Baoverly Buns Kills

Main, Poultry, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls formed girl groups and while the producers tragically opted against keeping costs down and getting the girls to talk about their tight tucks, it did work out for the best as it was absolute fire. Like the first season of UK, one team absolutely molly wopped – not whomp, which I just learnt was different and something I would love TBH – while the other team had a Cheryl trying to hold them up. While Spankie took out her third win, Hannah her second and Kween her first, Beverly was the aforementioned Cheryl on the losing group, which tragically resulted in the elimination of my fave – and total baby zaddy – Yuri.

Backstage everyone was rallying around an emotional Molly, who had been expecting to the one going home. She toasted Yuri for being such a hard worker before Spankie stepped in and gave a beautiful speech about just how great Yuri is and reiterated that she belongs, while she (and I) sobbed. And ugh, just crown Spankie this instant, you cowards!

The next day the girls were still feeling their girl group oats, though fearful that Minnie was also lingering in the rafters, ready to start a feud at any moment. Kween meanwhile apologised for bringing the room down last week, though stopped short of apologising to Beverly specifically for fighting. She felt she was most disappointed in the fact she was so frustrated that she straight up missed the chance to toast Yuri and remind her how proud she is. This led to Bev instead apologising to her and while they hugged it out, I feel like things are still tense.

Ru interrupted things to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be filming tourism infomercials promoting their hometown. As they split up to come up with a plan, Hannah locked in Perth while Molly was going to lean into Newcastle, given it is where she and Rhys are both from. Bev meanwhile opened up about being like me, starting on the GC before moving to Brisbane while Spankie was proudly going to rep Palmerston North and smalltown life. Kween meanwhile opened up to Hannah and Spankie about how much she is struggling with her depression, while everyone rallied around and vowed to always be there for each other. And ugh, I love seeing it!

My fellow Tweed local Samantha Harris then dialled in to advise them how to sell shit and while it didn’t add much, she is Tweed Breed 4 Lyf like me, so you all should stan.

Ru made her ru-turn to the Werk Room to kiki with the dolls, cutting down all of Spankie’s ideas and telling her to highlight the best part of Palmerston North, herself. Beverly then dropped by and well, let’s just say I’m not mad, just disappointed, that she has never watched Muriel’s Wedding. The cinematic celebration of TWEED HEADS. Is this the Tweed showcase episode?! While Ru just wanted to find out who Beverly is, Kween was told to bring the fun, Hannah was told to be less serious and well, Molly’s version of Newcastle was quote-unquote, sad.

Done dropping bombs, Ru exited stage left as they started to get ready while Beverly asked her sisters for advice on how to show more of her personality. With Hannah jumping in with suggestions before Bev even finished her sentence, while Kween joined in with more advice that Bev felt was aggressive. As such, she started to spiral leading to another epic pep talk from Spankie in the rack of costumes and again, if Spankie doesn’t win, we riot.

Kween was up first to film with Michelle Visage and down under icon Suzanne Paul and well, she was a little boring. But given the pit crew are hot, I loved it. Spankie meanwhile slayed as the drunk aunty wandering through town on her way home from a night out. Hannah arrived looking stunning and was so organised, prepared and most importantly, bonkers, that I live for her. Molly meanwhile was sexed up, demented and a little confused, but Michelle and Suzanne were having fun together and that is all that matters. Oh and then Bev was living for her concept hunting for a sugar daddy as a lesbian Irwin. And well, I love the shoot portion if nothing else, because Bev was fun.

Elimination Day arrived with Beverly opening up about the fact she has realised that she is still trying to find herself and that that, combined with her family’s drive for success has made it difficult for her to just be. Talk then turned to the girls’ families, with Kween opening up about how her oldest sister died the year she was undergoing her gender confirmation and how she is living with the regret of not getting to know her or support her on her journey. She then immediately pivoted and encouraged everyone to do what they love as it makes them happy. And that is the sweet Kween Kong that I know and love.

Michelle, Rhys and Ru took their places as Kween opened the Swimsuit Edition runway giving oceanic goddess realness. Spankie was sex on legs as Pamela Anderson’s older sister, Molly was a stunning Meter Maid – complete with high-beams – while Hannah was a confection in a bright, mod delight while Beverly gave another Meter Maid, this time with a ruveal AND coins.

When it came to the commercials, Kween’s was silly and demented though the judges wanted it to be more funny funny and less dark humour. Though they loved her runway.  Oh and then Ru gave an epic monologue about internalised homophobia AND daddy issues, which was amazing. Spankie was up next with a gloriously deranged commercial that confused the shit out of everyone, meaning it was perfection. And then add in her Baywatch moment and well, it was a good week for Spankie. Molly’s ad meanwhile was classic bogan Australian and I love it and sadly, feel like I’ve lived it. Multiple times. Hannah’s ad was camp perfection, telling a story and was so damn smart. I mean, she fought a black swan AND exploded. Oh and they loved her pivoting on the runway and standing out in all the right ways. Bev meanwhile lived her Irwin fantasy, though kinda fell flat by being so polished rather than showing her messiness. 

Ru opted to get messy and asked the dolls to identify who should go home with everyone opting for Bev due to her track record, while Bev instead felt Kween’s commercial was the weakest. Adding that her track record wasn’t much better than her, either.

Backstage Bev was heartbroken to be the one everyone named, despite understanding why they called her out. Hannah once again cut her off and encouraged her to stop being so in her head and instead just be. And while Hannah felt she was being encouraging and trying to push her to be better, Bev cut her off and started to sob. Once again Spankie gave her a pep talk and helped lift her back up, encouraging her to swear at Hannah all she wanted. Which she sadly opted against, instead choosing to practice the lip sync since she was totally in the bottom.

Ultimately Molly and Spankie – ROBBED – were sent to safety as Hannah joined the triple winners club with Spanks. Which obviously left Kween to face off against Beverly to Ru’s very own The Beginning. And damn, did the dolls turn a show. Like I know I say that a lot, but it was actually WILD. There was almost a collision within the first three bars, they were flipping and spinning every second line, backwards AND forwards, hitting every lyric and oftentimes in complete synchronicity. I mean, if ever there was a time for a double shantay, it was now, because this was amazing. Like a gymnastics version of Alyssa and Tatianna. Sadly though, somebody had to go – apparently – as Kween was sent to safety, sending my fellow Bris-babe Bev out of the competition.

While Bev went through a lot of emotion this week, she held her head high as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and tried to give her my very best Spankie impersonation, reminding her that she is a star and has all of her career to figure out who she is, so to just believe in herself and have fun. Because spoiler alert, she is already a massive success. Which thankfully got through to her, allowing us to laugh and cry, as we reminisced about the glory of the GC and Brisvegas (and I firmly explained the importance of watching Muriel’s Wedding) before smashing some glorious Baoverly Buns Kills.

