Jenna Lewiscuits waiting for our fellow fame hungry Survivor All Star Jenna Lewis.

Jenna Lewiscuits

Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Borneo, Survivor: Island of the Idols

Well lookie here, can you believe we’re almost back for another season to see whether we can do a more elaborate shark jumping than last season? I mean, sure, Chris broke the pizza curse by returning to the game and securing victory, but can we be sure if pizza won’t be a curse when you don’t have a safety net? Who knows.

In any event, I stick by the old adage that bad Survivor is still better than no Survivor and last season did give us the majesty of Chris’ package and flashy – not in an Australian Survivor way, sadly – end game if something I will defend until my last breath.

Given last season’s countdown finally caught me up on having the suite of victors dropping by on record, I decided that it was time to celebrate some of the non-winning icons of the game. And while Jenna may not be remembered fondly for turning on the winners in All Stars, I will always hold a special place for her in my heart.

I mean, she was one of the few people to try and break apart the tagi alliance in Borneo, famously missed out on a video from home as her family forgot and then returned to All Stars and famously set the tone, cutting Tina first and making all winners targets.

She was thrilled and honestly, kinda shocked, to receive a call asking her to drop by and help me countdown to Island of the Idols since as she put it “I’m not what most people would consider a legend of the game.” Which truly kinda broke my heart.

I explained to her as one of the few people to vote for Rob to win All Stars, I considered her a rational gamer and felt wistful wondering what the timeline would look like had he won that game. I assume no Mariano duo in the potential and definitely not confirmed by spoilers season of winners at war … with each other, for instance.

With that, she giddily accepted the fact that being a returnee was enough to get and invite while we smashed some culinary sacrifices in the form of Jenna Lewiscuits, to guarantee Rob and Sandra don’t help the contestants on their island and instead troll them into making bad mistakes.

 

Jenna Lewis moments before smashing some Jenna Lewiscuits.

 

Fluffy and melt in your mouth, biscuits truly are a thing of glory – just ask Latrice ‘Slop-It-Up-With-A-Biscuit’ Royale! Not quite bread, not quite a scone, these babies are the perfect accompaniment for sausage gravy. If only Sam knew!

Enjoy!

 

Jenna Lewis smashing some Jenna Lewiscuits.

 

Jenna Lewiscuits
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
⅓ cup milk powder
2 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tsp kosher salt
125g butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for brushing
½ cup shortening, melted
1 ½ cups buttermilk

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the butter and press through the dry ingredients with the tips of your fingers until it resembles wet sand. Add the shortening and stir to combine before adding in the buttermilk and folding through.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until just combined. Flatten into a one inch thick slab of dough and cut into two inch wide circles. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with some melted butter and repeat the process until the dough is all used.

Place the biscuits in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately – with or without sausage gravy – and devour.

 

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Reubannah Pentato Salad waiting to be giddily destroyed by Hannah Pentreath.

Reubannah Pentato Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Salad, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders dominated the early game, securing immunity after immunity (after immunity) while the Champs just enjoyed rewards and nothing else. I mean, not even each other’s company after the great power shift at their second tribal. In the early stages, Luke and Harry found two full idols, while Janine and Shaun found idols which were only valid for the other tribe. David then borrowed JaQueen’s idol note, made his own and traded it with Shaun for the real one. After a tribe swap left David and Luke without any allies and Daisy without her bestie Shaun, she decided to make some new friends, flipping on her OG tribe and saving the boys with an assist from Baden and John, blindsiding Sam and then sending Queen Sarah out of the game … after putting her through the trauma of a near-drowning challenge. May I remind you she survived a damn tsunami and deserves more than that.

We checked in with the Contenders where Janine was getting to know Harry, asking him to regale her with tales of his fake son. While I wasn’t a fan of Harry to start, I honestly love that everyone was so interested about his life with his son and he managed to fool them all, despite not remembering his name consistently. Harry, I’m sorry if I’ve been mean – I love you, you sweet family man you.

Over at Camp Champ Baden and Luke were on the hunt for coconuts, with the vet teaching the young whipper snapper how to tell if they are any good. Sadly his skills weren’t on the money though, as he cracked a rotten coconut. Speaking of rotten coconuts, Andy was loving his closest ally in the game David, however sadly for him, David had zero interest in aligning with him. And that makes me so happy. David was thrilled about his new majority alliance though, laughing and frolicking in the water with Luke and John. Sadly for Dave though his other close ally Daisy is missing her former bestie Shaun and that is making him jealous.

Speaking of Shaun he and the Contenders were worried about rain rolling in later that day, which is not a euphemism for them heading to tribal council and him being on the outs. Controlling the tribe are Jaqueen, Pia and Abbey who are worried about the threat that David poses, figuring that they need to take out his closest friends to weaken him before they can strike. With that JaQueen and Abbey approached Shaun to fill him in on the fact that his idol was fake and damn JaQueen, you’re a bloody icon. The next day Shaun was feeling hella salty before he unwrapped said fake idol to find that it was clearly David’s home job and slowly became enraged and ready for revenge.

