Stuphaning Prites

Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World 1, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race vs the World – how much easier would that have flowed, amirite – nine dolls from around the globe said Bonjour! Hi! to the Canadian stage. The Season 2 dolls stuck together, as did the camp queens leaving Vanity, Silky and Ra’Jah to form the greatest Drag Race girl group this side of the Frock Destroyers. Obviously they destroyed the competition, while the other teams were a mixture of strong moments and a couple of missteps. Somehow Rita landed in the top with Vanity – I feel like this should have been Ra’Jah’s, but oh well – while Kendall and Stephanie landed in the bottom. Obviously Vanity dominated the lip sync – because, duh, it’s Vanity – before giving Stephanie another shot to shine by sending Kendall home.

Backstage Stephanie was feeling super grateful to have been saved before everyone toasted Kendall for being an absolute delight. Silky meanwhile led the dolls in praising Vanity, before they went for the tea as talk turned to who Rita would have sent home and while she tried to fake it out, admitted she too would have sent Kendall home as Stephanie was more in need of a second chance. Though shared with us that Kendall was actually more of a threat. Vanity shared that Stephanie talking about being the only Asian queen on the cast spoke to her on a deep level, as the only black queen on her original season. The talk of representation made Victoria feel brave enough to call out Stephanie for using the term fishy and while Stephanie spoke about the fact she has reclaimed it from the Philippines, Victoria explained that it is also deeply derogatory to women and as such hoped they could all learn about each other’s cultures and grow. And ugh, I love how maturely they handled it.

The next day the dolls were feeling energetic and ready to slay another week, none more so than Stephanie who was just glad to be around. Anita opened up about feeling a bit put out during the first week as the only person from her franchise, though had found her feet due to their kindness and was ready to slay. Icesis questioned if there were any alliances and while everyone downplayed it, Ra’Jah the icon called out Canada for pairing off in the first week and kind of sending that message. Before we could get any drama Brooke arrived to open the bibliotheque because what? Reading is fundamental. Victoria was charming and full of rhyme, Vanity was a total mess, Stephanie was not much better, Ra’Jah meanwhile was hard on her sister but no one else, Icesis was also a mess, Rita was also bad and well, is this the worst reading challenge of all time? Thankfully Silky brought some charm and while the jokes didn’t always land, her personality did. While Anita was cute and brutal which was more than enough to jag herself victory in the mini challenge.

Oh and did I mention this week’s Maxi Challenge is the Snatch Game? Because it is, but with a political twist.

Everyone split up to get into character with Silky and Anita hoping to go two from two in Snatch Game, while Stephanie was very nervous, given she never made it far enough in her first season. Brooke returned to kiki with the girls with Ra’Jah thinking she will play Big Freedia or Grace Jones, hoping to live up to her killer Latoya. Rita was excited to do French drag icon Guilda, while Icesis was going to be rocking Pamela Anderson until Brooke talked her out of it and into her back-up choice of Donatella. Anita is trying to follow-up her winning turn as Queen Elizabeth with Adele and ugh, this makes me nervous given Ginger did her SO well. Stephanie meanwhile was going with cursed celeb Snatch character Cardi B. Vanity was deciding between Megan the Stallion or Spice while Victoria would be giving us Kim Woodburn and Silky was planning to slay as Lizzo.

We pivoted to the Snatch Game Summit where Vanity had all the energy and charm. Stephanie started off energetic and ridiculous, Rita gave Parisienne glam, Anita was a bit of a mess, Silky was Silky and Icesis was killer from the very first moment as she read Brooke for filth. Speaking of filth, Victoria had Kim down. Icesis was hilarious and ridiculous from start to finish while Ra’Jah was bouncing off everyone like ping pong balls. At the other end of the pack Stephanie was an absolute mess, Silky struggled to land a joke and poor Anita was swallowed up amongst the pack.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone gagged to see Brooke backstage when she escorted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Werk Room. Prime. Minister. What the hell? Oh my God! The dolls kikied with the PM before he gave a global call to action to stop being bigotted and to embrace difference and well, I love it. I love him, I love them. I mean he read Brooke by asking where he would find RuPaul and ugh, gold! After he disappeared the dolls spoke about the power of having the PM enter the Werk Room with Stephnie breaking down about how politicians like him are the reason she could be an immigrant and ugh, I’m crying.

Sadly Justin disappeared by judging as Brooke and Traci were joined by Sarain Fox and fellow Snatch Game bottom and Season 1 victor, what’s her name? Priyanka, obviously. On the Celestial Bodies runway Silky was a perfect alien dragon deity, mid-tour of the galaxy. Ra’Jah was stunning in a glorious midnight blue outfit, giving a silver elf. Anita was perfect as the queen of the moon, shimmering across the stage while Rita was a flaming, smoking sun. Stephanie was stunning as a glorious golden deity, Vanity was a shimmering, spiky sex pot while Victoria was a beautiful molten Saturn before Icesis closed the show in a moody deity-does-Victorian-glamour number.

Ultimately Rita and Vanity were sent to safety before Silky was praised for bringing the fun on the runway though read for going round in circles during the Snatch summit. Ra’Jah meanwhile got wall to wall praise for being fun, energetic and entertaining during Snatch Game and for making yet another glorious runway. Anita’s runway received all the love, though the judges hated her Adele. She broke down about how much she was struggling in the season and ugh, it is hard to watch because she is usually so much fun. Stephanie was read for relying on the Cardi mannerisms and not giving any peaks and valleys. Though her runway, obviously, was beloved. Victoria’s outfit was praised though they felt she didn’t go far enough in Snatch Game. She opened up about the pressure of being the first cis contestant, though hearing everyone lift her up was great. Icesis’ look was loved, though her Snatch Game was only better given she absolutely dominated.

Obviously, it was Ra’Jah and Icesis that landed in the top two while Silky and Victoria were sent to safety, leaving Stephanie and Anita at risk of going home.

Backstage the dolls grabbed a drink before Stephanie opened up about how disappointed she was to land in the bottom again, while Anita admitted she feels heartbroken to be in the bottom, given this is what they do. Victoria meanwhile spoke about being disappointed to have not excelled, though agreed that Icesis and Ra’Jah were far and away the best. Anita caught up with Ra’Jah assuring her that she will turn things around and wanted to face challenges she didn’t get the chance to do in her original season. And while Ra’Jah knew that getting rid of Anita could make the upcoming comedy challenges easier, she is also losing confidence and that could make her easier to face. Icesis meanwhile asked Stephanie what she would give the competition if she stayed, though also admitted that she didn’t want to chop another Canadian. As the safe queens eavesdropped, Stephanie opened up to Ra’Jah about how she is struggling amongst the louder personalities while Anita tried to prove to Icesis she is a veteran and will turn a show, but just needs another chance.

After Icesis and Ra’Jah selected their lipsticks we returned to the mainstage where their new rocker outfits made a lot more sense as Avril’s Sk8r Boi kicked off. And well, despite the lols, the dolls killed it. Ra’Jah was brazen, bold and gave us ballet AND bating, Icesis meanwhile was full rocker, hitting every lyric and oozing attitude all over the floor. Sadly though there could only be one winner as Icesis took out victory and opted to give our Down Under hero another week to shine, eliminating her sister Stephanie from the competition.

As she hilariously called her a hoe via song on her way out the door.

Backstage, despite the disappointment, Stephanie was an absolute delight; thrilled to get to compete with her international sisters. And more importantly, grateful to be in the presence of zaddy Justin Trudeau, because duh. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she is always iconic – I mean, she was drag Sidney Prescott so don’t come for me – and as such, I was thrilled to toast her success with some Stuphaning Prites.

Sure, the name is a little clunky but we’ve ticked over into the festive season so you best believe, I will be eating festively whether it makes sense or not. And these little panettone stuffing bites – adapted from Nigella – are the perfect way to start. Sweet, salty and oh so carby, they will have you coming back for more.

Enjoy!

Stuphaning Prites
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
4 shallots, sliced
2 granny smith apples, cored and quartered
400g sliced pancetta, diced
2 celery stalks
6 fresh sage leaves
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chilli flakes
3 tbsp olive oil
200g tinned chestnuts, drained
1 lemon, zested and juiced
500g slightly stale panettone, sliced
2 eggs

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Pop the shallots, apple, pancetta, celery, sage, garlic and chilli flakes in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped and mushy.

Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring semi-frequently, for about 15 minutes. Or until fragrant and softened. Transfer to a large bowl and crumble in the chestnuts before stirring through the zest and juice of the lemon. Crumble in the panettone and give another good stir to combine until it forms a stodgy paste before folding in the eggs.

Line a 30x20cm baking dish and press the mixture in, smoothing the top as you go. Transfer to the oven to bake for about half an hour or until browned and crisp on the edges and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for about half an hour before cutting into bite-sized squares for a festive party snack, or larger portions if you’re using it as a side. Either way, devour.


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Dannaan Beard

Bread, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK 12 new dolls arrived in the UK Werk Room to battle it out for Ru’s love and attention. And when they get it, in the form of four badges, promptly lose the competition for being too good. But before we get there, Ru – and for one tragic week, Michelle – had to make some cuts with Just May sadly becoming the Gothy of the season despite being so damn sweet. She was followed out the door by the fashion queen of the season Starlet.

When the dolls formed duos, poor Copper came up short – rather than say, on top – before Sminty sad-twerked her way out of the competition and straight into our hearts, the history books and likely, an All Stars season. The pressures of the competition became too much for Baby who exited the competition to look after her mental health before Le Fil was too Polite for Snatch Game.

It was at that point that Ru chucked a sickie, leaving Michelle in charge who sadly cut the iconic Dakota for being too on brand. After Peppa and Jonbers both saved themselves from elimination with a killer lip sync, the top five put on a roast where comedy queen Pixie shockingly stumbled and landed in fifth.

The top four faced off in the traditional rumix, kiki and performance combination and while the song was an absolute bop with every queen getting a moment to shine, Ru decreed that only two would be lip syncing for the crown, eliminating Jonbers and Peppa tied in third place.

With that the two four badge queens – begging the question, does the UK just require one person with four wins to lose and this is how they got around the tradition? – lip synced to the iconic Shirley Bassey’s This Is My Life. And like the aforementioned rumix, it was an absolute show. Like their runs on the show, both Cheddar and Danny were perfect from start to finish, leaning into who they are as performers and giving classic Drag Race. And while I feel this would have been the most deserving double crowning of all time, ultimately Ru settled on one, crowning Danny Beard as the UK’s Next Drag Superstar and leaving the iconic Cheddar as the runner-up.