It is no secret that I passionately and ardently love both a porkie – praise be, Benedict – and baos, but this little duck number is just a little bit better than the rest. Rich, sweet and a little bit fresh, the flavours dance over your palate as expertly as Bev in a lip sync.

PHOTO 2

Baoverly Buns Kills
Serves: 4

Ingredients
8 buns Bret LaBao Buns
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp shaoxing wine
¼ tsp Chinese five spice
4 boneless duck breasts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
⅔ cup hoisin sauce, plus extra for drizzlin’
¼ cup kewpie mayo
2 lebanese cucumbers, cut into lengths
2 shallots, sliced
¼ cup coriander, leaves torn

Method
Prepare the baos as per Bret’s recipe. Combine the salt, light soy, shaoxing and five spice powder in a bowl and rub into the duck. Transfer to a plate, leaving the skin up to dry for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to cook, pop the oil in a heavy based skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, pop the breasts in the pan, skin side down and cook for about 10 minutes, agitationg frequently, or until crispy and the fat had rendered out.

Drain most of the fat and flip the breasts and cook for another 10 minutes or so, or until cooked through. Remove the duck and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. Shred the duck and return to the pan with the hoisin and toss to combine.

To assemble, smear mayo on the baoss, layer with some cucumber and shallots, top with a heaping of duck, a drizzle of hoisin and some coriander. Then, devour.


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Strombombae

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls worked through a lot of their Fiercalicious related drama backstage with everyone finally ready to get along and focus on the competition. Which was perfect timing, given last week they finally took the stage to play the Snatch Game. Thankfully Giselle opted against doing Celine injustice once again, instead slaying as Marie Curie. It was a three horse race at the top of the pack, as Irma gave a pitch-perfect Marilyn Monroe and Vivian channelled the power of Jessica Chastain to delight as Tammy Faye. Ultimately though, it was Giselle’s absurd take that handed her the second win in a row. At the other end of the pack, poor Kimmy was struck by the Ariana curse, though narrowly saved herself as Lady Boom Boom was booted from the competition.

Backstage Giselle was heartbroken to lose her fellow French Canadian sister, though given she left a hilarious goodbye message, they quickly turned their focus to how she slayed the competition. While Kimmy was disappointed to have to lip sync, she was proud of herself for fighting and as such, had a fire within her to slay. Vivian meanwhile was disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the win, while Giselle was hopeful to keep her momentum going and to parlay winning the most important challenge into winning the season.

The next day the dolls were still shocked that their frontrunner was gone, which disappointed Jada given she felt she was a front runner too. Irma meanwhile was proud to have done well, though ready to get that win ASAP. While Bombae was feeling a little lost, though Giselle encouraged her to just show the judges who she is. Their kiki was interrupted by the arrival of Traci who tasked them with dragging up for family photoshoots. Vivian, Kimmy and Fiercalicious would shoot a holiday card, Bombae and Irma were giving vacation chic, while Giselle and Jada would be celebrating their growing family. Vivian was an absolute delight as they did their shoot with Kimmy a killer mess and well, I love their trio. Irma and Bombae were totally demented divorcees while Jada and Giselle were such a gorgeous couple as their third baby was born. And despite everyone slaying, it was Jada that took out victory. And well, Vivian was robbed, TBH.

Before departing, Traci announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be pulling together an eye shadow palette before filming a commercial to promote their product. The girls immediately selected their colours before splitting up to work on their campaigns. Kimmy was going to be giving all the heart, while Bombae planned to give a deluded ‘90s supermodel. Jada was planning to turn up the party, while Fiercalicious was selling fierce, obviously. And damn, she was focused on taking out the win, methodically planning her concept and selling herself to the judges. Vivian, Giselle and Irma were focused on making it funny, as the former planned to target the cat-parent market. Giselle planned to teach international swears, while Irma was selling snotty vibes. Bombae started to worry about having the wrong concept, approaching Irma and Vivian to see if her idea of desperation was good. With Irma reminding her that she is better than a ‘desperate to win’ joke and instead, she should come up with a new plan.

Vivian was first up to film her commercial, nervous as hell but no less charming. Giselle gave full ‘90s glamour and while Traci didn’t love the amount of beeping through the commercial, she was confident. Bombae’s new concept served butter chicken and tackled racism and immigration before Kimmy dropped by and lived her best life throughout the shoot, giggling at her own jokes and being generally adorbs. Irma was fluro, wild and oh so fun before Fiercalicious was focused and on brand. Oh and Jada was obviously charming as hell.

Elimination Day arrived with Giselle and Irma confident in their commercials before the girls kikied about their first time in drag. Bombae admitted her sisters dressed her up when she was a kid and felt so pretty, instantly falling in love with drag. Kimmy shared that she came out as trans at 6, with her mum raising her up and allowing her to express herself and damn, I am crying. Fiercalicious was feeling like she can help the future queens learn skills by being in the competition, while Jada got her start after a promoter suggested she compete in a bar pageant.

Brooke, Traci and Brad were joined by Mei Pang on the panel as the dolls stomped the Paint runway with Vivian slaying as a sexy work of art, painter’s palette. Irma was stunning as a paint by numbers delight, Bombae served drama in a beautiful watercolour look, Jada was gorgeous as she dedicated her look to her black beauty while Giselle was a perfect Picasso. Fierce gave camp glamour as a swinging rococo girl before Kimmy closed the show as the love child of Vivian and Bombae, and oh so sexy.

When it came to the commercials, Vivian was bonkers and energetic and well, I love everything about it. And how much she lived for it herself. While Mai suggested she adds some drama to her make-up, though beyond that, she is perfect. Along with her runway. Irma’s runway received universal praise while the judges felt her ad was a mess of concepts, despite it being fun. Bombae’s commercial was super fun, though the judges only really lived for her girly runway, feeling like her commercial was too rehearsed. Jada was praised for looking so good, which led to her breaking down as the judges heaped all the praise for what she did this week. While Traci held back tears over how much she loved it all too.

Giselle meanwhile was totally bonkers, though the judges felt she was too focused on serving funny rather than giving any content at all. Thankfully, her look was absolutely stunning and they loved it. Fiercalicious, gave the most traditional commercial and was rightly praised for how strong the end product turned out. And for how close she stuck to her brand. Add into that the perfection on the runway and well, condragulations my dear, you’re the winner of this week’s challenge. Kimmy meanwhile was adorable and oh so stupid and I love it. As did the judges, only they were confused by her look.

