Michaela Bradshortcake

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously – slash a minute ago – on Survivor, it became exceedingly more obvious that Sarah was sliding her way to victory, despite Cirie’s killer display. While everyone was against Brad for the entire episode, Andrea stuck her neck out one time too many and found herself sent to the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Aubry apologised to Brad for being the only person remaining that voted for him last tribal. She then acknowledged the elephant in the room, that if you align with her you end up voted out … or near death. She then broke down about having had such a rollercoaster day what with winning immunity and being blindsided, before winning Tai’s affection back and making Cirie wary of Tai’s social game.

Probst quickly returned for the second immunity challenge of the episode, the Darrah Johnson-Shane Powers memorial pour-water-in-the-hole-to-float-a-key-high-enough-to-retrieve-it. Don’t blame me for the title, I was experiencing PTSD by proxy for Cirie.

Michaela got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Troyzan, Aubry and Brad, who made quick work using the key to unlock their puzzle pieces. Given how confusing the puzzle was, Sarah, Tai and Cirie all caught up before Brad found a hole that he couldn’t fill. Michaela thought she had it, which she didn’t before kicking the puzzle … giving enough time for Brad to fill that hole and snatch immunity.

Brad then celebrated and / or through a tantrum, almost channelling Mr. This-Is-My-Island, Troyzan.

Back at camp the Troyzan and Tai were feeling uncomfortable, since the target was immune … despite both of them being in possession of an idol, or two if you’re Tai. Tai approached Aubry about needing to make some moves if they are going to make it to the end, both agreeing that Sarah is currently the one to beat.

Aubry then told Cirie, who went straight back to Sarah who refused to believe that Aubry was telling the truth. Wanting to solidify her loyalty, Sarah decided to give up the extra vote advantage to Cirie. Cirie, being the crafty kween that she is, debating the merits on hanging on to it, or playing it despite the fact Sarah didn’t want to, to protect Sarah from herself and Tai.

Cirie then clued Michaela in on what was happening, with both of them agreeing that Cirie needed to use Sarah’s vote steal to steal Sarah’s own vote to take out Tai … by lulling him into a false sense of security to not play an idol by saying she is doing it to save him. This is some next level inception bullshit right here and if she pulls it off, she is the first in line to Sandra’s throne in the line of procession.

Giving future players a masterclass on how to manipulate people, Cirie pulled Tai aside and played him like a fiddle. I mean, the voice quivering, the panic, the concern?! I love Cirie.

We then arrived at tribal council where Sarah spoke about the mad scrambling that occurred post challenge. Cirie and Brad agreed that everyone was lying to someone and that they need to cut through that, to which Michaela disagreed. Tai then acknowledged that he always gives people the benefit of the doubt and that it could lead to his downfall.

Troyzan sounded like he’s been hurt one too many times in the game, which after being schooled by Kim I assume he has. Michaela then brought up the ‘we’ again before we headed off to vote … but wait, Cirie pulled out the vote steal! Sadly for her, she didn’t read the fine print saying that it could not be transferred.

She was then chastised by Probst and Sarah, for outing the fact she was going to make a huge move but actually couldn’t. And as has become the tradition of Game Changers, Sarah then whispered something in Tai’s ear, before Cirie pulled Sarah aside to tell her she was trying to use it to save her, which Michaela jumped up to agree with. Troyzan then tried to eavesdrop, earning the wrath of Michaela who did not have time for his shit.

Aubry then joined the fray and things started to calm down and everyone returned to their seats … until Sarah got back up to  talk to Tai, with Cirie whispering in the other ear. Cirie then went to Michaela, while Tai went back to talking to Sarah … before the latter decided to just use the advantage, take Tai’s vote and get this over with.

Despite snatching Tai’s vote, Sarah didn’t join Aubry and Michaela in voting out Tai, instead joining Brad and Troyzan to blindside Michaela. While it wasn’t as exciting as her previous exit, the tribal build up was even more exciting and she ended with you do you, boo … which is amazing.

Make no mistake, Michaela is a total sass queen … but she was feeling a little bit salty, having been booted from Survivor twice in the space of a few months. That being said, it is hard to stay salty when you fill up on my Michaela Bradshortcake!

 

 

I know that the doll/TV show firmly pushes for the strawberry version of these delights, I have a strong aversion to the feel of them on my tongue and therefore avoid them at most costs. I mean, I’ll eat them but they are not my first through fifth choice.

Plus, how do you go wrong with apple, walnut and cinnamon? Exactly, you can’t – enjoy!

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3-4 apples, cored and finely diced
juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
kosher salt
85g cold unsalted butter
1 ½ cup double cream
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 egg

Method
Combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ¼ cup raw caster sugar to combine. Cover and allow to steep for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add 1 cup cream and walnuts, and stir with a fork until it just starts to come together.

Form the dough into large lime-sized balls and press to flatten on a lined baking tray, repeating the process until done.

