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.




Ryan Ulrich Bread
Serves: 8.

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

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.




Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

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

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.

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

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.




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.





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

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

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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