Chicken Angelinguine Keeleek

Main, Pasta, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the final six battled it out for a combination immunity and reward challenge after Angelina almost died in pursuit of being the sole female to snatch one this season. Thankfully she lived long enough to share in Nick’s reward and a drunk Mike quickly figured out where said idol was, allowing her to snatch it. After that the tribe voted out Davie and a still-tipsy Mike’s request, before Nick snatched another immunity win and Angelina concocted a plan to embarrass Alison on the way out the door using the idol. We didn’t get to hear anyone’s take on her tribal council spectacle as we went straight to the final immunity challenge, where Nick secured the hat trick before dragging Angelina to the end and Hollywood player Mike winning the fire challenge and sending Kara to become the final member of the jury.

The next day the final three sat by the shore to watch the sun rise and celebrating making it to the end over breakfast. Angelina was still struggling to comprehend the fact she made it to the end, though was proud of herself for making it to the end and the way she has handled herself. Nick was proud of being an underdog that came from nothing which was mirrored in the game, almost being the first boot before slowly building relationships and making it to the end. Mike too was overwhelmed by making it to the end, proud of the game he played and leaving it all out on the island at his age. When he is used to the Hollywood life.

At tribal council Probst spoke about the fluidity of the gameplay this season and echoes Mike’s sentiments about storytelling and I am putting on my tinfoil hat, deciding it is sign Mike wins. With that the jury commenced their roundtable discussion with the outwit portion of the game as Elizabeth congratulated them on making the end before telling them to cut the crap and be honest for everyone. Christian asked them to articulate how they outwitted with Nick talking about his penchant for naming his two person alliances, though John sassed him for peaking when he voted him out and asked for more recent information which Mike called bullshit on when he explained he was sad that Carl and Davie were blindsided. John then asked for Mike to outline his game, which Angelina decided was her time to speak, talking about being public enemy number one before working her way through the game. And did you know she gave up immunity for rice? Well that reminder pissed off Davie.

After being shushed by Davie and told to move on, she handed the floor to Mike who explained he made so many relationships and that was his strength. Gabby questioned their lack of relationship, though congratulated him for getting rid of her as he couldn’t trust her. Alison asked him to apologise for being a dick when she was voted out – which he did – before he explained how he went back to his anxious, nerdy roots in the game and ultimately, he used it to his advantage to downplay his threat level. Nick jumped in and said he tried to do that, however ultimately had to play the game to survive. Gabby focused on the different treatment of women, Kara agreed and congratulated Mike for making it to the end.

Dan kicked off the outplay portion of the game, asking Mike how he contributed around camp. Mike completely shut him down, explaining her played to his strengths and also always gave it his all. Davie asked them to articulate how Nick and Angelina were a Goliath and David respectively, with Angelina focussing on her disastrous idol find. Alison then asked if the fake idol was to embarrass her, which she denied before Nick shut her down and told Alison it was definitely to embarrass her and show off to the jury. Nick then spoke about his Goliath ways when it came to challenges and puzzles,

Rounding things out Angelina spoke about her way outlasting the competition, hitting rock bottom on the island before rising to the challenge and being the most triumphant, battle-tested member of the final three. Nick spoke about being an underdog the entire game and talking about how his life experience – his mother died of a drug overdose leading to him working with addicts to avoid prison – galvanised him to make it to use every advantage he could find to take people out and survive one more day. Mike rounded things out talking about how he wasn’t scared being out on the island or being voted out, focusing on the journey rather than the win. Which was far more powerful than I made it sound, as Alison welled up.

With that the jury voted, John proud of Nick, Gabby started to cry, Christian shocked me and voted for Mike. None of them, however, voted for poor Angelina who landed in third place. While I loved her for the drama and for calling out the sexism that exists within Survivor – Dawn should have won Caramoan and don’t at me – her game was definitely flawed. I mean, she managed to go from being on the bottom, to finding a strong alliance and controlling the merge. But then decided to embarrass someone that knew they were getting booted on their way out the door, and that has more to do with her loss. Which I told her as we smashed a Chicken Angelinguine Keeleek together, huddled for warmth under my jacket.