While I would have loved to see a double crowning, that in no way means I am any less excited about Danny’s victory. From start to finish she ran a near perfect race, never really faltering and always being a front runner. Plus, she is so damn charismatic and charming, you just know she is going to take the title and run with it to build an even bigger and better career because honestly, she is a born performer. As such, join me in toasting our newest queen with a piping hot Dannaan Beard.

My favourite thing about Indian food is probably a naan and while Spinach and Cheese – dedicated to another winner, begging the question is this the anti-Pizza – is my fave, there is something so damn perfect about garlic. Soft, pillowy and lightly flavoured, it paris perfectly with any curry. Or just as a solo snack, TBH.

Enjoy!

Dannaan Beard
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
450g flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp raw caster sugar
7g dried yeast
⅓ cup lukewarm milk
2 tbsp yoghurt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp nigella seeds
garlic butter, to serve (optional)

Method
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and let it set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast and leave to get all foamy and glorious for 10 minutes or so. Once it smells like a brewery, whisk in the milk, yoghurt and oil.

Using the hook attachment, fold in the flour, garlic and seeds by hand until combined. Pop the attachment into the mixer and knead for a couple of minutes, or until smooth. Remove and transfer to a greased bowl to rest for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size. Punch back the dough and divide into 8 balls. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, oil each ball and using a rolling pin, roll out to form a nice thin naan shape. Place in the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and repeat the process. Brush with a little garlic butter – optional, but advised – and then devour, victoriously!


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Pixie Poliaf

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls did a makeover on their dearest minders, the Queen Team. Oh and Ru was sick and skipped out on most of the episode. While everyone was perfectly paired – by accident, no less – results were a little more mixed. Danny was able to make her newest sister feel confident enough to don a beard while Cheddar and hers were having a while dripping in gold. At the other end of the pack, however, Pixie aged up her new sister badly. Oh and apparently Dakota’s perfect makeover and consistent branding wasn’t enough, as the judges placed her in the bottom with Pixie. Cheddar rightly took out the win before Michelle continued to glitch and booted Dakota.

Incorrectly.

Backstage everyone was gutted to lose sweet Dakota, none more so than Pixie who had to deal with the guilt of eliminating her. Cheddar meanwhile led the dolls in praising her for being so damn strong and making such a splash on the competition, while Danny assured Pixie that they are glad she stayed. Despite how terrible her outfit was. Pixie meanwhile was glad to have lip synced given she has been coasting and that moment in the bottom she was able to be shaken out of her head. As they sat down to kiki, Danny sobbed talking about how she felt like Dakota had much more to give and she felt like she didn’t even deserve to be in the bottom. Which is true, but I hate the fact it came at the expense of Jonbers feeling like she doesn’t think she is worthy. Because she is.

The next day everyone spoke about how surreal it is to make it to the top five, with Cheddar admitting that she is shocked to have made it this far given she wasn’t sure her drag would come across. Peppa obviously saw herself here, while everyone admitted that they thought Dakota would get there. This led to Pixie reiterating that she didn’t think Dakota should have been in the bottom, which again led to Jonbers getting frustrated and when Pixie continued to go in, Cheddar stepped in to assure her they just want to know more about the story she is telling.

Before things got physical, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would be overacting in The Squirrel Games. A murder mystery set in the Big Mother house, overseen by a deranged squirrel. And as Cheddar won the last challenge, she would be casting the show before they acted with director – and Dakota robber – Miselle Visage. They sat down to read through the script with everyone excited by the range of iconic British reality stereotypes, while Pixie was laser focused on getting the lead hero role. Jonbers meanwhile wanted to play a dog given she dreamt it, Peppa went with the Bear Grylls character, Cheddar went with the vapid influencer, Danny got the Davina McCall role leaving Pixie with the easiest win, Kim Woodburne. Everyone split up to learn their lines with Danny concerned about Peppa and Jonbers bringing the group down, but damn were they having fun.

The dolls joined Michelle on set where Danny was a charming mess, unable to get her lines down, but well, you know she is going to slay so this is a fake out. Peppa was very loud and intense, Cheddar’s accent was less consistent than DK – aka Dorit Kemsley – while Jonbers just could not remember her dog’s name. While Pixie was doing a perfect character study, though struggled with light and shade. And her lines. So yeah, it was an absolute mess.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls split up to beat their mugs with Jonbers opening up about how much she is missing her family. Particularly since her family is super supportive, with her dad desperately pushing her to audition for the show. Cheddar too opened up about her supportive family and how her dad calls out homophobes on the reg, while Danny’s dad kinda took coming out, out of his hands, letting him know that he knew and will always love him. Pixie too is grateful for building a relationship with her dad the older she has gotten, while Peppa spoke about how much her chosen family mean to her and that they lift her up when her birth family don’t.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by the stunning Lorraine Pascale as Danny opened the Ruff and Ready – aka ruffles – runway in a stunningly gaudy blue gown, Jonbers was perfection in a white and green fluffy number – complete with playing some sexy flute – while Cheddar was a gorgeous living pansy in honour of the pansy project, where pansies are planted at the sites of homophobic crimes. Peppa was stunning in a denim-does-Oz look and ugh, she is per. Fect. Pixie meanwhile was gorgeous as a slutty Elizabeth, which was bested only by Michelle’s queen puns. We then settled in for the premiere of The Squirrel Games and well it was better than the shoot would have us believe, but well, it wasn’t exactly stunning. Though watching Cheddar go full demented, vapid delight was an absolute joy to behold. As was Pixie’s Kimmy performance.

The judges lived for Danny’s character and how hard she went in, making Davina a wild caricature and obviously felt she looked gorgeous on the runway. Jonbers meanwhile was read for giving one note despite having two characters, though they lived for every single moment she served on the runway. Cheddar was praised for giving light and shade and slaying the acting, with the praise only getting better when it came to her beautiful look. And the story behind it. Peppa was read for screaming through the challenge despite everyone living for the depth she brought to the runway, while Pixie received universal praise for the performance despite the fact she didn’t bring herself to the character. And Michelle felt she didn’t bring enough ruffles to the runway, despite looking gorgeous.

Backstage Jonbers was thrilled by Ru calling her outfit one of the best of all times, particularly given it proved to the other dolls that she has a brand. Peppa too was happy with how they felt about her runway, despite knowing it will be her and Jonbers lip syncing tonight. Danny reiterated how much they all love Jonbers before Pixie praised her for serving stunning tonight, which led to Danny breaking down about feeling good looking. Pixie too was emotional about the fact Ru told her she was proud, while Cheddar was just thrilled to be having so much fun in the game. And well, is she starting to feel competitive? The dolls then received messages from home with us learning Jonbers brother is a total zaddy, Peppa’s loved one is also a zaddy and so is Danny’s partner. And that is the end of zaddy watch.

We returned to the mainstage where Danny was sent to safety before Cheddar took out her fourth win of the season – please don’t go the route of Bimini and Ella and be robbed, Cheds – before Pixie joined them, leaving Jonbers and Peppa to battle it out for safety to Some Kinda Rush by Booty Luv and well, it is was a show. Both the dolls had a fire within them, desperate to avoid missing out on the top four, hitting every lyric and giving tricks, hitting every line and flipping and splitting around the stage and well, I was glad to see Ru bring some sense back to the judges panel – who would have thought?! – as she saved both the dolls, leaving the top five to fight another day.

Backstage Jonbers and Peppa were on cloud nine, thrilled to have both made it through. And while Danny led the other girls in congratulating them for turning out the show, she was disappointed to have been beaten by Cheddar. Particularly since she felt her runway was superior. But well, she best be scared because now that Cheddar has her fourth badge she is hungry for the win.

The next day the top five were feeling deja-Ru to be starting another week as a fivesome (or do we just say orgy). Danny was feeling less bitter today, congratulating Cheddar on her win while the latter joked she is aware that she now has a massive target on her back. Before we could unpack any of that, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would need to participate in the General Erection where they will roast their opponents and the eliminated queens. Immediately filling Peppa with dread, even though they will be coached by Bafta winning comedian Aislin Bea. Though given she survived the week before, she and Jonbers were given the power to decide the order which could help her. If she plays it wisely.

As soon as Ru exited, Peppa and Jonbers pulled themselves aside to strategise the order with the former wanting to hide in the middle. Jonbers meanwhile didn’t want to put Pixie in the end and give her the chance to finish strong, given Pixie is very confident in her ability to roast. Cheddar meanwhile was terrified of the challenge, so told the girls that she would like to go early or in the middle. Danny just didn’t want to follow Pixie, who was reading the dolls and not charming them, which was a vibe. Ultimately the order was Danny, Jonbers, Peppa, Pixie and then Cheddar, with her positively ropeable given she felt her style will end things on a flat note. And well, things were well and truly tense in the Werk Room. And, well, work. One by one the dolls met with Aislin and well, she was an absolute delight, giving wonderful, smart advice and uplifting the dolls who were more nervous. I mean, even Peppa left rehearsal confident in herself!

Elimination Day arrived with Danny opening up about how nervous she is about the challenge, particularly given everyone expects her to do well. Cheddar agreed that the competition is terrifying and despite being successful, stepping outside of your comfort zone is risky and always fills her with fear. Peppa meanwhile was glad to surprise people while Pixie was looking forward to absolutely roasting everyone.

We ventured to the mainstage where Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Olly Alexander for the General Erection Roast where Danny opened the show and absolutely demolished, going for Olly’s teeth and slaying Starlet’s lack of personality. Then she pivoted back to teeth, reading Peppa and Alan’s too, before casually destroying everyone. Completely. I mean, just give her the badge now. Jonbers followed and was an absolute delight, leaning into her drunk persona and joking about her gender reveal being a bomb scare because she is from Northern Ireland. I mean, she was delightful, charming and a ball of fun. Peppa destroyed Pixie’s messy makeover – and gurl, she was angry – but the jokes stopped there until she just told them to laugh whenever she wanted. 

I mean, at least she is a self-aware icon and her telling everyone to laugh at her bombing was adorbs.

Despite following such a mess, Pixie seemed to be even worse as she got into her head under the pressure of the expectation she would easily win. And ugh, it was hard to watch as she botched her jokes, lost her way and looked absolutely broken. Cheddar thankfully bought some energy back to the roast, leaning into a solid character and going with safe jokes. While it got a little derailed, she was charming and that saved things.

