Liquidita Von Däshcake

Baking, Cheese, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the top four made over older gay men from the Fundación 26 de Diciembre. One of whom was famous fashion designer Petro Valverde, meaning the pressure was well and truly on Sharonne to do well. Thankfully she did as the duo formed a tight bond and pulled together a killer performance. Estrella and Marina meanwhile landed in the bottom for not having their details down pat. Ultimately though it was Venedita who won the challenge and went straight through to the final alongside Sharonne, leaving the duo to battle it out for the final slot. The gag of the season however was that both of the girls slayed the lip sync and as such, Supremme had no choice but to have a top four this year.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to stay as the top four, particularly Estrella who was sure that she was the one being eliminated. She opened up about how she was trying so hard to put on a brave face on stage, so was overwhelmed by the fact Supremme saw something in her that was worthy of saving. Sharonne reminded everyone to focus on the fact they are the first top four in Drag Race España history and that is because they are all icons. While Venedita continued to try and woo the audience to her side by subtly hashtagging in the background. Estrella on the other hand was ready to Showgirls her way to the end, while Sharonne was going to try her best, which is arguably the strongest track record ever.

The next day the finalists returned to the Werk Room feeling nostalgic about the experience and emotional that it is ending. Venedita reiterated that she would love to be the first bearded queen to win, while everyone agreed it is currently Sharonne’s crown to lose. Though that doesn’t mean anyone is going to make it easy for her. Speaking of which, Supremme eventually arrived to announce that for their final challenge the dolls would be performing alongside her in a music video, including writing and recording a verse and learning a tonne of choreography.

Oh and everyone would get to join her for a light lunch, with Venedita first on the guest list, opening up to Mama Supremme about how happy she is to make it to the end and that it was like a dream to her. She opened up about the explosion of social media leading to her starting drag and inspiring her to play with androgyny in her performance. Estrella was next and couldn’t believe she had made it to the end and how much the judges loved her. Hilariously she got her start in drag by befriending three queens in the street when trying to avoid someone picking her up. Which is as wild and iconic as you’d expect from her.

Sharonne opened up about the pressure that comes with going into the competition as an already successful, famous queen, though was proud of herself for continuing to evolve throughout the season. She opened up about being inspired to do drag by listening to her dad’s old records and wanting to perform like them. Marina meanwhile spoke about how drag to her is conceptual and creative and hard to explain, though she was proud of the character she created and looked forward to reflecting on the experience to see just what she has learned and how much she has grown.

With that out of the way, the dolls finally got to work writing their verses with Estrella and Venedita working well together and agreeing it is good to play into their strengths and keep it on the safer side. Marina and Sharonne were being a bit more creative and sensual with their approach and honestly were living their best lives as they bounced off each other. One thing all four of them could agree on is that they all have a massive challenge ahead of them and that this season truly has upped the ante. As has Marina, who the dolls were living for as she continued to drop killer lyric after killer lyric.

The dolls ventured to the mainstage to work on their choreography with Drag Race choreographer Carmelo and a series of flexible daddies. Venedita was feeling the pressure of pulling everything together at one time, while Sharonne was well and truly feeling her oats. Despite worrying about the complexity of the choreography. Marina was encouraged to give more confidence before Carmelo decided that their eliminated sisters should join them for the final performance and well, the reunion was sweet to see. Despite it distracting from the sweats-clad Pit Crew.

Speaking of sweats, Estrella’s had a massive hole in the crotch and well, I live.

It was family only on the panel as Supremme, Ana y Los Javis took their places at the table as Carmen arrived to drop off her crown – please tell me she doesn’t actually have to return it – and kick off the film clip. The dolls all turned it out, though it truly was Sharonne’s show as she gave it her all and hit every damn note. Marina was sensual, Estrella had all the personality and Venedita looked stunning. More importantly, why weren’t the Pit Crew wearing jockstraps?

On the My Best Drag runway Venedira was a sumptuous, blue belle, serving glamour and sex and looking oh so expensive. Marina was a dramatic black flower and was completely stunning. Estrella was full pastel perfection, camp and fun as she went back to the 19th century. And then Sharonne shut it down in a shimmering gown complete with a massive heart on her chest, ready to rebirth and take flight as a phoenix.

The judges lived for Venedita’s versatility and for alway bringing fashion to the runway and looking stunning. Marina meanwhile was beloved for always being smart and thinking outside the box and giving them something different. And for serving some of the most iconic looks on the runway and always telling a story. Estrella was praised for constantly evolving and being present, serving not just comedy but for doing it in the right way thanks to her impeccable instincts. She was fun, warm and smart, and well, the judges clearly love her. When it came to Sharonne, she received universal praise for being a star and being versatile enough to succeed at anything and everything she put her mind to. And for her ability to keep her ego in check.

Backstage the dolls were overwhelmed by all the love from the judges, despite the fact they were all completely exhausted. Estrella was emotional about the fact it was all coming to an end, while Marina shared how proud she was to be sitting alongside her three sisters with Sharonne agreeing that she is leaving the competition with a family she will treasure forever. Talk turned to who they thought would win with Venedita feeling like Sharonne is still the front runner, while Sharonne admitted that they are all stars though that she always felt like Venedita would be a worthy winner. While Estrella praised Marina for bringing mystery.

The eliminated queens walked the runway one final time with Marisa serving red-hot arse, Ariel gave sexy Ariel, Samantha was ravishing in red, Jota gave drama in shimmering bondage black, Onyx gave alien queen, Diamante was a black and white delight while Sethlas brought all the papal drama you’d expect from the Canary Islands while Juriji was sexy in a gorgeous mulberry tulle number.

Ultimately though, the top four were the stars. Well, top three as the judges opted to cut Marina just ahead of the final lip sync to Ni tú ni nadie by Alaska y Dinarama. And well, all three were desperate for the crown and ready to fight. Estrella leant into comedy and gave many a gag, Venedita gave burlesque beauty, though it truly was Sharonne’s victory lap as she hit every lyric and gave drama and emotion. And even a wig reveal, followed by showering herself in confetti followed by exploding her heart in glitter. And well, it was only correct that she took out the win.