 

 

Landing in third place can be a pretty depressing thing. You can argue that you were robbed if you were taken out in the final days, but third place means you were the worst option at final tribal. This I opted not to tell her, and focused on the comforting carby, creamy goodness of this pasta. And given how her mood quickly changed, I think that was a good choice.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Angelinguine Keeleek
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g linguine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken breast, sliced
2 tsp chilli flakes
300ml cream
1 lemon, juiced and zested
small handful tarragon, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan, to serve

Method
Get a pot of salted water on high heat and once boiling, cook as per the packet instructions.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and once foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the chicken and cook stirring for a further five minutes, or until browned. Add the chilli, cream, lemon juice and zest and tarragon, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

At this point the pasta should be done, so drain and add to the saucy pan, season and serve. Cover in parmesan and devour, thankful to be alive despite scaling the largest cliff in the southern hemisphere without any support.

 

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Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 18 castaways were abandoned in the lakes of Thailand. After being divided into tribes by Jose, she tragically found herself becoming the first boot from the game. Khangkhaw dominated the early section of the game with Karla and Franky following Jose out of the game, with Kaysha the only person heading out the door … or Khangkhaw. The tribe swap left Matt & Josh screwed on new Chani while Dylan had a new lease on life, wait, no Matt and Dave went to school together and Matt found himself safe, while Dylan was sent home.

Oh and Liam was booted from new Khangkhaw and JT medequit, though they don’t play into the narrative much.

The tribes merged and Lisa immediately stepped out of the shadows playing an extra vote to ensure Arun’s departure before flipping the game and taking out Brad. She then dictated the boots of Renee and Eve before flipping on Matt, executing a perfect 3-2-1 to send him from the game. While Tess and Adam tried to turn things around, Lisa maintained control sending Adam from the game leaving Tess to have to pull out an immunity run to make it to final tribal, leading to Tara orchestrating her own boot, blindsiding Tess one final time.

Back at camp Tess apologised for trying to take out Dave whilst also complaining about being perennially blindsided. Lisa felt guilty about lying to Tara throughout the game after she ended her own game so Lisa could make it to the end. Dave then questioned what happens at final tribal, begging the question … has he seen the show before?

The final three awoke the next morning to discover the final three breakfast before reminiscing about all that they’ve achieved. Lisa was shocked about how hard the game was and was proud to have made it to the end as a superfan … though feared how she will be perceived by the jury. Tess too was feeling proud, though mainly because if it is a popularity contest it is her game to lose. Dave was thrilled to have survived the Chani losing streak and planned to avoid mentioning the fact he and Matt are friends, knowing it would make his feat far less impressive.

Right on cue we then pivoted out of the game and over to the Jury Villa where Matt pulled Adam aside to admit that he and Dave are old school friends. Word quickly spread throughout the jury and just like that, Matt ended one of his oldest and dearest friends’ game.

With that we arrived at tribal council where the jury all scrubbed up and looked ready to attack. Hopefully not Lisa, obvi. Speaking of who, she kicked off the opening statements by talking about how she managed to downplay her super fandom and overcome her lack of physicality by making strong relationships and echoing Queen SDT’s strategy. She admitted to lying, though said it was in the name of the game and to do it to them before they did it to her. Continuing to tick off all the bases, she apologised to Renee and Matt for blindsiding them and spoke about how she promised her family that she would do whatever she could to win. Then there were tears and she told them, essentially, that she would be the best winner for their season. Crown. Her. Now.

Tess was up next and tried to summon emotions by talking about how honest and righteous she is, positioning herself as the counterpoint to Lisa. The downtrodden underdog, who was at times pretty nasty, unless you were a Lisa. TBH, I started to tune out because she was proud of not playing the game and that is not something I can get behind. Though the emotion about her family was really sweet, so, I guess she can come second if she has to?

Dave wrapped things up going down the Denise Stapley route, touting how often he went to tribal council. Though unlike her, was proud of how many votes her amassed throughout the season. He then talked up how much of a hustler he was throughout the game, expertly pivoting away from the votes to the point he could hang onto his idol. He then gave props to his friend Arun for protecting him early in the game, however conveniently kept quiet about his relationship with Matt. Obviously he did apologise though before going for the sympathy, talking about his rough upbringing and committing to donate money slash pay off his parents mortgage if he wins. Poor naive Dave doesn’t know what is about to hit him, does he?