On the Pretty in Punk runway Danny continued her triumphant week in yellow tartan in honour of fucking gender and well, it was glorious. Jonbers gave showgirl punker, complete with giant safety pin through her front and well, I loved it. Peppa served sexy Beyond Thunderdome and it was a total slay, while Pixie served a punky Queen Liz and Cheddar closed the show looking classic punker, giving Sid Vicious Ts.

The judges rightly gave Danny universal praise for everything, from dominating the dolls in the challenge and giving all the Westwood glory on the runway. Jonbers too received only praise, particularly for playing it smart in the roast with the drunk character and for giving a killer look on the runway, despite Michelle not living for the wig. Peppa was praised for being so bad she was good and the fact she had everyone rooting for her, though they sure as hell lived for the runway given it was absolute perfection. Pixie was read for bombing the roast and not even mentioning Alan’s teeth with the stonehenge joke, though they liked the runway despite it swallowing her a little. Oh and then Cheddar was read for showing her first sign of weakness and playing it too intellectual, though her runway was deemed perfect.

Backstage the dolls kikied about the critiques, with Jonbers gagged to have landed in the top, while it was obvious Danny won. Cheddar felt the judges were fair with what they wanted, before reiterating that her going at the end was kinda bad for everyone. Particularly since she verbalised not wanting to go last. Pixie meanwhile was gutted to have bombed, with Danny assuring her that she would have done well if she just had a couple of laughs in the first 30 seconds to build momentum. While Peppa was just ready to send someone home. The eliminated queens dropped by to chat with Dakota talking about how funny they were, while Le Fil wanted them to go harder on her. Talk thankfully turned to Sminty’s iconic exit and how much Ru lived.

Obviously Danny took out victory with Jonbers joining her as safety, before Peppa was gagged to learn that she would be facing off against Pixie for safety. Meaning Cheddar earnt her spot in the finale, because, duh. As soon as Another One Bites the Dust began, Peppa was on fire and while Pixie also turned it, Peppa is Peppa and knows how to turn a show. And then poor Pixie literally stumbled mid-performance and while she recovered well and powered on, it wasn’t enough as she became the last person eliminated, sending Peppa through to the finale. 

Backstage I pulled Miss Polite in for a massive hug and praised her for doing such a killer job throughout the season. And more importantly, for not being too polite all season and for giving us some iconic moments. Speaking of which, while she only had one win, Pixie was consistently killer from the first week and while she had her stumbles, they really only happened when she got in her head, proving the inner saboteur is real. Real, but easily vanquished with a piping hot, herby Pixie Poliaf.

While pilaf is a basic kind of French side, it proves that sometimes classics are the best – right, Pixie? Gently spiced, full of herbs and a little sweet, pilaf pairs perfectly a French stew. Or TBH, devoured from the fridge at midnight (being mindful of the rice is poison situation, of course).

Enjoy!

Pixie Poliaf
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups long grain white rice
120g butter
1 onion, diced
1L chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and pop the stock in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. 

In a dutch oven, heat the butter and saute the onions and rice for a few minutes, or until the rice becomes opaque. Slowly stir in the hot stock and bay leaf before covering and popping in the oven to braise for 20 minutes.

Once cooked, separate with a fork, stir through the thyme and remove the bay leaf. And then serve and immediately devour.


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Ryan Wedgranos

Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribe was split into two groups as has become tradition – not back to two tribes – for a little double tribal council. Probst then threw down a challenge for reward, with the person that could last the longest in the immunity challenge winning PB&Js for the tribe. And try as Karla might, her stitched up hand proved too much to overcome as she took out immunity but left her group hungry as they headed to the first tribal council. While James quickly locked in everyone against his nemesis Owen, things weren’t so simply as Noelle played him, stealing Owen’s vote and using it to join with Sami – and a reluctant Karla – to blindside James from the game.

But first, let’s take a little step back.

We followed the winning team back to camp where they quickly got to work making their PB&Js and greedily devouring them. With that out of the way, Ryan pulled Gabler aside to quickly lock in the vote against Cassidy. They went to Cody to float the idea and while he pretended to be keen, he immediately went to catch up with Jesse and Cassidy, admitting that he really likes her and as such, wants her to stay. She then went all in, assuring them that they already have a good bond and can trust each other and as such, it makes sense they go to the end together. She then opened up to us about her love for her family and how she is playing in honour of her deceased sister, who she used to watch the show with, and well, if they eliminate her after this beautiful personal content, I will be very very angry.

Cody and Jesse caught up solo to talk through the best move for their game moving forward, unsure whether it was a good idea to keep Ryan around as a meat shield despite the risk that voting out Cassidy could potentially piss off her allies Karla and James. Jesse rightly pointed out that going to tribal council second gives them more options, suggesting that if Owen goes out they keep Cassidy around to keep James and Karla happy, while if James is gone, they could be safe to take a shot. Locking in their options, they approached Gabler to get him on board and well, this could really be interesting!

At tribal council they were positively shocked to see James sitting on the jury, though also a little bit delighted, TBH. Jesse spoke about how James clearly was in a powerful position before the split while Ryan was concerned about what his boot meant for any alliances he was in. Cassidy made Probst very happy, talking about the monster coming to get for them, particularly given they are now back to a small tribe dynamic. Ryan too was concerned, given it only takes three votes to be out of the game. We flipped back to Cassidy who spoke about how difficult it is to handle having conversations and then see the people you just spoke to disappearing to talk to other people.

Cody meanwhile loved being safe, though felt it came with the heavy price of having a little power and feeling like he was in the driver’s seat for the night. Ryan agreed that people spent more time talking to Cody than him, though he had 30 pounds of clams in his bag and well, should they vote him out, he is happy to walk out with them. While Cassidy was just nervous about how the vote will reverberate through the dynamics when the groups come back together. With that the tribe voted and tragically booted zaddy Ryan – and his clams – from the game.

After quickly dishing up James his jam, I ran to find Ryan in Ponderosa and pulled him in for a massive hug, assuring him that he played a great game. But more importantly, reminded him that he is such an inspiration and is SUPER hot to boot and as such, if he isn’t invited back to the very next possible All Stars season, I will riot, or something. He obviously thought I was joking about everything, so we laughed and celebrated his success with a big, fat bowl of Ryan Wedgranos.

You know I have a passion for fried potato in all their forms, but there is something super special about wedges. I mean, a little spiced, chunky enough to give you the perfect balance of crunch and fluff, AND their frequent collaboration with sour cream. How could you go wrong?

Enjoy!

Ryan Wedgranos
Serves: 2 dear friends that would make a glorious couple.

Ingredients
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut each into 8 wedges
3 tbsp olive oil
sour cream and sweet chilli, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Mix the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano and parmesan in a bowl. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with the oil and sprinkle over the spice mix. Toss until well coated.

Spread the wedges out in a single layer on lined baking sheets, ensuring one of the cut sides are face down. Bake for 30-45 minutes, turning once halfway through to the other cut edge, and bake until browned and crisp.

Then devour them with a vat of sour cream and sweet chilli, which is customary in a pub.


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Morriahti Young

Bread, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor – as you have already heard me gush – we were graced with the presence of one of the greatest personalities to take out the game, arguably since Sandra 2.0. Or maybe Tyson. Maryanne was funny, emotional and oh so charming, and watching her work her way to victory was downright delightful. Sadly though, we’ve got to drop the 2 as 43 kicked off – see what I did there, Probst – with three speedboats jetting through the water with 18 new castaways. And let’s just say, they aren’t the only things that are new – the editors have some tricks! There were drones, there were joke chyrons and even an intro for one. And it was fun.

But that isn’t what we’re here to discuss, though you know I’d gladly dedicate 2000 words to it. Survivor 43 is here and we first met Ryan, who looks like a total zaddy and I will already follow him to the ends of the earth. Nneka is cute and Morriah, for some reason, is here for RuPaul’s Best Friend Race. Sami meanwhile is my hair twin and makes up words, Lindsay is an adorable, iconic frontline hero and I stan her already, no wait, Karla is even more up my alley. Lindsay and Karla final two, please. Cody looks like a potential day 4 zaddy, Elie is going to see if she can use her psychology background better than Tori, and Owen is perfect, he is hair goals, he is THE moment.

The boats eventually made it to shore where Jeffrey proudly welcomed them to the Survivor family which immediately made Elie overwhelmed and a little shocked that it was actually happening. We first spoke with Jeanine who called Survivor a total dream for her and her immigrant father and well, I guess there needs to be more room on my stan card because I love her too. Sweet James was hoping to follow in his hero Earl’s footsteps while Gabler is the right kind of kookie to win my heart, while Paralympian Noelle spoke about how losing her leg was the best thing that ever happened to her and, gag of the season, she actually applied before she lost it. And the fact that she wants to make some leg jokes along the way makes me love her even more.

After a quick recap of the design of the game, Jeff announced they would be forming the Vesi, Baka and Coco – literally, coco – tribes. And would immediately be competing together in the first reward challenge where duos would run off one pair at a time to retrieve crates before the final duo build a cube and retrieve a key, with the first to finish earning a flint, a pot and a machete. Baka got out to the earliest of leads while Vesi nipped at the heels before they started to overtake in the water. It was then that Coco powered ahead out of nowhere, building their cube and working on retrieving their key way ahead of the others. Sadly, that proved super difficult which allowed for everyone to catch up before Dwight was given some good advice and able to jag victory for Vesi.

We first checked in with the victorious Vesi where Cody was all energy and on cloud nine about their victory. He shared that he binged Survivor during the pandemic and upon decided he had what it takes to win, was ready to live it for real. As the tribe introduced themselves, I immediately fell in love with Nneka and Justine – who is stunning – while Dwight got the clown music as he struggled to build the shelter which I hope is only the beginning of an underdog edit. Over at Baka, Gabler was nervous to already be at a disadvantage, given he is so much older than his fellow castaways, before they discovered their two options to earn their supplies, one a mental puzzle and the other to isolate two people to work hard. While Sami offered to sweat, the tribe chose to do the puzzle which required them to move two bones from a shape to create the largest number possible.

While they battled their wits, over at Coco Ryan and Geo offered to dig for four hours and while it seems like a stupid move, Ryan stripped down to his undies and as such, I’m moister than an oyster. Specifically the ones that spat on Kimmi and Monica in Second Chances. Ryan then opened up about his cerebral palsy and well, I love him even more and want him to win so bad. And that was before he even heroically dug out their reward in less than half an hour. Back at Baka the tribe continued to struggle over the puzzle, until Sami gamed the system out of nowhere and solved it for them at the exact moment I was smugly proclaiming how obvious the answer was. Which proved to be incorrect. While I sulked, Sami opened up about how proud he was to solve the puzzle despite being the youngest on the tribe and shared with us that because he is 19, he is totally planning to lie about his age to his tribe.