My boy Jonathan arrived to lord over the reward challenge with an assist from his stun(ning) gun(s), where one at a time, two people would face off against someone from the rival tribe to knock the other’s idol off a perch. For DIY toasties, which TBH is pretty lazy of JLP but he is hot, so whatever. Luke finally defeated Matt in round one, Hannah then evened things up against Pia – driven by her hate for Matt calling her weak – before Zaddy John pulled his own idol of its perch, handing the Contenders their second point. Tragically the icon himself Ross was defeated by Sonic impersonator Andy, while Baden was bested by Harry the family man in a dance fight. Daisy made quick work of Abbey … by exascerbating a previous knee injury which is fucking savage. Shaun and has nemesis David were the next to face off and while Shaun scored the point, we won as they held each other while shirtless. John and Harry faced off, if you could call it that, as John dived under his legs, grabbed the idol and secured victory for the Champions. The tribes then mingled and congratulating each other on a challenge well played before Shaun whispered to Daisy that David handed off a dud idol and she needed to get rid of him ASAP.

The Champions returned to camp with David smarting over continually lose to Shaun in their face offs. Thankfully that sadness didn’t last long as they discovered the toastie ingredients and a bunch of personalised plate from their families. We then learnt that Zaddy John is a doting uncle to two beautiful nieces and I honestly love him more and more each episode. We then learnt that David is a loving father of three and I love him too. Baden’s plate featured his cat which again, is iconic, while Daisy broke down about her message from home and then learnt more about the ravages of drought and honestly the drought is fucked, despite how beautiful the farm looked. They got to work assembling their sandies, licking up the cheese goop and then straight up toasting sandwiches that fell in the fire and sadly for John, burning his plate. While everyone was distracted by Luke overeating and almost vomiting, Daisy pulled Baden aside to fill him in on fake-idol gate – and throw shade at Andy – and they planned to keep it quiet until they figure out how to deal with him.

Back at the Contenders Ross continued to be a total cutie, trying to snatch Harry’s socks while JaQueen, Abbey and Pia bonded on the beach and gushed about how much they love each other. They weren’t loving Harry and his shiftiness however, with Janine deciding that he needs to go ASAP. As he loitered around the bushes, wondering why he hadn’t made any allies. Shaun and the Champion girls got together by the fire, hopeful that Daisy will deal with David on their behalf. Later that night Harry grew hopeful that his idol could ingratiate him with his fellow OG Contenders, sharing the news and suggesting they use it to idol out JaQueen. And just like that, I don’t like Harry anymore.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where someone would chop through a rope to release blocks, while the six others walked two of said blocks through obstacles before untying knots to release poles which they then need to use to knock nine more blocks down … before using all the blocks to build a tower. The first to finish their tower snatching immunity. John and Ross were first up and to quote Jonathan, they punished their log until John got the Champions out to a slight lead. The Champions continued to extend their lead, almost lapping the Contenders. The Champions continued to extend their lead, starting on the tower before the others had even wrangled their poles. Shaun desperately tried to close the gap while Baden and Andy stood on David and Luke’s shoulders to finish the tower, with Daisy barking at Baden until he saved them from certain doom by holding the tower and stopping it from falling allowing the Champions to right it, awkwardly back away and finally secure immunity.

Amidst the celebrations and commiserations, David told JaQueen to vote out Shaun, Harry hugged Daisy and told her that if he goes, Shaun is next. To make things even more exciting, Jonathan dropped the surprise that not only did the Champions secure immunity but that they would also be attending tribal council that night to watch over proceedings. Sadly sans popcorn, much to Hannah’s dismay.

Back at camp the Contenders talked about their loss and Daisy’s aggressive leadership in the challenge. JaQueen and Simon got together to confirm that the Champions need to stay strong, identifying Harry as the shiftiest and decided to load all their votes on him. Meanwhile Harry and Casey got together to talk about JaQueen’s dominance, with him deciding that they should load all their votes on her. He then decided that Casey should go tell the Champions about his idol which potentially did what he hoped, making them distrust her and decide to flip the vote on to her instead. Casey returned to the Champion women to confirm the plan to get rid of Harry, with them confirming that they don’t believe Harry has it and as such will just vote for him. Casey returned to Harry to tell him they are being shifty, with Harry deciding that he should act like a complete and utter jerk at tribal to guarantee the votes go his way to ensure his idol play works. Sadly for him though JaQueen Inc. seem fairly set on getting out Casey instead.