That being said, Venedita was impeccable throughout the entire competition and well and truly deserving of her place in the final. From the very frist moment she entered the Werk Room, it was clear she was a star which is exactly what I told her as we caught up backstage. While she was disappointed to not take out the crown, she knew that she had done herself proud so after a big hug from a dear friend like me and a bowl of Liquidita Von Däshcake, she was well and truly ready to take on the world.

Another Milk Bar delight – actually the filling for Jonathan’s bun (pie) – this velvety smooth confection is hard to describe. Packing the flavorful punch of cheesecake but with the texture of custard, this versatile sweet is perfect spread on cookies, baked into a pie, turned into ice cream, or better yet, eating solo, gladly.

Enjoy!

Liquidita Von Däshcake
Serves: 1 runner-up and her bestie.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
150g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp milk
1 egg

Method
Pop the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and beat for an additional couple of minutes and scrape down the sides.

Combine the cornstarch, salt, milk and egg in a jug and whisk together until smooth, before adding to the mixer and beating for another 3 or 4 minutes, or until beautifully smooth.

Pour into a lined square cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until the outside is just setting, but it is still jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven to cool. Then devour, greedily.


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Mikaraage Chicken Turger

Burgers, Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor after Mike defeated Jonathan in the firemaking challenge and won his spot in the final three, the trio enjoyed one final day in Fiji before heading to tribal council. After copping a respectful grilling, Maryanne dominated the Q&A with equal parts charm and wisdom while Romeo was surprisingly confident in articulating why he deserved to be here. Sadly for him, it wasn’t enough to secure him any votes as he finished in third place.

Jeffrey then read the votes and despite playing a strong game, only one vote turned up for Mike as he took out second place, handing Maryanne a near unanimous victory as the jury crowned her the Sole Survivor. 

Once Mike was done smashing pizza on the after show, I pulled him aside to perk him back up after just coming up short. Mike had played such a dominant game, controlling his tribe before the merge and managing to form meaningful bonds that carried him far into the game. Never mind the fact he was smart and knew when to make a move, all while minimising the fact he was super buff and a massive threat.

Really the only major flaw was his game was not owning it and like Sharn in Australia – who suffered her third loss in the recent election – the jury couldn’t respect it and it cost him the game. While he was disappointed at the outcome, Mike being Mike, he was super upbeat and proud of Maryanne. Though it is easy to work through the pain when you’re smashing a Mikaarage Chicken Turger.

Super crispy chicken, velvety mayonnaise and creamy avocado, smooshed between two soft buns, how can you go wrong? Oh and did I mention crunchy lettuce and a punch of kecap manis. It is, so, good.

Enjoy!

Mikaraage Chicken Turger
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
½ cup kewpie mayonnaise
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
100g cornflour
sunflower oil, for frying
3 avocados, mashed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
8 burger rolls
1 butter lettuce
2 tomatoes
¼ cup kecap manis

Method
Combine the mirin, soy, garlic and ginger  and 1 tbsp of the mayo in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat, before covering and popping in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.

Pop the cornflour in a bowl and heat about 5cm deep of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Take the chicken out of the fridge and press the chicken into the cornflour to coat before transferring the chicken into the pot to fry, two at a time, for about 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to some paper towel to drain and repeat the process until the chicken is done.

To assemble the burgers, mash the avo with the lemon zest and juice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Split all the buns in half and toast on a griddle pan. Spread the avo on the base, followed by some lettuce and tomato, then the chicken, followed by a drizzle of kewpie and some kecap manis. Then devour immediately, greedily. Messily. Happily.


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Crumbed Lady Camdenbert

Cheese, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the Season 14 queens came together to rehash the drama of the season. Obviously most of it revolved around Daya Betty and her bitterness, until Jorgeous stopped punching the ghosts and instead gave her a one-two punch with Jasmine. Not to be outdone by her queer sisters, Miss Maddy Morphosis was a shade canon and ideally, booked herself a ticket on an upcoming All Stars season. I mean, he did win the golden boot of the season. Most importantly of all though, is the fact that Kornbread dressed as Willow’s entrance look which was V important, alongside the fact we are down to five and finally ready to crown a winner.

We kicked off proceedings with a Viva Drag Vegas runway where June was absolute perfection, dripping in gold. Alyssa gave jungle flamenco and was oh so expensive. Kornbread was once again a star as beauty AND the beast, Orion was a glamour dragon, Maddy rocked lady Elvis chic, Kerri came as her iconic, mother-tucking Tranos meme, Jasmine gave full baby Alyssa Edwards realness, DeJa served Alexis Mateo realness and Jorgeous was a classic silver showgirl. Then the top five arrived with Angeria stunning and stopping the show in blue, Bosco was a glamour demon, Daya gave bubblegum burlesque realness, Lady Camden was a perfect pink horse and cart before Willow stole the show in red with a blade for an arm.

Oh and then Ru straight up lowered from the ceiling surrounded by a fan of chocolate bars and the zaddy pit crew. And this, is queer culture people.

Ru opened the show announcing that once again it is chocolate, before getting to the format of this ‘ere finale where the top five would face off in a Showgirl Showdown. First the dolls would each do a solo performance to a song they feel speaks to their vibe. From that, Ru and Michelle – or just Ru, TBH – would select a top two with that duo then lip syncing for the crown. Oh and then Michelle arrived and gave Ru the key to the city in honour of April 22 being declared RuPaul day in Las Vegas. Everybody say love!

Up first was the one and only, the iconic, Angeria Paris Van Michaels! And girl, her original Check My Track Record was perfection from start to finish. She looked perfect, she was silly and camp, she hit every move and every letter. And well, the pit crew in gold lame were just as stunning as I needed them to be. In the Q&A portion of the evening, Angeria leaned into her country charm and was a ball of pure delight. Living for the fame and just loving everything that was coming her way. Oh and then her dad announced she won her first crown in kindergarten and, of course! And then he encouraged parents to just love and support their kids and I love her parents too. We bounced back to Angeria who said that above all else, drag taught her that you can do anything you put your mind to.