We returned to Vesi where Noelle was living her best life, glad to have not needed to go through another challenge to get their supplies and to have quickly aligned with Justine given they were vibing so well. Sadly for them, Nneka, Cody and Jesse noticed how tight they had become, immediately locking in their own alliance and well, Justine girl, you’re in danger. And no, please don’t make her the Jessie Camacho of the modern era because I can’t take that kind of pain again. Oh and Cody was busy targeting her for being in sales, despite being in sales himself which will totally come back to bite him, right? Right on queue, Jesse admitted he isn’t exactly sold on the alliance and as such, is willing to work with the girls, begging the question, what about Dwight?

Over at Baka as the tribe tried to build shelter, Owen was focused on building alliances. And by alliances, I mean assuring anyone in sight that he would let them know if he heard their name come up at all. Which is a great non-promise, but could still come back to bite you if people start talking. Meanwhile Elie and Morriah were bonding over their families with the former opening up about her older sister dying of an overdose during 2020 and ugh, it is heartbreaking to hear but seeing how it rallied the women together, I live. Because, duh, I always root for the all female alliances.

Coco’s shelter building meanwhile was looking to be going ok, but like Owen before her, Cassidy was more focused on building alliances. Hearing my call, those alliances were specifically with the women on her tribe and the fact that they know how difficult the game is for women, I live for it. Sadly for my love Ryan, though, they wanted to bring in James to take control over the tribe and ice out my zaddy. Baka meanwhile had changed their focus as the men started working on building a fire as Sami explained that cremating pets is not murder, but disposing of their bodies. Which I thought was obvious, but great! In any event, he made fire while Gabler wandered off to try and form a bond with Elie over heavy metal bands and do I ship this? Probably. Do I ship it as much as the two all female alliances? God no.

The next day Coco were living their best lives, getting camp set up while Karla and Geo bonded over being queer, married members of the Latinx community and fuck me dead, THIS is the final two I want now, please and thank you. Despite the fact it kinda means my love Ryan is screwed. Well, unless Karla sides with the boys, given she clearly holds all the damn power in the tribe. We pivoted to Vesi where Jesse was opening up about growing up in gangs as a teen before he turned his life around while in juvenile detention. He now had a PHD with two adorable kids and is proud to be a hope for other people and ugh, he is the sweetest. Oh and while Jesse formerly had gang tattoos, Cody had LIVIN tattooed on his butt.

After the tatt talk dissipated, Justine focused on trying to get fire started for their tribe and while she was struggling, she was happy the shelter was doing good at least. At that exact moment, the shelter collapsed before she sparked a flame. Which sadly then went out, which gives off big retrograde energy. Thankfully they were distracted by the arrival of a speedboat directing them – and the two other tribes at the same time – to select one person to get on said boat for a little adventure. While Lindsay wanted to bounce at Coco, they drew numbers with Karla winning out, Gabler won Baka’s random draw while Dwight was just allowed to go, rather than any game of chance.

The trio met up at the famed quest island – formerly the Edge of Extinction – where they were thrilled to discover they didn’t need to walk up to the top of the island, instead wading through the shallows to a large rock. Shallows that were riddled with moss and oysters, so actually more dangerous than a stroll up a hill. Eventually they made it, learning that instead of a ship wheel, they now get to openly announce whether they want to risk their votes at the first tribal council, with them each selecting their fate out of a bag corresponding with how many people chose to risk it. Ultimately Gabler and Dwight opted to risk, while Karla was wise to play it safe. And more importantly to her, avoid painting a target on her back.

Back at Vesi the tribe were still heartbroken to not have fire before Justine once again managed to get flame, and this time managed to keep it alight. As Dwight returned to camp he opted to keep things truthful, knowing that everyone knows what those journeys are all about anyway. And while he was totally honest, Cody was not buying any of it and as such started sowing seeds of doubt about him amongst the tribe. At Baka, Gabler also told the tribe the truth before going for a walk and discovering he had jagged an idol for the next two tribal councils and while everyone else celebrated with him, they seem to be ignoring the fact it means he is safe and they are not. Which is never good.

Speaking of safety, Jeffrey returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would have to race through obstacles to release three balls, dig under a log, climb up a ramp, cross a balance beam and solve one of three table mazes. With them getting to choose which one, based on the order they arrive. Oh and sticking around from last season, the losers not only go to tribal council but have to forfeit their flint. Coco got out to an early lead while Vesi and Baka struggled to get under their logs. Specifically the latter as Jeanine got straight up stuck. As Vesi and Baka tried to close the gap, Coco landed all their balls and jagged immunity leaving the other tribes to desperately fight for the second win. Which eventually went to Vesi after they got their eye in, sending a defeated Baka to tribal council.

Back at camp the tribe quickly pivoted from disappointment to scrambling, with Sami in particular looking forward to getting their games started. Knowing he was kind of responsible, Gabler knew the target would be on his back and as such, mentioned he will not be playing his idol and instead, decided he would play his Shot in the Dark instead. Which Elie obviously thought was a terrible idea, instead telling him that they can’t afford for him to lose his vote and that he needs to pull his head in. With that out of the way, Elie, Jeanine and Owen went off and locked in the vote against Morriah, while Morriah and Sami were locking in their votes against Owen instead. Mainly because Gabler is too unpredictable to be able to trust or target. When the duo caught up with Jeanine and Elie, Elie assured us that while saying she wants to keep women strong, she wanted to focus on tribe strength. And just like that, this female alliance is already looking to be DOA.

At tribal council Sami spoke about how wonderful the vibe was at camp before losing the immunity challenge, ready to ride it out until the final 6 together. Owen agreed things were great, though suggested it instead had more to do with the fact nobody wanted to paint a target on their back. Gabler admitted that while not scrambling earlier could put them at a disadvantage, he is still glad they bonded as a tribe. Oh and then Morriah suggested they were all winners, because they tried. Sami rightly pointed out moral victories don’t keep you in the game, while Elie agreed but suggested they still need to form the right bonds too. Talk then turned to some sort of text analogies – don’t tell Teresa Giudice – before Sami reminded everyone that while they are friends, someone is about to have regrets.

Which obviously meant it was time to vote where Gabler surprisingly kept hold of his Shot in the Dark before Morriah was surprisingly chill to discover that she had become the latest member of the Sonja Christopher club. Or in Drag Race terms, the Porkchop.

As soon as she arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled Morriah in for a massive hug and assured her that while Survivor may not be the best place to make friends, I will always be proud of the positive, kind, spirit that she brought into the game. Within a small tribe situation, it is even harder to navigate the pre-merge section of the game and when everyone is getting along and contributing like the tribe were, it almost becomes a game of lucky dip. And let’s just say, after that little peptalk and a Morriahti Young or two, she was feeling 100 again.

Despite how the kinda clunky name makes it sound, these roti – not raita – are completely delicious. Fresh, fluffy and melt in your mouth, once you’ve tried a roti from scratch, you’ll never go back to pre-bought. Particularly since they are so damn easy!

Enjoy!

Morriahti Young
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
300g flour
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper, ground
250ml chilled water
30g butter, melted
vegetable oil

Method
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Stir in the water until it all comes together, before transferring to a floured surface and kneading for about 5 minutes.

Split the dough into 8 equal portions and form into balls. Working one at a time, roll a ball to form a 20cm wide disc and brush with some melted butter. Roll into a cigar, then roll parallel to form into a small scroll, kind of like Inception of rolling or a quick laminate of croissants. Now flatten the scroll into a disc and roll back out to form a disc. Repeat the process with the remaining portions.

To cook, pop a heavy skillet over medium heat and brush with the oil. Add the roti and cook for a minute or two, before flipping and cooking for another minute or until golden on both sides and nicely puffed. Repeat with the remaining bread then, obvi, devour.


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Bacon, Brocolli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Side, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls were tasked with designing some signature eye shadow palettes, before producing an entire beauty campaign to support them. Including not just a commercial, but a beauty shot like ANTM before it. After stomping – or swinging, in the iconic Fiercalicious’ case – the runway as works of art, everyone received glowing praise in at least one of the assignments. While Fiercalicious came out on top, Irma, Giselle and Bombae’s runways weren’t enough to save them from the bottom three. With the iconic Bombae felled by sweet, camp Irma.

Backstage Irma was equal parts shocked and thrilled to have taken out the lip sync, while everyone was sad to see the sweetheart home. Irma regaled the girls with tales about being focused on the performance, while the girls read her for being a little weird and wacky, which TBH is on brand. Talk turned to Fiercalicious’ first win, with everyone kinda sleeping on how well she did which mainly came down to the fact that Vivian felt like she has been doing so well in the competition and was just heartbroken it is yet to reward her. So either she wins this week or goes home. And since I love her, it needs to be the former.

The next day the dolls were thrilled to be the top six, none more so than Fiercalicious, after finally joining the winner’s circle. Promptly calling out Irma and Vivian for not being there, with the latter growing more stressed while Irma crunched the numbers and deduced that based on her track record, she will be winning this week. Before we could audit the maths, Brad dropped by and put the girls to the ultimate test, popping on actress quick drag to audition for his upcoming movie Super Queen. Vivian lived her Annie fantasy, Irma hoped to sleep her way to the top, Fiercalicious was confident and very good, Kimmy was killer and camp while Giselle and Jada leant into stupid and I love them. But obviously, Kimmy’s brand of stupid camp was deemed the best.

Brad then shared that this was just the start of their acting careers as for this week’s Maxi Challenge, they would be starring in Squirrels Trip: The Rusical. Starting with dropping the vocals and learning the choreo, after cage fighting for the roles, if Bosco v Camden is anything to go by. As they split up to go through the scripts, Giselle jumped at one of the smaller roles before everyone agreed that Fiercalicious should play the gaslighter. Kimmy jumped into a difficult role nobody wanted before Irma and Jada went in to fight for the same role, though sadly it was no Moulin Ru sitch as Irma just as happily stepped aside for her. While Vivian was happy to play a pent up mother, despite not feeling confident with the challenging choreography. As they split up to memorise their lines, Irma immediately lost her feelings of confidence given Giselle is far from being described as a confident singer. Vivian meanwhile worried about taking such a demanding role, while Fiercalicious admitted she pushed for her to take it to sabotage her. And well, this season is wild and I love it.