At tribal council the Champions happily occupied the jury bench as the Contenders filed in and sat down, with Harry chewing a twig to complete his douche performance plan. JaQueen admitted that she was feeling lucky to be in the majority of the Contenders tribe, with Harry jumping in to talk about how nervous he is about the vote ahead. Ross shared that he trusts six or seven people on the tribe, so it isn’t all about the old tribe. Casey admitted that he told her he doesn’t trust her, which left Harry to assume that he was the other odd one out. Jonathan then pointed out that David and Luke managed to beat a numbers disadvantage, with Shaun complimenting them on being charming before Harry jumped in to point out on six people were actually playing the game while the rest were just cruising. He then went back to chewing his twig while Pia and Abbey started to call him out for not knowing their tribal dynamic.

Harry then pointed out that JaQueen is clearly in charge which angered Abbey and Janine, with Abbey not liking his smug face in particular. Casey thought that Harry got under their skin, Shaun admitted that they probably don’t know the dynamic before Janine pointed out that Harry is a completely different person in tribal. This lead to Abbey and Pia questioning who he is, before Ross point blank asked him whether his child was real. He then admitted that he does not have a kid, much to Abbey’s heartbreak before Pia reminded him that as a fan, this is not exactly the way to play the game and really, he is only playing himself. Matt said he was basing his vote on strength, Shaun was hopeful that that is enough to keep him while a decidedly less aggressive Harry tried to convince them that he will be an asset come the merge.

Just as the tribe were about to head off to vote, Jonathan advised them that tonight they would not be voting someone out of the tribe but instead the Champions would be voting to steal someone to join their tribe. Much to Matt’s absolute rage. With that the Champions voted one by one, snatching Shaun to their side and leaving Matt, Casey and Harry at an even worse numbers disadvantage.

The next day Shaun was settling in well at the Champions tribe, fishing with John and Andy while celebrating everyone bonding and getting along in the beautiful palatial camp. Daisy and Hannah were walking along the beach, Luke was complimenting Baden on his darkening tan and growing likeness to Peter Andre and honestly, I’m going to stop there as it doesn’t get better than a Peter Andre reference. Wait, it does get better – JOHN IS NUDE and my basement is flooded. Daisy too was full of joy, thrilled to be reunited with her bestie Shaun. While she had enjoyed her alliance with David and Luke, Shaun told her just how tight the Champion alliance is and as such, the Contenders need to come back together to ensure that David or Luke go and they can take control of the game.

David too had noticed the shift, nervous about how quickly Shaun managed to reunite the tribe and as such, put him back in the minority. He then decided that he needs to try and win Shaun over, so got to work trying to figure out how to play the whole fake idol saga off. They went for a walk together, with David sharing that he still has his idol and Shaun lying and saying that since he has no need for it on this beach, he thinks he may hide it to trick someone into using it. David fell for it, thrilled that they could come together and he got away with his crime, unaware that Shaun has no intention of honouring the final five he suggested between them, Luke, Daisy and Zaddy John.

Meanwhile back at the scummy, segregated camp Shaun left, the remaining castaways were weakened, sad and starving. Add to that, they were nervous about Harry’s new personality and his outed lies, and you could say they were all hating life. JaQueen was most angry about Harry painting the biggest target on her back, knowing that it could come back to bite her no matter how strong she builds her alliance. Though she is very grateful for her idol. Speaking of Harry, he was suffering in his jocks after making everyone hate him for absolutely no bloody reason, though he wasn’t willing to ever give up. Simon tried to get everyone’s mood back up with a cheeky peptalk and honestly, I love how pure he appears to be. What a bloody sweetie.

Jonathan and his guns wheeled out the old tower for today’s immunity challenge where the tribes – the Champs complete with Harry’s wanky toothpicks – would race through a series of obstacles, collecting balls, taking them to the top of the tower and awaiting remaining people to pull two ropes under water to open up a goal, with the first tribe to empty all their balls into the hole winning. Simon and Matt got the Contenders out to a slight lead, while Shaun struggled while looking beautiful in his speedos. Matt then struggled at the net obstacle, allowing Shaun and Luke to close the gap and land their balls on the tip of the shaft first. The Champions continued to extend their lead, leaving poor Pia and Casey to desperately try and make up some time, eventually making it to the top while the Champions struggled to land any balls. Ross jumped in to hold the Contenders goal open allowing Simon to score goal after goal, while the Champions remained on nothing. I’d like to pretend it was exciting to watch but Simon completely dominated, handing Contenders immunity and sending the warring Champions to tribal council.

Back at camp the Champions were shocked to lose the challenge, though Shaun quickly rallied and decided to lock in a split vote on David and Luke, unaware that their two idols could decide everything. Poor Hannah started to come down sick, with David and Luke approaching Daisy to suggest they get rid of Hannah instead. Meanwhile Shaun rallied Andy, John, Baden and Hannah to lock in the split vote. Hannah finally got a damn confessional, sharing that she is key to the plan and really needs to sell the fact that she thinks she is going home to ensure David doesn’t play his idol. Speaking of David, he was confident in the rest of the tribe going after Hannah instead of taking out he and Luke – aka the obvious targets – since nobody is playing on their level.  Andy being Andy decided that keeping David and Luke may actually work out in his favour, telling them to play their idol(s), save themselves and join him to take out Daisy. While Luke and David didn’t really think that they could trust Andy, they didn’t really have time to figure out what was happening before heading out to tribal.