When it came to Bosco, her song Devil was creepy and kooky and well, she looked stunning. She slowly revealed herself from being an angel to a full blown – word of the day – demon, complete with bloody mouth and well, I lived for her. She opened up to Ru about how drag helped take her to different places. She shared how shocked she was to leave the race with a sisterhood when she didn’t think that would happen. Bosco’s boyfriend and her dear friend Lucy were there in the crowd and were so silly and cute while Bosco was grateful for drag teaching her exactly who she wants to be.

Daya’s performance was kinda hypnotic, as she emerged from a cocoon to be a full blown blue and orange bug and well, it was stunning. Days spoke about how she grew up determined to take out the win and that Crystal encouraged her to grow a mullet before the show. She told Ru that her passion was to do weird shit and be bold. Her boyfriend Tanner and the third Methyd sister were so proud to see her make it to the finale, before she encouraged everyone watching to always get back up and fight through things.

Lady Camden’s I Fell Down (I Got Back Up) was silly, operatic and well, damn show stopping. She gave high heel ballet, served reveals and well, she needs to be in the top. Camden opened up about her passion for theatrics from her childhood to now and how much she loves Queen. Oh and if she had her time over, she would be herself from the very start. Camden’s mother and drag mother were an adorable comedy duo, bantering with Ru and being cute. Oh and Camden is now vers, or something?

Rounding out the individual performances, Willow’s song I Hate People was wacky and wonderful. And oh so relatable. I mean, who doesn’t hate people? She then revealed two extra heads on her shoulders and a fourth in her panties and well, crown her now. She is a damn star! Her Q&A with Ru was silly, fun and charming, with Ru clearly delighting in her silliness as she introduced the extra faces as Carson, Ross and Michelle in her panties. Oh and she was so proud to have come into the women she is. Her mum and sister were super chill and friendly, giving all the support and I love them. Particularly when the sister read Ru about the H&M disaster. By the time Willow explained drag was just mental illness and rhinestones, there was no way she was losing the crown.

Jaida, Kameron, Trinity, Derrick, Kahana and Naomi – aka the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Las Vegas Live – took the stage to perform losing is the new winning and girl, it was a good ad. Particularly as the eliminated queens joined them. Oh and then we celebrated the iconic Queen of Vegas, Hot Chocolate. And ugh, I love her too! Can they do a legends season with her, Bunny, Coco Peru, Dame Edna and Vanessa Wagner?

The top five returned to the stage where they learnt, via roulette wheel no less, that the top two are none other than Lady Camden and Willow Pill. Which makes me infinitely happier with my choice to go alphabetically with recipes, rather than reverse.

As the top two went backstage to get ready for the final lip sync, the eliminated queens were joined by the iconic Symone who looked PERFECT. She was then joined by Lala Ri who looked stunning in a chandelier looking gown with nary a bag in sight as she quickly handed the Miss Congeniality baton over to Kornbread and ugh, I live, I am so happy for her.

But now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Lady Camden and Willow Pill took the stage for their final lip sync. Willow wearing a hilariously oversized pinstripe suit for, no doubt, some reveals.  While Camden’s were far better hidden in a royal ballet outfit. As soon as Cher’s version of Gimme Gimme Gimme kicked off, both the queens played into their strengths. Camden was emotional and gave all the clean lines while Willow was stupid and fun, shaking off her jacket and revealing her outfit was just massive pants. She then duck-walked the stage before her final reveal while Camden tried to repeat the Freddy Mercury reveal, this time sadly getting the wigs caught. In any event, they both fought valiantly, bouncing off each other and having the most damn fun.

Sadly though, there can only be one winner – well, except for our twinners Monet and Trinity – and despite a strong showing from Camden, it was Willow Pill who rightly took home the crown. 

Despite losing the competition, Camden was an absolute delight backstage. Though since the runner-up now gets cash, I guess that makes sense. Oh and the fact she has won more money than every Drag Race UK winner combined, probably doesn’t hurt. Plus, she had an epic, iconic run and while she started off quiet, once she came out of her shell, she stole the damn show. Making her not only the perfect runner-up or future All Stars winner, but recipient of a congratulatory batch of Crumbed Lady Camdenbert.

Crunchy and crisp on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, this is the ultimate comfort food. And more importantly super easy – a couple of cut, a quick crumb and fry and you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Crumbed Lady Camdenbert
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
⅓ cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
200g camembert cheese, cut into 12 wedges
vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Method
Pop the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into their own bowls. Coat the camembert in the flour, skating off the excess before dipping in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Pressing firmly to coat, before popping on a lined plate.

Pour about 6cm deep oil in a medium pan and place over medium-high heat, and once hot, cook in batches for a couple of minutes, or until crisp and gooey. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process until they are all done. Then devour, regally.


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Artimoke Hearts in Garlic Cream Sauce

RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Side, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the top four took to the stage to participate in a lip sync smackdown for the crown. With the first round battles decided by Lemon and her wheel of destiny, which doesn’t add much to the story but I think Lemon deserves her recognition. In the first face-off, Mo destroyed Baga and progressed to the top two while Blu and Juju were a far more even pairing, with the young Irish lass ultimately besting the Rob Mariano of Drag Race – conveniently, also from Boston – and eliminating Juju in third/fourth place for the FOURTH time.

Because she’s what? Consistent.

With that, the top two took their places on the stage for the final lip sync to Supernova by Kylie Minogue and while Mo promised to devour Blu, the little lass once again came ready to fight. While Mo was fierce as she felt every damn lyric and moment, Blu left everything on the mainstage, giving cute comedy and all the energy. Which proved to be enough as Blu was crowned Queen of the World.

Having dealt with me each time she has competed, Mo knows to follow the sounds of tears and screaming backstage as like Juju, I am consistent. Consistently enraged when an icon like Mo is eliminated from the competition without a crown. But as always, although she lacks a rightful crown for killer performances, I make up for in culinary comfort in the form of Articho-ke Hearts in Garlic and Wine.