Whisk the egg, brush each biscuit/scone and bake until golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for half an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Half the biscuit and top with some apple and cream. Close the biscuit … and because I really like to load up on the toppings, add some more apple, cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Andrea Gumboehlke

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Officer Sarah shared information of her vote steal advantage with kween Cirie, winning her and I over. Wanting in on the action Sierra then shared information about the legacy advantage with Sarah, which backfired as Sarah targeted her to get a hold of the advantage – successfully blindsiding Sierra and securing the advantage for herself over Sierra’s closest ally Brad.

Maku Maku returned to camp where Aubry, Andrea, Cirie and Michaela were shocked about why Sarah pretended to be shocked about Sierra getting the boot. This made Andrea nervous and immediately want to target her, on the flipside Cirie was keen to keep her on side and take her to the end as a goat.

The next day Sarah then explained how the legacy advantage worked, none the wiser that we already know about said advantage from Jessica and my wet-dream Kengel last season. Her reenactment of her shocked face was on point though, before gloating about her total of two advantages. Which she plans to use to get rid of Andrea ASAP.

Given that it is a double boot, Probst jumped straight into the action for the first immunity challenge of the episode – the classic house of cards challenge … though this time it was on a balancing table.

Aubry got out to an early lead after finally joining the season, casually chatting about her boyfriend (the insufferable) Cochran. Michaela and Andrea caught up, before quickly dropping out. Brad dropped his stack, as did Cirie and Sarah, while Aubry continued to dominate with a slow and steady wins the race mentality. Michaela and Troyzan caught up, then dropped … seriously this is boring commentary, no? Despite needing to take cards off to get enough height, Aubry took out the challenge – and almost Probst with that hug – breaking the time record by over ten minutes.

The tribe returned to camp, mystified by Aubry’s mad skillz and probably wondering why she was allowed to enter the game on day 33. Cirie and her mob got together to lock in the vote against Brad. Proving to still be as tone deaf as always, Michaela went to find Brad and direct him to stop looking for an idol and to instead go fishing.

Yeah he took it as a threat and it was, but Monica would totally go fish for everyone as she is such a nice, neat lady.

Andrea tried to get Aubry and Cirie to turn on Sarah as the biggest threat over the boys, which backfired as Cirie went to Sarah and floated the idea of getting rid of Andrea instead of Brad.

With that little bit of confusion, we arrived at tribal where Aubry spoke about the ‘we’ being a bit more solid these days, to which Sarah agreed that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. On the flipside, Troyzan argued that given he has zero options (or chance at winning) – sorry Kass, he took your Spencer-appointed title – if anyone flipped to him, they’d have the most loyal ally ever. Forever, BFFs.

While Aubry agreed, she noted that with eight people left there is still a lot that could happen. Cirie and Andrea spoke about the lack of pre-tribal scrambling … which I assumed was just cut because of the double boot. Brad agreed that he didn’t scramble with Andrea, figuring that since he’s voted against her twice now, she wouldn’t be interested. Sarah then started her jury speech a few tribals too early and reiterated that when she was a juror, she rewarded gameplay and would like the jury to reward her for voting all of them out. Which Aubry countered with the fact you need to make an emotional connection, which is what she lacked in Kaoh Rong and lost her the game.

As they went to vote, Brad gave a last ditch plea for the majority to think about the fact that one of them will go out fifth, inevitably regretting not taking out their alliance earlier. Whether it was Brad’s work or not, Cirie, Sarah and Michaela all flipped to the minority to take out Andrea … blindsiding Aubry and earning Cirie and playful tickle on the way out the door.

Say what you will, girl sure can handle a blindside with grace and a smile.

Given that both Dre Dre and i are beloved members of the media, it is obvious that we’d be the dearest of friends. And so I knew that despite loving the chance to be slaughtered by kween Cirie, she would be sad and in desperate need of a Andrea Gumboehlke.

 

 

Hot and spicy, yet creamy and smooth – this baby has everything you need to be a successful Survivor contestant slash friend.

Enjoy!

While it is obvious … who will join me next?

 

 

Andrea Gumboehlke
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1kg boneless chicken thighs
vegetable oil
500g smoked chorizo, cut into thick coins
⅓ cup plain flour
2 onions, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 green capsicum, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup okra, thickly sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp filé powder

Method
Combine 1 tablespoon of salt with the pepper, paprika and cayenne and toss through the thighs, until coated.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven and add the chicken and chorizo, stirring to brown the edges but don’t worry about being too pedantic. Transfer the browned meat to a plate to rest and bring the liquid to the boil.

Add the flour and whisk until it is chocolate coloured, 15 minutes should do. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions, before cooking for ten minutes. Add the shallots, celery, capsicum and garlic, and cook for a further ten minutes.

Whisk in the broth, add the bay leaves, thyme and reserved meat and bring to the boil. When going nuts, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Stir in the okra, Worcestershire, hot sauce and filé powder, and cook for a further hour. Remove from the heat, season to taste … and then devour with steamed rice and plenty more hot sauce.

 

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David Croissant

Baking, Breakfast, Main, Side, Snack

As disappointing as it was to have series star – and my now current feud partner – Jason Bateman steal the announcement of Arrested Development season 5, seeing my boy Dave quickly cheered me up and helped me focus on positive things.

