Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza

Main, Pizza, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, new-Yawa remained undefeated after the swap while at Levu, Joe proved that finding idols truly is a bald man’s game. Things however weren’t so peachey at Soko with Chrissy and Ryan having to decide between keeping JP and Ali, sending the latter out of the game

Back at camp Chrissy was quick to make JP feel comfortable after tribal, and was thrilled to be closer with each of the boys than they are with each other. We checked in with Yawa the next day to learn that Cole was feeling confident that should they merge, they were five strong. That, of course, was quickly disputed by Ben who rightfully was concerned by the closeness of Cole and Jess. Rounding out the catch-ups, Ashley spoke about how broken, starved and divided Levu is. So … final three of Chrissy, Ashley and Ben/Ryan/Cole/Devon, yeah?

Probst quickly arrived for the reward challenge, much to the excitement of the hungry Levu tribe. Though it wasn’t actually a challenge, it’s the merge – what a surprise!? After dropping buffs – sadly, not JP’s trou again – and getting swanky new purple ones, Probsty informed the starved castaways that instead of the merge feast, they’d be going to Queen Sandra’s fave – Outback Steakhouse.

The castaways toasted making the merge – YAS, they’re all dateable – downed steaks, and drank up which brought down Joe’s defenses and allowed Chrissy and Ben to quickly deduce that he has an idol, painting a larger target on his back. Jessica also emerged from her shell, hitting on the waiter’s thunder from downunder.

Back at camp, the new Solewa tribe got to work improving or building – who knows whether it is a new camp – their shelter, while Cole searched for a clue which was hidden in the wad of nails he was using. Bless him. Jessica and Desi got reacquainted, while Ryan and Devon caught up and floated the idea of a hustler-heroes alliance to take out the healers. The boys looped Lauren in on the plan, who wasn’t so keen on the plan giving she is aligned with Mike. She then told Mike and I was reminded of the epic ‘David as an idol’ scene from Millennials vs. Gen X.

Devon took the plan to Ben and Chrissy to get rid of Joe, that latter of whom was thrilled given she found him insufferable at lunch. Ben however was more keen to take out Cole, given he literally eats whatever he wants. Jessica and Lauren pulled Cole aside to warn him about his eating, Ben floated the idea of booting Joe or Cole with Mike, and I am reminded how freaking confusing merge episodes are.

Thankfully, Cole is pretty and Devon’s torso is longer than I am tall.

Pulling me out of the alliance whirlpool, Probst returned for the first immunity challenge where everyone stands on a narrow beam and keeps a ball spinning within a disc. As quickly as it started Ryan dropped out, followed by Mike whilst trying to be cute while taking a step – what did Alyssa Edwards say? Jessica was out after taking her second step forward, followed by Ben, JP, Devon and Lauren as they dropped to the final section. Joe soon dropped out, leaving Desi, Cole, Chrissy and Ashley to fight it out for immunity. Which Desi won, after Cole and Chrissy dropped their balls and Ashley dropped while trying to move her second foot onto the narrowest section of the beam.

Getting straight back into it, Cole pulled Ben aside back at camp to apologise for eating all the food and not thinking about others. Despite accepting his apology, Ben did not in fact accept said apology – preach – though wasn’t sure whether booting him was a good plan, or could blow up in his face.

Feeling unsafe, Cole approached Joe to fill him in on the new Yawa alliance immediately pissing off Joe, who knows Ben will flip at the first opportunity. Cole then joined Mike, Lauren and Desi to talk about getting rid of the heroes biggest threat Chrissy, leaving them to debate whether Ben was with them or about to go against the family. Obviously Lauren then approached Ben to talk about which side they would go with, before the hustlers and heroes – sans JP – got together to pick their target. Given they’re concerned about Joe and Cole having an idol, and the Cole and Jessica alliance, Jessica seemed to be their safest option.

At tribal, Probst quickly brought up the theme and put the target on the plentiful healers. Everyone danced around loyalty and truth, trying to keep their allies calm and not give anything away. Mike then offended Joe, who was talking about being extremely loyal, leading to him pulling out his idol and threatening to use them. Cole was unphased by the display –  given he helped Joe find his first idol – while Ben announced that the battle lines were drawn and they need to vote to see where the chips may fall. Joe played his idol just in case they fell for him, which they did not, instead coming down to Chrissy and Jessica, with the latter booted from the game … as the final pre-jury boot.

Poor, sweet Jessica was feeling quite down when she arrived at loser lodge – particularly after finding out it hadn’t ticked over to Ponderosa as yet – though quickly perked up when she saw me, her dear friend, waiting for her. Like the great, great Cirie Fields, I first met Nurse Practitioner Jessica while in rehab. She was completing a placement at the time and given how kind she was, she took a lost cause like me under her wing and helped me through (one of) my most recent stint(s) in rehab and got me sober. As such, we’ve been friends ever since.

After getting her out of her post-boot funk, we got to work catching up, talking about how dreamy Cole and his nips are … and then dreaming we were eating my Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza off dem plates.

 

 

If CalebAras and Joan – and Skarsy, obvs – have taught you anything, I love me some carbonara. I mean, warm, salty, creamy goodness going straight down my throat? Sign me up … and now, in PIZZA form.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
1 cup parmesan, grated
2 eggs, lightly whisked
salt and pepper
200g pancetta, roughly sliced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
a handful mushrooms, thinly sliced
125g pecorino cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare bases as per Zsa Zsa’s method – sans tommie paste.

Whisk the parmesan, eggs and a good whack of salt and black pepper until thick and combined.

Spoon the egg mixture onto the rolled out dough and spread across the bases. Sprinkle over the pancetta, shallots and mushrooms, and top with pecorino.

Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until the bases are crispy and the cheese golden. Devour.