Smooth, creamy, sweet and a little bit earthy, these babies are positively delicious. And the perfect accompaniment to any and all meals. Well, maybe not ALL, but they are great.

Enjoy!

Artimoke Hearts in Garlic Cream Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
800g canned artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
½ cup white wine
¼ cup cream
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp parsley finely chopped

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large pan of medium heat and saute the garlic and shallots for a minute or so. Stir in the artichoke hearts and cook for a further minute before pouring in the white wine. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes or until reduced.

Stir in the cream, salt, pepper and parsley and cook for a further minute before serving, greedily, either solo or as a side. The latter probably makes the most sense. Either way, devour like the icon you are.


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Hot Nutella Vaday

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK 12 queens entered the Werk Room for another battle royale of my favourite franchise. While nine sisters were eliminated along the way, it was the quiet achiever Ella that rose to the top. Winning challenge after challenge, after challenge (and challenge) until Vanity was eliminated and she battled for the crown against Kitty and Krystal.

Despite slaying the competition, Ella didn’t end up taking the crown though some would argue what she won was better than that anyway. My heart!

While underestimated by her sisters at the beginning of the competition, I knew that someone that could come up with a name like that was full of talent and from start to finish, she shon.

Like Bimini before her, she showed versatility, charisma and so much talent and while she may not have finished with the crown, her career can only go from strength to strength.

Which is what I reiterated to her through gritted teeth as I pulled her off stage to toast her with (a kinda ugly, sorry Ella) Hot Nutella Vaday.

What my photography skills don’t show is how damn near perfect this drink is. I mean, sure, we all love a Hot Choc – or Coco – but when one has the opportunity to go with nutella, they should take it. So take it.

Enjoy!

Hot Nutella Vaday
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 cups milk
⅓ cup Nutella
whipped cream, for topping (which I forgot to do, I assume, because we’re all bottoms)

Method
Like most of my drinks and salads, this one is a little bit difficult to process.

Pop the milk and nutella in a saucepan, whisk until well combined and pop over low heat until cooked through.

You could also do it direct in a mug using your meek-ro-wah-vay, though that always runs the risk of getting dirty, dirty, dirty.

Whichever way you go, down and enjoy!


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Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza

Main, Pizza, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top four were tasked with roasting themselves, the panel and their eliminated sisters for a decidedly heavenly roast. Kitty was her usual brand of funny and charming, however it was once again Ella that completely dominated. From dad jokes to her hilariously dragging anyone in sight, she well and truly earned her fourth victory on her way to the finale. At the other end of the pack, Vanity was read for playing it too safe with her jokes,  while Krystal landed in the bottom for her heavy reliance on age jokes. After the duo lip synced however, the assassin was felled as Krystal went through to the finale and Vanity sashayed away.

Backstage the dolls were jubilant to make it to the end, though quickly took pause to toast their fallen sister Vanity. Kitty joked that there is normally a dog in the top three, though was glad that this one only had a bunch of babes. Though did admit that if she can’t spot the ugly queen, maybe it was in fact her. Ella was still on cloud nine about her victory, talking about how great it was to see their sisters and hoping none of them were offended by being dragged. Which was obviously the point that they were all brought in, praising Ella for killing the hell out of the roast. Vanity was accepting of being eliminated, while Krystal agreed she deserved to be in the bottom alongside her, with Elektra shadily agreeing out loud rather than in her head. Choriza rounded out the visit by giving the final three a pep talk for the finale ahead while Kitty just wanted the meet and greet girls to exit so they could celebrate and get their heads in the game.

The next day the queens were feeling festive as fuck to be not only be in the finals but also because Ru popped up some Christmas trees. Ella quickly pointed out that she has the same amount of badges as the other two combined, while Kitty was just thrilled to have proof that her years of hard work are worth it. Ru interrupted their chat to drop by and announce that for this year’s finale, the dolls would be writing their own verse on her holiday hit, Hey Sis, It’s Christmas. And then, you know, perform it live on the mainstage, after a quick Q&A with her and Michelle.

They quickly split up to write their lyrics, with Kitty nervous about how to stand out while Ella wanted to write a bop. And Krystal simply wanted to do better than the Girl Group challenge. After spilling some sample lyrics, Kitty dropped by to catch up with Ru and Michelle, talking about her passion for Christmas and her level of comfort on the stage. She opened up about her time at musical theatre school and how she practised sewing before joining the competition and always tries to keep things positive. And how supportive her sweet family are.

Ella was up next, opening up about how gagged she is to have dominated the competition. Ru asked whether Ella was just a failed actor that came to drag – way harsh, Tai – with her opening up about doing it to re-energise her career and that she initially kept drag separate from the theatre crowd, so that she would be taken seriously in both worlds. She spoke about how she learnt to love herself, got all loved up and reiterated the fact she was so shocked to make it to the end. Krystal meanwhile had Ru and Michelle laughing from the start, joking and giving off a very relaxed vibe. She mocked her name, spoke about her inspirations and how proud her family are. Talk turned to her virginity with Krystal admitting that she would prefer to be doing up a wig than doing a man. Or well, going on a date. Oh and she was fired up for the win.

The dolls then joined Jay Revell to learn the choreography for their final performance with Kitty overwhelmed by how damn hot he is. Which in a word, is relatable. Krystal was up first, wanting to throw in a lot of tricks and flicks to sell herself. Kitty meanwhile was fun and full of pointing, while Ella was the perfect combination of the two – sexy but also pointy. After they were all chill and calm about their verses, Jay told them their group moments are hard as hell and well, poor Krystal arrived at struggle street. As the musical theatre queens quickly picked up the choreo, poor Krystal lagged behind while Kitty knew it was all a ruse as she will definitely slay it, because that is what Krystal does.

Coronation Day finally arrived with Krystal asking them about first impressions, with Ella admitting she was gagged, not about how stunning Krystal’s looks were, but more importantly, that she was also super kind. Kitty meanwhile was nervous upon seeing Ella, praising her for being as handsome as Gaston in drag. While both the dolls were thrilled to have met Kitty and her infectious energy. Kitty then opened up about how great it was to meet Baby Spice, while Ella’s highlight was winning Snatch Game. Which Kitty admitted she was gagged about, given she thought she would win or it would at least be a double. Krystal meanwhile was proud about how she constantly surprised herself.