At said tribal council Jonathan threw a little bit of shade at Shaun bombing the last challenge, before the adonis spoke about how grateful he was to be reunited with his friends. Daisy lay it on thick, talking about how even if he was terrible at challenges she would want him back as she trusts him implicitly. Hannah spoke about being on the bottom of the tribe for votes, Andy said he trusted his word while Luke straight up said that he planned to vote for her, though given he and David kept whispering, me thinks that is a lie. Daisy spoke about keeping the tribe strong while David and Luke continued to whisper amongst themselves. David then mentioned that he heard his name while Luke did some bad acting to pretend he wasn’t in on it – which is honestly iconic – while Daisy spoke about being confused as David pulled his idol out of his pocket. He then vowed to play the idol, which Shaun wasn’t convinced was a legit plan and was looking forward to finding out his plan. Andy wished he had an idol, Hannah asked if David would play the idol on her, while David said that she knows she doesn’t need it. Daisy was concerned about whose name was on the block then, with David and Luke continuing to whisper to figure who to pile their votes on and send home, should they play their idols.

With that the tribe voted, David and Luke both played their idols negating three votes on David and needlessly burning Lukes, while the remaining votes were tied for Shaun and Hannah. With a rando one for Daisy, which adds nothing to the story other than the fact Andy is all alone. With that the tribe voted again, this time for only Hannah and Shaun, with the iconic Hannah finding herself booted from the game. While I quickly pulled her into a hug, heartbroken of all the funny confessionals they never let us see from the queen, I explained that I am glad Shaun stayed if only so he has more opportunities to join John for a cheeky nude scene.

Pun intended.

While she was kind of cut that a dear friend like me – I went to the police academy with her while researching for a role in a Police Academy reboot that went nowhere – would be relieved to see her booted, she understood that my thirst always comes first. Again pun intended. And with that, we laughed, lamented what could have been and tucked in to a family-sized bowl of Reubannah Pentato Salad.

 

Hannah Pentreath waiting to smash a Reubannah Pentato Salad after a shocking tribal council.

 

How do you make something as majestic as potato salad even better? Add a hearty helping of (Academy Award winning) Pastrami Malek and all the fixins’ of a reuben. Nutty swiss cheese, tart cornichons and spicy Russianne Hathaway Dressing work together to make majestic, magnificent.

Enjoy!

 

Hannah Pentreath smashing a Reubannah Pentato Salad after a shocking tribal council.

 

Reubannah Pentato Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1kg small potatoes, halved
½ head of cabbage, shredded
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp horseradish cream
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
200g Pastrami Malek, shredded
100g Swiss cheese, shaved
½ cup baby cornichons, halved
1 tbsp chives, roughly chopped

Method
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them, and bring to the boil.  Once rollicking, reduce to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are just cooked through. Add the cabbage and cook for 30 seconds, drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking and leave to drain slash cool for a further 15 minutes.

While the potato and cabbage is getting all chill, combine the mayo, tomato sauce, horseradish cream and lemon juice in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and leave to rest.

Combine the potatoes and dressing in a large bowl and toss until well coated. Add the pastrami, cheese, cornichons and chives and toss again.

Serve immediately and devour, sadly. Thinking of what could have been for Hannah’s game.

 

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Sam Schoesage Gravy awaiting Australian Survivor's shocked seventh boot Sam Schoers.

Sam Schoesage Gravy

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Condiment, Gravy, Sauce, Side, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Daisy and Shaun had formed a tight bond on the Contenders tribe, however given they’ve only lost one immunity challenge, we haven’t had the chance to see whether the pair were in power. After finding an idol for the other tribe Shaun thought he had struck gold, switching it with David for the correct one. Sadly however David was playing him, having made a fake to trade out for the real thing, giving David, Janine and Luke’s alliance control of all the idols in the game. While the Champions continued to take out reward challenges, they couldn’t get it together in the immunity challenges leading to another date with Jonathan at tribal council. While David’s overconfidence started to prove off putting with Janine, Abbey and Pia enough to float the idea of blindsiding him, the alliance stood firm and poor E.T. found himself making an escape from the game.

That night the Champs were awoken from their restful slumber to find a big old crab crawling around Janine. As screaming turned to laughter, the tribe madly tried to exile it for the tribe before sadly wondering where E.T. is when they need him.

The next morning we checked in with the Contenders as they sat around for a hearty breakfast of rice as Baden tried to snap twigs. Shaun was feeling confident, owning an idol he doesn’t realise is fake and have tight allies in Daisy and John. That being said he didn’t trust Harry or Andy as far as he can throw them, so instead of trying to play against them, he opted to bring in Andy so shared with him the fact he had an idol and vowed to use it to protect them all come a swap or merge. While sweet Shaun was just trying to help, Andy was a shady jerk and called him stupid and while it wasn’t Shaun’s best move, I don’t like people being mean about him.