Backstage the dolls were all confused about who could be landing in the bottom, with everyone getting high praise for half of the week. Vivian encouraged Jada to accept the fact she is a beautiful queen, while Bombae was worried that the judges think she is terrible at make-up and is quite confident she will be lip syncing. Irma suggested Kimmy will be in the bottom too, given they hated her runway while Fierce and Kimmy were sure Irma and Giselle would be the ones joining Bombae in the bottom. Despite their perfect runways. And while everyone thinks it is between Jada and Vivian, Fierce was confident in her chances too.

Ultimately Kimmy was sent to safety before Fiercalicious found out she was right to back herself, taking out her first win of the season. That left Vivian and Jada as safe, before they were narrowly joined by Giselle. Which left Irma to face off against Bombae to Table Dancer by Keisha Chante. And while I was fully expecting Bombae to demolish, Irma put up an epic fight, giving comedy, shapes and hitting every lyric. And while Bombae was so stunning and perfect, she spent the start of the song worried about her nips popping out and well, it felt like that distraction is all that cost her, as the dolls turned a show. Though tragically, it was Bombae’s final one this season leaving Irma to fight another day.

Backstage Bombae was still pretty down on herself after the judges critiques and getting in her head before I started to channel Ru. Well, after I pulled her in for a hug. After the physical contact was down, Ru took possession of my body, reminding Bombae that all the negative thoughts running through her head were her inner-saboteur and that the judges critiques weren’t to have a go at her, but to help her explore areas that she could try something different in. You know, because drag is art and art is subjective. Once that little Boulet detour was out of the way, I pulled her in for another hug and reminded her she is perfect, will likely win an All Star season because of her talents and then fed her drive with a piping hot Strombombae.

Stromboli is one of the lesser known – at least here in Australia – Italian delights. Part pull-apart, part calzone, all deliciousness, it is the perfect, cheesy-carby snack to help cheer you up and reinvigorate your soul. Annnnnnd, now I have Beyonce in my head again.

Enjoy!

Strombombae
Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 on the reg.

Ingredients
1 ball of pizza dough per Zsa Zsa’s recipe, or store bought if you don’t have time
1 cup Amber Marinara Sauce
150g ham, sliced
150g hot salami, sliced
1-2 cups mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
a small handful basil, roughly chopped
1 egg, whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Split the dough in half and roll out each on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly the size of a 20x30cm rectangle. Spread the mariana over each rectangle, leaving a little border around the edges. Divide the meats, half the mozzarella and most of the parmesan over the top, followed by the basil. Fold in the shorter sides before rolling the dough to enclose the filling, wetting the final edge to seal the dough. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam-side down.

Brush each log with some egg, followed by some extra mozzarella and parmesan, and slash some diagonal cuts into the top with a knife. Leave to prove for about 15 minutes before transferring to the over to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Leave to rest for five minutes before devouring, ideally with a sprinkle of basil and extra marinara for dippin’.


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La Big Breakfast Buritha

Breakfast, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the final six were tasked with forming two girl groups. UK3 style, with two different versions of the same song. This time with a rock edit replacing the ballad. While everyone kind of nailed the assignment, Soa well and truly ate the most and made us feel well and truly fed. Despite an all around strong week, somebody tragically had to be named as the bottom two with Paloma and Elips deemed the weakest. And after another novelty royalty-free lip sync, Elips sadly went home.

Backstage the dolls were gagged to find a very long-winded mirror message from Elips and while it was a bitch to clean for Paloma, it was super sweet and only added to the dolls feeling heartbroken for her. Everyone praised Paloma on killing the lip sync, and again, we didn’t hear the song, so we’ll trust them. Though, I do live for the idea of a season of novelty lip syncs only, right? Because the last one was an absolute bop!

The next day the dolls were giving air hostess realness as they returned, before congratulating Soa for winning her second challenge. Talk turned to what they’ll be facing next, with Paloma wanting an acting challenge given that is the only one she has won so far. Before we could hear anymore, the cock crowed to announce Nicky’s arrival to challenge the dolls with a little puppet mini challenge. Because everybody loves puppets. Big Bertha got puppet Lolita, Soa picked Paloma out of the Pit Crew’s box – swoon – Lolita got – Grande Dame, while Paloma got Bertha, leaving Grande Dame with Soa. 

After dragging up their shady boots puppets – the France producers are iconic with Grande Dame’s loooooooong legs – Bertha gave the full Lolita fantasy in the best, verbal-diarrhoea way possible. Soa was a camp, dramatic delight as Paloma, she in turn was hilariously on point as Bertha. Lolita then stole the show, barely seeing over the puppet theatre as she bored the dolls with her impersonation of Grande Dame. Proving you don’t have to be good to steal a show. Though I guess Grande Dame also stole the show with her pitch perfect Soa yo-yo-yo, in the right way. So she truly stole things? Ultimately though, neither won the challenge as Nicky crowned Paloma.

The dolls then learned that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would have to name and brand their own perfumes, and then film a commercial. But more importantly, the Pit Crew returned looking hot AF with their boxes. As the winner of this week’s Mini Challenge, Paloma was able to allocate said boxea, gifting Bertha iridescent inspiration, Soa bamboo, Grande Dame leather, Lolita got pink sequins and keeping crushed velvet for herself.

With the boxes ready, Nicky departed and the girls unveiled them to find their perfume muses with Paloma, as expected, getting glamour and champagne. Bertha meanwhile got rainbow-clown chic. Minus the chic. Soa got the flavours of the Amazon jungle, Grande Dame’s was obviously leather daddy dom, while Lolita’s inspiration was disco influencer. Everyone started to work on their storyboards before Nicky returned to kiki with Paloma choosing to make fun of herself and the fact she isn’t Paloma Picasso. Bertha was going with the annoying-hen’s-party cliche, Soa planned to give office worker glamazons the scent to kill toxic masculinity. Grande Dame meanwhile was nervous about serving the challenge, while Nicky encouraged her to make it her own before Lolita shared she was planning to go hormonal teen pop star.

Soa was first to film her commercial and well, the Pit Crew were rocking skimpy panties, so I am wet. And she looked to be having fun. But honestly, how could you not? Grande Dame was hilarious as a mechanic, though she forgot to pack her perfume, so it could go either way. That being said, I love her. Paloma was a delight from start to finish, executing all her ideas and doing it perfectly. And then Lolita was a total boss, getting the Pit Crew in costume and living her best life. Bertha meanwhile was a drunk mess, and I love it.

Jour de l’elimination arrived with everyone talking about how they make their living. With Paloma and Grande Dame being full-time queens. As talk turned to how they got their start, Bertha admitted she was sick of getting dressed in bathrooms, while Soa only earnt $20 for her first gig. Bertha then opened up about how she started drag professionally after being diagnosed with cancer.  She explained that drag gave her the bright light to look for at the end of the tunnel and something to work towards and fuck, why do I keep crying?!