And then Ella and Kitty did a spot on Veronica Green impersonation. Which means nothing really, but was important to me.

Ru, Michelle, Graham and Alan lined up on the panel for the debut performance of Hey Sis, It’s Christmas! and frankly, Ella’s verse was absolute fire and she sold the hell out of it to boot. Kitty was demented and delightful, as per usual, while Krystal came out all guns blazing. The rest of the queens then joined the performance and things got wild and well, ugh, I just love the dolls.

On the Final Three Eleganza Extravaganza Runway, Ella was a vision in a stunning purple gown, complete with a big old wig to make Michelle happy. She was sparkly, confident and ready to complete it with a crown. Kitty straight up looked like a Southern belle who became a princess, feeling her oats and looking a frosted delight. Krystal meanwhile was perfection in a black velvet mermaid gown, standing out in all the right ways.

Ella received universal praise for her verse, opening herself up and nailing the hell out of the challenge. The judges loved her look, though Graham did question the choice of shoe. Though they all agreed that she dominated the competition and was the one that they could all rely on. Kitty was praised for her magnetism and her demented lyrics in the song before the judges shared how much they loved her look. Alan then likened her to a labrador, with everyone loving her energy from the start and then they learnt she is talented to boot. The judges loved how Krystal challenged herself in the final number, thrilled to see her polish her skills and emerge as an even brighter star. Oh and they lived for her dark and moody final runway.

Ella was first to talk to young Nicholas, reminding him that he is beautiful and perfect and begged him to embrace who he is and silencing all the names and slurs that are thrown his way. Kitty wanted young Lewis to remember how lucky he is and to never take anything for granted. She then suggested he stay happy and kind and most importantly, to wear supportive underwear. Krystal told young Luke – well, younger – to embrace all the love he has around him and to be kind and patient while waiting for people to come around. Oh and to ease up on fillers as a teenager.

Ella shared that she should be the next UK Drag Superstar, admitting that she has all the talent and has thrown everything out there to get the win. Finishing simply by reminding them that she is the best, and they should pick her. Kitty felt that she should win because she is the embodiment of UK drag, with a little camp and a big pair of knockers. Krystal meanwhile wanted to inspire the next generation of drag to try hard and let kids know they can do whatever it is they want.

Backstage the dolls caught up with their eliminated sisters with Elektra thrilled they all got a chance to perform together one last time. Choriza was proud of everyone, while Victoria was shady about Ella finally stepping out of the chorus. Ella meanwhile was proud to dominate, though Kitty suggested it won’t matter in the end. Anubis meanwhile looked stunning as she praised them for a great season, while River joked that the double elimination was the best lip sync. Oh and we learnt that Elektra wasn’t allowed to jump off the stage when she did, while Scarlett joked about not wanting to talk about her walk off.

After the eliminated queens walked the runway, the top three were tasked with lip syncing for the crown to Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Own Me. Everyone played to their strengths from the start, Kitty was charming as hell and giving all the comedy, Ella was moody and leant into her acting chops while Krystal threw everything at the wall. It was stunning, it was emotional and most importantly, they were stupid and fired up. Tragically though, there can only be one winner and that was young Krystal.

While she was busy getting her crown fitted, I pulled Kitty to the side to toast her killer run and infectious personality. As Kitty said, she truly is the embodiment of UK drag, camp, bawdy and so damn fun, which to me, well and truly earns a victorious Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza!

I know, I know – zucchini isn’t the most exciting vegetable (or is it a fruit?) option in the world, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place. Like say, this one! Thin strips of juicy goodness work perfectly with the salty haloumi to create a perfect new pizza combination.

Enjoy!

Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza
Serves: 1 iconic queen and her equally iconic bestie.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup Toni Basil Pesto
400g haloumi, sliced
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthways
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
cheddar and mozzarella, to taste

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

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with pesto. Layer with haloumi and zucchini, followed by a dotting of garlic and the cherry tomatoes, then a generous helping of the cheeses.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour, careful not to burn yourself on the molten hot cheese.


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Custard George Mladanish

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Dessert, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the final three met Jonathan in the middle of the elephant’s graveyard from The Lion King to find three torture devices from a Saw movie. Apparently this wildly unexpected crossover wasn’t a sign of things to come for Disney, but instead the final immunity challenge for Brains v Brawns. After hours and hours of standing on pegs beneath a bed of nails, Flick finally fell out of the challenge and handed Hayley immunity and the chance to select who she would face off against in the final two. And despite pleading a strong case at tribal council, found herself heading out of the game as the final juror.

The final two awoke on Day 48 to find a bounty of food and champagne, with Hayley admitting that voting out Flick was the hardest thing she has had to do all season. She then reflected that while George has played a strong strategic game, she has also managed to play a physical game as well as outwitting people and to top it off, didn’t rub people the wrong way like George did. And well, she is ready to take out victory and take control of her life after years dedicated to study.

George meanwhile was shocked that the person that was so close to being an early boot had made it to the end of the competition, ready to pitch his case to the jury. George was proud of his strong strategic game and hoped that he would be rewarded so that he could pay off his parents debts and let them enjoy their retirement, which is just so damn warm and fuzzy I can’t even stand it. He reflected on having a target on his back the entire time and was ready to remind every juror that his game is why they’re all sitting on the bench.

Which honestly, is never a great way to win votes.

At final tribal council George kicked things off and was far more charming than I thought he would be, talking about how he has been overcoming his own fears all game. And speaking of the game, his first play was to sow controlled chaos in his tribe to work around the fact he was clearly in the bottom. After the tribe swap, he knew to fall in line with the Brawns before flipping back to the Brains come merge, given there was no way he was ever getting to the end with the others. He was passionate, articulate and well, Hayley’s nervous face said it all as the jury smiled with George talking about leading the Brains from a minority to the majority and that he fought tooth and nail all season.