 

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Marktini Wales

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Drink, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara flipped out on Peter for flipping after weeks of Tessa calling her a flipper, leaving Tara and Locky on the bottom with AK in control. Meanwhile Sam suffered a near drowning before Henry finally succeeded in throwing the immunity – after a four episode build-up – sending her out of the game as the sixth boot.

As Asaga returned to camp Henry and Queen Jacqui were feeling confident after pulling off their big move, while Mark skulked around silently like a predator. Not the predator, but a predator … like a lion, you know? We then heard from him where he shared that he was indeed pissed, would be holding a grudge, and hot damn, doesn’t anger look good on him?

Things were still looking bleak for Mark the next day – his rage level going from pissed to livid – before cornering Kent to find out what the hell happened at the last tribal council. While Kent was quick to cover for Jacqui and her involvement in the plot, though distanced himself a bit from Henry. All of it was for nought though, as Mark knew that they were definitely the ones pulling the strings. Jacs and Henny gurl then caught up while Jacs shared the intel from Kent’s walk, and Henry vowed to get rid of Markie Mark at the next opportunity.

Meanwhile things were looking up over at Samatau where we finally heard a bit more from Ziggy who likened the game to waterpolo, the sport she competed in at the olympics. Twice. Tara and Locky decided that the Olympic athlete was their best chance for survival, approaching her by the water to flip on AK a rejoin with them. While Ziggy agreed that AK is a threat that definitely needs to be dealt with, she wasn’t sure if the time was right … but knew that she holds the power and helping them could get her some favours down the track.

The rains returned , as did Locky’s glistening torso and the shark he’s been attempting to catch since before Henry started throwing immunity challenges. Like the great Tom Westman and Amanda Kimmel before him, Locky finally caught said shark with a machete and helped bring the tribe back together. The only thing that could have made the moment better was him being naked, but sadly, I can’t always get what I want. Which is fucked.

Back at Asaga Luke thought he’d hit the jackpot when a fresh coconut fell from the sky … which turned out to be a wasp nest, biting the shit out of him and making me worry that he won’t actually live to see day 55. Thankfully he survived the attack and decided to play it forward, pulling Mark aside, fuelling his Jacs/Henny rage and trying to plot splitting up my favourite power couple by knocking out Jacqui.

IF THAT HAPPENS, I WILL COME FOR YOU BOTH.

Finally JLP and his guns returned to our screens for, and I know I say this a lot, one of my favourite Survivor challenges – sumo! While Samatau were shocked to see Sam had been voted out, Asaga were equally shocked to hear about Locky’s fishing abilities. But that is not what we’re here to enjoy – each tribe had to send a person up to battle on a sumo platform and avoid falling into the mud moat. First up, Ziggy made quick work of my queen Jacs, before Jarrad was sent in by Mark despite a valiant effort. Odette gave Asaga the lead over Tara before Locky tied things up for Samatau, pushing Luke in before it even began. Anneliese then defeated Sarah, Tessa made quick work of Michelle, Kent took out Pete and Henry tied things up by beating AK.

Ziggy once again defeated Jacqui before Jarrad put up the biggest fight against Mark, despite losing again. Odette once again defeated Tara, Locky tied things up by defeating Luke, meaning it came down to a battle between Anneliese and Sarah. After a long, hard battle, Sarah showed why she survived Naomi Campbell putting up a huge fight, despite losing the battle and sending Asaga tribe back to tribal council.

Back at camp Henry was feeling the pressure after losing again, though was glad to have the opportunity to take out Mark before he can get revenge for the Sam vote. While he seemed to have the numbers, with Jacs, Kent, Odette, maybe Jericho, Sarah and Ben in a pinch, Mark got to work trying to pull people over to his side. He and Luke cleaned up the mud in the shore and tried to fashion a plan to take out Jacs, where junky Luke reappeared, give me zero hope for their success.

Luke then approached Jericho and Michelle to join them in voting Jacs, where Michelle uttered the immortal words of the one true Survivor queen Sandra. Luke and Michelle then tried to get Sarah on side, where the model showed how good at the game she is, pointing out that Mark will easily get the power back if they let him. She then agreed that she was with them, before telling us that once again she was in the driver’s seat at tribal. We then heard from Odette again, after Luke told her that everyone had switched to his side and were voting out Jacqui. And met Ben, who I believe bombed the last reward challenge, who said that Luke is Mr. Boombastic and would screw his game sooner, rather than later.

At tribal rubbed salt in Sarah’s wounds for losing the challenge before praising her for her effort – good boy JoJo. Henry then alluded to get rid of Mark, as did Odette, with both of them saying that keeping the strongest wasn’t always the best idea. Jericho then stopped the proceedings to say that basing the vote on vengeance is not a good idea and they need to come together, which Sarah kind of agreed with, saying that consistency was the key. Sensing he is on the way out the door, Mark pointed out that Jacry are in the power position and need to be split up, and get rid of Jacs. While Luke loved it based on his shit eating grin, Jacqui was well pissed, giving some killer side eye.

Everyone appeared to be going back and forth in their mind, making Henry very nervous, though he was smart enough to mention that he trusts the people he trusts for a reason before Jericho once again tried to lobby to get rid of one of the liabilities. Based off Jacs abs, I assume he isn’t insinuating that is her, making me wonder who he thinks is voting with him for Ben or Michelle? After Henry didn’t whip the idol out for Jacqui, the votes started rolling in evenly for Jacs and Mark, filling me with anxiety before they (thankfully) started piling up on Mark, sending him from the game and saving my favourite power couple.