Jonathan returned for the latest reward challenge where the tribes discovered that psyche, it isn’t a reward challenge, it is time to drop their buffs as it is switch time. Everyone reached into Jonathan sacks to get their new buffs, with the new Contenders tribe comprised of OG’s Matt, Harry, Shaun and Casy with Janine, Abbey, Pia, Ross and Simon while Luke and David were alone on the Champions tribe with ring-ins Hannah, Andy, Sarah, Sam, Baden, Daisy and John.

We followed the new Contenders back to camp where we finally heard from Simon, who was thrilled to narrowly escape his impending boot while Janine, Abbey and Pia were concerned about the downgrade in their living conditions. Harry was concerned about his place in the new tribe given he is in the automatic minority, so commenced sharing stories of his non-existent child to win over the new tribe members. And damn it, it is actually working. Meanwhile over at the new Champions tribe the ex-Contenders were thrilled to discover their palatial new digs, complete with bounties of fruit and a calm bay. Andy was particularly thrilled, given his mega-majority on the tribe. On the flipside David and Luke were not happy to find themselves at the bottom, with Luke valiantly trying to assure David that they will figure something out. And given they both have idols, I have a feeling they will.

Jonathan made a speedy return for the latest reward challenge where the tribes are all paired up squatting on either sides of a pole with a bar tethered between them around a pole with the last pair standing without knocking over the pole winning immunity for their tribe. For some reason the tribe called for even numbers, so Casey and Baden sat out for their tribes. Hannah and Sarah were the first ones out for the new Champs, followed closely by Matt and Harry and Shaun and Simon for the Contenders. John and Andy dropped out next, leaving Janine and Abbey, and Pia and Ross to battle it out against Luke and David, and Sam and Daisy. Luke and David were the next to drop, leaving it up to Sam – who I still look forward to meeting – and Daisy to defeat Janine and Abbey after Ross and Pia finally dropped. As the challenge rolled on Luke grew desperate, asking Janine and Abbey to throw the challenge while the four women stood motionless. Eventually Daisy and Sam grew weak, knocking over their pole and handing the new Contenders immunity. Because JaQueen is what? A damn queen.

Back at camp Andy was super excited to be attending tribal council and can’t wait to get rid of Luke and David, which I desperately hope comes back to bite him big time. He then decided it is now time to take control of a vote, suggesting they split the vote on Luke and David to guarantee one of their demises … which he insufferably thinks is a plan that he has come up with and has never been done before. Thankfully both Luke and David have idols around their necks so know that they are safe if it comes down to it, however they’d rather not use them and find a crack. Luke approached Baden who was tragically Contender strong, while David tried to make inroads with Sam and while she had no desire to flip and save them, he arrogance annoyed the formerly arrogant David who decided she would be his target. One by one they worked their way around the tribe, trying to make those left behind paranoid and hopefully stumble upon a crack.

Andy then decided it was a great idea to share the information about David’s idol and the fact it came from Shaun and Daisy, with the former stumbling upon the conversation and instantly being filled with rage. Daisy then approached John to vent to him about Andy’s loose lips, realising that she would rather stay align with Luke and David instead. They opted to target Sam and then got to work finding another person to vote with, identifying Baden as their best shot. While Baden wasn’t thrilled to work with unknown quantities, he assured Daisy that should they get Luke and David on board, then he will vote with them. With that, Daisy approached the boys to float getting rid of Sam which they obviously were all in on. More importantly, they were thrilled not to have to burn their idols. Though maybe they should as Baden isn’t 100% sure flipping at this vote is a good idea. We then heard from Andy who still thinks a vote split is his genius idea and ugggh.

At tribal council Luke was open about how nervous he felt walking in to tribal with such a mega minority while David played it more coy, sharing that he is hopeful that the tribes will be able to intermingle. Andy spoke about how strongly bonded the Contenders are, while Baden was vague and non-committal in his response before Daisy straight up admitted that the Contenders won’t stay aligned for very long. Sarah meanwhile was hopeful that the Contenders would stick together while we heard Sam’s voice for the first time as she confirmed that she thinks it is a bad idea to work with David and Luke at this time. The latter opted to stir up some drama and admitted that cracks are there and he is hopeful that he has found it, while Andy desperately tried to praise them for being great, unaware that the jury doesn’t start until the merge. David then opted to threatened the OG Contenders, pointing out that their are perks in people’s pockets and the winds of change are starting to blow. Andy started to appear nervous, Zaddy John spoke about the idols scaring him while Baden just desperately hoped to fall on the right side of the numbers, earning an eye roll from Andy. Daisy then said her vote is based on what she thinks is right before the tribe went off to vote, wait no, Andy wanted to peacock for another minute, getting up to talk to John and confirm that he is voting for Luke, earning nervous looks from his allies and a look of pure rage from Daisy.