(Though obvi, revenge is still a possibility if I’m not cast as a missing Bluth).

I’ve known Dave for years, having met in the writers room of The Ben Stiller Show where I took him under my wing and made him my protege. Then I got fired, which resulted in me becoming ineligible for the writing Emmy that David went on to win with the rest of our co-workers in 1993. Obviously I held a grudge against all of them, but I particularly felt hurt by Dave and spent the next few years trying to bring him down.

Thankfully for my conscience, it didn’t work … and it also made Anna Faris’ job to reunite us on the set of Scary Movie 2, that little bit easier. Fun fact: helping us mend our mostly-one-sided feud inspired her to create her hit podcast Unqualified, but I digress.

With our friendship restored, I put his name forward for the small part of Tobias on that little show Arrested Development and the rest, as they say, is history.

Given that we haven’t seen each other since I caused a scene at the premiere of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – Jesse McCartney knows what he did – we had plenty to catch-up on.

I knew that we’d stay up all night chatting, so had pre-prepared a batch of David Croissants to help perk us up the next morning.

 

 

I have long loved croissants but the idea of making them had always terrified me. That is until I saw the hilarious – despite the insufferable children – It’s Complicated and fell in love with the scene of Mez and Steve making them.

While I in no way made the process look as glamourous as a Nora Ephron movie, these babies taste as buttery and delicious as you need. And can help you move past having your big announcement moment stolen by a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

David Croissant
Serves: 6-12, hunger/greed dependent.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups milk, 41°C
¼ cup muscovado sugar
14g dry yeast
4 ½ cups plain flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
340g cold unsalted butter

Method
Ok, let’s start with the obvious part – this is a long-ass recipe and you need to start preparing it the day before. Maybe get a coffee and read through before you start it, ok?

Anywho … combine the warm milk, muscovado sugar and yeast in a large bowl of a stand mixer and allow to stand until foamy. This should take between five and ten minutes. Once foamy than a foam party – if they are/ever were a thing – add the flour and salt, and mix on low with a dough hook for about ten minutes, or until smooth, soft and only a little bit sticky. Like sticky in a good way, you know?

Shape into a 4cm thick rectangle, wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

Now this is where it gets time consuming and fiddly …

Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and beat mercilessly with a rolling pin until cold yet malleable, before shaping into a 20 x 12cm rectangle. Wrap in some wet kitchen towel and chill while you work on the dough. For the first time.

On that note, unwrap the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it forms a 25 x 40cm rectangle. Place the dough with the shortest end to you and place the butter across the centre. Fold the bottom third of dough up to cover the butter and the top third down over the done.

Brush off the excess flour before pressing horizontally dents along the short width of the  dough. Roll out the dough until it forms a 25 x 40cm rectangle without allowing any butter to escape.

Brush off excess flour, repeat the folding-into-thirds process to form a 20 x 12cm rectangle. Wrap in cling and chill for a further hour.

Repeat the dent, roll, tri-fold process a further three times, so it totals 4 folds. Confused? This is why I told you to grab a coffee and read it out – it is not as confusing in practice. After the final fold, wrap the dough and chill overnight for at least 8 hours.

To prepare the actual croissants – did you forget we were making those – cut the dough in half (chilling the other half until later). Roll out the non-chilling dough on a lightly floured surface until it forms a 30 x 40cm rectangle and brush off the excess flour. Arrange the shortest side of the dough to you, cut in half horizontally and chill another half. Cut the remaining half into thirds, vertically before cutting each rectangle diagonally into triangles.

Starting with the shortest side (aka the base) of the triangle – opposite the tip – and stretch the dough to double the length. Place the triangle on the bench and roll up from the base towards the tip – it should roll over itself three times. Place the shaped croissant on a lined baking sheet, tip side down and curve the ends inwards to form the crescent shape.

Repeat that process with the remaining triangles, then repeat the previous process with the other rolled rectangle, then repeat the process with the other half of chilling go. By the end, you’ll feel less confused … promise. Ish.

Lightly cover the shaped croissants with cling wrap and leave to rest for two to three hours or until puffy.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Uncover the croissants, generously spritz the oven more than a fading southern belle in the summer. Put the croissants in the oven, spritz the oven again and close the door. Reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for ten minutes. Switch the trays – I probs should have mentioned you will have filled two trays with croissants – and spin 180°C before baking a further ten minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and devour immediately with jam, or with ham and cheese and baked a further five minutes.

 

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Sierra Dawn-Hummus

Condiment, Dip, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Brad, Sierra, Tai and Troyzan were feeling helpless as kween Cirie kept her mafia in line. Thankfully for them, Andrea decided that she needed to take out Zeke – aka one of their own – before he got the chance to flip the tables on them, sending him out of the game as the fourth juror.

We opened up after tribal, as we usually do, with Tai and Brad confused about what happened to save him. Tai doubly so, since his alliance had all voted for him rather than Zeke.