While it may come as a shock since he has morals and I am aggressive slash unhinged, Mark and I have been dear friends for years having met when I was consulting with the army. Hey, my aggression is a tactically asset sometimes? While I was never able to convince him to go AWOL with me, we did bond as he took me under my wing and tried to make me a better person. I knew that he’d be gutted to be voted out, but too nice to really let rip, so plied him with liquor to add some excitement, in the form of my Marktini Wales.

 

 

While he didn’t spill any good tea – and I didn’t want to hear it, if it was about Jacry – I did get him drunk enough to pluck up the courage to ask out Sam. Maybe I should have shaken it, like bond?

Eh – enjoy!

 

 

Marktini Wales
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 shots gin
1 shot dry vermouth
twist of lemon

Method
Combine the ice, gin and vermouth in a cocktail shaker and stir to combine … because despite what Bond would have you believe, shaking is barbaric.

Pour the liquid – aka not the ice – into a martini glass, add a twist of lemon and devour, gladly.

 

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Leekoumaden Haan

Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, the least fun sausage fest – because of Jak, obvi – decided to throw the challenge and eliminate Shay to protect Shannon and Mike’s girl Georgia, who was a sure thing to beat Shay at redemption island. Sadly though, that didn’t actually happen with Georgia’s house of cards crumbling just before the end of the challenge, sending her out of the game and Shay back into it.

With Georgia exiting stage left, Matt announced that the recently returned Shay would be joining the newly formed Casar tribe with the 9 remaining contestants – yep, that is the roundabout way of saying that the tribes had merged!

Shay was feeling pretty proud to have reached the milestone and confident that her OG alliance would be able to regain control. While Mike was thrilled to snag some fries, he was still heartbroken about Georgia’s exit and was fairly confident that he was well screwed. Avi was thrilled to have Shay back, giddily hugging her on the way to the well as she caught him up on the awkwardness of the least sexy sausage fest and spill the t that Tom’s plot to pretend to be on her side did not actually fool her.

Back at camp, Jak continued to prove that he is the least funny person on the cast. Not allowing him to have any more screentime, Shannon reconnected with Mike to weigh up  her options and talk smack about Barb. Speaking of Barb, she and Nate continued their rise to power players, taking in everything that was going on.

Shannon and Avi joined up on the beach to discuss the boys trusting her, Jerk coached Tom on basic strategy and how best to win Avi over and Lee looked pretty in a tree. Tom and Avi then joined together to discuss the former’s faux-plan to take out Shay before turning on Mike and Lee, which Avi was not buying for a second.

The next day, Sala and an underwear clad Avi went from a stroll along the beach making me wetter than the waves on the shore. This made Tom and Jerk nervous, though the latter was super confident about his dear ally Shannon so was feeling ok. Showing a continued lack of self-awareness, Jak approached Shannon and Avi to outline all of their plans and lock in the fake final four alliance with them and Tom. On the other end of the spectrum, Sala, Barb and Nate were feeling relaxed and confident and sounded like they were ready for happy hour.

Dragging out the period between the merge and the first post-merge elimination, Matt returned for the first individual reward challenge where competitors are required to remember sequences of images for chocolate cake. Nate quickly fell out of the competition, followed by Barb, Lee, Avi – or RV if you talk to Mike – Jak and Sala, before Mike took out victory. He was then given the opportunity to share it with two people, giving it to Shannon and Shay who tied for second with Tom. While Tom told the girls to take the cake over him, Sala wasn’t buying that it was a kind gesture and continued to be suspicious of his ex-tribemate.

Trying to be helpful, Lee decided to fix the shelter so that the tarp would provide more coverage. While Sala appreciated the fact he was working hard, he found it rude that he decided to do it while Nate was sleeping. I however would argue that Nate sleeping and being lazy is probably the bigger sin, though I do think Lee is a total babe, so maybe I’m just being defensive? Despite the fact that it provides more coverage for the entire tribe, Barb and Nate were also pissed about Lee’s handiwork and continued the selfish narrative.

Poor Ange-Lee the spoke about how he just wants to provide for the tribe and help keep the camp running. He then had his longest confessional to date, about want to play with integrity and coast through with his allies making me extremely anxious that we are approaching the fall of my lover.

Avi and his undies – boy is he trying to take my heart away from Lee, or what – joined Shannon by the shore to discuss their plans, enjoying their place in the middle though if we learnt anything from Julia and Aubry, sometimes the person in the middle gets run over. Proving my fears correct, the sausage fest grew concerned that Shannon wasn’t actually with them.

Barb then continued to bitch about Lee for cooking an eggplant looking thing for the entire tribe, without consulting them first. I mean, I get it could be annoying but he is just trying to help. Seriously, this is making me sympathetic to the sausage fest.

After a brief pow-wow between Shannon and the sausage fest to complain about the complainers, Matt arrived for the long-awaited first individual immunity challenge where the tribe had to balance their balls on a disc, held up by ropes which is where we find out how smutty Matt can be. Shay, Avi and Sala quickly fell out of the challenge before Matt had even said anything about ball play. Jak and Tom soon followed before the second round commenced, still without a ball pun. After round three, Nate and Lee dropped their balls before my balls were reminded that Mike is actually kinda hot. Barb dropped out, leaving it to Mike and Shannon to fight for immunity before the wind picked up and lead to the latter dropping her ball, handing immunity to Mike.

While Shannon was talking about her experience in the challenge, Barb suddenly fainted  – I assume from expelling too much energy complaining – with Matt opting to send the tribe back to camp while she received treatment from the medic.

Not dwelling on her potential medevac, the tribe quickly got to work locking in their sides for tribal with the boys targeting Shay and Hermosa 2.0 targeting Lee, with Avi and Shannon in the middle with the ultimate decision. Thankfully for the olds, Barb returned to camp giving them the upper hand as they headed off to tribal … depending on who Shannon and RV actually decide to vote with.