The dolls dropped by to work on their vocals with known chanteuse, Brad Goreski and well Jada sounded good. Kimmy gave all the confidence despite not knowing what some of her lyrics meant, while Fiercalicious was perfectly cast and oh so good. Poor Vivian appeared nervous behind the mic – though I’m hopeful this is our fakeout edit – and while Irma nailed it, Giselle bombed. And she knew it, thank you very much. Brad tapped out with Hollywood Jade who delighted Vivian with some sexy dance partners, and as soon as they held her tight, all her nerves just disappeared. Which is relatable AF. Kimmy knocked anything and everything out of the park, while Giselle and Irma traded places with the latter unable to get down the choreo, while Giselle hit every mark and hit it perfectly.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls running scales and beating their mugs, with Jada looking forward to hearing her dulcet tones on the track. Irma meanwhile opened up about her speech impediment growing up and how that has led to a lot of trauma and anxiety that still worries her to this day, though thankfully she was happy due to the fact it made her who she is. Giselle opened up about her own struggles growing up as queer and how it wasn’t until a teacher took him under his wing did he see that life is worth living. Jada meanwhile shared a spooky story about how her door kept opening throughout the night and how her bussy had been quivering, deducing that she fucked a ghost. Well, bottomed for one. And while it obviously adds nothing to the plot, I would argue it is just as important as the competition.

Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined on the panel by Jeremy Dutcher as the dolls took the stage for the opening and closing performance of Squirrels Trip. Jada opening the show strong, bringing all the charm and energy while Kimmy was delightfully demented. Fiercalicious gave full Ramona Singer teas – as a compliment, oddly – while Irma and Giselle kinda blended into the pack, though arguably had the toughest gig playing the (alleged) straight guys. Most importantly, Vivian did receive the fakeout edit of the week as she stole the damn show, giving horned up mumma-vamp in all the right ways. And while I SAID Vivian stole the show, the back-up dancers had their bums out, so yeah, they won my heart and my loins.

On the Dystopian Drag Runway, Jada gave zombie hunting Harley Quinn does Mad Max realness and well, it worked. Fiercalicious was perfect as the sexy sister of the monster from the Shape of Water while Vivian was terrifying, artistic and stunning in a True Detective kinda way. Kimmy was stunning as a sexy, shiny, spike warrior, Irma gave gassed glamazon while Giselle was living mirrorball model from Dune.

The judges lived for Jada’s energy and her hitting every note, despite wanting her to give them even more. And while her runway was good, it could have been better. Fiercalicious was praised for being a perfect bitch in the performance and for giving such an iconic look on the runway which will live on forever. Vivian meanwhile was universally beloved for everything she did this week, particularly for taking a risk in the challenge and for popping her baby teeth on her runway. Kimmy was read for giving another bra and panty combo on the runway, while everyone lived for how fun she was in the performance. Irma’s runway was beloved, despite the unnecessary reveal and while her vocals were great, they could see she was on the struggle bus when it came to the dancing. While Giselle received universal praise for the runway, she was read for blending into the background in the performance.

Backstage Kimmy was disappointed that her runway could cost her another win, while Fiercalicious was confident her runway may secure her second. Everyone read Jada for her basic outfit, which made her nervous she would be lip syncing yet again while Irma too was sure she would be in the bottom. Talk turned to Vivian’s breakout performance, with her delighting in everyone’s praise and support.

Ultimately Vivian finally jagged a very well-deserved victory as Fiercalicious and Kimmy were sent to safety before Jada narrowly avoided a third time in the bottom, with Giselle instead facing off against Irma. As soon as Alannah Myles’ Love Is kicked off both of the dolls kicked into fight mode, leaning into the camp, fun, nostalgic energy of the song and turning it. Though given Giselle is a straight up dancer, she really gave us everything and while Irma was giving the drama and silly, she was hurt by the fact she was wearing milky contact lenses and we couldn’t see all the emotion. Which is what I’m blaming her departure on, as she sashayed away while I dreamed of her and Vivian making their way to the top two together.

As soon as she stepped foot back into the Werk Room, I pulled her aside for a massive hug and shared how disappointed I was by her tragic elimination. Not only does she have one of the funnest, meme-iest names to grace Drag Race, but she was so sweet and kooky and talented, it is impossible not to stan. I mean, her Marilyn Snatch Game was bloody inspired! I reiterated that she is guaranteed to have a long, illustrious career – could her and Vivian become Trixie and Katya 2.0? I hope! – due to her talents, and in the meantime, she always has Bacon, Brocolli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake.

You know those moments when you’re trying to make a healthier version of a meal – in this case, Simon Potato Baker Denny – but end up just making another, delicious, creamy delight? Well, this is it. Gone are the potatoes of said bake, traded out with broccoli and cauliflower, elevating it to tasty heights.

Enjoy!

Bacon, Broccoli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
400g cauliflower, cut into small florets
400g broccoli, cut into small florets
200g streaky bacon rashers, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
200ml cream
200ml sour cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for five minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for a further few minutes before draining and setting aside.

Pop a large pan over medium heat and cook the bacon for a few minutes, or until crisp. Add the garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cream, sour cream, parmesan, half the cheddar and a good whack of salt and pepper, stirring until well combined.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and the top is golden. Then devour, solo or with a freshly cooked roast.


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Arepomare Fifth

Bread, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls starred in our first acting challenge and while it paid homage to Prisoner, I still wish they went with Homo & A-gay or Gaybours. But when life gives you lemons, it is generally a Drag Race acting challenge or something. Which coincidentally was the plot, as Bev was given the death penalty for writing the franchise’s past acting challenges. While Aubrey and Kween struggled, Spankie was demented and gorgeous, while Minnie and Hannah gave the best criminal duo since Home Alone. Alas, there could only be one winner as Spankie took out her first victory of the season, before Kween destroyed the lip sync and poor Aubrey sashayed away.

Backstage Kween was still feeling disappointed in herself, feeling broken and picking the performance apart. On top of that, she felt bad for poor Aubrey. Thankfully everyone rallied around and gave her a glorious pep talk and she was soon feeling far better. She then congratulated Spankie on her first victory, while Spankie in turn praised Minnie and Hannah for doing so well in the challenge. Hannah then lamented the fact that she has been a bridesmaid in the first two episodes and best believe she was ready to step into the spotlight and take out a victory. Otherwise, why did they invite her to this wedding?

Oh and Minnie offered to suck off and then bottom for Kween – um, get in line lady – and Hannah suggested finding Ru’s trailer and sucking her off for a win. So yeah, maybe this is why Ru called us all ratchet?

The next day Yuri was feeling good, particularly since her outfit saved her last week and this week, she vowed to get out of her head and get back into the top. Ru dropped by before Yuri could top, though thankfully brought the Pit Crew with him and well, my basement was flooded. There was something about a tool stuffed in their pants and the queens had to pick who was packing what. As is oft the case, we all won as the menseses dropped trou over and over. But apparently, in whatever way Ru was keeping score, Molly Poppinz took out the actual victory.

And as the victor, she was able to pair up the queens for this week’s Maxi Challenge, where they would be hosting a 5-minute drag brunch set. She obviously paired up with Hannah, before getting Minnie and Kween together and putting Bev with Pomara, leaving Spankie and Yuri as the final duo. And while Spankie felt like Molly was trying to do a little bit of sabo(tage), I have a feeling in my waters that Spankie and Yuri will shine.

After Ru departed, the pairs split up to workshop their sets with Molly wanting to be natural rather than scripting anything and well, is this a good idea? Spankie then asked Molly if she was trying to be strategic with her pairings, admitting that yes she did, wanting to put a strong queen with a weaker girl. Before basically admitting she was just trying to bring Spankie down. Speaking of Spankie, she was pissed by the decision while Yuri was feeling ready to bring herself up to Spankie’s level and yes Yuri, I love you. Beverly and Pomara meanwhile learnt they are polar opposites with their performance styles, with Bev wanting to script everything and Pomara focused on being off the cuff. Minnie and Kween meanwhile were leaning into the fact they have completely different backgrounds, focusing on racism and privilege.

Oh and they told Hannah about it so Hannah could address her Scarlett Adams-esque background with cultural appropriation and the hurt that it did, has and will cause. And fuck, Kween is so mature and wise, giving Hannah space to apologise and address the scandal while firmly explaining why it is such a problem and how addressing it in a non-performative way proves she is willing to grow.

Spankie and Yuri were first to workshop with Rhys and Chris Parker – who is wearing a super cute shirt – and were very fun with their scripted roast of the queens. Rhys encouraged them to make it a little more Drag Race, while Chris wanted them to take advantage of the fact they are a Kiwi only duo. Molly and Hannah started out with a dry script about Hobbiton, before the mentors told them to make things personal. Where we then learnt Hannah wanted to be a priest, which is a story we all need to hear. Minnie’s energy meanwhile took all the rehearsal space, with Kween encouraged to come up a little while Minnie was told to tone it down a little. While Bev and Pomara just couldn’t figure out where the script was going and who was saying what, while Rhys and Chris reminded them to lift each other up.

Elimination Day rolled around with Yuri MIA with an eye infection, though ugh, Pomara suggested they could all help paint her face when she comes back and maybe they listened when Ru said, everyone say love.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys were joined by the iconic Urzila Carlson on the judges panel as Beverly and Pomara opened the show looking absolutely stunning and going well, until Yuri’s absence appeared to really throw them off because things then became stilted. Backstage, Yuri returned with half vision and a cream and quickly beat her mug while Molly and Hannah took the stage and were so energetic, fun and personable and well, I love it. I mean, “the only balloon I can blow up is when I’m farting in my foreskin in my meaty tuck” is a line that came out of Molly’s mouth. What could you not love? Kween meanwhile was charming and sparkled while Minnie dropped in and brought all the energy, which proved to be a formidable combination as they slayed. Yuri then gagged the dolls as she made her triumphant return with Spankie to close out the show. And I don’t know if she got drugged up at A&E, but Yuri was hilarious and so much fun despite Spankie giving an absolute hosting masterclass.

I mean, they nailed it.