Michaela was feeling uneasy about how quickly their new majority had turned on each other, though Cirie was able to reassure her and push forward with splitting up the Sierra-Brad pair to ensure nobody flips on her.

Speaking of Sierra, she was feeling like she had nothing to lose and approached Sarah to find a way in which concerningly involved her sharing the fact she owned a legacy advantage and that she would give it to Sarah if she were to be voted out. I mean, why tell her she would get it if she booted you … that is damn tempting!

Speaking of temptations, Probsty appeared for the reward challenge where they competed for a good old fashioned, U S of A BBQ – obvi, with all the fixin’s – and LOVE. Yep, it is the loved one’s visit!

Breaking down before her partner even came out to be creeped on by Sierra – but damn, she right – Sarah’s man was here and provided an update on how her son was going. Keeping with the crying theme, Andrea’s mum arrived and told a story of Andrea’s deceased sister who had encouraged her to apply.

Thankfully Aubry and her sister were just adorkable and didn’t make me cry.

Sierra’s dad made his second loved one’s appearance talking about the high level of competition this season, despite having zero intell on what had actually gone down. Michaela and her mum were completely adorable and went a long ways to humanise her to her tribemates.

Troyzan was concerned that his brother wouldn’t RSVP yes to the invite, though obvi he did. Making chickens everywhere jealous, Tai’s partner Mark was here and shock of all shocks was a total daddy. And I hate the term daddy.

Rounding out the visits, the swellest, runner-up to ever exist, the neat lady herself MONICA f*^%#@)g CULPEPPER appeared to remind us about how much the Culpepper’s are couple goals and Cirie’s recently graduated son … who I was expecting to be the King of loved ones, HB. As sweet as the son was, I live for Cirie treating HB like an employee to conserve energy.

With that, the tribe was split into three teams to compete in an aquatic obstacle course before digging a gap under a log to climb under before untangling some knots to release keys that open a chest of bags to knock down a tower.

Brad, Andrea and Aubry got out to an early lead, which never really dissipated securing my girl Monnie with some more screen time, isn’t that neat? Obviously Probst gave them the chance to share their reward, which they gave to the obvious choices of Cirie and Sarah. I mean, they both need to see and/or hear about their sons. Brad and Mon quickly got to work hosting the BBQ and running strategy, I assume after decorating the table and being adorbs.

Back and camp Michaela was feeling sore – maybe or maybe not because she quick a wooden crate after losing – about not being chosen, talking to Tai about how much she wanted to see her mum. Up from the beach, Sierra and Troyzan reaffirmed their allegiance to each other and plotted to use Michaela’s anger to flip her to them, Tai and Brad.

Not mucking about, Probst returned for the immunity challenge where they had to balance on a narrow perch whilst holding a buoy between two sticks. Yep – poles, balls … we’re in for some good cum-entary.  Aubry and Sierra quickly dropped out, followed by Andrea, Sierra, Cirie and Troyzan. Sadly, no ball dropping jokes or mentions of keeping your pole firm to work the balls.

Nothing – I’ve had it!

After a long struggle, Michaela finally dropped leaving us with a battle between Tai and Brad, with the latter taking out their first ever individual immunity victory ever. I assume, because that is totally something my neat lady Monica, would do. Hashtag, what would Monica do.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Brad on his victory, despite the fact it ruined the majority’s plan to boot him. They quickly flipped the plan to Sierra, with Tai and Michaela secretly playing the middle weighing up whether to target Sierra with the majority or Andrea with the current minority.

Aubry and Sarah went for a walk to discuss getting rid of Sierra, with Sarah confirming my earlier concerns for the legacy advantage discussion and saying that she wants to get rid of her, without her realising she is involved to ensure she gets the legacy advantage. NEVER tell anyone you have an advantage if you’re desperate.

Sarah then shared this news with Michaela, potentially swinging her back to their side.

At tribal council Andrea spoke about the loved ones visit and how she was concerned that she had to leave people out, which Aubry agreed with. Probst threw some shade at Culpepper’s first big win of his Survivor career, Sierra tried to throw Andrea under the bus as the threat, who in turn turned the attention on the underdogs, who could sneak by and take the win.

Sarah was confident in the majority but elusively questioned whether the deck had been reshuffled … again. Michaela agreed that “we” is always changing in Survivor, spooking Andrea. Sierra and Andrea then acknowledged that it was one or the other, as they headed to vote.

After a lot of we talk in the confessionals, Sierra found out she was not a part of the Trump-esque piss-play as she was booted from the game. Despite not covering her tracks as well as she could have, Sarah acted shocked enough for Sierra to will her the legacy advantage … though looked to spook Andrea in the process.

My dear barrell racing queen took her exit in her stride, despite the obvious disappointment. While I found Sierra dragging the hateful morons to the end of Worlds Apart completely awful, Joegel convinced me she was ok and we’ve been friends ever since.

Given that she has been relatively dominant this season, I felt I needed to make my shade up to her so whipped up a delightfully charming Sierra Dawn-Hummus.