At tribal, Nate and Shannon spoke about the importance of trust which is something the latter is about to break with four people. Lee said that the tribe was all over the shop and that he was just trying to stay out of the drama. Matt confirmed that everyone was guaranteed to make the jury, before asking Tom and Shay if that means that big moves will start to occur to win people’s votes in the end. Mike was thankful to have won immunity, confident that he was likely to have received votes otherwise. Little did he know how lucky he actually was, with RV and Shannon sticking with Hermosa 2.0 and Shay to vote out my babe-town Lee. Who was pissed, though thankful to be heading to redemption where he could easily Ozzy his way to victory.

Not wanting the remaining nine to feel too confident, Matt announced that they would be competing in their next immunity challenge then and there, before voting out another person from the tribe. He quickly stripped Mike of immunity before tasking them with remembering some very easy – what does fire represent in the game – and some completely fuck off hard – how many times has Matt worn a green hat. Thankfully Matt butchered the pronunciation of Nicaragua again before Jak sadly took out immunity.

Without so much as second to scramble, Matt tried to send the tribe to vote before Mike did his best Hali impersonation, stopping the vote and trying to woo people to his side and get rid of Shay. Shay then pointed out that Mike had won two of the three individual challenges this season and anyone would be mad to flip. Which was a compelling enough argument as Mike was sent to Lee’s arms on redemption island.

After a brief interlude of Lee and Mike suffering in their jocks on redemption island and blaming Shannon, we returned to camp where Nate and Barb were feeling smug for taking down the boys while Shannon was feeling nervous about ever going to redemption and having to deal with their rage. Oh and Tom got a glimmer of hope with Barb whispering to him that she’d keep him in the game as long as she can. Maybe she will win me over?

The next day, Shay was feeling nervous after barely surviving the first two post merge tribals, despite being in the majority. She joined Nate and Sala by the ocean to discuss next steps, with Tom being the obvious target despite Nate not thinking he is a problem that needs to be dealt with yet. While that is going on, Tom was correctly predicting that Nate and Barb would not sit idly by as Shay and Sala took control. Nate then zigged when I thought he was going to zag and suggested that getting rid of Shannon and throwing her to the wolves is always a possibility.

Meanwhile Jak was not having a good day and proceeded to bitch to himself about the olds taking his cool friends out of the game. Sucking up his pride, he then approached Barb to see what she was thinking and whether there was any hope for him. The most shocking part of the segment is that both of them were quite likable and seemed to be stepping up their games. She then got tea-bagged and I finally got her.

Not wanting to leave me hanging for long, Matt returned for the reward challenge – the infamous coconut chop from the Marquesas – for five Pizza Hut pizzas for four people, because that allegedly is too many for one person? I love you … but fuck you, Matt. Shay was out first, immediately followed by Tom, then Jak, Shannon, Sala and Avi, leaving Nate and Barb to battle it out, with the latter taking out the win. To make the challenge more controversial, Barb then had to select three people to share the pizza with, going with Nate, Jak and Sala – to keep the latter feeling safe so that she can take him out.

After the brief break for product placement and Shannon to chop a coconut, she and Sala went for a chat where Sala told her that Tom and Jak were telling everyone they couldn’t trust either Shannon or Shay.

We then checked in with Lee and Mike who were still feeling sad about Shannon’s betrayal, though at least Lee is still killing the hair game.

Back at camp, Barb approached Shannon to float the idea of getting rid of Sala which delighted Shannon who also wanted him out next. Barb then took this information to Jak, who took it to Tom … which definitely means Sala wins the next immunity challenge, right?

But before we get to the issue of the next tribal, we have to actually get rid of someone from the game – yep, the babe-off duel has arrived! While Lee is far prettier, Mike is more ripped, so I don’t even know who I want to see take out the win. After a bit of smack talking about Shannon, the boys got down to the challenge – which sadly wasn’t naked greco roman wrestling – where they had to balance a beam, empty some sacks and put the contents of said sacks into holes. The last part being a puzzle, obvi.

Sadly for my first love Lee, Mike and his nipples got out to an early lead that never really dissipated – even when some of his bits weren’t in the right spots – with him taking out the duel and sending Lee out of the game and into my loving arms at Pounderosa. While he was completely gutted to be out of the game, I’ve long known the way to his heart,  which like all men, is through their stomach. More specifically though, my Leekoumaden Haan.

 

 

While he never really warmed to the idea of being calmed my little honey puff as a nickname – nor was he into making me his creampie – he was always keen to down a few of these Greek delights. Lightly spiced and pillowy, the puffs are then drowned in honey and fill you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Leekoumaden Haan
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
7g active dry yeast
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 cups warm water
3 cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
vegetable oil, to fry
½ cup of honey, for puff drowning purposes

Method
Combine the yeast and sugar in a jug with the water. Stir and leave in a warm place to get all foamy for about five minutes. Once ripe and puffed, pour into the large bowl of a stand mixer and slowly stir in the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Chuck in the dough hook and mix for a couple of minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Cover with cling and leave to prove for a couple of hours in a warm place.

Pour enough oil into a pot to fill it 2 inches – you don’t need more, but then again frying scares me. Do what you think it right? Place it over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, slide a few tablespoon sized dollops into the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Flip the puffs a couple of times, cooking for about five minutes total or until golden. Remove the puffs with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on some paper towel while you repeat the process until the batter is done.

Once all the puffs are cooked and crisp, heat the honey in a large frying pan over high heat. Toss the puffs through the honey, serve immediately and devour.

 

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Jeffle Varner

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

Previously on Survivor, Debbie was living it up on Exile yacht with Cockstain, while Brad and his interior design skillz were leading things at Mana while Sandra and Varner were on the bottom at new Nuku until Tai’s paranoia almost got to him. Sadly however, it didn’t, resulting in the confirmation that the Game Changers we are seeing is the darkest timeline as Sandra Diaz-Twine found herself voted out – for the first time ever – as the sixth boot.