On the Red for Filth runway, Beverly was a stunning goth ready for the boudoir, complete with a chandelier headpiece. Pomara served red earth glamour and looked so damn stunning, Hannah Conda gave Carmen Sandieg-ho does Dallas, Molly was a blooming rose bud with a perfect mug. Kween gave sexy volcano realness while Minnie wore a stunning red dress that just could not stay up and then Spankie looked perfect in a poppy gown in honour of the Anzacs, while Yrui was iconic as a bloody red devil and fuck I love her. But also, is she high?

Ultimately Spankie and Yuri took out victory and sent to untuck before Beverly was praised for giving a stunning runway though read for not really vibing with Pomara while they were on stage. Pomara too received universal praise for her look, but yeah, that vibe wasn’t great. Hannah and Molly were praised for such killer energy and how they bounced off each other, despite not having much of a script. Though their looks were both praised, despite Ru deeming Molly’s trashy. Kween meanwhile received wall-to-wall praise and thanked for bringing the energy she had in lip sync to the challenge and stamping her place in the contest, while Minnie was praised for her energy and despite the dress not fitting, they loved the dedication to the sisters she lost to HIV/AIDS.

Backstage Spankie and Yuri were overjoyed to take out victory, particularly after everything Yuri had to go through this week. And Molly’s sabo attempts. The rest of the girls arrived and congratulated them on their victory, while Pomara and Beverly both started to sob given they were clearly in the bottom. While their sisters tried to rally around them, Bev brokedown over her fears and how she was  terrified of failing herself and the greater Brisbane area. Which thankful doesn’t include Logan for the record, but I digress. Kween then gave her and Pomara an epic peptalk and well, I’ve loved Kween because she is so damn hot, but damn, she has such a beautiful soul too. Begging the question, did Jesse McCartney write it about her? Because he should have.

Ru didn’t beat around the bush this week, telling Bev and Pomara they were in the bottom before sweeping the rest of the girls off stage. Despite the fear and emotion they were showing backstage, they both went off as Years & Years feat. Kylie’s Starstruck kicked off. Both of the dolls hit every damn lyric and gave all the energy but when Bev started splitting and slipping and nearly sliding off stage, it was over. Until Pomara hilariously switched into mocking her opponent. I mean, if ever there was a time for a double shantay, it was this. But alas, they didn’t even have enough time to edit Ru’s stumble on the runway out, so tragically, we had to say goodbye to the iconic Pomara. Who rightly summed up her feelings with a simple, bye cunts.

Backstage poor Pomara was still feeling disappointed in her performance, so I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her how charming and talented she is. I then went on a very long-winded rant how this was far and away the strongest challenge of the series, with everyone kinda doing well. Add into that the fact they both slayed the lip sync and well, if there ever was a time to go out, it was when you all did well. Which appeared to do the trick as we slipped back into being silly and joyful as we smashed a fresh batch of Arepomare Fifth.

These gorgeously flavorful South American pita-esque breads are the perfect accompaniment. Or even with a thick layer of butter on their own. Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they are so damn good. And more importantly, v. easy to make.

Enjoy!

Arepomare Fifth
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 ½ cups lukewarm water
2 cups white corn flour
¼ cup sunflower oil (or corn, if you can find it)

Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Combine the sugar, salt, pepper and water in a jug of water until only the pepper is visible. Meanwhile, pop the corn flour in a large bowl. Slowly add the sweet and salty water into the bowl, stirring constantly, until it all comes together.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Pop on a lined plate, cover and leave to rest for about half an hour.

When you’re ready to cook, divide the dough into ¼ cup(ish) sized balls and flatten into 2cm discs. Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add a couple of arepas to the pan. Flatten with a spatula and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for another few. Repeat the process until done.

Place them on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to cook for a further 5-10 minutes, or until they sound hollow on the inside. Then devour, either with some eggs or leftover birria, not that either are traditional but they are great.


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Palesar Taulad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the original Yontau members had their backs against the wall on each of the post-swap tribes. At new Yontau, Dante was busy targeting Dino who was quickly winning everyone else on the tribe over, while his only ally Phil worried about becoming collateral damage. On Masu, Toni took the chance to take control of the tribe, forming bonds with Steffi and Tejan, and pulling in Killarney to get revenge on her Yontaus. Which tragically cost Thoriso the game, despite the fact she knew being loyal to Felix would lead to her demise.

The next day things were very very awkward for Felix at Masu, given he was all alone. And while he desperately wanted to seek revenge, he knew he had to bide his time to really achieve his goals. Toni and Tejan meanwhile were locking in a vote against Killarney should they return to tribal council, with her assuring Felix that she will be protecting him. Despite the fact he is a number for Dante and Co. meaning it may not be in her best interests, given she is so well connected outside of Dante. Tejan meanwhile caught up with Felix and assured him that he will (also) be protecting him throughout the game and while he was super friendly to his face, Felix was ready to smack him and desperate to stop having to be nice to those in power.

Over at Yontau Phil and Dino were just desperately waiting for the merge, hoping it can save them from being on the wrong side of the numbers. Dante meanwhile was busy plotting how to get rid of Dino, even though he doesn’t have any numbers or power. His plan was to get Meryl to tell Dino about the (expired) idol and that he would be playing it, though given he was so strong with how he floated the plan with Meryl, Marian and Palesa, it was starting to become clear that he won’t have any allies left come merge. Oh and Marian was planning to pass off her diplomatic immunity to Steffi should Masu lose the upcoming challenge.

The tribes reassembled with Nico for the latest immunity challenge, this time played as individuals with everyone standing on a perch over the water holding a ball above their head. Last one standing winning tribal immunity, before both tribes attend tribal council and vote someone out of the losing tribe. Oh and the last one standing from each tribe will venture to the Outpost. Everyone was still standing after 15 minutes, leading to Nico upping the ante and forcing them to hold the ball over their heads, rather than balancing it on them. Almost immediately it cost Felix his place, quickly followed by Dante. They obviously started gossiping about their respective tribes and who they should target at the upcoming vote, which could be good news for Dino, given he and Felix are tight.

Shane was next to drop who suggested they vote out Dante, wait no, Dino. Palesa dropped out of nowhere and added to the Dino pile on before the pain became too much for Marian and she joined the pile on. After struggling for what felt like eternity, Killarney finally dropped leaving three per tribe to fight for immunity. Well, until Meryl dropped out of nowhere, leaving Phil and Dino to fight for their safety. While Toni started assuring Dino that he can drop and the Masu tribe will look after him and Phil, and help them take out someone. Dino eventually fell out of the challenge, handing Phil the trip to the Outpost. Marian meanwhile started floating the idea of using diplomatic immunity and guaranteeing another one of their numbers are safe. And while Dante was very against it, Meryl was all for it and suggested they band together to get rid of Palesa, given how close she is becoming with Dante. Out of nowhere, Phil dropped handing Masu immunity before Tejan, Steffi and Toni debated who should go, giving it to Toni as the only one yet to visit. 

After Nico handed immunity off to Masu, Marian pulled out her Diplomatic Immunity and used it to join the Masu tribe and save herself at the vote ahead. As Toni and Phil headed off to the Outpost, Dino was feeling nervous again while Palesa admitted both tribes attending tribal council truly changes things as their fates are no longer just in their tribe’s hands.

Back at Yontau Palesa was growing more and more nervous about the vote, feeling like she had to pledge her allegiance to an alliance ASAP. She caught up with Meryl and Dino about Marian playing the Diplomatic Immunity with Dino concerned about her influencing things at Masu. Which was making Meryl super excited. Speaking of Marian and Masu, everyone was quite sombre which was confusing to Tejan given they are all likely to have made it to the merge. Steffi opened up to us about being disappointed by Marian’s arrival, wanting to have used the swap to build her resume on her own. Which is something Marian picked up on, given everyone was pretty damn frosty since she arrived.

Over at Yontau Dante and Shane were worried about two tribes reconvening at tribal council, particularly given they have no idea what is happening over at the Outpost. Shane suggested they go hunting for another idol, given Dante is unlikely to play the idol for anyone other than himself. Completely unaware Dante’s idol is dead. Felix and Marian were catching up at Masu, with Felix worried about which side to go with between his current ride or die Dino and Dante, his ride or die from their OG season. Steffi meanwhile was disappointed to have let Toni go to the Outpost, with Marian catching up with her to see if she was ok. Which put a target on Steffi’s back, just as she feared, as Felix, Tejan and Killarney speculated why Marian came over and what her agenda could be. Particularly focused on her potentially just being there to gather intel ahead of the suspected merge. With Marian just trying to assure Steffi their OG alliance is still solid, despite Steffi warning her that should there be another tribal immunity, there is no guarantee Marian will be safe.

Bouncing back to Yontau, Meryl shared her fears about Marian leaving to Dino, opening up about how difficult it is to be aligned with Dante given he is volatile and takes a lot of her energy. Thinking Dante is immune, she then floated the idea of getting rid of Palesa and while Dino was obviously keen for anyone else to be a target, he argued that Palesa is far nicer to him than Shane and would rather get rid of him. Meryl then shared that eventually, sooner rather than later, she will turn on Dante, but right now, she would rather target his potential number Palesa. Speaking of Palesa, she caught up with Dino and the duo put everything on the table, outlining their numbers on either tribe and how they can navigate the merge. With Palesa obviously doubling down on getting rid of Shane in the hope of getting in with Toni’s post merge numbers.

We finally arrived at the Outpost where Phil was desperate for a little bit of safety. Sadly for him, the advantage on offer was for two half idols should they correctly guess who will be voted out at the next tribal council. Which are huge stakes, but could screw over one of them should their alliance not last long. As such, the duo sat down to talk about the upcoming vote and spilled the tea on the rumours floating around each tribe. Their initial plan was to split the vote between Dante and Shane, while Phil suggested getting rid of Meryl to really make Dante feel isolated. Ultimately switching back to Shane at the last minute, while hyping up the hatred for Dante to make him play the idol.

Sadly for their idol chances, it was at that moment that Shane found a hidden immunity idol. Wait, no, it was Diplomatic Immunity and since Marian had already used it, it was null and void. 

The mood around camp in general was very tense, with Shane sharing his Diplomatic Immunity find with Meryl and suggesting that while it is expired, he can use it to create a little chaos. Concerned about everyone being kinda safe based with their idols or the assumptions of people having one, Meryl was considering playing her tribal council pass, given it is likely going to come down between her and Palesa as the safe options. 

Phil returned from the Outpost and told a little half-truth story about the half-idol, before he pulled Dino aside and suggested they get rid of Shane. Though he didn’t give all the truth. Palesa meanwhile was concerned about working with Dino and Phil, though knew she had to make a decision and felt they were safe given they were connected with Toni. As such, they were all planning to load all their votes on Shane.