The tribe then legit went off to vote with Andy pulling off a supremely smug coin flip to decide that he would be voting for Luke and sending him home. Sadly for him that wasn’t the case, as even without them playing their idols, they managed to find the cracks and send Sam out of the game with Daisy, John and Baden’s help. While she was completely shocked to be out of the game so soon, she took it in her stride and instead had to comfort me as I raged about her lack of screentime on the show.

“You were an icon on The Amazing Race Australia! How dare they not give you some confessionals?! This is out of order. I can’t take it, I’m feeling VERY ATTACKED RIGHT NOW.”

Eventually she got through to me, reminding me that while she tragically left I still had John and he gets nude every couple of episodes. With that, my spirits lifted and I got to work whipping up a big vat of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

Sam Schoers working through the shock of becoming the seventh boot of Australian Survivor with a bowl of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

I know it either sounds as sexual as I am – who doesn’t love sausage gravy, though – or down right fowl, but I promise you, there is nothing quite as delicious as this Southern delight. Whether you’re eating it straight from the batch, or sopping it up with a [redacted], Latrice Royale-style, it instantly fills you with joy and reminds you that at least one good thing originated in the south.

Enjoy!

 

Sam Schoers working through the shock of becoming the seventh boot of Australian Survivor with a bowl of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

Sam Schoesage Gravy
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g breakfast sausage
⅓ cup flour
1 tbsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp nutmeg
4 cups milk, more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Remove the sausages from their skins and cook in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden as you go.

Reduce heat to low and add the flour, chilli and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the milk until well combined. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until it thickens, about ten minutes.

Add the salt and pepper, and cook for a further minute, or until thick and glorious. Devour immediately, not waiting for anything you would normally serve it with. It may spoil the fun for someone later on, you know?

 

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Capreese Dip Witherspoon

Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Snack, Vegetarian

I don’t want to make this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Call Me By Your Gold – about A Star is Born but to be honest, it and Bohemian Rhapsody did inspire me to reach out to today’s guest. Eternally delightful, America’s Sweetheart and Oscar winning musical performer Reese Witherspoon.

I’ve known Reese since the mid-90s after meeting on the set of Fear – I was dating Markie Mark at the time – but it wasn’t until a few years later that our friendship blossomed. I went from introducing her to my fluffee Ryan Phillippe on the Cruel Intentions set before helping her to play a character based off my high school years in a little known movie called Election.

Given one gave her her two eldest children and the other launched her into serious actress category, it goes without saying she is grateful for my love and support.

While we’ve tragically been separated by our busy schedules, it was such a treat to be able to get together and honour the Oscars and catch-up. Given her star turn in Monsters vs. Aliens, I kicked off running the odds with Best Animated Feature which Reese thinks will surprise for Incredibles 2 while I can’t go past Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse as much as my puppy thinks Isle of Dogs has it in the bag. When it comes to lead performances we agree that my dearest Rami Malek needs to win Best Actor if there’s any justice in the world, while we’re both backing Glenn Close for being an icon, I believe that Melissa McCarthy is the truly deserving person in the category. Sorry Gaga.

We may not have agreed much on victors this date, but there was no denying how glorious the piping hot Capreese Dip Witherspoon was.

 

 

Gooey and sweet, this is quite possibly one of my favourite warm dips. I mean take a salad that proves you can make friends with salad, then chuck it in the oven and spread it on crackers? Iconic.

Enjoy!

 

 

Capreese Dip Witherspoon
Serves: 2 chatty friends. Or 6 reg peeps, I guess?

Ingredients
200g bocconcini, drained
200g roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ cup grated mozzarella
⅓ cup basil, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Preheat an oven to 180C.

Combine everything in a large bowl and transfer into a baking dish. Place in the oven and cook for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

Devour, with plenty of crackers.

 

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Bobcorn Chicken Crowley

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Gabon

We’re less than two weeks away from someone joining the Francesca Hogi Memorial First Boot Club – well technically, who knows with extinction in play – and as such it is high time to corral another Sole Survivor to drop by and celebrate.

Side note: can you believe I am one victor away from completing the winner’s circle? Well, two given Brian Heidik shoots puppies and will never appear here.

Anyway, given that our best shot is for this season to be an epic disaster that manages to be entertaining, I thought it was finally time to catch up with my dear friend Bob Crowley. Aka victor of one of the most chaotic and beautifully entertaining seasons of all time, Gabon.

While I didn’t know Bob until after his win, we became the best of friends as soon as Sugar introduced us. Some may say it was his out of the box buff wearing that saw him snatch my heart, and well, they are totally right. And that is why we’ve never fought a day after our beautiful friendship.