 

 

I’m not the biggest fan of hummus, but throw in some some pumpkin and i’m on that like white on rice … or more easily to understand, a fat kid on cake. Sweet, earthy and spicy, this is the perfect dip to work through the pain of a second career boot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sierra Dawn-Hummus
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
half a butternut pumpkin, seeded and cut into 1-2cm dice
olive oil
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic, peeled
zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray with a good lug of olive oil and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and caramelised.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blitz with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Season and quickly blitz again and serve with a sprinkling of cumin … before devouring.

 

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Chicken Kiev Schreiber

Main, Poultry

Oh how I have missed my dear friend Liev! Thankfully while we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years, it’s always like no time has passed at all when we do – the power of best friendships, I guess.

As you know, I met Li on the set of Scream and despite only having the briefest of cameos, his talent caught my eye and we became the dearest of friends. I fostered his talent and wisely navigated the earlier stages of his career, landing him the role of Orson Welles in RKO 281 which resulted in his first Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

Li was super thankful for my help and despite not agreeing to marry me to secure my green card, he did agree to give back to the Australian film industry … of which I am obviously at the heart.

FYI, that explains him agreeing to star in Mental.

We haven’t caught up since he separated from Naomi, so he was really happy to finally be able to talk to me about how he was feeling and the boys are handling everything. The cynic in me also thought that maybe he was hoping to guilt me into watching Ray Donovan, but not even concern for my friend can move past that accent.

Given that the break-up is still so recent, I knew he would need something warm and lovely to cheer him up, so quickly whipped up a Chicken Kiev Schreiber as we caught up.

 

 

Now you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love flavour to smack me harder than a donkey punch, so this little baby is packed to the brim with garlic. Add in the smokiness of the bacon, the fresh herbs and the zing of the lemon and everything just sings.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Kiev Schreiber
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
olive oil
4 chicken breasts
plain flour, for dredging
2 eggs, whisked
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place the garlic, parsley, zest and butter in a bowl, and mix until well combined. Transfer to some cling wrap and wrap into a neat, long tube and transfer to the freezer while you prepare the rest.

Fry the bacon in a pan over medium heat until lightly crisped. Remove to kitchen towel and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Working one breast at a time, pull back the loose fillet on the bottom of the breast and slice a lengthways pocket.

Remove the butter from the freezer and cut into 4 equal pieces.

Open the pockets in the chicken and insert a piece of bacon and butter in each, cover the whole with the loose fillet. Place flour, eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Coat each Kiev in flour, dust off, coat in egg and then – you guessed it – coat in the breadcrumbs before transferring to a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve immediately, with copious amounts of mashed potato for maximum comfort.

 

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Deetroot Harper Salad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on … hang the fuck up, what is this fresh hell. Where am I? It walks like a duck, acts like a duck but sounds like a moa! I’ve been bamboozled, and this is Survivor New Zealand!

In any event we are in Nicoooraaaguuua, where we first met Lou who channelled me and had zero idea about basic global geography. Next up we met the funny and charming Dee which sounds more ironic, and Tony who was cool with spiders and Sala who most definitely was not.

The castaways were trucked on to the beach where Shannon the zookeeper quickly won me over with her super fandom before the host – my frenemy Matt Chisholm – butchered the pronunciation of Nicaragua for the second time, as he welcomed the castaways.

We once again got some facetime with Dee who was thrilled to be here and face a tribal council before announcing she was thrilled to play as the villain, cementing her as my red-hot favourite for first boot.

Mike however wasn’t convinced Dee would (last long enough to) be the villain, Nathan didn’t like his chances in challenges and Tony mumbled his way through something … I think about being a provider but I honestly have no idea.

Immediately overtaking Shannon as my fave, we were introduced to Hannah the plus-sized model, roller derby competitor and power lifter – fucking swoon! Matt then christened her the queen of the Mogotón tribe – in addition to my heart – joined by Avi, Izzy, Lou, spider-fearing Sala, Shay, Tom and spider-loving Tony.

On the flipside, Barb was thrilled to be a part of the purple tribe aka Hermosa, as was Georgia who just felt like it was better for her while poor Nate had zero interest in the tribe since he felt he better connected with people on the other tribe. They were joined by Jak, Lee, Mike, Nate, Shannon and the infamous Dee.

After Tom lamented that all the people he connected with landed on the other tribe also, begging the question – is this actually day one? – my boy kiwi Probst dropped the bomb that both tribes would be joining him later that night to vote out a member each. Dum, dum, duuuummmm – that sounds ominous, no?

Everyone was rightly concerned about the twist, realising they’ve given up more than a month of their lives to spend less time on the island than Jonathan and Wanda. I wonder if one of the first boots will write us a song?

Wanting to give us some instant drama, Matt announced that the tribes could loot as many of the items placed they had scattered around the beach in a set amount of time which I can not for the life of me remember, so let’s say it was two minutes. Or one. I don’t know, I was drunkenly heckling from the back of the truck they just rolled up in.