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Yseult et Alexandre Mattiussi for the Haute Couture runway where La Grande Dame looked straight off the runway in an all black, corseted number with a Gaultier hat. Big Bertha draped nude sheer fabric over her like a caftan and while I love her body-positive message, it felt a bit lazy. Lolita came out on stilts to reach Grande Dame’s height, with a glamour pin cushion on her head. Soa was cool in black, leather and frills before Paloma closed the show with an iconic recreation of a 1920s fashion illustration.

When it came to the commercials, Grande Dame was a hetero mess in the most chrming way possible. Bertha was high energy and fun as the most amusing bachelorette. Lolita meanwhile made no sense, but I loved it. Soa knocked it out of the park as the boss bitch of the office. And then Paloma did one better, leaning into the stereotypes of perfume commercials like Alaska before her, and was just so silly and entertaining.

Grande Dame received universal praise for the runway though they wanted a little more sturcture in the commercial. Bertha meanwhile was read for her runway and for not taking the commerical where she wanted it to go. Lolita was praised for nailing the runway despite her simple commercial. Soa received universal praise for elevating all that she did this week, while Paloma received even better critiques than Soa, giving perfection in all that she did. Paloma then thanked Nicky for her kindness and support throughout the competition and ugh, I’m crying, Nicky’s crying and I love them all.

Nicky then pivoted and asked the shady question of who should go home toight with Grande Dame thinking it is Lolita’s time to go. Bertha agreed it should be Lolita, while Lolita identified Bertha. Very begrudgingly. Soa and Paloma then identified Lolita too, while she quietly cried on stage.

Backstage the dolls were still caught up in all the emotion with Lolita feeling like she doesn’t belong, while her sisters all tried to remind her how great she is and how much they have grown to love her. Lolita called everyone out for only just getting to know her recently, with Soa sharing that she is frustrated by the fact she always felt like she didn’t belong.

Ultimately Soa was deemed safe as Paloma secured her second win, while at the other end of the pack Grande Dame was deemed safe, leaving Bertha and Lolita to battle it out for safety to Yseult’s Corps. And well, I was not only gagged by the fact they paid for the international rights, because they turned it. Bertha emoted every single moment and was so powerful, but there was no beating Lolita who did a slow mo split while ripping off her wig before straight up shaving her head on stage. Bertha was stripping, Lolita stripped AND THEN THEY PERFORMED TOGETHER. Crying, hugging and oh my god, it was amazing. I was crying, they were crying, the judges were crying. It was, perfection. Or le-gend-daire, if you will. 

Tragically despite the emotion felt by everyone, somebody had to go as Lolita saved herself and zaddy Bertha was tragically eliminated from the competition. As her sisters and the judges sobbed.

While it was heartbreaking to see her go, my second favourite platitude to offer the queens is that being a robbed goddess is often better than making the finale. And well, Bertha definitely fits the bill. She absolutely slayed every moment of the competition and while she didn’t win any challenges, I’d argue she didn’t really bomb any either. Which is reason enough for me celebrating her run with a La Big Breakfast Buritha.

My favourite thing in life is to turn any food into breakfast by cracking an egg on top and calling it a day, but I assure you, this is far more elevated. Crisp bacon, crunchy hashies and a fresh salsa work together to give you the best start possible to your day.

Enjoy!

La Big Breakfast Buritha
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 hash browns
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter
2 large tortillas
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
⅔ cup Salsa Struthers

Method
Start by cooking your hash browns as per packet instructions, or if homemade, until extra crispy.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and cook the diced bacon until nice and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Whisk the eggs with a little bit of salt and a generous whack of pepper. Add the butter to the still hot pan and once melted and foamy, pour in the eggs. Agitate to form ripples on the base before gently stroking across the pan in different directions to form ribbons of delicately cooked egg. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the heat.

To assemble, sprinkle some cheese in the centre of each tortilla. Add the hash browns, egg, salsa and bacon, and no judgement if you sprinkle some more cheese on at this point. Fold in either side before rolling to form a nice enclosed pocket of goodness. And then, devour.


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Passhonafruit Macarons

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa twenty castaways returned to the game, divided into two tribes based on whether they managed to stick around to the merge or not on their first go around. While The pre-mergers dominated the early portion of the game sending Chappies and PK home back-to-back, things took a turn as queen Tania and Tevin. While everyone was expecting some sort of switch, the tribes stayed the same and after losing a third immunity challenge, Yontau weren’t sure who exactly to go home. Despite Pinty bringing down the vibe and Killarney being well on the outs, the tribe banded together to blindside the more threatening Seamus from the game.

We checked in with Yontau the next morning where Pinty was gloating about pulling off the blindside, frustrating the very people that saved her and making them question turning on poor Seamus. While Phil wanted to gag her, Dino was grateful for her now-undying loyalty though felt she was overplaying her role in the move when it was really Shona that orchestrated it. Whether Pinty can see that or not. At Masu Toni was still nervous about Dante’s vendetta against her, though was grateful that his reasons for targeting her – Tevin and PK – were now gone. While she didn’t feel safe, she was trying to stay quiet and keep her mouth in check. Well, until she has to. Palesa on the other hand continued to watch everything, quickly identifying Steffi as the one most likely to flip on the alliance and patiently waiting for the right time to make a move. Not wanting to overplay it.

The tribes then got treemail warning them to be prepared, making Dino certain that it was finally, FINALLY, time to swap. While Felix just wanted everyone to stop speculating about said swap. Masu meanwhile were just as confused, though were quietly confident in their ability to stick together. Whatever it is they were preparing for.

Right on cue the tribes met up with Nico where they discovered no challenge set-up which was all the confirmation they needed before he even uttered the words, drop your buffs! Much to Toni’s absolute delight. Everyone then took a place behind a table with a vase before Nico handed out vials of dye which they poured into said vases. Which TBH, is a visually stunning way to split tribes. Toni, Steffi, Tejan, Pinty, Thoriso, Killarney and Felix landed on new Masu, while Phil, Dino, Marian, Meryl, Palesa, Shane and Dante formed the new Yontau tribe. Oh and Shona pulled yellow dye, meaning she tragically wasn’t immune for the round, but instead, she was able to select which tribe she joined. Ultimately opting to stick on Yontau with Phil and Dino, despite the OGs being dangerously out-numbered.

The tribes ventured back to camp with their new tribes with Phil shocked that Shona decided to join them, but grateful to have landed with his ally Dino. Meryl meanwhile was super confused about why Shona made the decision she did, questioning whether she was aligned with Dino or Phil, had an advantage or was just kind of a mess. Shona then floated the idea of voting on consensus, which immediately pissed off Palesa who doesn’t want anyone dictating how she plays. Oh and Shane was even more frustrated by her, as he rifled through bags to check for idols.