Despite being one vote away from being bested by Susie, Bob’s win is one of the greatest possible outcomes for a season as insane as Gabon. I mean, it would be like Angelina winning David vs. Goliath. Sure Matty dominated physically, the onions were nasty and Sugar controlled the game, Bob managed to find his footing against all odds, made a stunning fake idol and leveraged Sugar’s emotions to get to the end.

And if that isn’t worthy of a bowl of Bobcorn Chicken Crowley, I don’t know what is.

 

 

You know I love me some fried chicken slash take-away copycats, so this baby pretty much has it all. Spicy, crunchy itty-bitty pieces of chicken – the perfect way to feel like you’ve eaten less, while getting optimal batter to meat quantity. Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bobcorn Chicken Crowley
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
⅔ tsp salt
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
⅓ tsp oregano
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp white pepper
500g chicken breast, cut into popcorn sized chunks
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine the flour through white pepper in a large bowl and place the buttermilk in another. Toss the chicken through the buttermilk, then in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

Bring 1 inch deep oil to heat – around 180°C – in a large pot. Once shimmering with heat, add the chicken a handful of pieces at a time – size, not literally with your hands since the oil – and fry for about five minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain slightly and repeat the process until done.

Devour immediately. With or without your fave sauce.

 

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Earl Colecano

Baking, Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Fiji

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, we have a cast! I know we’ve officially known that Aubry, David, Kelley and Joe were Shangela-ing their ways back to the Island known Extinction for a couple of months, but we know who will be joining them!

Can I tell the difference between Chris, Dan or Eric despite one of them being bald? Nope. Do I care and love them all based on nothing else? Sure. Do I want Victoria’s hair? Of course. Are Julie and Reem going to be my fave newbies? Duh. Do I hope that Aubry and Kelley pair up like Aubry, Sandra and Cirie should have in Game Changers? Unequivocally.

Anyway, I have a lot of strong opinions about everything, so it was convenient that I had my dearest friend Earl Cole – the undisputed King of Fiji – drop by to join me and listen. While he wasn’t as opinionated as I was, he did agree that the winner is likely going to be someone that gets voted out pre-merge and manages to woo everyone whilst struggling on the Island Of Extinction.

While I am blindly hoping Aubry finally snatches a win, unless Joe channels Pearl Islands-era Savage, Hatch, Tyson, Locky or the Contenders boys and goes nude. In which case I am all in on him winning.

Given I quickly got thirsty, I needed something bready to sop everything up and distract me with a different kinda of joy. As such I whipped out a Milk Bar – third time this year, I know – Volcano, convenient rebranded as an Earl Colecano.

 

 

Like Bagel Bombs and Crack Pie before them, Milk Bar’s volcanoes are insanely addictive and delicious and can warm your soul even through the most brutal of polar vortexes. Creamy, herbed potatoes, sweet onion and a punch of gruyere are all you need to wash your troubles away.

Enjoy!

 

 

Earl Colecano
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 recipe Mother Dough, from Katey Sagal Bombs
3 garlic cloves
½ cup double cream
⅓ cup milk
1 bay leaf
1 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper
100g streaky bacon, diced and fried until crispy
2 potatoes
vegetable oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, whisked
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Method
Prepare the Mother Dough as per Katey’s recipe – which is totally Christina Tosi’s – and leave to prove.

Meanwhile crush the garlic with a knife and chuck into a saucepan with the cream, milk, bay leaf, rosemary, ½ tsp of salt and a good whack of pepper. Bring it to the boil over medium heat before turning off, covering and leaving to steep for half an hour.

Thinly slice the potatoes and cover with iced water.

Preheat oven to 160C.

Layer the potatoes in a small baking dish, sprinkling with bacon as you go, until you’re out of both. Strain the steeped cream, pour over the potato and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering with foil, topping with weights – aka cans – and transferring to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

While the potatoes are setting heat a lug of vegetable oil in a small saucepan and add the onions and leave in the pan for a couple of minutes without stirring. After that, reduce heat to low, add the remaining salt and cook for about half an hour, or until soft and caramelly.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Divide the dough into four equal pieces and flatten to form 20cm discs. Split the onions amongst the discs and top with a square of the potatoes. Oh, cut the gratin into squares – there will be left overs and on behalf on Christina, you’re welcome. Fold up the edges and pinch to enclose before rolling into a ball and placing on a lined baking sheet.

Brush the dough with egg and cut a deep X in the top of each. Fill each with a quarter of the cheese, leaving excess to erupt out the top. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden, brown and the cheese is crispy.

Leave to rest for ten minutes before devouring. If you can.

 

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Papadomhnall Gleeson

Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Oh my lordy my dear friend Domhnall Gleeson is just such a damn sweetheart! Despite not really prepared to go from London winter to Brisbane summer, he still ran into my arms and held me for an eternity as we had the most moist, non-sexual hug of all time.

Though obviously I still found it hot.

It is ironic, since I met Dom almost a decade ago on the set of Never Let Me Go. I was visiting Kiz at the time, but given my passion for redheads he caught my eye and while a torrid love affair wasn’t in our future, a beautiful friendship was. Particularly after we spent more time on the set of the final Harry Potter films.