Izzy was quick to play dirty – or heroically if you frame it like Rupert being a pirate in Pearl Islands – and stole the items from the other tribes’ mat while they weren’t looking which upset Lee … which in turn made me happy as he shared his pain with a camera angle clearly framing his crotch.

Lee was not alone, with the entire Hermosa tribe well pissed leaving Izzy to have immediate regret for her actions and attempt to give them a pity knife which Lee tossed back to her … and then Nate told Jak to go get back. It was as odd as it sounds.

Mogotón arrived at camp with their abundance of goods slash collection of throwing knives, where Tony was quick to take on the role of leader and share his wealth of survival knowledge, rubbing his tribe mates the wrong way during his monologue. Avi however wasn’t bothered by his assertive behaviour or the casual sexism, given that it keeps the target off him.

Hannah continued her assault on my heart by killing a crab and complaining about Tom underestimating her because of her weight, rather than trusting that she is strong. Izzy and Shay were also concerned about Tom’s shiftiness and the three agreed to blindside him at tribal that night. She then worked her ass off lugging rocks everywhere and almost single-handedly built the camp. Kween.

Shay then approached Sala to join her and the girls but was swiftly and sadly rebuked, with Sala telling her that Tom and Avi want Hannah or Izzy out at tribal that night and he was on board.

Over at Hermosa, Dee took a leaf out of Tony’s book and decided to appoint herself leader before outlining her extensive preparation – to us – to appear nice. She then got to work aligning with Shannon and Georgia, both of whom had little interest in aligning with her.

Proving that she gives zero fucks for the aforementioned alliance, Georgia immediately approached Mike to form an actual alliance … though was so obvious about it, she spooked Lee. Mike then pulled Nate aside about aligning with Shannon and Georgia, putting the final kibosh on poor Dee’s alliance. Then Barb put the final nail in Dee’s coffin and confirmed that she didn’t trust her and wanted her gone ASAP.

Nate however was less convinced that the alliance would hold due to his age, before being proven right when Shannon and Georgia introduced casual ageism to the episode. Sensing trouble, Dee attempted to channel Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine and told Mike she was willing to vote anyone other than her before throwing Barb’s name out and continuing the ageism.

Back at Mogotón, Shay pulled Hannah aside and told her that the tribe were planning to target either her or Izzy. Izzy pulled Sala aside and gave a less than rousing speech about how Hannah may be weak but she is also strong and that they should target Tom, which is the perfect way to segway into the first tribal councils of Survivor NZ.

Mogotón were first up, where Tom felt it was rough that someone would have to go home on day one which Lou agreed with before adding they’ve barely had the opportunity to get to know people. Hannah continued to win me over, imploring people not to trust a book by its cover while casually dropping all her skills into a single sentence. Avi made an early play for worst deflector at tribal council, saying that he can’t have everyone’s back when asked point blank if he had Hannah’s. Oy.

Tony proved that he was more self-aware than I gave him credit for, saying that people had been biting their lip around him before outing the fact that alliances have been formed despite any and all denials. Sala spoke about his integrity before Izzy spoke about feeling uneasy after giving up the knife that she stole from the other tribe … before Matt reminded us they were playing for the runner-up prize of O.G. Survivor as they headed in to vote, incorrectly folding the parchment.

Sadly as quickly as she won my heart, Hannah became the first boot of Survivor NZ before Matt quickly ushered in Hermosa to claim his next scalp.

Hermosa were quick to address the fact that they were naive to trust the other tribe at the looting before Georgia spoke about how much she loved everyone, to which Matt – winning me back over in the process – called bullshit. Shannon name checked Heroes vs. Villains before Matt checked in with resident villain Dee, who was quick to disassociate herself from her previous assertions. Lee danced around Matt’s questions about alliances before Dee jumped back in to spook the sensors as they went to vote.

As predicted – YAS me – poor Dee became the first person voted out of Hermosa and the second person voted out of Survivor NZ … or is she? Yep, the sound you’re currently hearing is Survivor fans across the globe screaming about the return of redemption island … though yay, Hannah is still here! Silver linings, people!

Anyway back at camp, Hermosa got to work building a fire, blissfully unaware that Dee was still alive in the game, plotting her revenge. Over at Mogotón, Tony wasn’t having as much luck proving his worth slash making fire, while Shay spoke about how guilty she felt for voting against Hannah.

The next day Hermosa got to work expanding their shelter before sitting down to an ill-advised meal of rotten fruit. Meanwhile Izzy had fallen ill at Mogotón and was questioning quitting on day two – maybe she ate some of the rotten fruit – proving once again that they should have kept Hannah in the game.

Speaking of Hannah, both tribes were finally clued in to the fact that she and Dee were not out of the game – yet – and that they were about to compete in the first redemption island duel, a classic where they both had to work a big strong pole, stick it into a hole and release themselves from behind a cage.

Hannah got out to an early lead, snagging the first two keys before Dee had even managed to work up a pole. Despite a valiant effort from Dee to even things up, Hannah secured the third and final key, released herself and sent Dee packing as the first official elimination of the season.