Over at new Masu Toni was feeling renewed in the game, finally on a tribe with people she felt she could work with. And presumably, glad to be away from Dante. Steffi meanwhile was feeling screwed, isolated from all of her allies and unsure where she stood. Felix went the Baby Jane route and called his new camp a dump, though was glad to at least have a tarp. Pinty was feeling like a guest, which hopefully might make her more likely to keep from running her mouth too aggressively. 

Back at Yontau Phil wasn’t thrilled to be on a tribe with his fellow castmates from Champions, Marian and Shane, knowing they were snakes. That being said, he felt he and Marian had built a good relationship post-game and got to work pulling her in to help him survive the next few rounds. With Marian too open to the idea of keeping a secret ally around to help come the merge. Dante meanwhile continued to be focused on getting out Dino, though tragically now, he has the opportunity to.

They received treemail about returning to the Outpost to barter for supplies left behind, with Dante selected to represent Yontau and Tejan joining him from Masu. Despite Steffi pushing to go again, making Thoriso nervous about how she and Pinty are going to get along. While Steffi just wanted to restock the pantry as the unofficial camp chef.

Over at the Outpost Dante was shocked to see Tejan there, given they were on the same starting tribes. They found some juice and snacks for them which Tejan immediately smashed before they discovered they would each receive a bag of rice but were cautioned to keep their eyes open. They then bartered a grill and a fishing rod, before talk turned to alliances. Dante encouraged Tejan to approach Felix to join him and form a new majority on Masu to keep him safe. Which is all well and good, if Tejan didn’t see it as a win for Dante’s game more than his. Before splitting up, the boys opened the bags of rice to discover clues to new hidden immunity idols back at their camp and well, things could get very interesting, very soon.

Back at Yontau Shona admitted that she was feeling on the outs at the original tribe, talking extensively about how out of the loop she was. While Dino and Phil looked like they wanted her to shut up. Dante returned – in speedos, swoon – and was open about everything that went down at the Outpost, except for the idol clue. Which immediately made Dino wary of his rival. At the new Masu, Killarney was bonding with Steffi over training, while Thoriso quietly watched on wondering how she ended up in the situation. Tejan made his heroic return with everyone overjoyed to discover the massive bag of rice he was carrying, giving the exact same story – and omission – as Dante. Which made Thoriso as suspicious as Dino.

Tejan then excused himself and went hunting for his idol, while over at Yontau Dante waited until the cover of darkness to run off and snatch his. Which he did, grateful to finally have guaranteed safety across his seasons.

The next day the tribe reconvened with Nico where they would battle in trios to manaeuvre massive balls through a mud pit. First tribe to push their ball over the line scoring a point, with the first to 2 winning immunity and a big bowl of bunny chow. And should new Masu lose, Marian intended to hand off her diplomatic immunity to Steffi to save her ally. Tejan, Felix and Steffi were up first against Dante, Palesa and Shane. As Dante and Tejan wrestled and whispered, the other duos were locked in their own battles. After a good half hour, we got a little bit of Dante crack, while Palesa and Steffi both fell over. With Steffi hurting her already injured knee, leading to a visit from the medic.

Given the first round was abandoned, they decided to forgo a third round and instead it was up to Toni, Pinty and Killarney to fight Shona, Meryl and Marian. And well, it was well and truly a fight, as Pinty almost got the upper hand against Marian before it descended into chaotic wrestling and then Pinty graduated from pushing her opponents to straight up body slamming Shona into the mud with her back, leading to Shona requiring medical attention. And well, it was not fun to watch as she screamed in agony. 

Everyone watched on as poor Shona was stretchered from the field while Pinty sat in shock over what she did, crying with guilt. Thankfully she was only officially out of the challenge until she was checked by medical to see whether she could remain. Felix and Shane traded out for Shona and Killarney and reset, which TBH, is a total vibe. Oh and then Nico added two more balls for shits and giggles. As everyone wrestled for more than an hour, Toni put everyone out of their misery as she scored the single point for Masu handing them immunity and reward. And well, maybe everyone should get a cheeky reward after that, Nico? After the challenge Meryl and Marian broke down in tears, disappointed to have lost Shona to an injury and to have let the team down. While everyone assured them that that is definitely not what happened while even Dante cried from exhaustion.

Back at Masu everyone ran into the water to wash off the mud, shell shocked by how brutal the challenge was, though glad they were able to smash some Bunny Chow to make up for it. Steffi shared how proud she was of each and every one of them, while Toni was glad to give everyone something to bond over. Pinty too shared how emotional she was to get the win before Tejan thankfully asked everyone to take a moment to send good vibes to Shona. Which made Pinty talk about how horrible she feels over the thought of hurting her and taking her out of the game. Killarney meanwhile was thrilled to have a little bit of redemption in the challenge and to have proved herself to the new tribe.

Back at Yontau the mood was far more miserable as they washed off. Dino kicked things off going person to person knowing it was likely him going home tonight, while Phil’s plan was just to survive one more day. Marian was feeling proud of herself for standing up to her anxiety and working through the pain, though Dino and Phil tried to figure out how best to navigate a potential split vote, unsure whether Shona will return to the game and give them another much needed number. Dino then went hunting for an idol, sharing he had searched camp day and night, though was yet to find one. The OG Masu tribe agreed that getting rid of Shona should be their priority, though should she not come back, they would vote out Dino. And what do you know, that is the exact moment he found the hidden immunity idol.

Dino caught Shane up on the idol find which well and truly gave Phil hope as they tried to figure out who would be the most likely to flip from original Masu. Quickly deciding on the correct answer, Palesa. Instead of approaching her though, Dino went with another option. That being to guilt Meryl and Marian about potentially voting him out. Tearfully asking if there is anything he could do to change his fate.

Nico gagged the tribe by arriving at camp to advise them that Shona is in pain, though she is not out of the game and is ready to fight another day. Everyone was overjoyed by her return and even more so when Nico announced that he felt like everyone has been through enough for one day and as such, they could have the night off and instead go vote someone off tomorrow. As Shona regaled everyone with tales of her injury, Meryl and Marian were glad to no longer vote out Dino as he is so nice and sweet. As Meryl caught up with Dante to flip the vote back to Shona, he strongly pushed for Dino and their making smart moves in general, rather than being swayed by emotions.