The power turned to the jury with Arun kicking things off in a positive tone asking Tess if she really had no idea about the game – she didn’t – before shading Dave by asking how he managed to survive after Matt’s boot – hustlin’, obvi – much to the delight of the jury. Brad was up next and admitted that everyone knows that Dave and Matt are friends, questioning all the lies that Dave had told in the pursuit of selling his game. Dave tried to pretend that he had planned to reveal the relationship when Matt stepped up to talk, though did make the valid point that he saved Matt at the start of the game and if that paid dividends, power to him.

Renee stepped up as the bitter juror, listing why she wasn’t voting for Dave and asking if he was cool with this. She then praised Tess’ honesty before asking Lisa who, if anyone, she thinks will vote for her to win. She then slayed her, answering that she has learnt not to name names around Renee so wasn’t going to bother giving her any. While I thought Eve would come in all nice, she asked Lisa if her family would be proud of her which she answered with an emphatic yes. Wait, no, Eve is actually being nice and congratulated her on a game well played. She was also chill when Dave gave a non-answer about his odds of survival should Matt have not been in the game.

Adam was up next, professing his undying love for Tess … and even Lisa, before asking them the same question – would they rather an advantage of a best friend in the competition or three extra plates in a challenge? They both said friend, which I felt was surprising for Lisa until she explained it would be futile since she is balls at challenges. Dave’s mate Matt was next and kicked things off by apologising for completely blowing up his game, saying he just respected everyone too much. He then asked for a rationalisation about voting him out, which kinda feels like it was a vindictive – justified – move. Seeing the writing on the wall, Dave said that the only reason he turned on him was because he lied to him about the idol.

Rounding things out was Tara who asked everyone what they gained from the experience, with Tess proud of her personal growth and Dave once again trying to apologise and say that he learnt to live with his decisions. Queen Lisa knocked the question out of the park, saying it inspired her to travel and gave her the confidence to step out of her comfort zone and not write things off because they don’t seem likely or realistic.

With that the jury stepped up to vote, Matty Chis whipped them back to Auckland and seamlessly walked out into the auditorium where the scrubbed up castaways awaited their fates. After briefly checking in with booted castaways, he finally got down to crowning a winner with the votes rolling in 3-3 between  … well, not Dave who finished the season in third place.

While most people would be extremely salty about their friend completely destroying their chance at winning $250K, Dave seemingly took his loss in his stride. Though maybe he could just smell the of Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic wafting out of the Jury Villa.

 

 

I honestly don’t think their could be a better dish to make up for someone losing a stack of money. I mean, the butter goodness of croissants, crossed with the sweet, glory of chocolate. That is the perfect duo for drying tears.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
1 batch David Croissants dough
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Method
Prep the dough as her Dave’s (Cross’) recipe and when you’re almost ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C.

Roll out the pastry to form a 30cm x 30cm square of dough, cut it in half to form 2 rectangles and then cut each into quarters. Place a line of chocolate close to the two longest edges and roll the dough towards the centre to meet. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam down, and repeat until done. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 20 minutes, or until slightly puffed.

Whisk together the egg and milk and brush each croissant before adding a sprinkle of salt flakes and transferring to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and risen.

Devour immediately.

 

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Rotolaurel Johnson

Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After seeing Angela become the final member of the jury, we returned back to camp where the final three hung out by the shore and watched the last sunrise with Dom lying that they were all deserving of the win before joining together for the Day 39 feast. Wendell felt like this was his decade long dream and he needs to bring his A-game to take a win. Laurel was trying to figure out how to convince the jury that despite her game not being flashy, she was responsible for sending all of them home and saving the boys’ backs. Dom was just focusing on closing the game out strong for his family, though was super concerned about facing Wendell and coming on too smug with the jury.