And, obviously, he told them that he is ready for his crown.

Hayley’s nervous face made way for a cheeky smile, sharing how proud she is of her game. Not to be outdone by George, she went all the way back to Joey’s boot, taking full credit for the move to flip Wai and Baden to get rid of him and pointed out it was the turning point in the game. She then spoke about her idol heroics on the post-swap Brawn tribe, highlighting her ability to trust in new allies to pull off the blindside on Simon. Oh and the Kez boot? Yeah, yeah – George told her to play the idol for Laura, but she is the one that successfully executed the plan. She then acknowledged the fact she was booted from the game but fought her way back and how she used that weakened target to find her footing and dominate the end game.

Jonathan flipped things over to the jury with Laura assuring both Hayley and George that she is undecided on who to vote for. She asked George what he learnt about himself during the game, with him admitting that he now knows that he can do anything he puts his mind to, given nobody expected him to get to this point. He also learnt that he is great at eavesdropping. Cara meanwhile asked Hayley if she planned to lie and deceive or whether it was just natural. Hayley knocked it out of the park, admitting that that is not only part of the game but also her job, given that as a researcher you have to convince people that placebos are actually real. And those skills were great for her game.

Andrew asked whether either of them have regrets in the game, with George thrilled that everything got him to this point and as such, he was good. Hayley meanwhile regretted the way she outed George as the double agent early in the merge, as it landed her on redemption. This led to Dani jumping in and asking why Hayley lied at the outback spa, with Hayley perfectly outlining that she was scared at what Dani would do if she felt that Hayley wasn’t with her and as such, she had to lull her into a false sense of security for her own safety. Which seemed to make Dani happy, assuring both Hayley and George that she is an undecided voter and she wants to see them both own all of their lies.

Gerald meanwhile asked George and Hayley who they would align with should the game restart with the jury, with George hilariously saying none of them while Hayley said that she was confident she would be able to work with all of them again.

Dani returned for her legit question, asking George why he habitually gave up in the challenges when he knew half of the jury value physicality given they were on the Brawn tribe. And well, it is literally a third of the motto. George defended himself, saying that he knew that his lack of athletic ability was his weak point and as such, he just wanted to focus on the things he could do well. Flick asked Hayley while they never worked together, with Hayley circling back to the Simon blindside and wanting to work with Flick but she never joined her at the merge. Then at the final seven, she only went with George, Cara and Wai because she knew that would give her the easiest path to winning her way to the end. Flick meanwhile asked George about his lies, with him admitting that he dominated strategically and only lied in the hope of getting further.

Emmett meanwhile asked George why he decided to lie and be strategic in such a brash way, explaining that he upset everyone on their way out the door and asked whether he would play the same game if he had his time over. George tried to get Emmett to focus on the game he did play rather than hurt feelings, with Emmett doubling down that that is not what he was asking before George eventually admitted that he wouldn’t play the same again. But I think between the lines, he meant that he wouldn’t get away with the same game twice. Which is super true. Hayley was meanwhile asked how her game differed from George, expertly pointing out that she is the most well rounded player, given she was not just strategic, she was also social and an absolute beast in the challenges.

Tragically Wai and Baden’s questions were cut – or I had a microsleep – before the jury cast their votes and Jonathan wheeled out Hayley and George’s loved ones to read the votes. While things were quickly tied at two a piece, the rest of the votes piled up on Hayley, as she took out victory and the title of sole survivor. Leaving the poor cockroach to join me for a meal to perk him back up as she celebrated.

As the giant sparklers were still going off in celebration of Hayley’s win, I pulled my heartbroken friend – let’s say, we’re both political operatives shall we – aside and intensely told him that the fact he even made it to the end was a shock. Because he played a bold, dominant game and had a target on his back the entire time. He and Hayley both played hard and arguably were our strongest final two ever, both nailing final tribal council and as such, he should sit back, relax and enjoy a Custard George Mladanish like the champion he is.

Like George, this little number is surrounded by a crispy outer shell but inside is nothing but warm, sweet, delicate and soft. Needless to say it is delicious and the perfect way to mark a game well played.

Enjoy!

Custard George Mladanish
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
4 eggs, 3 separated and 1 whole
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup cornflour
2 cups milk
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
⅔ cup flaked almonds

Method
First up, start by making your custard. If you have your own preferred recipe, go with that, otherwise keep reading. The most important part is it being firmer. Whisk the three yolks with the caster sugar, vanilla and cornflour in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk, quarter cups at a time, until you have a smooth, velvety texture.

Transfer to a saucepan and over medium-low heat, cook, whisking constantly for five minutes or so. Or until the mixture starts to thicken. Keep cooking for a further minute while bubbling away before removing and transferring to a bowl. Cover with cling (directly on top to avoid a skin forming) and leave to cool completely.

While it gets chill, preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Using two of the sheets of pastry, line the base and of a loose based, 35cm rectangle fluted tart tin and trim off excess pastry.

Place the tin on a baking sheet, line and weight the tart tin and blind bake for ten minutes, or until golden around the edges. Remove the weights and bake for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Drop the oven temperature down to 170°C.

Once both the shell and custard are cool, pour the custard into the shell, sprinkling with half the flaked almonds throughout because I love almonds. Cut the remaining sheet of pastry into strips and plait over the top to form as intricate lattice as you can be bothered with.

Whisk the remaining egg and sprinkle over the remaining almonds. Transfer the danish to the oven and bake for 15-30 minutes, or until golden and heated through. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before carving and devouring.


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Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups

Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Like Art before her, I’m not going to dwell too much on Scarlet. I mean, damn Ru, why you gotta have four people left in contention for the crown? It really makes my life that much more difficult.

In any event, Scarlet well and truly stormed through the competition, served killer looks and well, that pole dancing was damn impressive.

That being said, it would be remiss to not say that her well-known past performances were horrible and as a white man, it is not my place to forgive her or accept her apologies. But I do hope that she is genuine about making amends and learning from the this because the world needs growth and healing with those she hurt so stupid, racist shit just stops happening.