I guess the one positive we can take from everything is that her display proved why she is the greatest of all time. Though the glorious timeline where she scores a hatrick is too much joy to comprehend …

Anyway, back at new Nuku Debbie regaled everyone with tails about how awful exile was, to garner sympathy. While Ozzy came for Tai, proving that last week’s tribal wasn’t an elaborate act for Sandra, before Tai gave the understatement of the year, acknowledging that he is terrible at tribal.

Varner however was ropeable and wanted to “punch them bitches in the throat-bone.” Thankfully his dear friend Zeke talked him off the ledge … and then proceeded to spill all the details about OG Nuku.

Wanting to avoid continuing Sandra’s wake, Jeff called in the tribes for the reward challenge – honouring Sandra’s legacy in the process – where the tribes had to untangle themselves from a big, hard pole, untangle some knots, release a big bag of balls and squeeze through some tight mesh before tossing their balls around … for pizza.

No t, no shade … but this is a reward to almost die for, Caleb … ok?

With a stellar performance, obviously, from Debbie – did you see that Brad? – Ozzy’s ball handling skills won out. Though in Brad and the Technicolour Boardshorts’ defense, he did a valiant job trying to catch-up.

Well not really, but dem boardies. YAS.

After suffering a crushing defeat, Cirie returned to the game to outline how horrible it was to miss out on reward and how by this point in the game, everyone was suffering … setting of a major pity party over at Mana.

Sierra joined us to outline how hungry she was and broke down, before Aubry joined in to say how hard it was to adjust when she got home … which is how Monica felt after getting home to Brad after Blood vs. Water.

Brad continued his redemption arc, talking about how tough Monica was and how only now is he starting to understand what she went through. Seriously, Brad and Mon are couple goals at this point.

Moved by his honesty, Aubry connected with Brad … forming what appears to be a tentative alliance.

Meanwhile over at Nuku, Ozzy talked about how important this victory was for the tribe as they progress to the next phase of the game. Debbie then babe-d Ozzy, giving me another couple goal.

Seeing how screwed he is, Varner approached Sarah to get rid of Ozzy given that the merge is approaching and they want to have a fighting chance in challenges. Sarah, the cahp turned criminal seemed receptive to cutting Ozzy’s throat and ride into the merge like a crook, see.

Not wanting to leave me for too long, Probst returned for the next immunity challenge which involved a dick-load of swimming, meaning Ozzy is probs safe given he is part dolphin. Despite an epic lead heading into the word puzzle portion, thanks of course to Ozzy, Hali and her passion for spelling took out immunity for Mana and continued her metamorphosis into a Survivor icon.

Here’s to the merge tribe ‘Merica II, right?

Back at camp Varner scrambled desperately to survive one more day to see ‘Merica II and hopefully for him … the jury. While Sarah pushed hard to get rid of Ozzy, Zeke explained why it is important for him to keep bigger threats around and that Sarah and Andrea would be trying to placate him … upsetting Varner, who wanted to get rid of Ozzy.

He then took said information to Sarah and Andrea, to try and get him in with them and make Zeke look closer with Ozzy.

Then at tribal we got to see how truly desperate and low he was willing to go to save himself, outing Zeke as a transgender man and setting off the ugliest yet all at once most beautiful tribal council.

Make no mistake, what Jeff did was wrong, disgusting and utterly horrific – we know that and thankfully he knows that – but hopefully the silver lining to this incident is that there can be a positive conversation around trans rights and visibility.

The reactions of Tai, Andrea, Ozzy, Debbie and Sarah gave me so much hope for humanity, as they immediately stood up for Zeke and defended his right to come out on his terms, and to direct his experience and personal narrative.

These people and Zeke’s words are why this tribal council can still be classified as beautiful.

As a cisgender gay man, I am somewhere in the middle of the privilege spectrum. While I have a mildly similar experience by being a part of the broader LGBT community, I am acutely aware of how much more privilege I have than Zeke just by being cisgender.

Zeke spoke beautifully about why he wasn’t open about his gender identity on the show and it broke my heart as it reminded me of how it felt to be labelled by others before I was comfortable … and that is why it stings just that little bit more coming from Jeff.

Being part of the community, he should have known better as he knows what it is like to have to process your identity and often even learn to just accept yourself. People deserve the right to share what they want with others, if and when they want to. Outing people is dangerous, particularly in the trans community in the current climate.

You shouldn’t need to to be a decent person, but Varner has likely experienced something very similar – not being ready to share or not wanting something to be the one thing you’re known for – and he should know far, far, far better. Whatever the reasoning, if it isn’t your truth, it isn’t your place to share.

Ever.

I reiterate that I think Jeff is remorseful and most importantly, Zeke was able to eloquently discuss how he felt and was kind enough to take the high road … when I for sure, would have gone low. Very low. So – and I feel so awkward using this as my segway into a recipe given the enormity of what happened – I felt comfortable enough to sit down with him and share a Jeffle Varner.

 

 

Given what went down and how it played out, I thought it best to whip up an easy, delicious snack – so no sweet Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse for you! – so that I could chastise him and discuss why we, as gay cisgendered men, should know better and how we owe it to our community to be the staunchest of allies.

I truly felt he was remorseful and agreed to smuggle in a heartfelt culinary apology to Zeke. Sadly though, Probst – who let’s just pause here to reiterate that moments like this highlight are why he is the best at what he does … give the man (if Ru can’t get a 2nd) another damn Emmy – wouldn’t let me smuggle in a very, very delicious jaffle, that reminds you of childhood and why leftovers are arguably the best. Plus, how do you go past adding even more carbs to spaghetti bolognese?