Despite feeling upset to become the first boot, Dee was ok with the fact when she spotted me in loser lodge. You see, I connected with Survivor superfan Dee when she briefly stalked this here patch of cyber-space as part of her weekly Survivor media coverage. Being desperate for even the faintest whiff of positive attention, I started a Fame Hungry fan club for her and made her the president and founding member.

The dish we served at her inauguration brunch – and to cheer her up post boot? Obvi my roasted Deetroot Harper Salad.

 

 

This little baby goes a long way to proving the ancient Australian proverb “you can beat an egg, but ya’ can’t beat a root” correct because these roots are bloody stunning. Sweet, warm beetroot, creamy feta and the tart balsamic are perfectly complemented by the crunch of walnut and pepitas.

To the kitchen, ya … enjoy!

 

 

Deetroot Harper Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 large beetroot
200g danish feta, crumbled
½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
⅓ cup pepitas, roasted
2 cups baby spinach
a lug of balsamic vinegar, to taste
a lug of olive oil, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Wash the beetroot, roughing up the skin a bit as you go. Wrap each in foil, place on a lined baking tray and bake for an hour.

While the beetroot is cooking, combine the feta, walnuts, pepitas and spinach in a large bowl. Add a lug of balsamic and olive oil, season and toss.

When the beetroot are done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes. Unwrap the foil and gently rub the skin away from the beetroot – which it should do, but if not peel them now – cut into large chunks and toss through the salad.

Serve with the beetroot still warm and devour.

 

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The killer is Cotton fucking Weary

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Oh my poor sweet, dear Liev Schreiber – he and is namesake Cotton were not in fact the killer in any of the Scream movies … but didn’t he play a beautiful anti-hero?

Now i’m going to share a dark part of my history with you, so please be kind – I am actually the inspiration for Sidney Prescott. You see, while a teen in the ‘80s I was targeted by multiple killers and became known as the scream queen of Tweed (aka Porpoise Spit).

I sold my story to Tracy Grimshaw as a Grimmer’s exclusive, who in turn sold the rights off to Kevin Williamson leading to the franchise we’ve come to know as Scream.

While I became close friends with all of the cast while working on set as a consultant, I quickly bonded with my boy Liev Schreiber due to the beautiful way he toed the line between framed creep and innocent victim.

Plus, I heard he was into Australians and was keen to for a green card.

Anyway, he gave me a buzz over the weekend and sounded desperate to reconnect. What says I’m not loving Ray Donovan … but if you play your cards right, I could be convinced to keep going with it?

Image source: FOX.

 

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Zekeshuka Smith

Breakfast, Main, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Zeke and Andrea continued to feud, Debbie was confident that the power alliance of six would hold strong with Sarah on board … which of course meant it didn’t, with Sarah joining with Aubry and Cirie to mend the previously mentioned feud and blindside my dear Debs.

Back at camp, Brad congratulated the ex-minority on a killer blindside before – shockingly – privately telling us that he and his alliance were now kinda, sorta definitely screwed. Sarah was very quick to take the blame/credit for flipping, hoping the jury would reward her for making a move to better herself.

The new minority then joined together to congratulate each other in hushed tones and received kisses from the kween … which hopefully aren’t mob related, giving how Aubry views her.

Jiffy Pop quickly arrived for the reward challenge where – again, shockingly (which is clearly my descriptor for the recap) – the tribe was split into two teams to compete for an overnight resort and feast reward.

While Michaela got the orange team out to a quick lead in a challenge she dominated last season, the blue team quickly caught Brad up when pulling him up – yes, up – the wall to grab numbered puzzle pieces. Troy caught the orange team up, before Sarah brought the blue back in front … though thankfully for both teams, the physical aspect was completely irrelevant, as they struggled with the word puzzle FOR CLOSE TO AN HOUR.

Thankfully Andrea put us out of our misery and picked up on Jeff’s exceedingly more obvious clues, solving the puzzle and snagging victory for herself, Brad, Sarah, Aubry and Zeke.

At reward the victors quickly snagged themselves a drink and gorged on the feast splayed out on a lazy susan. Is that last part important? No … but they made a point to acknowledge it. Continuing in his tradition from last season, Zeke and Brad started discussing football which immediately made Andrea wary.

Meanwhile the losers back at camp were looking like absolute crap. I mean, no offence … but they truly looked wrecked. Troyzan made a game reappearance and lamented being on the bottom with Tai – which sounds great – neither acknowledging their idols to the other.

The victors returned to camp looking refreshed like the after-shots of a makeover however Aubry too was starting to worry about Zeke and Brad’s bonding. Andrea and Cirie quickly went aside to discuss making a move against Zeke, which Cirie was completely on board with given the fact he knows more about the game than her despite it being her fourth time out.

Cirie then tackled their biggest hurdle and pulled Officer Sarah aside to get rid of Sarah’s closest alliance on the island. Sarah then shared her vote steal advantage with Cirie as a way to throw the target off Zeke … before sharing with us that she is willing to flip back to the other side if it she thought it was better for her.