Which is what I told her as I sat down and slammed a plate of Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups in front of her.

Like at the end of a good night, there is nothing I love more than sweetly, sticky balls. Combining san choy bow and ramen influences, these babies are earthy, spiced and most importantly, easy. Which is what I like to hear when I’ve got sticky balls.

Enjoy!

Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli paste
225g water chestnuts, finely chopped
⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 shallots, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
⅔ cup plum sauce
100g vermicelli noodles
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
2 baby cos lettuce, leaves broken off and rinsed.

Method
Combine the mince, ginger, garlic, chilli, water chestnuts, breadcrumbs and shallots with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine with your hands and mix into golf-ball sized meatballs.

Heat a lug of oil in a wok over medium heat and cook the balls for five minutes or so, tossing infrequently. Add the plum sauce with a cup of water, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and sticky. My two favourite descriptors.

Cook the noodles as per packet instructions and drain well to avoid any drippiness.

To assemble, divide a couple of lettuce leaves on a plate, top with noodles and meatballs and garlic with a few slices of chilli. And then, obviously, devour.


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Spicy Artichoke Simone Pasta

Main, Pasta, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Given Art already had an episode of my love, I’m going to keep things brief.

Art truly is the future of drag.

On top of being funny, filthy and oh so fierce! She was an absolute joy to watch all season, providing hilarious commentary, giving us heartfelt moments and while she never took out a win, I’ve got a feeling that she will have a triumphant run on a future All Stars season.

You heard it here first!

And obviously I told her of this as I pulled her into my arms, cast aside the snag rolls and gave her a fresh bowl of more finalist friendly, Spicy Artichoke Simone Pasta.

Salt, creamy and packing a kick, this very basic pasta tastes anything but! Plus, you can whip it up in sub-twenty minutes – genuinely, Jamie Oliver – which is very important to me as I age.

Enjoy!

Spicy Artichoke Simone Pasta
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g rigatoni
700g marinated artichoke hearts, drained
⅓ cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring a large pot of water to the boil over high heat. Heavily salt and add the pasta before cooking per packet instructions.

While the pasta is gettin’ al dente, place the artichoke, oil, lemon, chilli and half the parmesan in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper, and blitz to form a smooth, velvety paste. 

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid. Combine the cooked pasta with the puree and stir to combine, adding as much liquid as required to make it saucy. Fold through the remaining cheese and again, add more liquid as needed.

When at the desired consistency, serve immediately, top with more parmesan just because and then devour. Triumphantly.


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Carrot From Finance Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the top five were tasked with showing off their impressive talents, by way of a talent show. Despite never having pole danced before, Scarlet put on an impressively dangerous show, thankfully avoiding falling from the top and cracking her skull. Elektra meanwhile performed a powerful contemporary dance, but due to her thirsty wig somehow landed in the bottom despite Art’s talent involving her eating things. Which is far more iconic than that sentence gives it credit for. She was joined in the bottom with her boss Kita Mean and despite being the undisputed lip sync assassin of the season, Elektra found herself exiting the competition just before the finale.

Aka as the robbed goddess of the season.

Backstage the girls were thrilled to make it to the top four, with them discovering Elektra was proclaiming Kita as the winner of the season on the way out of the door. Art and Scarlet admitted that they felt Elektra kind of gave up in the lip sync, which felt like it was kind of them trying to be nice about how much Elektra loves Kita rather than saying she couldn’t have won the lip sync otherwise. Hopefully. The girls celebrated making it to the top, though were shady to Art about being eliminated and coming back to the competition. That being said, Art wasn’t bothered and still thought she could take out victory. Particularly since Karen pointed out that Scarlet had half a beard when she snatched her third victory, so anything truly is possible.

The top four jigged back in the next day with Kita still jumping out of her skin with excitement, giddy about potentially bringing the crown home to New Zealand. We were then treated to the girls flashing back through moments of the season before Ru arrived and tasked them with their final challenge of the season, where they would be writing their own verse on the rumix of Ru’s You’re A Winner, Baby. And then, you know, performing it live on the mainstage with full choreography. After a light lunch with Ru and Michelle. The usual.

We were then gagged by Dame Olivia Newton John and daughter Chloe Lattanzi who gave the girls a little bit of advice in a pre-recorded but made to not look pre-recorded message, but who cares given it is ONJ, dammit.

Just like that, the queens split up to work on their verses with Scarlet oozing confidence, while Karen had written two verses, one from her boy self and the other from Karen. Not to be confused with a Karen, since it is a loving verse telling all the eliminated queens that they’re all winners too rather than the poster child of middle aged, white privilege. In any event Art thought the loved-up Karen idea was a shit one and as such, encouraged her to run with it. Kita meanwhile shared that she was going with a heartfelt verse that she was going to sing. Full power ballad style, I assume.

Scarlet dropped by for lunch with Ru and Michelle, praising her mother as the person that has shaped her life the most. She said that being away from her loved ones was the most difficult part of the competition, but her partner organised a pack of letters from home, which she has been opening episode by episode to keep her focused. Ru advised that Scarlet not engage with the comment section and get distracted by the noise and given the backlash, it definitely is good advice for young Scarlet.

Meanwhile backstage Kita, Karen and Art were imitating each other and living their best lives and I love everything about it. And them.

Art excused herself to chat to Ru and Michelle, with her thanking them for giving her a second chance. She admitted that it taught her to let go given she supports everyone in her life, which made Michelle give her a pep talk and tell her that she needs other people to turn around and look after her too. Otherwise she is going to burn out. And ugh, this is why I love Michelle. Ru joined in and suggested that she remember she exists without people needing her and to focus on letting go.

Karen from Finance shared that her deceased mother did work in finance, but wasn’t the inspiration behind her. Talk turned to the pressure of living up to the name of Karen from Finance, given she is an internationally recognised thanks in no small part to how much Trixie and Katya love to talk about her.

We checked in with Art who was still processing the fact that she spends so much time looking after others, which has led to her burning out and not letting people in. She caught up with Karen and they had a really nice chat about freeing themselves and the way the show has made them reevaluate their lives and ugh, I love them both! And well, despite the criticism, proves that this show has still got it.