Toni returned to Masu and filled them in, kinda, on the Outpost and suggested they all vote out Dante. Marian felt she was shifty and Killarney could tell she was lying, while she disappeared to fill Steffi in on the true plan to get rid of Shane instead. Sadly for her, Steffi didn’t love the idea and as such, was planning to mix things up herself. She pulled Killarney aside and suggested they join with Marian and Shane, and along with Felix, can take control of the game.

Over at Yontau Dante was still pushing for the vote against Phil, while Meryl quietly pulled him aside and suggested they team up to get rid of Palesa without Dante knowing. Not only does it keep them both safe, it weakens whatever Dante is planning moving forward and as such, they were both on board. Phil and Dino caught up about Meryl and debated whether they can trust her, with the latter concerned about what she can do moving forward and feeling like she is the far smarter move than the already abrasive Shane. Phil took that suggestion to Palesa, agreeing that she is totally more dangerous come merge and as such, was locked in on taking out Meryl. Shane then caught up with Phil to float the idea of getting rid of Palesa and assured him that he has never lied to him. He then spoke about Dante saying he has an idol, though admitted he is yet to see it. Oh but he has one. Which pushed Phil over the edge, given so many people are claiming to have an idol now.

Back at Masu Marian caught up with Steffi and Felix, worried about the perceived abundance of advantages and suggested maybe they vote for Palesa instead. Particularly since it weakens Shane. They rejoined the rest of their tribe and suggested the idea, which annoyed Toni given she was desperate to get rid of Shane. Steffi made sure that Toni was very vocal about her plan coming out on top, in the hope it would make everyone concerned about navigating around her throughout the season.

Meryl and Dante meanwhile caught up with the latter very nervous about going home, debating who would be best to target to keep them safe, given Marian would be annoyed if Shane goes, while Meryl ws nervous about how dangerous Palesa is. Particularly since she has been playing such a social game this season.

At tribal council Palesa was nervous about preemptively playing a merge game, as Marian mouthed to Dino to play his idol for Shane. Dante was concerned about the previous relationships coming into play and muddying the waters, while Shane suggested the increased prize money would make things more complicated. Relationships be damned. Phil spoke about being a free agent coming in and glad to build new bonds to push ahead, while Dino was nervous about navigating through the future merge phase.

After everyone started whispering amongst themselves, Nico grew sick of it and suggested everyone get up to gossip. Marian rallied her former allies to join the Palesa vote, while Meryl was worried about the votes being split between her and Shane. There were whispers of Shane, Palesa and Meryl and well, it was all confusing. While everyone was just nervous, as Tejan questioned why they are now planning on turning on one of their own. He then blew things up and asked people to clarify the plan, with Shane pulling out his pouch and suggesting he has an idol, while Steffi begged for them to just damn vote already. Tejan talking about being annoyed but feeling like his hands are tied and as such, he was fine to just get it over with.

With that the tribe voted, Dante outed his idol had expired, as did Shane and his expired pass while Dino held on firm to his real one. As Nico read the votes, much to Tejan and to my horror, they piled up on Queen Palesa and tragically booted her from the game. Just before the merge, which officially went down at tribal council.

Palesa didn’t need a map to find me hiding in Loser Lodge, following the sound of my screaming tears, heartbroken she missed out on the chance to take out a well deserved victory. Despite playing a very strong game her first go, she came in and completely changed the way she played, learning from her mistakes and changing strategy to keep everyone on their toes. And without a twist, I firmly believe she would have made it through the week unscathed. But alas, twists twisted and as such, we had to drown our sorrows with a Palesar Taulad.

While I experienced a slight trauma upon the discovery on the abundance of anchovies washing through a caesar salad, I quickly moved on after realising it tastes good. Creamy, salty and oh so crunchy, this salad is a sensory delight.

Enjoy!

Palesar Taulad
Serves: 2 icons feeling the blues.

Ingredients
4 streaky bacon rashers, diced
2 eggs
20g butter
2 garlic clove, minced
3 slices sourdough, cut into a 1cm dice
1 cos lettuce, washed, dried and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved
¼ cup Caesharonne Salad Dressing

Method
Pop a skillet over medium heat and get a pot of water on another hob and bring to the boil. Once the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until nice and crispy. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Once the pot of water is boiling, gently add the eggs and hard boil.

Moving back to the skillet, add the butter and garlic and saute for a minute. Add the bread and cook, agitating frequently, until they become golden brown  – or in my case, brown brown – and crisp.

Combine the lettuce, parmesan, bacon and croutons in a bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Remove the eggs from the pot, peel and cut into quarters and toss over the salad. Then devour, joyously.


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Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, Salad, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on All Winners the dolls put on a charity variety show for their penultimate challenge. And given it was going to be an epic show, Ru was generous enough to give out THREE stars each for the top two. Meaning whoever landed in the top got an express pass to the finale. Shea did an original song and was 100% Janet while Monet was the Phantom of the Opera, snatching their place in the top two, booking a ticket to the finale alongside Jinkx. As the person with the most stars, Monet had to break the tie between Jaida and Trinity. And while it was heartbreaking to watch for poor Jaida, Monet selected her twinner to join her. But don’t despair, because Jaida and the rest of the bottom four would ALSO compete for a crown. That of Queen of She Already Done Had Herses.

Backstage the top four were giddy to be eligible for the final crown and $200k, though given the bottom four are still in it for $50k, none of them were overly sad. Raja asked Monet how it felt to have the most stars, while she calmly explained it just means she is better than the rest of her sisters. Monet apologised for crushing Jaida’s dream, explaining she went with Trinity because she won more challenges. And they have seen some shit. While Jaida charmingly cussed her out for going with someone she has known for years, over someone she met on the first day of the season. The Vivienne was just giddy to be in the running for some money after winning a web series on her season, Jinkx gently told everyone she wants it the most and then Monet and Trinity gagged nobody by admitting they had an alliance.

LalapaRuza Day arrived with everyone a little subdued before talk turned to who they think will win the She Already Done Had Herses Crown, with Raja backing herself, while The Viv and Yvie pointed out they have each won a couple of lip syncs in their time.

Ru dropped by to thank the girls for building the legacy of the show before giving the girls one final Mini Challenge with the Pit Crew. Which was actually just getting into 15 minute quick drag and rocking a soul training. Jaida was obviously adorable and charming and looked stunning while doing it, Raja gave stoned aunty realness in all the right ways, Monet was hilarious, Shea was sexy AF, Trinity was a creepy mess and I LIVE, Jinkx did a Natasha Lyonne reprise while Yvie was a purple Diana Ross and The Viv was ultimate chav queen and ugh, I love them all. Which is the sentiment Raja shared, feeling like the 8 of them were destined to be here in this moment together and how she is reinvigorated by knowing them. AND AM I CRYING?!

We pivoted to the mainstage where it was family only as Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross took their seats as the dolls stomped the Grand Finale Eleganza Runway. Jaida was stunning in a shimmering, dripping white delight in honour of old Hollywood black excellence, Raja was captivating as an iridescent insect queen and was fucking fierce. The Viv gave a sexy black showgirl ball gown, in stark contrast to her original finale gown. Yvie gave three tier cotton candy cake, Jinkx was a stunning medieval maven, Monet was perfection in a futuristic Wakandan nude illusion, Shea was a frilled warm toned delight while Trinity gave baby pink princess realness.

The judges obviously felt Jaida was absolute perfection on the runway, as she was every damn week. And funny, charming, naughty and delightful. Raja rightly was praised for being the look queen of the season and for being such a joy to watch, each and every week. The Vivienne was praised for being such a powerhouse, serving stunning looks and slaying as a performer. They lived for Yvie giving something different each week and just being so good. Jinkx was universally beloved for just being so damn good at every thing she did. Monet was praised for bringing the soul and having the best time. Shea was praised for always having a message and elevating every damn moment, while Trinity was rightly praised for being 100% joy all season, and for leaning into the stupid and being kind with all her sisters.

Ru once again thanked the dolls for all that they have done, squeaking out a tear as she praised them for being heroic beacons for the community. A sobbing Monet then thanked Ru for giving them this show and the platform, and for the love she has given them all throughout the years.

And again, I’m crying.

We then got another live performance from Ru with some creepy/sexy clowns. And now I’m horny crying and so uncomfortable with myself.

Thankfully we moved on with Jaida, Raja, The Vivienne and Yvie returning to the stage for the She Already Done Had Herses Lip Sync Smackdown Lalaparuza For The Crown. Zaddy Alex dragged out the wheel with The Viv selected to compete in the first round, before Alex’s second spin chose her opponent as Yvie. Bruno and Bryce returned with The Viv selecting Bryce’s box, meaning she and Yvie would be lip syncing to Push It by my girls Salt’n’Pepa. Much to her regret, knowing this is right in Yvie’s wheelhouse.

As soon as the song kicked off it was clear the fear was very well founded as Yvie had all the energy and perfect moves for the song. Backflipping around the stage and being an all around star. That being said, The Viv was hilarious, giving iconic comedy and playing to her strengths, mocking what Yvie was doing and living her best life. Tragically though, it wasn’t enough, as Yvie progressed to the final round, leaving The Viv to finish in 7th/8th place. Which really doesn’t show how damn well she performed this season, because she ate. And was more than deserving of her participation sceptre.

Jaida and Raja took to the floor where Bruno returned to unveil their song, Let’s Hear It for The Boy and well, these two killed it. As you would expect. Raja lived every damn moment of the song, exuding joy and once again proved she is still a total star. While Jaida hit every lyric and kicked and flipped around the stage, there was no competing with Aunty Raja’s comedy, fun and general vibe. As such, she progressed to lip sync for the She Already Done Had Herses Crown while the newest icon Jaida sashayed away. No doubt with a new, massive following of fans and confidence in herself as a performer. And ugh, fuck I love Jaida. Particularly because she wanted Raja to buy her a wine AND farted in Michelle’s direction as her exit line.

We then pivoted to the top four as Jinkx, Monet, Trinity and Shea arrived for their first round of lip syncs with Alex’s wheel selecting Jinkx for slot number one, facing off against Shea Coulee. Jinkx then got lucky with Bruno’s box, scoring my girl Lady Gaga’s Judas as their song. Both of the dolls were nervous to be facing off against their sister, which was correct given they were both absolute fire. Jinkx served witchy vamp while Shea was desperate not to suffer the same fate as her last lip sync for the crown, serving a sexy reveal and being an all around bad arse. But yeah, there was no taking my eyes off Jinkx and the magnetic fire she had. Carrying her all the way to lip syncing for the crown. Much to her shock. With Shea being such a talented star, she was just overjoyed for her sister and grateful for her third journey in the competition. And well, if you do not stan Shea, please go to another website, because we stan Shea in there ‘ere parts.