Exactly – enjoy!

And if you need more information on how to be a better ally, please follow Zeke/GLAAD’s advice because I know my ramblings can in no way get close to explaining the gravity of the situation and how important it is to stand up for equality. Remember to be kind, to both Zeke and Varner, even if he doesn’t deserve it,  … haterade is reserved for my (*gasp, shock* fake) celebrity friends.

 

 

Jeffle Varner
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices white bread
butter
1 cup leftover Dolognese Parton, including some spaghetti if you want it authentic … but that is up to you
½ shaved parmesan cheese

Method
Now this is insanely complex, so pay attention.

Start by turning on a jaffle iron and buttering the bread.

Divide the Dolognese across two slices.

Top each with parmesan and close the sandwiches with the remaining bread.

Butter the top of the bread and place butter-side down on the jaffle iron.

Butter the remaining pieces of bread and close the machine.

Cook until the red light turns green … aka five minutes or so, and the bread golden and the parmesan gooey, JIC your machine is old and the lights don’t work.

 

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Bahn Michaela Bradshaw

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

In the words of the great, wise Brandi Glanville – fuck you, fuck this, fuck that, fuck him, fuck you, fuck off.

I know, I should be telling you about what happened previously on Survivor, like how five of the first six women were minority women, Hannah had a panic attack, Taylor lost his in-game snuggle bunny, Ken was absolutely banging and Michaela was absolutely beasting the competition … but fuck this.

Seriously.

Not only did we suffer the pain of losing the final minority female cast member, said female was Michaela who was and forever will be my Queen … second only to Sandra Diaz-Twine.

Sure Taylor handled Adam screwing he and Figgy over with a lot more maturity and game awareness than I was expecting.

And yes David and Zeke confirmed their scrappy, underdog alliance.

But Michaela singlehandedly one her seventeenth challenge – behind Vanua, thanks to Chris’ beast 2.0 performance – after throwing out a bye Felecia about Figgy’s departure. Hell, I am so upset I can’t even bring myself to comment on how beautiful Ken looked glistening from the water, shooting hoops during the challenge.

The Vanua tribe may have enjoyed one of my favourite kind of rewards, where locals come to cook for tribe and they in turn repulse everyone by farting and burping. I guess it was an attempt at humour, knowing that Jay was about to crush our souls.

Either way, I’ll stop my sob story to say pray for Michelle as she suffers through bodily Chernobyl.

Over at Takali, Taylor continued to play beyond what I assumed was his capacity and worked over Jessica and Kengel. Or maybe he was looking to start a relationship with Kengel and his open shirt.

We then checked in with Ikabula, reminding me of the agony coming at the end of the episode. Thankfully Hannah started to win me back after her post-Mari faux-pas, trying to turn the tribe on Bret after she interrogated him on his career and immediately picked up on the fact that he is a cop.

It what feels like only moments after reward, Jiffy Pop arrived for to lord over the fateful immunity challenge involving a whole bunch of ball play, weighing down heavy sacks and shooting your load – of sacks – at a target. Normally this would be my favourite thing to write about … but I’m different now, knowing what Ikabula’s loss means.

I mean, even Kengel almost knocking out Adam while avoiding him to hug Taylor couldn’t make me smile.

Back at camp Ikabula had a moment of silence for my loss, before Sunday finally broke rank to start scrambling with Bret while Michaela rallied the kids to lay out their path to the final four. Sadly Queen Michaela’s strategic leadership spooked – rightfully – Jay, who pulled the young James Earl Jones impersonator aside and commenced the march to her doom and my pain.

For Jay it was a great move … for now at least – he got rid of arguably the biggest physical threat just before the merge, he made a huge play he can reference if he makes it to the end – particularly given he boldly told Michaela he had flipped while Jeff tallied the votes – and he saved Sunday and Bret which could become loyal numbers to repay the debt.

And he didn’t get killed by Michaela after her very dramatic blindside … although it would have been better if she had attempted to light his low-rent Joe Anglim locks on fire.

But, you know, choices.

None of that however changes the fact that Survivor lost an angel last night, in the form of sweet, feisty, Michaela – who I met at college and quickly befriended as I needed someone to keep me in line – and life will forevermore be broken down by the time before Michaela was voted out and after. The latter being a bleak time where nothing matters anymore. If only there was a way she could change her game fate …

On another season perhaps …

She was obviously not very happy to be blindsided from the game just before the merge but took comfort in a hearty Bahn Michaela Bradshaw, and the knowledge that she is the star of Millennials vs. Gen X.

 

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Like our fallen angel, these sandy-j’s – maybe I shouldn’t bring up Jay right now – are full of flavour and plenty of heat. I mean, if a sandwich was ever going to dominate you in a winning fashion, this is it! Hot, sour, sweet and fresh – it is everything Michaela used to change the game.

Enjoy!

 

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Bahn Michaela Bradshaw
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
6 Vietnamese baguettes or crusty white bread rolls
½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup raw caster sugar
sea salt
3 large carrots, peeled and grated shredded
500g minced pork
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp chilli paste
pork liver pâté, to taste
mayonnaise, to taste
1 large Lebanese cucumber, quartered lengthwise and deseeded
handful coriander
2 shallots, finely sliced
sliced bird’s eye chilli, to serve

Method
Start with picklin’ your carrots by combining the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a small bowl, grate in the carrots, add two teaspoons of salt and stir to combine. Leave to steep for an hour or two, drain and refrigerate.

Preheat to the oven to 180°C.

While the carrots are chilling like Michaela wasn’t on her way out, combine the pork in a bowl with a teaspoon of salt, muscovado sugar, fish and soy sauces, lemongrass, garlic and chilli paste and mix well to combine.

