarella, grated
½ cup goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp white truffle oil

Method
Make the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

While they’re proving, heat a lug of oil in a pan and sweat the shallots and garlic for a minute or so before adding the mushrooms and cooking for five minutes, or until softened. Add the thyme, rosemary and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 180C.

When the bases are good to go, sprinkle mozzarella over the bases, top with mushroom and crumble over the goats cheese. Drizzle over some truffle oil, transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes or so, or until golden, crisp and delicious.

Devour immediately.

 

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Baked Camemburt Bacharach

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

I can’t believe that we’re already up to the second day of this year’s famed Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade. No sooner had I returned the delorean to the garage after visiting Whits did my boy Burt Bacharach start knocking on my door. And after the pain of seeing my dearly departed Whit, what my world needed now (aka then) was love, sweet love.

Burt and I known each other for years and years after meeting in – and I think this is a record for this patch of cyberspace –  the nursery of the hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Not to be confused with the hospital in Ebbing, Missouri. It’s near these billboards that inspired a movie … but anyway.

We’ve known each other from birth and after legal emancipating myself from my parents – they didn’t let me have ice cream one night – I moved to New York with the Bacharachs and as repayment, became Burt’s manager.

As I’m sure you would agree, he got quite a good deal.

Since I really like to put my guests through their paces AND the fact I stopped caring about Jazz again as soon as La La Land finished, I decided to run the odds for R&B with Burty. Cause when you think Burt, you think R&B. Anyway, we think this category will fall to a combination of Childish Gambino, Kehlani and Bruno Mars. Kehlani will take Best R&B Performance, Childish Gambino will take Best Traditional R&B Performance, R&B Song and Urban Contemporary Album, while Bruno Mars will take out Best R&B Album.

While there wasn’t much discussion or arguing about who the winners would be, we both felt extremely smug and like we worked hard … so I headed off to whip us up a Baked Camemburt Bacharach.

 

 

Deliciously goopy and with a punch of garlic and a whack of herbs, this little number is the perfect snack when you want to impress your guests whilst putting in the least amount of effort possible. I mean, stab, stuff, bake … and that is it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Camemburt Bacharach
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
200g camembert in a wooden box
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
a sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp honey
1 ciabatta, thinly sliced and toasted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the camembert from the box and packaging. Line the box with some foil and a small piece of baking paper before returning it to the wooden box.

Cut a few slits over the top of the camembert and stuff with sliced garlic, thyme and rosemary. Drizzle with honey, scrunch the foil to close and place in the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until it is puffed and gooey.

Remove from the oven, open the foil and serve immediately … to devour with the toasted ciabatta.

 

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James Van Detray Bake

Baking, Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Main, Poultry

After starting things off with the dreamy Josh Jackson, followed up with the liberated Katie Holmes and my dear old friend Mary Beth Peil, we’ve arrived at the owner of the Creek. Yep – today is all about Dawth-son, my boy JVDB.

As you know – since this isn’t his first time on my patch of cyber-space – JVDB and I were lovers and then the best of friends. And most importantly, he is the reason I am married. Well technically it is thanks to the words of Fauxy on the series finale of Dawson’s Creek … but he made me watch it and as such, gets the points.

Given we’ve only recently caught up on the record – we have a monthly date and it is seminal to my happiness … this time, my meaning of seminal flies – I was surprised that he was able to make the trip down under. But I guess, how could you say no to honouring the 20th anniversary of the greatest role of your career?

JVDB has been hella busy of late, so was thrilled to be able to take some time to honour his work, while enjoying some R&R. Plus – I promised to cook up his second favourite food, my James Van Detray Bake.

 

 

Inspired by Nigella’s tray bake in Nigellissima, this little number – and I hate to say it – is even better than the OG. I mean, how do you go wrong with the addition of chilli and garlic?

Enjoy!

 

 

James Van Detray Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 washed potatoes, cut into chunks
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
6 sprigs of rosemary
6 few sprigs of thyme
small handful of sage, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tbsp chilli flakes
10 chicken thighs, bone in
8 Italian sausages
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Chuck the potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon juice and zest and chilli in a large baking dish and toss together. Add the thighs and sausages, pushing them into holes, burying some and leaving others all exposed.

Drizzle with a good lug of olive oil, season generously and transfer to the oven to bake for about an hour, checking after 45 minutes to avoid burning the meat.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven and allow to stand for about ten minutes before serving. And in turn, devouring.

 

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Speidy Nuts Swedberg

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Side, Snack, Tapas

Let’s be honest, there are only four stars of Seinfeld so not every day of our Festivus celebrations can be filled with the iconic portrayers of TV’s erstwhile George, Kramer, Elaine and Jerry. That being said, the character of Susan and her death by out-of-date envelopes is truly iconic and more than earns Heidi Swedberg a trip to Brisbane to help my par-tay.

Plus, as is always the case, she is one of my dearest friends.

I first met Heid in the late ‘80s when she guested on an episode of Matlock. I was Andy Griffith’s stand-in – as we were both older gentleman, at heart – so spent a lot of time with the bit-players. The bond with Heidi was semi-instant and we kept in contact in the years that followed.

When Jase reached out about finding someone to play his love interest on the show, I thought she would be perfect for the role and would fit in well with the cast. While I was completely wrong about the last part, her death storyline was both hilarious and a cautionary tale for those, like me, that hoard Christmas cards year-on-year for later use.

While Heidi up on a life in Hollywood, she was thrilled to come out of hiding to celebrate Susan and Festivus. On the strict proviso that it was a date with only me, and that I’d be serving up my delightful Speidi Swedberg nuts.

 

 

Sweet, festively spiced and packing a little heat, these little babies are the perfect accompaniment for a festive date. Or for getting rid of the taste of rotten envelope glue.

Enjoy!

 

 

Speidi Swedberg Nuts
Serves: 1. 6-8 in a pinch.

Ingredients
500g mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamias and almonds
¼ cup pepitas
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp celery salt
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
salt, to taste
1 cup craisins

Method
Place a large frying pan over medium heat and line a large baking sheet.

Chuck the nuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds in the pan and toss with a wooden spoon for about five minutes. Add the spices and toss to coat. Then add the oil, sugar and rosemary, toss to coat and cook until golden and fragrant.

Transfer them to the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and leave to to cool completely. Toss through the craisins and decant into bowls to serve immediately or a sterilised jar.

Then, obviously, devour.

 

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