The next day Zeke was feeling uncomfortable by the eerie calmness of camp before going on a walk with Sarah and outlining how the remainder of the game would play out for them. Potentially proving Cirie’s point, Zeke then told her that he wanted to propose a final five alliance between them, Brad, Troyzan and Michaela … before running straight to the boys to tell them he’s saved them from the next day.

Wanting to help put us out of our misery, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge where they each have to line up blocks on a moving bar set up over a trip obstacle, that will ultimately – hopefully – knock a gong at the end. While everyone got out to a strong start, Brad was the first to drop all of his blocks before Andrea just edged out in front with Sarah and Michaela and snatched individual immunity again.

Back at camp, Andrea was feeling confident enough from her victory to take out Zeke, rather than sticking with the easy option of Sierra. While she could quickly get Cirie on board, they were both concerned about how to convince Sarah it was the best way.

Sierra then appeared as they started to talk about potentially getting her on board to vote for Zeke, which she obviously agreed to before they even finished their sentence. Sarah then dropped by to test their fears and while she wasn’t thrilled about it, she semi-agreed to the plan despite not liking Andrea’s cockiness.

With that, Andrea approached Aubry and Michaela who were thrilled and concerned about the plan respectively. Michaela and Sarah then spoke about their concerns with the plan and confirmed themselves as the swing votes at tribal.

At tribal Sarah confirmed she was the reason Debbie was voted out, resulting in her flipping the bird from the jury box. Tai lamented feeling uneasy for the first time in his two seasons, while Brad and Sierra were concerned about being the newest bottom. Andrea and Michaela spoke about the new majority sticking together, with the latter adding that now isn’t the right time to make a move given how close the numbers were.

There was talk of the heart and relationships, the need to make friends, constantly running the numbers, bottoming and treating people like chess pieces leaving me mildly confused as they headed to vote. Thankfully though it didn’t take long for the confusion to dissipate as the votes rolled in for Zeke and he found himself becoming the fourth member of the jury as Michaela – not Sarah – sobbed from the bench.

As you know, I’ve known Zeke for a couple of years after I began coaching his improv group – hey, when you know Teens and Ames it is your civic duty – so he was so thrilled to see a familiar face in loser lodge – again – after his back-to-back losses.

Thankfully though Zeke is such a positive guy and knows that it is just a game, so we didn’t dwell on his Game Changers experience and instead focused our energy on devouring some Zekeshuka Smith.

 

 

I was thrilled it was Zeke booted – like sad for him, but thrilled for me – because I was actually nursing a huge hangover from fake partying with Debbie and this baby is the perfect hangover cure.

Hot, rich and topped in par-cooked eggs if you are still nursing a headache after this, I don’t know what you should do. Maybs get taken out to pasture – who knows?

Enjoy!

 

 

Zekeshuka Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 capsicum, diced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 merguez sausages, sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper and sugar, to season
a handful of baby spinach
8 eggs
a handful of feta cheese, crumbled
Parsley, to sprinkle

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and garlic for about five minutes. Add the capsicum, jalapeno and sausage and cook for a further five minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and a good whack of salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.

Add the spinach and stir to combine before cracking the eggs into the pan, cover and cook for five-ten minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are perfect. Serve immediately, with feta and parsley crumbled over the top.

Devour with crusty bread.

 

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Portia de’arrozi

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

I feel like such a terrible person – don’t worry, I know I’m not – I caught up with Ellen over two and a half years ago and as we were saying our farewells, we spoke about how I need to have a date with my dear friend Portia. Two and a half years ago!

Oh well – better late than never, I guess?

Anyway, I’d barely finished dialling the number before Porsh answered and excitedly screamed into the phone, “yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I’d love to come visit and be featured on your anthropological record of your celebrity friends … to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro.”

Lucky it wasn’t a surprise, otherwise I’d have to take Jess and Will out of my inner circle!

As you can probably tell, it has been a couple of years since I have seen my dear Porsh and I’m so thankful that we finally got it together to put the time aside. Annelie and I have known Por for years – Annelie having co-starred with her in Ally McBeal as the dancing baby, and I co-starred with her as Elle Macpherson’s body double in the Kate Fischer/Tziporah Malkah headliner, Sirens.

Given that she was just killed off on the hit show I pretend to watch, Scandal, P was hella relaxed, having caught up on her sleep and feeling excited for the next step in her career. After swapping a few stories, catching each other up on our families – Ellen misses me desperately, obvs – we sat down for a bowl of spicy, Cinco de Cuatro appropriate Portia de’arrozi.

 

 

Hot and fresh, this little bowl of goodness is the perfect accompaniment to any meal … or long overdue date with a dear gal-pal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Portia de’arrozi
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
⅓ cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 jalapenos, thinly sliced
2 cups long grain brown rice, rinsed thoroughly
2 cups chicken stock
400g tin crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful coriander, roughly chopped
juice of a lime

Method
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic until nice and fragrant. Add the jalapenos and  cook for a further five minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the stock and tomatoes, crank the heat and bring to the boil.

Again reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about fifteen minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. Season generously with salt and pepper, stir through the coriander and lime juice … and devour.

 

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