Over at Masu, Thoriso admitted that she didn’t sleep a wink last night, trying to think of a way to protect herself as well as she was over at Yontau. She approached Tejan and floated the idea of locking in a final four alliance between them, Toni and Felix, while Felix would have preferred they pulled in Steffi instead. As Tejan, Thoriso and Felix caught up by the well, Tejan told them that should the alliance work, they need to get rid of one of their own first. Which was fine with Thoriso, given she had wanted to get rid of Killarney for weeks. Speaking of Killarney, she, Steffi, Toni and Tejan were also locking in a four person alliance.

Back at Masu Shona was feeling far better than the previous day, while Palesa felt beat-up after the challenge. That being said, Shona started to worry about what she missed while she was away receiving medical attention. Dante, Meryl, Marian and Palesa caught up and agreed to lock in Shona, given she had annoyed Dante by suggesting they don’t burn much wood throughout the day. Fixated on Dino however, Dante hatched a plan to split the vote between Shona and Dino, but use Dino and Phil’s votes to get it done. As he looped them in, Dino felt suss about Dante’s story, while Marian and Shane caught up, with the latter sure that Dante’s fixation will be his undoing. And frankly, he doesn’t really care if it blows up in his face. Oh and Shona and Dino were planning some idol shenanigans, be it the real one or her fakey at tribal council.

Dino looped Phil in on the fake idol, hopeful that Shona pulling it out at tribal council would create enough chaos to flip the votes back on to him in the hope of using the real one to idol Dante out of the game. To help get it over the line, Dino finally pulled Palesa aside to float the plan and hoped that her good reads on the game would be enough to help get Dante out. And well, she was well and truly keen and assured him that her keeping his idol a secret from the others will be proof of her loyalty moving forward. And yas, Queen Palesa, werk!

At tribal council Marian spoke about how emotionally draining the last immunity challenge was, while Shona was glad to give it her all and prove that she isn’t a weaker player. That being said, she was nervous about being taken out to be checked for medical and not having enough time to form bonds like the rest of the tribe. But you know, she trusts in the universe – or her fake idol – having her back. Dante admitted that he is very nervous at tribal council while Meryl was confused about the fact no idols had come up yet, not even knowing what they look like to make a fakey. Shane meanwhile was glad no idols had come up and felt like it had forced them to play differently. Phil meanwhile spoke about the first post-swap tribal giving everyone a clearer picture of the playing field.

Right on cue, Palesa spoke about needing to make smart moves and sticking with the numbers, while Dino felt like he had a lot to lose. Which made Dante step in and talk about figuring out when is the right time to take a step back and turn on people, even if they’ve known them for years. He then spoke about how disappointed he would be if people didn’t stick to the plan, while Shona reiterated they all need to put their own games first. This got Meryl and Marian whispering, which got Dante involved while Dino looked like he was about to throw up. As did Phil and Shona, though the latter never got out her fake hidden immunity idol.

With that the tribe voted, Dino played his hidden immunity idol – as Dante cussed out Meryl and Marian for not believing him when he told them Dino had an idol – before Shona was narrowly blindsided from the game over Dante after Phil switched his vote in a panic. And I love me some feel, but damn, why do that to my girl Shona!

Thankfully despite all the trauma she had experienced in the preceding 24 hours, Shona was feeling pretty upbeat and was proud of how she played her second go around. Improving her placement and proving to herself and her tribemates how strong she can be. I pulled her in for a massive yet gentle hug, suggesting that maybe she should add me to the list of people that are proud of her. Despite everything that was thrown at her, she was always energetic, friendly and kind and while that is definitely not how things would go for me in the game, I do admire how such kind hearted people exist. Which, in my opinion, makes someone worthy of all the world has to offer and a big platter of Passhonafruit Macarons.

I always hated passionfruit growing up, terrified about the seeds cracking my teeth. Thankfully my mother-in-law started making seedless variations of passionate items and I was finally able to fall in love with them. Sweet, a little tangy and oh so delicious, these macarons are perfect for any and all occasions.

Enjoy!

Passhonafruit Macarons
Serves: 1 delightful person, her salty friend and 2-4 others should you want.

Ingredients
105g almond meal
105g icing sugar
100g egg whites
100g raw caster sugar
a couple of drops yellow food colouring
Icing
2 egg whites
½ cup raw caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
⅛ tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅓ cup Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter

Method
Sift almond meal and the icing sugar together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the whites in a clean, dry electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until dissolved. Then add food colouring and beat until just combined. Remove from the mixer and gently fold through the almond meal until just combined, thick and glossy.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe into 4cm rounds on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and tap on the bench to remove air bubbles. Leave to sit for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 130°C.

Place the cookies in the oven, one tray at a time, and bake for twenty minutes, or until the tops are firm. Remove to cool on the tray on wire racks.

While they get chill, start working on the icing by whisking the whites, caster sugar, cream of tartar and salt until combined. Place over a double boiled and cook, whisking, until the mixture reaches 60C. Transfer to a stand mixer and whisk on high speed for five minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Fold through the vanilla and passionfruit butter and leave to rest.

To assemble, pipe the icing on to the base of half the biscuits and sandwich with the naked ones. Once complete, devour. Greedily.


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Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies

Baking, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls were delighted to play Snatch Game. And while Sharonne slayed the game, there were many a stumble on the panel. While I lived for whatever vocal fry Sethlas was offering up, the rattlesnake noise told he that she was bombing just as hard as Diamante, who followed Trixie’s footsteps and botched RuPaul while Onyx was way too cerebral and didn’t bring any jokes. Sharonne rightly took out her second victory, while Sethlas narrowly avoided lip syncing as Diamante faced off against Onyx, sending my sweet zaddy home.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked to have lost Onyx, while Sethlas in particular was struggling, given they were so damn close. Diamante even had mixed feelings, given she loved Onyx despite the fact she was thrilled to have survived her time in the bottom. Everyone congratulated Sharonne on a very well earned victory, while Marina quietly seethed about Diamante remaining in the competition. Which was only made worse when she admitted to being lazy in the lip sync and turning tricks rather than learning the words. Oh and then Marina’s wig got stuck on her head and Sharonne had to perform surgery to remove it.

Things were a little more chill the next day as Juriji teased Sethlas for hooking up with Onyx, before the girls read Diamante for being so callous in the way she wiped off the mirror message. Which actually delighted Venedita as it showed that she was a little unhinged. Before we were able to explore that further, Supremme arrived with the Pit Crew each wheeling in different bins of materials which they would each have to use to fashion a look. As this week, they’re throwing a ball and the final look would be designed from the materials, ready for the 30th century drag runway. After they stomp the 10th and 20th century runways before them.

Immediately, the Pit Crew opened up their packages of plastic, paper and metal and the dolls absolutely went to town on them … to collect their supplies. Everything was flying, Sethlas was getting swallowed up by cardboard and Estrella was fighting Juriji over umbrellas. It was WILD.