At final tribal Probst handed the floor over to the jury with Kellyn kicking off the Outwit portion of the game. Laurel pointed out she was stuck playing from the bottom the entire game and needed to rely on her social game. While Michael gave her credit for that, particularly since she went to all four tribes however that doesn’t take away from the fact she rode them to the end. Donathan agreed that he and Laurel both felt they had power, they kinda didn’t before Michael continued to undermine her argument and said that Dom had the best social game with Wendell also being strong.

Des wasn’t convinced about Wendell’s argument about talking rap together – shockingly not Chris’ though – leading Wendell to talk about having to save Dom from himself on day two. Chris called bullshit on his ensuing argument leading to Wendell emphatically sharing he was in charge only for Donathan to interject and say Dom approached he and Laurel, not Wendell. Dom then spoke about attempting to get rid of Chris during the Morgan blindside. Kellyn got sick of the argument for who brought people into the alliance so asked everyone that felt they worked with them – is this Mean Girls? – and to share who brought them in to the alliance. Wanting to claw back some ground, Wendell pointed out that Dom did a lot of showboating and that may have offended people but also risked ruining his game.

When it came to Outplay Laurel ruled herself out, saying she feels that relying on immunity at the end means you’ve played the game incorrectly. Wendell started listing his catalogue of creations – is this Ikea? – before Michael shut him down and asked about which idols they had and how that factored in. Wendell then shared that loyalty kept Laurel around which Michael gave zero fucks about and told him just as much. Dom then cut in to talk about his theatrics during his self-identified best move of the game when he booted Sebastian. He explained in minute detail how it was important to retain his real idol and bluff with the fake one. Sebastian then shared how hurt he was by the brutal way he played the idol and Donathan joined in to share that it wasn’t a truth bomb and instead the entire thing came off as bullying. Dom then tried to apologise to both of them and while Michael felt it was a good move and Chris shared his respect, the others seemed unmoved.

Rounding things out with the outlast portion, Laurel shared that keeping the boys around may not have been exciting, it was her best move and getting rid of them would have only benefited those on the jury, not her. Dom then spoke about not meaning to offend people and reminded them to vote for who played the best game, not on emotions or building furniture. Wendell then shared that he brought all the weird little pieces of him to the game and that he may not have made much of a show, but he did play an extremely strategic game.

With that, Probst tasked the jury with voting before – gag of the season – opting to read the votes on site, shocking everyone … meaning he is throwing away 34 seasons of tradition, or something big is about to go down. He then tallied the votes one by one for Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell and Laurel realised that in a matter of two votes, she would be joining the jury to cast the final vote for a winner after joining the jury as the new final member of the jury.

Thanks to the power of time travel, I caught up with Laurel before she cast the deciding vote for the winner. I whisked her away to Ponderosa and offered her an ear before she made the deciding vote and of course, culinary counsel in the form of a Rotolaurel Johnson.

 

 

Rich, creamy, cheesy pasta is arguably the greatest comfort food of all time. Which is exactly what you need after being destroyed by a jury, immediately told they didn’t find you worthy and then thrust into the unenviable position of choosing a victor between your two closest friends.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rotolaurel Johnson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups passata
½ cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp raw caster sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
250g frozen spinach, thawed and drained
500g ricotta cheese
1 egg
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
¼ tsp nutmeg
8 fresh lasagne sheets, thanks Alan Pastarkin!
½ cup grated mozarella

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the onion and half the garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the passata, basil leaves, sugar and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat to rest.

Combine the spinach, ricotta, egg, parmesan and nutmeg with the remaining garlic and a good whack of salt and pepper.

To assemble, lay out each of the lasagne sheets with the thin end closest to you. Place a generous dollop of mixture in the end and shape like a sausage. Roll up to form a fat cannelloni, wetting the end to seal and cutting in half. Repeat the process until the pasta and mixture are all done.

Place half the sauce in the bottom of a dutch oven and place the rotolo in facing up. Pour over the remaining sauce and place in the oven for fifteen minutes before adding the mozzarella and scattering of parmesan and cooking for a further ten minutes or so, or until bubbly and glorious.

Allow to rest for ten minutes, if you can, before devouring.