Kita then rounded out the interview portion, joking about not being shocked that she made it to the end. Though she did admit to getting into her own head throughout the season. Ru and Michelle reminded her that she needs to deal with whatever issues she had which led to her putting on the weight, now that she has lost it. Michelle then told Kita that her need for love comes from trauma, before they let her marinate on what her trauma was and helped her start to work through it. NO JOKE. Did Michelle get a psychiatry degree in lockdown, because she is amazing?! She then fit two jaffas – aka balls – in her mouth and had them in stitches, and please let this be the start of her coronation.

The top four then joined Lance Savali on the mainstage to learn the finale choreography, with Karen admitting that she is well and truly out of her depth. Kita was charming despite struggling to pick up her’s, Art was patting the puss and slaying her sexy choreography, while Karen got the Trixie in All Stars 3 choreography, complete with baseball bat dad dancing. And then Scarlet nailed the entire rehearsal, despite getting the easiest moves.

Coronation Day arrived with Kita sharing how her sisters and he and her brother were split up when her parents divorced. Karen agreed that growing up in a house full of boys was a struggle for her too and how they both needed to let their families in. Scarlet spoke about how she has never met her father as he reached out to her as a teenager but stopped talking to her when she found out that she was gay. Art shared that she had the same story, but loved how her father now has to see her on ads and hear her on the radio given she is famous. Which is an iconic and amazing way to look at things. Talk turned to the dangers of being queer, though all of them agreed that they wouldn’t change anything as that is what has made them strong. 

Kita then summed things up, explaining about how much bigger the journey was than she was expecting and was so grateful to make it to the end. And again, please let this be part of her coronation edit!

Ru, Michelle and Rhys took their places for the debut of the Down Under remix of I’m a Winner Baby with Kita coming out looking just like one. She was shimmering in white and sang beautifully, Art was hilarious and charming, dripping in technicolour neon. Karen owned her awkward dance moves though definitely had the weaker of the verses, despite the really sweet and kind message. Scarlet oddly looked a mess, though nailed the choreography and gave a classic finale verse.

On the Best Drag runway Art was beautiful in a teal ball gown fit for a princess, Karen was classic Karen in a shimmering boardroom eleganza. Kita was a gorgeous angel with blue hair, complete with moving wings. And Scarlet was inspired by Princess Grace in a rose gown, looking gorgeous.

The judges lived for everything Art did in the finale, looking stunning on the runway and nailing the performance. Ru praised her as the future of drag and ugh, I love her. Michelle lived for Karen’s Elvis style look in the performance, with them all loving her runway. Kita too was praised for everything she did, with Michelle loving her singing voice and living for how diverse she has been throughout the season. And how she has slayed the entire time (kinda proving her bottom placement was bogus). Scarlet too received universal praise, killing the dance moves and looking stunning in the finale. And then Ru gushed about everything she has done.

Art was first to give advice to her younger self, learning from her chat with Ru and Michelle, telling his younger self to look after himself as well as others. And to wear his fucking retainer. Karen told herself to remember that love will always be in her life and to power through the moments she doesn’t feel it. Cute young Kita was told to grow from her weird relationship with herself but to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel and know that you have strength to get through anything. Bringing everyone to tears. Scarlet meanwhile cautioned herself to own her mistakes and use them to grow. And that she is worthy of love and isn’t alone.

When it came to laying claim to the crown, Art pointed out that she has been a champion for Down Under Drag her entire career and wants to invest in its future. Oh and just fucking loves drag. Karen said that she is the future of drag and a little bit of coin would really help her grow. Kita spoke about how drag has shaped her entire life and wanted to make Ru proud, as the victorious music started to play. And Scarlet said that she has proven her versatility and won the most challenges and would love to continue to push drag into the mainstream.

We didn’t get to see what went down backstage, but the top four exited as the judges deliberated and then returned to learn that they were required to complete the final lip sync solo, one after the other, to ONJ’s Physical. Which is truly iconic. Scarlet channeled sexy, Karen cleaned her glasses, Kita was filthy and ridiculous while Art was truly polished. But let’s be honest Kita’s sexed up ridiculous performance, complete with rubber gloves to give the judges a literal  physical was far and away the best performance.

And thankfully, she rightfully was crowned and we didn’t have to suffer through another Bimini situation!

That being said, the finale really cemented my love for Karen from Finance. She was vulnerable, polished and like Ru and Michelle, I feel the next two years are going to push her further than she could even imagine.

As we sobbed in each other’s arms after I gushed about her performance, I remembered that losing isn’t the new winning and as such, she needed something to sweeten the deal. Which thankfully, is where my Carrot From Finance Cake comes in to play.

Full disclosure, carrot cake is my favourite cake. Most likely because of its pairing with cream cheese icing. That being said, the sight of carrot in raw cake batter is kind of disturbing but work through it. Spiced, moist and fluffy, this truly is culinary perfection.

Enjoy!

Carrot From Finance Cake
Serves: 8-12, greed dependent.

Ingredients
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
200g raw caster sugar
200g muscovado sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
300g carrots, grated and peeled
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
350g butter, at room temperature
800g icing sugar
100g pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line the bottom of two 22cm cake tins with baking paper and greasing up the edges.

Working with two bowls, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in one and the oil, sugars, one teaspoon of the vanilla and eggs in the other, whisking well to combine. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones until a smooth batter forms. Followed by the carrots.

Divide the batter between the tins and bake for about 45 minutes, or until springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for ten minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the cakes are chill, place the cream cheese, butter and remaining vanilla in a stand mixer and beat for a couple of minutes, or until fluffy. Fold through the icing sugar, and return to the mixer for a couple of minutes or until smooth and velvety.

To ice, dollop a bit of icing on the top of one of the cakes and smooth to form a ½-1 centimetre layer of icing. Top with the second cake and use the remaining icing to cover the surroundings. Decorate with the chopped nuts before placing in the fridge for an hour or so to set.

Then, confusingly, remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving and then devour. 

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