After Supremme exited stage left, the dolls got to work on their outfits, with Venedita confident in her skills, since she went to design school, while on the flipside, Estrella and Diamante were terrified given neither of them have any skills. Marina too was struggling to understand a sewing machine while Juriji just felt stupid. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were calmly working away in another corner of the room, while the other girls dropped by periodically for advice. Estrella meanwhile was going with a different plan of attack, trying to distract Juriji from her outfit before just straight up flashing her bum.

Supremme made her return to check how the girls were progressing with Venedita admitting to being a little overwhelmed by the task and worried it will all fall apart as soon as she starts walking. Estrella meanwhile was not fooling Supremme about her lack of skills or direction, while Diamante shared that she took some sewing classes before coming to the competition. Which don’t appear to be helping her, but whatevs. Thankfully she was faring better than Marina who was sprialling about anything and everything. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were living their best lives, carving away at their cardboard and working with a clear plan. While Juriji was confident in her concept, just not happy with how quickly, or not, she works.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with the dolls speculating that Diamante was lying about her lack of sewing skills given the ease with which she pulled together her outfit. Everyone was equally impressed with what Sethlas could do with a glue gun, while Marina and Estrella were terrified about whether their looks would even make it to the runway, let alone down it. The dolls stopped throwing shade to start prepping their first looks where Estrella opened up to Sethlas about her friend Ivan who left her a letter in her luggage to help keep her motivated. And as is oft the case with the emotional interludes, I love how sweet the dolls are with each other.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by the iconic Choriza May on the judges panel, which honestly, is what she deserves. First up walking the 10th Century was Sharonne who was a bright, theatrical mess before revealing a jewelled bodysuit. Estrella gave mediaeval quest, Venedita was perfection as the moon, Diamante was harlequin chic before Sethlas stole the show as a stunning manuscript. Marina was a harvest earth mother while Juriji went from monk to the sexiest winged Joan of Arc known to man. And stole the show from Sethlas.

For the 20th Century looks, Sharonne went dripping in cash, literally. Estrella served gay Franco, Venedita was a post-Franco bride, ironically enough, Diamante was an architectural  floral delight while Sethlas served the internet. And broke it in the process. Probably. Marina was a slutty, plastic bride, while Juriji was delightfully demented as a liberated, mod Swedish girl.

Sharonne opened the 30th Century runway giving golden architecture, Estrella was a mess as a silver, robotic soldier while Venedita was perfect as a floral, structured delight. Diamante was simple yet effective as a satellite building, Sethlas was serving shaped, geometry realness – and slayed – while Marina was sloppy though did pair it with some nudity, so win. Oh and then Juriji stole the show as Gaultier Barbarella, having the time of her life.

After Sharonne was sent to safety solo, the judges read Estrella for absolute filth despite the fact they loved her personality. Venedita received universal praise for always telling a story while looking perfect, while Diamante was read for being a little safe and not really standing out from the crowd, good or bad. Sethlas was praised for telling a cohesive story over her three looks, and looking perfect while doing it. Marina was praised for selling her looks, though read for the last look being a bland mess. And then Juriji received universal praise for all that she served.

Backstage the dolls joined Sharonne before she went mad from boredom, quickly filling her in on who were the tops and bottoms. Despite it being quite obvious. Estrella was very confident she would be lip syncing, though was unsure who she would be against, while Diamante feared it would be her. Marina meanwhile was fine to be in the bottom, though mainly because she felt she didn’t belong there. Juriji meanwhile opened up about believing in herself before Choriza May swung backstage to kiki with her sisters. Who was just as charming as she was in UK 3, encouraging everyone that they are doing a great job and to not be too hard on themselves.

Juriji somehow was only deemed safe, leaving Sethlas to take out her first victory of the season. Which left Venedita as safe, before Marina’s superior first looks managed to save her from the bottom, leaving Estrella and Diamante to lip sync for their lives. To Se nos rompió el amor by Rocío Jurado, no less. And well, as requested by Supremme, neither queen left anything on the runway as they dug deep into the emotion. While it appeared like Diamante knew all the lyrics this time, and turned the show, she was no match for the charm, passion and raw emotion of Estrella who saved herself, booting Diamante from the competition.

Backstage Diamante was gladly holding her head high, proud of all that she was able to showcase in the competition and for giving it her all. And while that kinda, sorta makes me and my culinary comfort redundant, I gave her a big hug, reiterated how talented she is and celebrated her success with a batch of Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies.

Brownies are one of the safest sweets you can make. I mean, if they are undercooked you are left with a fudgy delight and if they are overcooked, they’re a bit cake-like. While you never want to overcook them, they will do in a pinch. And when they are full of juicy raspberries, well, it doesn’t really matter though, does it?

Enjoy!

Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies
Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 people.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
½ tsp kosher salt
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup fresh raspberries
½ cup slivered almonds

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and leave aside.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars until combined. One at a time, whisk in the eggs until the mixture comes back together before folding in the flour and salt. Followed by the raspberries and almonds.

Pour the batter into a lined 25cm square cake tin and pop into the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. And by just set, just set. Remove from the oven to cool in the pan for an hour before carving and devouring.


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Chicken Dianiel Strunk

Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor despite blowing up his game at tribal council as he threw anyone and everyone under the bus, Daniel opted against apologising to his former allies. While they were all busy forming bonds with each other despite the fact they had just tried to vote each other out. Taku continued their winning streak before Ika narrowly lost the immunity challenge, leading to absolute chaos back at camp. Despite wanting to work together, both Tori and Swati busily tried to turn the tribe on the other. Then at tribal council, Swati played her Shot in the Dark and once again, it came up without safety and she found herself booted from the game. While a shocked Rocksroy looked ready to explode with rage.

Back at camp Tori was very grateful to still be in the game while Rocksroy tried to stay calm and find out what the hell changed between camp and tribal council to result in Swati going home. Romeo explained that she was busy playing both sides with Rocksroy appearing to be genuinely grateful to them for taking her out, while suggesting he can ride their social coattails through the game as a strong four. Which is something that Tori has zero interest in, instead looking to jump ship ASAP as she pulled faces about him in the dark.

The next day Maryanne was busy gloating about how great she is at Mario Kart at Taku, with her and Lindsay’s incessant conversation driving Jonathan absolutely mental as he desperately wished for a moment of peace and quiet. And well, the editors definitely picked the best clip to highlight this because even I was confused and frustrated and i’m a Chatty Cathy myself! Instead of completely blowing up, he got to work fishing and chopping wood until Maryanne popped her foot under the bamboo he was cutting and she made a very big deal about it. While they tried to clear the air, it was clear things were going nowhere so Jonathan instead suggested they just move on. And then went to the well with Lindsay and suggested they get rid of Maryanne should they go back to tribal council, given she is annoying. Which is what Maryanne was telling Omar she was worried about at that very moment, while he just wished everyone would get along!