 

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Ryan Ulrich Bread

Bread, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the final four outlasted Katrina, Simone, Patrick, Alan, Rourk, Ali, Jessica, Desi, Cole, JP, Joe, Lauren, Ashley and Mike before discovering Probst has one final twist up his sleeve. Along with winning a record-equalling fourth immunity, Chrissy was given the advantage of selecting one person to take with her to the final three, leaving the other two to battle it out in a fire making challenge. While it was Chrissy’s advantage, there is no doubt it was more advantageous to Ben who defeated Devon and sent him out of the game as the final boot.

The final three got up to watch the sunset together and to celebrate their achievements. We then got to experience the montage where all of the finalists speak about why they deserve to win, with Ryan proud to live up to the hustler name and be the last one standing. Chrissy was proud to overcome throwing up at the first challenge to being the last woman standing and living her dream. We then got some heroic music as Ben spoke about being good with battles as an ex-marine, begging the question – is this a misdirect from the deserving Chrissy win or flagging that Ben, in fact, will win.

We then cut straight to final tribal where the jurors filed in one by one before Probst opened up the new final tribal council format – introduced last season – where the jurors all debate how the finalists outwitted, outplayed and outlasted the rest.

Desi kicked off the outwitting portion by congratulating Chrissy on kicking ass in challenges and Ben for conveniently finding 1000 idols and then asked whether Ryan did something, or whether he was dragged because he was beatable. Ashley joined in the fun asking why Ryan never bothered forming a relationship with her. He then said the plan was to work her through Devon and pull strings from behind. Joe, Lauren and JP then joined the fray to get some confirmation about it.

Joe then went IN on Ben, asking why he failed so hard at the social game and focused on causing chaos. Ben defended himself, saying he has struggled in social interactions since returning from service. Sensing the fact Ben may be swinging some sympathy votes, Chrissy jumped in to highlight her superior social game and that she made personal connections with everyone, whilst also being loyal. Things then got hella dark as she listed Joe’s personal fear of marriage because his parents’ didn’t work out. I mean, could memory, but damn, this tribal is getting dark yo.

Cole then asked why Ben painted a target on his back after he kept stealing food, which kind of seems obvious … but then again, he is pretty so whatevs. Cole was willing to forgive Ben if he just admitted he was using it to get him out, leading to Ryan arguing that he was friends with Cole so therefore more deserving of his vote. Ashley jumped in to defend Chrissy and point out that the boys spoke about sharing themselves with jurors, while Chrissy asked about them. It then devolved into a he said she said between Ryan and Chrissy leading to Desi and Lauren jumping in to tell them to play nice and be proud that they made it there, rather than bashing each other.

Dreamy Cole then kicked off the outplay portion of the roundtable by congratulating Chrissy’s challenge prowess, Ben’s ability to find and play idols – feels repetitive, no? – and complained about Ryan not doing anything. He tried to defend himself for not contributing around camp, pissing everyone off as not camping is not a good enough excuse for not trying. Joe jumped in to save him and told him to focus on his advantages instead. Ashley again brought up the female dominance in immunity challenges, allowing Chrissy to talk about how great she played. Joe then anointed her the Queen, upsetting me that he clearly ignored my dear SDT. The good one, not the shit one.

Ben then spoke about finding idols and being saved by Chrissy’s advantage, begging the question – what can he say to convince them he played a decent game. Desi did raise a good point however in saying that if the others had used their time wisely, they could have avoided him finding idols and therefore, he deserves credit for their epic fail.

The outlast portion gave Ryan the chance to say that all he had to survive was his social game. He then tried to go the Stapley route and said he went to most of the tribal councils and survived thanks to his social game. Mike then interjected to ask if he learnt anything while playing the game. He then went off on a tangent about being reminded of the importance of family and being introspective, which was a compelling enough statement to get Devon to cast a vote for him to win and land him in third place.

While he was disappointed not to take out the victory – or second place – he was just so excited to have not only played the game but also make it all the way to the very end. Plus – how can you be said when eating bread? Particularly one as delicious as my Ryan Ulrich Bread.

 

 

I am sure every toddler would disagree with me, but there is nothing better than a freshly baked rye bread. A little bit earthy, a little bit sweet and completely soothing, all you need is a slather of butter.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ryan Ulrich Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 cup lukewarm water (Off topic but why is it lukewarm. Was Luke not a very warm person, but he wasn’t cold?)
2 tbsp treacle
7g dried yeast
2 cups rye flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method
Combine the water, treacle and yeast in a small jug, and leave in a warm place for ten minutes or until frothing. But not in an aroused way.