Form the meat into 6 sausage shaped pieces of meat, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for fifteen minutes, or until browned and just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble, split the baguettes in half and slather one side with mayo and the other with pâté – and by slather, to your taste. Top with some pickled carrot, cucumber, pork and some coriander, shallot and chilli to taste.

Devour … being careful to avoid the fiery rather of the bird’s eyes / Michaela.

 

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Rohan Maclaren Cheese

Australian Survivor, Main, Pasta

Previously on Survivor, Rohan’s junk threw out the clue I assume to make way for my …well, before JoJo declared a merge which was actually an absorbed tribe situation, where Nick was a dick to Jennah Louise, setting up his eventual downfall and Kat, I assume learning from her favourite Resort Report CEO turned on Aganoa filling Craig with some arrogance.

Hopefully this isn’t the pride before his fall.

We made our way over to new Saanapu where Jennah Louise was rightfully feeling pretty screwed, fuelling what I hope will be her comeback storyline.

Returning to Vavau, Kate tried to take over the mantle from Joe, Wigles and Vytas by furthering her game via yoga. Kate, show me your idol in some printed jocks and you get my vote.

After some absorption disguised as a merge rage from Phoebe, everyone started feeling hella XTina circa ‘02 when they saw JoJo and were pumped to get dirrty. Either way, I was sweating as their clothes came off.

There was rubbing, writhing and everything to fill Probst’s mind with smut before Nick’s repeated cock-grazing of Lee lead to a victorious shower. Seriously, I didn’t embellish any of that eroticism. This show is getting, gooooood yo.

We followed Saanapu to reward where a soft core porno was playing out before Jennah commenced her work to join forces with Kylie to try and overthrow Saanapu and screw Nick – who after trying to take my man Lee, is dead to me – again.

Back at Vavau, they had to accept the fact that their erotic exploits would have to stick to the ocean. But erotic is erotic and they seemed happy rubbing each other down, particularly Rohan who enjoyed spilling more ex-Aganoan secrets while talking smack about Kat while she was in earshot.

I assume it is a spokesmodel feud.

While Rohan was losing friends, Craig went wandering to find the Vavau idol … with the entirety of his tribe. So yeah, not exactly stealth. But it didn’t seem to screw Spencer in Cagayan, so maybe it will work.

After an aggressive storm tore through both camps, Lee soaked his shorts (rather than ours for a change) and Sue was well pissed which I hope blows over as I desperately want her to win. We then arrived at immunity which was my favourite challenge which once resulted in Probst saying my favourite quote of all time, “Malcolm’s pants are now completely off.”

After a hard fought battle – and a beautiful love story between Lee and Rohan in the second and fifth rounds – Saanapu won immunity. But let’s be honest, Kate was the true winner showing her challenge beast side and so were the audience with the copious amounts of man butt in the final round.

Heading back to camp, former front runner Phoebe was feeling pretty dejected thinking she was on the way out while Sue was the dominant force of nature I knew she was and forced the idol information out of Rohan and continued to allow him to dig his hole even further.

Knowing that Rohan had the idol, Vavau made moves to split the vote and flush the idol, then debated turning on Kat while Kat reaffirmed the Rohan split, Phoebe moved to get the idol played on her and the vote turned on Sue leading to my complete and utter confusion as they made their way into tribal council.

After a bold tribal council with Phoebe fighting hard and working on deals during discussions and Andrew dancing around in circles, working on his arrogance and butchering the phrase shooting fish – not ducks – in a barrel, Phoebe played her/Rohan’s idol and saw Rohan voted out by Kat and Kristie.

While I felt for poor Rohan as he made his way into Loser Lodge, I was a little bit happy knowing that Sue has survived. Plus I knew it was close enough to the mud challenge that I could offer to shower my model friend – we met while I briefly worked in casting for a major fashion label … I think you know why I lost my job – without coming off as too lecherous.

Ro being Ro wasn’t angry when he made his way into my loving arms … but that could have something to do with the fact that he could smell my Rohan Maclaren Cheese baking in the oven?

 

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Like Rohan this dish has you salivating – cheesy, comforting and decadent, this pasta bake and its hint of truffle keep you coming … back for more and more.

Enjoy!

 

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Rohan Maclaren Cheese
Serves: Again I would say 1, functional society would say 4.

Ingredients
Salt and pepper, to taste
500g dried macaroni
1 tbsp truffle oil
60g unsalted butter
¼ cup plain flour
½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups milk
1 ½ cups shredded Gruyère cheese
1 ½ cups shredded vintage cheddar cheese
fresh chives, finely sliced to garnish

Method
Preheat an oven to 180°C.

First get cracking by bringing a large saucepan of water to the boil aka hotter than the hot tub with a swimwear model. Salt the water, add the macaroni and cook, stirring often, for just under the packet recommendations. Drain, return to the pot off the heat and stir through the truffle oil.

In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it starts to foam. Whisk in the flour, paprika and mustard, and cook stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk, season and return to the heat and cook, again stirring constantly for about five minutes.

Remove from the heat again, and stir through a cup of each cheese until smooth, melty and glorious.

Pour the sauce over the macaroni, give a thorough stir and transfer to a medium/large baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is golden and bubbling.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes, if you can. Garnish with chives and devour.

Yes – no serving, devour. This is single serve if you’ve just been booted.

 

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Peter Baklavenstos

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, Sweets

Running into an ex is always awkward, but when it is seeing the person that broke your heart after getting them on the show … after they were just voted out is kinda satisfying.

Scrap that, it is fucking glorious.

This week we started with Petey trying to woo Tai into his third showmance in six episodes while over on Chanloh, part-time model Debbie and her adonis Nick engaged in, what on the island was, the filthiest and most explicit romance since Ozzy and Amanda in Micronesia.