I haven’t seen much of Dom in the last few years due to his hectic filming schedules and his star continuing to rise, so it was such a treat to be able to take some time out from Star Wars – thanks to some casual threats I made to JJ to give him a week off – and reconnect.

While he felt my threats would likely block me from entering the UK slash not make JJ open to casting me as Carrie’s long lost good son slash Adam Driver’s twin, who will defeat Adam Driver. Unless he is the good guy, in which case I will be the villain – All I know is Adam plays her son, ok? – he is open to talking to him to see if he can rewrite the movie and include me.

What a bloody champ? Maybe an Oscar is on the cards for me next year.

Given how much havoc travel can play on the gastrointestinal system, I knew a lighter meal would be the best idea for someone making such a long trip in a short time frame. Which is convenient, because he absolutely adores Papadomhnall Gleeson.

 

 

Obviously this is not my recipe as I like most people am lazy and prefer to buy the dried ones, though I am thrilled to say you should all stop as these are super easy and so much better. Fresh and crunchy, they’re the perfect receptacle for smashing a curry. Or just gorging on as a snack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Papadomhnall Gleeson
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
4 cups lentil flour
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup water
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Preheat oven to 100℃.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, before creating a well in the centre to slowly add the water. Knead until a smooth ball has formed. You want it to hold together without being sticky, so adjust the flour and water as desired.

Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll out between two baking sheets until very thin, like the packet ones. Place on a lined baking sheet and cook until dried out.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a generous lug of oil – about 1-2cm deep, so more than a lug I guess – in a pot and fry until crispy and puffed.

Serve with your favourite curry and devour.

 

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Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Salad, Side, Snack

Hey Girl, you didn’t think there was anyone I’d rather kick off this (new) year’s Golden Globe celebrations with than my dear friend Ryan Gosling, did you? I mean between the fact we’ve known each other for decades after co-starring on The Mickey Mouse Club – obvi I was a mouseketeer – and that he won his globe after five noms, he is best place to help me run the odds this year.

Normally I like to show you the other sides of my celebrity friends however when it comes to Ry, what you see is what you get. He is an absolute babe-town slash sweetheart, is a loyal friend and is just thoroughly delightful.

I mean, he was so worried about how I would take him getting with Eva and starting a family – we dated in the early noughts – so he took me on a friend vacay where we watched her movies with a critical eye until I softened enough to her and he was sure that I wouldn’t feel slighted by the relationship.

While I obviously flew off the handle when I realised talking smack about Eva’s performance in the classic film Urban Legends: Final Cut – the film’s only weakness IMO – wasn’t foreplay, we quickly won me back by having personally edited the locker scene from Crazy, Stupid, Love and his Blue Valentine nude scene in a 14 hour loop to help calm me down.

That sort of thoughtful gesture is even enough to curb my penchant for holding grudges. As such, we’ve been the best of friends for life.

When I arrived in L.A. I made my way straight over to his home to catch-up. He threw his arms around me – swoon – and told me how desperately he missed me slash how happy it made him to be helping me make my second triumphant return to the interwebs.

As I am wont to do, we laughed, we cried and we talk smack about our frenemies before getting down to running the odds. Given how much I love him, I decided to cover all the motion picture acting nominations with him. For Supporting Actor we agreed that my boy Mahershala is likely to snatch a globe to make up for his snubbery for Moonlight and Supporting Actress will go to Regina King. The leading performances are where we started to disagree, with Ry thinking Christian Bale will take Comedy and Musical while I think Robert Redford will take a surprise victory. For Comedy and Musical Actress, he believes it is Olivia Colman’s to lose, while my gut tells me Crazy Rich Asians will take a win and Constance Wu feels like their best shot. For Drama, he thinks Bradley Cooper will win here – I obvi am Rami all the way, er’ryday – and Lady Gaga will continue A Star is Born’s streak, while I can not move past Glenn Close.

Because she is Glenn Close damnit.

Given he is such a delight, things didn’t get very heated so I didn’t need to cook up anything hearty to ground us – like roast gosling, for instance. Instead, we feasted on a fresh and delightful Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad.

 

 

I know that I normally push extremely hard in favour of the ‘you don’t win friends with salad rule,’ but this is so good I have to make an exception. Packing a tonne of flavour and healthy enough to make you smugly think that you’re keeping your new year’s resolutions, it is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad
Serves: 2

Ingredients
¼ cup greek yoghurt
1 lime, juiced and zested
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 baby cos, washed, dried and leaves removed
1 avocados, peeled, stoned and sliced
handful of mint leaves

Method
Combine the yoghurt, lime juice and zest, maple syrup, dill and a good whack of salt and pepper in a jug.

Layer the cos on a platter, topped with the avocado slices and a sprinkle of mint.

Drizzle over the dressing.

Devour.

 

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