Combine the flours and salt in another large bowl, leaving a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture and oil into well while stirring until it comes together. Transfer to a stand mixer and knead with a dough hook on medium for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm, dry place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Punch back the dough until it has returned to its normal size. Shape into a large ball and place on a lined baking tray and cut a 1cm deep cross into the top of the bread. Return to the warm, dry place and leave to prove for a further hour, or until doubled again.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Chuck it in the oven for ten minutes before reducing the temperature to 180°C and baking for a further 20-25 minutes or until crusty on the outside and it sounds hollow on the inside.

Serve warm with butter and a dickload of treacle. Cause that is damn perfection.

For devouring, obvi.

 

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Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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Troyzanella Robertson

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap, Vegetarian

With Cirie, Aubry and Tai swiftly ejected from the finale, Cirie under tragic circumstances, we opened up on day 39 with Troyzan sharing a touching story about dreaming of this moment from seeing the very first episode. If only we’d seen more of him this season, I would have shared his confidence.

They got to work whipping up the finale breakfast with Sarah proud of how she has played the game, hoping that the jury would reward her gameplay and her officer-esque honesty at final tribal.

Brad was feeling very confident, sure that he could put his lawyer skills to use and convince the jury to award him the money.

We quickly returned to tribal where the jury looked as disappointed with the final three as I was – I mean, it could have been Sandra, Cirie and Malcolm for fucks sake. Given that this is game changers, Jeff announced one final twist in the game – changing the jury format of the game to allow a more open dialogue between the jury and the finalists.

Zeke was quick to start the dialogue, praising Sarah for turning on him and then returning to tribal every night wearing his jacket AND turning on Sierra while still being able to convince her to hand over the legacy advantage. He then volunteered as tribute for her and this is suddenly the Hunger Games … which kinda makes sense.

Andrea also praised Sarah before breaking down because Sarah had hurt her and she wasn’t sure if she could move past it and feel good about voting for her. Sarah said that she valued all of their relationships, earning laughs from Ozzy and Debbie who couldn’t trust a word she said before volunteering as Brad’s tribute, to champion his victory based solely on challenge performance.

Cirie quickly pointed out that they booted Sierra as she was the brains of Brad and Troy’s operation and without her, assumed they’d wander around bumping into each other. He was obviously very quick to outline that he was in fact responsible for assembling the alliances.

Michaela joined the fray to test Brad on his personal connection to her, highlighting a major flaw in his social game. On the flipside, Andrea and Tai then asked Sarah how she felt about building those relationships for the sole purpose of taking her out. Aubry quickly directed the question to where it needed to go, allowing Sarah to knock her answer out of the park.

Obviously that upset Debbie, with her vowing to vote for Brad. That in turn earned Michaela’s frustration, with her highlighting that it is just a game and they need to get over their hurt feelings. She then threw shade at Troyzan, asking what the hell he even did in the game. That lead to everyone in the jury jumping on board to berate his lack of gameplay.

Andrea was quick to point out that Brad wasn’t very good at forming relationships with people that weren’t a part of his inner circle. Brad tried to defend himself, before Tai cut him off and told him that he clearly has no idea how he comes across to others. Hali then jumped in and the dear law student, schooled the lawyer.

Debbie then added that he was virial and full of testosterone.

Zeke jumped in to point out that Sarah voted correctly all the time because she was always aware of what was going on, while the others did not.

Brad’s tribute from district 7, Ozzy, jumped in to once again praise Brad’s challenge prowess and tell people that that clearly means he deserves the win. Debbie again agreed, before Sarah cut in to point out that he was a professional athlete and kind of had a leg up. Brad tried to cut back in before Michaela told him to shut-it-down and let her finish.

That allowed Sarah to point out more ways she owned the game, manoeuvring around the technicality of voting out Sierra without voting for her and snatching the advantage from under Michaela’s feet while everyone was distracted by Cirie’s balance beam triumph.