Love, however, isn’t what we watch for … it is all about Probst making a series of ball puns while people were bobbing for them during the reward challenge. Once again, Aubrey continued to be the challenge beast of the season.

Peter spent most of the episode putting a target on his back and being paranoid, before a block almost took out Biden at the challenge. Thankfully he wasn’t evacuated, giving Aubrey another chance to shine when she literally crossed out Julia’s name and changed her vote to Peter.

I don’t know if it was due to budget cuts or they are trying to be green, but I’m thankfully there are limited pieces of parchment for drama’s sake.

I first met Petey on the impersonating circuit where he, obviously, was a Time Square Obama and I was any misc-dark haired celebrity with curls, but was most often recognised as Fred Savage, Ray Martin or aggressive Andy Samberg.

Pete and I, again obviously, fell into a torrid love affair bathed amongst the lights of Bro-ad-way (right near where, I assume, Reed cheated on Josh). Our loving relationship was so strong, he convinced me to don blackface (to upset my nemesis Harry Connick Jr. – he always refused my advances/to whisper my name) and play the Michelle to his Barack.

Mich (who I am also friends with) loved the idea and thankfully deemed my arms perfect enough to play her … lucky I invented that workout system with her in 2014. I must look at releasing it soon, if only I paid Todd Tucker for his work filming it.

Anyway, when I found out Pete was officially going to be on Survivor I quickly tried to call Probst and try to help pre-game for my lover, but his attitude got in the way (I’m team Biden on the circuit, not on the island) and we sadly went our separate ways.

While you may assume that I would handle a break-up with expletives, lighter-fluid and booze, that wasn’t the case when I reconnected with Pete in loser lodge … probably as I was so smug to see him just before the merge, meaning my break-up, once again proves that Kat Mr. Edorsson is a genius – who wants to date someone that doesn’t make the merge?

Thankfully I am very mature and rational and was kind enough to whip it out him up a nice batch of my (usually post-coital) Peter Baklaventos.

 

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Baklava, while time consuming, is one of the easiest sweets you can make but still looks impressive. Obviously this is my favourite kind of recipe – one that gives you the most bang for your buck … particularly if it is for a post bang meal.

Between the pastry, rosewater and sticky nuts dripping in a sweet, moist glaze … this is something you need to have in and around your mouth. ASAP.

Enjoy!

 

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Peter Baklavenstos
Makes: About 24 pieces.

Ingredients
250 gm each pistachios and walnuts, finely chopped
100 gm caster sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
200 gm butter, coarsely chopped
500 gm filo pastry
Honey syrup
300 gm caster sugar
125 gm honey
1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
1 cinnamon quill
4 drops rosewater

Method
Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan, set aside and keep warm. Brush a 24x34cm baking dish with butter. Cut filo sheets to fit tray snugly and cover with a damp tea towel.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Layer one-third of the filo pastry in tray, brushing butter between each layer. Yes this can be annoying and I generally avoid this set when making filo pies … but this is the one dish you kind of can’t avoid this step, sorry.

Spread half the nut mixture on top, repeat the process with the next third of filo, top with the remaining nuts and do the filo again. Once more, with feeling and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and cut the dish into 4cm diamonds with a sharp knife, making sure to get through all layers of filo and bake until golden and crisp, about 50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.

While in the oven, get onto the honey syrup by combining the sugar, honey, lemon rind, cinnamon and 300ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 minutes and the flavours have gloriously steeped in the liquid. Remove from heat, strain and stir through the lemon juice and rosewater and set aside.

Cool baklava for about 5 minutes and pour the syrup evenly over the pastry. Set aside at room temperature to cool completely … if you can. Then go crazy and devour it.

 

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Stew Hwang

Main, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

When Woo Hwang was selected for a second chance, I was skeptical. He  made undeniably one of the worst final two picks in Survivor history, costing himself the million dollar win. Tony Vlachos, the winner of the season, was also massively unlikeable. So what does that say about our friend Woo? Nothing good, I’m afraid.

Naturally, watching Woo’s BvBvB failure was not the first time we’d crossed paths. Woo was auditioning with Ben and I for a lifetime backed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles telemovie. While Ben was flaunting his assets for the role of April, Woo was gunning for Leonardo. In a massive twist of fate, the casting agent was so impressed with Woo he snagged the role of April AND Splinter (Ben’s second choice) right out from underneath him. As you can imagine, there is a very long suffering grudge between the two.

To see Woo fail was massively rewarding in his first season, but I was really gunning for him in Cambodia. Despite not being one of my personal returnee choices, he seemed to really grow a backbone out there, even at the risk of copping an Abi-Maria coconut to the head.

How can we best comfort Woo for being voted out too soon?

 

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The Stew Hwang is the ultimate in sweet spicy comfort food. Slow cooked to tender perfection and served by the generous bowlful, this is the perfect non-alcoholic way to drown your sorrows.

 

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Stew Hwang
Serves: 8

Ingredients
1kg lean topside of beef, diced into 1-inch cubes
100g streaky bacon or lardons, roughly chopped
1 large brown onion, diced
4 small cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups red wine
3/4 cup plum jam
2 tablespoons minced chilli
2 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
4 sprigs rosemary

Method
Preheat oven to 140°C. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, brown diced beef in batches and set aside.

In the same pan, brown lardons and onion until soft and aromatic. Add garlic and red wine and allow to simmer for five minutes or until liquid is reduced by a third.

Add jam, tomatoes, stock, chilli and rosemary. Cover with tight fitting lid and bake in oven for up to four hours, stirring hourly, until meat is very tender. Cook for final 30 minutes uncovered so sauce can reduce.

Serve with warm toasted bread or mashed potatoes.

 

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