The twinners took the stage and learnt from Bryce’s box that they’ll be lip syncing to – vom – So What by Pink. And despite that, they both served. While I hate that song they were both on fire. They had the attitude and all the right vibes, were absolutely hilarious and bounced off each other so damn well. I mean, it was a SHOW, as Trinity flipped around the stage, Monet was jump splitting and both had perfect comedic timing. And well, if there could be another double crowning moment to face Jinkx, I would take it, but ultimately Ru selected Monet to proceed to lip sync for the crown. And Trinity being Trinity, she was just absolutely charming and gracious in defeat and well, stan her too because she had been an absolute joy this season.

AND OH MY GOD TRINITY AND SHEA WERE FELLED BY A LIP SYNC FOR THE CROWN A SECOND TIME.

Raja and Yvie returned to the stage to lip sync for the secondary crown of the season to Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves. And based on the song alone, you should already know that my favourite Raja ate. Then came back for second and thirds. Yvie is obviously a killer lip syncer and performer, giving acrobatic perfection in every corner of the stage AND a fake-out failed wig reveal. But Raja is just SO enchanting, feeling every lyric and not only having the best time, but dragging you along for all the joy. And well, that was all it took to give Aunty Raja the Queen of She Already Done Had Herses Crown. And again, I AM CRYING.

Raja started to sob as she thanked Ru for putting her life on the trajectory it has had, with Ru praising her spirit and for being such a star. And well, she loves Yvie just as much. Which is why she also got a sceptre, as Ru reminded her that this stage is forever hers, no matter what adversity she may face. Oh and Raja was just grateful for the cashola.

Jinkx and Monet took to the stage for the final lip sync for the title of Queen of All Queens, to Swish Swish by Katy Perry – vom – and my dear Nicky Minaj. And well, Jinkx was desperate for the crown, while Monet vowed to leave everything on the stage to snatch it from her. Monet slow flossed, Jinkx served Carole Baskin realness, Monet flung cash, Jinkx stayed in the comedic pocket, Monet vogued and well, it was a show as both the dolls fought valiantly. Though ultimately, obviously, it was Jinkx that took out the victory and watching her breakdown over the honour was just beautiful. As is her love for her fellow sisters.

And seeing how happy Monet was for her sister was just beautiful, because she, like everyone else in the cast, is an absolute star and easily could have snatched the crown. Since she totally dominated the lip sync. I mean, did you see the lipstick she had prepared with Jinkx’s name written on it? Iconic.

Conveniently, the queen that won the most challenges also went on to win the season, so thankfully I didn’t have to sit around awkwardly with a runner-up, alone in the VIP style and instead got to have a true celebration.

As soon as Jinkx exited stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her just how proud of her I was. While Jinkx had always been a massive favourite to take out an All Winners season as we all dreamed of getting one, so managed to not only live up to the expectations but exceed them with flying colours. Every week, she was consistently perfect and showed just how versatile a performer she is. And that, to me, is more than enough reason to split an Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon salad.

This classic Meatball Shop salad truly proves the Springfield you don’t make friends with salad mantra wrong. It is fresh, zingy, hearty and oh so delicious. And the perfect way to honour the inaugural Queen of all Queens. (Because we better get another winner’s season ASAP)!

Enjoy!

Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for frying
1 large portabello mushroom, stem removed and cap cut into a large dice
¾ tsp kosher salt
½ bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
1 romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed and torn into small pieces
½ fennel head, thinly sliced
30ml sherry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mushroom with ½ a teaspoon of salt until it starts to brown and the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the asparagus for a couple of minutes, before draining and running under cold water.

Combine the mushroom, asparagus, lettuce and fennel in a bowl. Whisk the ¼ cup of olive oil with the sherry vinegar, mustard and remaining salt before tossing to coat, serving and devouring. Regally.


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Roasted Sweet Potato and Choriso M-Afrika

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribal switch was impacting each tribe in vastly different ways. Over at Yontau, the former Masu members had the majority and planned to systematically eliminate the Yontaus after Phil botched a plan to blindside Dante. Over at new Masu, the original Masus were similarly enjoying good fortune, this time despite a numbers disadvantage. In part because the Yontau members didn’t get along, but more importantly, because Pinty was difficult to be around and an easy, unifying target.

Back at camp Felix and Thoriso were well and truly on the outs after Killarney defected to get rid of Pinty, while Steffi and Toni tried to apologise and make them feel better. Tejan assured them that the vote wasn’t necessarily down tribal lines and instead was against Pinty being a little grumpy. And well, tomorrow is always another day in this game. Said next day, Toni awoke before the rest of the tribe, nudging Tejan awake and sending him to go hunt for a hidden immunity idol while she kept watch. Once he found the idol however, he was disappointed to discover it was only for the other tribe with them quickly planning to give it to Dino to try and protect him from Dante.

Over at Yontau Shane and Phil were catching up about Dante’s mood, with Shane assuring him that while Dante wants Dino and him out as soon as possible, that isn’t what he or Meryl want. And as such, he is ready to make a move ASAP. And will put his head on the line to save him. That being said, Phil isn’t really buying it and is ready to outlast Shane on their second go together.

The tribes reconvened with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would chop through a rope to release a Miley-style wrecking ball, manoeuvre it through obstacles and then use it to smash three large tiles. With the winners getting immunity and pizza, clearly unaware it is a Survivor curse. But, you know, whatever. Felix got Masu out to an early lead chopping through their ropes before tapping back in for a third go and extending the lead. Well, until Thoriso struggled to get up a wall and allowed Yontau to overtake them. While Felix worked hard to get them back in the game, Dino and Dante formed a formidable duo as they knocked out tile after tile and despite a late-breaking push, sent Masu back to tribal council. But not before Toni gave Dino a snuggly hug to hand over Tejan’s idol.

They headed back to camp where Dino was in shock that not a soul noticed the idol exchange. To try and cover their tracks, he told the tribe that she was trying to fill him in on what was happening on the other tribe. After he excused himself from the camp, Palesa told everyone that she is sure that she witnessed an idol exchange between he and Toni and as such, they all needed to be wary. Shane pulled Dino aside to fill him in on the new lay of the land, reiterating how much Dino can trust him and should, essentially, pledge his undying loyalty to Shane.

Marian and Meryl meanwhile were growing more and more nervous of Dino, given he is clearly closer to Toni than them and as such decided he needs to go. Sadly, he was busy catching Phil up on the idol and started planning how they could use it to survive. Palesa dropped by and told Dino she caught him handing off the idol and all three agreed that Shane is not to be trusted and as such, started brainstorming ideas to get rid of him ASAP.

Back at camp a dejected Masu tried to congratulate each other on fighting hard in the challenge. Thoriso meanwhile was worried about how to get herself out of the current predicament, while Felix too was ready to fight to stay alive. Toni caught Steffi up on the idol exchange and begged her to keep it quiet from Tejan, because they need Dino to feel loyal to them. Tejan joined the girls and the talk turned to the upcoming tribal council, wondering how to navigate a potential idol play from Thoriso and Felix. Speaking of Felix, Toni caught up to him and assured him that she still wants to work with him, outlined the Dino idol exchange but didn’t give him anything else to put his mind at ease.

Felix caught up with Tejan and Thoriso, telling them that Toni told him about the exchange given she knows he caught her. With Tejan explaining how he found it and all of them agreeing that giving it to Dino was a great idea. They then talked strategy and Tejan realised that he vibes better with Thoriso and as such, questioned whether he should be turning on Toni instead as he needs a collaborator, not undying loyalty.

Toni meanwhile was feeling in control of the tribe, catching up with Steffi to debate who is the best person to get rid of out of loyal Killarney or Thoriso. WIth them settling on the safer bet being to stick with Killarney and vote out Thoriso. Sadly just as Tejan was trying to put the target on Killarney instead. He caught up with Toni and pointed out that Killarney doesn’t bring them any other potential options, while keeping Thoriso could give them more wiggle room later in the game. After they locked in a split vote, Tejan realised that he could change things up and protect Thoriso, though was unsure what exactly the cost would be moving forward with his OG allies.

At tribal council Tejan spoke about how things weren’t too chaotic given there is a majority. Felix joked that it clearly meant he and Thoriso are in trouble tonight. While Tejan tried to backpedal, Thoriso doubled down that there is nothing she can do to change their minds if they don’t see the value you can add to their game. While Nico told her it was defeatist, she argued that it is realistic and knowing there may not be something she can do, she is still going to pitch it. Nico asked Killarney how she hooked up with the Masus to form a majority, essentially saying she is just more mature and loyal. 

Felix spoke about how disappointed it was to come into tribal knowing it might be his last, giving a final pitch to keep him. Toni tried to say that being voted out in a returning season is kind of a compliment, with everyone begging not to be complimented tonight. With that the tribe voted and Thoriso stood firm in her alliance with Felix, and Tejan to OG Masu, leading to a 2-2-2 vote between the original Yontau members. After revoting, Thoriso’s loyalty to Felix ended up being her undoing as the tribe banded together to boot her from the game.

Thoriso was her usual, delightful self as she arrived at Loser Lodge, knowing she did all that she could. I pulled her in and agreed that once again, she was playing a stellar game and frankly, the only reason she got eliminated was bad luck of the swap. With that, we laughed, cried and celebrated her second go with Roasted Sweet Potato and Choriso M-Afrika.

Less your traditional salad and more an orgy of delicious roasted flavours thrown in a bowl, this salad packs a spicy kick and fills you with unending joy. Which is just what you need after 2.5 weeks eating pap. Or when you want to feel healthy in winter.

Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potato and Choriso M-Afrika
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
800g sweet potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 chorizos, sliced into thick coins
½ cup sour cream
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp Harissa Oleynik
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch watercress, leaves picked

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil and transfer to a baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden and charred.

Meanwhile, pop a skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizos until crisp and glistening with the oozing oil.

Whisk together the sour cream, garlic, lemon zest and juice, Harissa Oleynik with a good whack of salt and pepper.

To serve, toss the sweet potato and chorizo in a serving dish, sprinkle with watercress and drizzle with the dressing. Then devour, joyously.


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