Brad gave his last ditch plea, relying pretty much on winning immunities and being a neat guy and helping out at camp. Sarah simply implored them to vote for the best player who controlled every vote, rather than with their hurt feelings. Defeated, Troyzan simply thanked them for being a part of the journey because it meant a lot to him.

With that, they went to vote with Michaela announcing that anyone that didn’t vote for Sarah is a bitter Betty. Ozzy hoped that Brad could do what he couldn’t. Zeke was honour to vote for his girl Sarah and Debbie obviously voted for Brad, hoping that just once good guys – like the guy she screamed at pre-merge – could finish first just once. With that the jury voted, crowning Sarah the sole Survivor and Brad the second second-place Culpepper, and Troyzan as predicted the zero votes third place finisher.

While Troyzan’s game wasn’t very showy, he was far more likeable than his first go-around and that in itself is a win. I mean, I’ve always known that he is a kind, friendly soul as one of his dearest friend – I forced him into taking my photo in swimsuits. He was disappointed when he exited the game, but quickly perked up with a little bit of love from his friend and a big ole Troyzanella Robertson.

 

 

There is nothing more comforting than bread and as such, I knew that this is all that he would ever need to move on from his third place finish. Plus … he knew it was coming since he was on the ballot for Second Chances.

All that aside, this is delicious – fragrant, sweet … and bread. There is damn bread, case closed, it is perfect. Enjoy!

 

 

Troyzanella Robertson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g ciabatta, roughly torn into chunks and left to dry for an hour
600g mixed very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
200g chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves torn
champagne vinegar
olive oil

Method
Place the tomatoes in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

Add the onion, garlic, capsicum, basil, and a good lug of both the champagne vinegar and the olive oil, to taste. Again, toss … you know I love a toss.

Add the bread, toss, serve and devour.

 

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Mai Tai Trang

Drink, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

After Cyd went out in, well technically without, flames, we returned to camp – after spending a bit of time with Cyd’s buff mum – where Aubry discussed her ability to pull it out and Michele was concerned about Tai’s decision to save Aubry and what that means to her potential victory.

Echoing the audience at home, Tai questioned whether it was a final two or a three given Probst’s cryptic wording.

Ultimately though it was classic Probst just being classic, as a new twist was unleashed where the final three competed for the right to vote out a juror. After a tight race, Michele continued her low-key – is that her motto? – string of challenge wins and after hearing Aubry and Tai’s compelling arguments, sent a guaranteed and persuasive Aubry voter, Neal, packing.

Ultimately though, it didn’t impacted the outcome as my dear friend Tai continued in the hallowed tradition of Becky Lee by getting zero votes at final tribal council.

I first connected with Tai while staging my own one-man, zero audience, independent adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in San Fran’s Golden Gate Park. Given his gentle, loving spirit Tai would offer me support as he went about his job. You could argue that his kindness is responsible for my excessive, irritating self-confidence.

Tai was upset after final tribal, not because he lost but because he had just said goodbye to his dear friend and surrogate son #MarkTheChicken. After assuring him that he should be proud of his game – and that I had no chicken recipes for the top two – he started to perk back up.

My miracle, liquid elixir – which is just butt-loads of alcohol, dressed up with tropical mixers – may have had something to do with that though. Either way, my Mai Tai Trang was just what doc-Tai ordered.

 

mai-tai-trang-1

 

I was very depressed by the lack of audience for my performance back in San Fran, which resulted in my downing a morning mai tai to give me the courage to continue with my dreams. After connecting with Tai, I started to double the batch as a way to say thank you … for being a friend.

Give the light, fresh flavours and a good whack of booze, it is also the perfect way to down your sorrows after snagging no final tribal council votes.

Enjoy.

 

mai-tai-trang-2

 

Mai Tai Trang
Serves: 1-2, depending on the mood.

Ingredients
60ml spiced rum
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
20ml orange curacao
10ml orgeat
crushed ice
mint sprig, to garnish … or if you forgot, a lime wedge

Method
Combine all liquid in a cocktail shaker, shake.

Place some crushed ice in the base of a glass, top with the booze, garnish with mint … or the aforementioned lime wedge and wash away your sorrows.

 

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