Meanwhile over at Vati Hai was nervous about lingering tensions, knowing that he is still well and truly on the bottom of the tribe. Daniel and Chanelle were busy assuring each other that their last tribal council won’t come between them as they know they need each other, while Hai and Lydia caught up to figure out how they will get themselves out of the minority and make the merge. Just like that, Daniel tried his hand at fishing which allowed Hai and Lydia to question how he was able to fish for the tribe given he keeps sitting out of the swimming challenges due to his dislocated shoulder. Which well and truly pissed off Mike once the duo pointed it out to him.

Back at Ika, Drea and Romeo were busy trying to find their as-yet-unfound idol, with Romeo opening up to us about how he wanted to align with Drea initially because he wants to support strong women in honour of his mum. And the women he coaches to pageant glory back at home. Right on cue Drea then found the Ika idol, celebrating how advantage rich with advantages she is and knowing that Maryanne already has the Taku idol, it means she could have an active idol very quickly.

To womp-womp that though, we pivoted back to Vati however, where Mike was assuring the tribe that he has no plans to activate his idol at the immunity challenge given the idol is automatically powered at the merge and at which point he also gets his vote back. Which must be in very fine print because that has never been mentioned before.

We obviously then headed to meet up with Probst for the immunity challenge where Maryanne opened the show with her bunny line. Drea skillfully spoke about her potato-ness before Mike gagged even me by saying his damn line, activating all of their idols and locking in everyone’s vote for the tribal council ahead. But first, the immunity challenge, where each tribe would race up and over a net and untangle ropes to release a key. Then unlock a machete, chop free some sandbags and then knock over targets. Oh and the winning tribes would also get a tarp.

Following Sandra’s lead, Daniel once again sat out as Ika got out to a very early lead as Taku nipped at their heels. While calling out Jonathan for being a beast last week, it was Tori that absolutely dominated the challenge, burning through the key and machete portion giving Ika a huge advantage shooting at the targets. As Omar made Taku fall further and further behind, Ika took out the first immunity while Vati started shooting at their targets. Sadly for them, Taku finally joined them with Jonathan quickly knocking out the targets and narrowly taking out immunity for the tribe.

Ika then got to select someone from Vati to go on the special journey, opting for Lydia, with their very own Rocksroy offering to be the one to join her. 

Back at camp Hai reminded everyone that they are a family and to keep that in mind while they scramble. Daniel admitted that he felt nervous and asked for everyone to meet with him, which is a sentiment that Chanelle echoed. As Hai and Daniel caught up, the former admitted that he believes Chanelle is the least trustworthy of the two and that she is the most likely to flip come merge. Mike and Chanelle meanwhile were busy locking in the vote against Daniel. We finally got a clearer picture of things as Mike and Hai caught up, debating the merits of each of them while they both agreed that it is critical that Lydia holds on to her vote on the journey.

Speaking of which, Rocksroy and Lydia were in awe of their surroundings as they climbed the mountain, with Lydia sharing that the game has truly changed her as a person and made her feel more confident in her own skin. At the top Rocksroy tried to find out who would be the target on Vati, while Lydia tried to dance around the facts and admitted that she wouldn’t be shocked if she was in trouble again. Both of them admitted to us that neither had any interest in sharing too much information about their respective tribes and as such, the awkward as hell conversation made a lot more sense. After splitting up, the duo faced their dilemma with Rocksroy worried about Lydia’s nerves getting the best of her and as such, opted to protect his vote. Which is the same decision she made, given her PTSD from their last tribal.

Lydia returned to camp and quickly admitted that she felt there was too much at stake to risk her vote. She then caught up with everyone one by one to figure out what she missed with both Chanelle and Daniel pledging their undying loyalty and praising her for being in charge. Thankfully Hai gave her the real run down and assured her that they are safe and not to worry.

At tribal council Mike admitted that while somebody had to go home tonight, they are still a strong unit. Daniel praised him for being such a team player which is necessary at certain points during the game. Hai said that while they may be tight, somebody has to be being lied to right now given they still need for someone to go home. Daniel pointed out that Mike means the tribe are a team until the end of their lives, not just the game which made Chanelle point out that he is clearly playing into Mike’s affection for him. Lydia meanwhile pointed out that after tonight, each tribe will have four people remaining and should they merge next week, they need to guarantee their four is a solid one. Which is a sentiment echoed by Hai and Daniel, while Mike reiterated that his vote is based on game and he still cares for the person getting booted.

With that the tribe voted and somehow was split 2-2-1 between Chanelle and Daniel, with a random vote cast against Mike. Mike, Hai and Lydia then revoted and officially sent Daniel out of the game. While Mike angrily acknowledged Chanelle’s vote against him.

As soon as Daniel arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled him in for a massive hug which elicited massive screams from the sweetheart as I held tight on his busted shoulder. Proving definitively that yeah, he hurt! Given Daniel is a delightful superfan, however, he took that and his boot in stride, grateful to not just have had the opportunity to play the game, but also to get culinary comfort from me in the form of some Chicken Dianiel Strunk.

Yeah, yeah, Steak Diane Keaton is great – and oh so kitsch – but have you ever tried it with a chicken rissole? Because damn, does it taste good. Packing a lightly herbaceous punch, the juicy rissoles pair perfectly with the diane sauce to create a delicious and quick meal.

Enjoy!

Chicken Dianiel Strunk
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly whisked
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnishing
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
⅔ cup cream
roughly chopped parsley, to serve

Method
Combine the chicken mince, breadcrumbs, shallots, egg, parsley and half the Dijon and Worcestershire in a bowl. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Divide into 8 rissoles, pop on a lined plate and cover with cling. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Once the rissoles are holding it together, heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook half the rissoles at a time, cooking for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a lined baking tray and pop into the oven to keep warm.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and saute the onion over low heat for five to ten minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before stirring through the tomato paste and the remaining Dijon mustard and Worcestershire with half a cup of water. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until gloriously fragrant, before stirring in the cream.

Remove the rissoles from the oven and pop them into the pan to simmer for a further fifteen minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glorious. Sprinkle with the extra parsley and serve immediately, ideally with a glorious mash for optimal devouring.


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Kerri Columbines

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ru dropped by to see if the dolls could help her get rid of Miichelle’s leftover Glamazon purchases by upcycling them to create sickening looks on the runway. Jasmine was an absolute mess, Daya felt it was her time to shine after blocking Willow from serving a baby doll look and Maddy was a patchwork delight, albeit a little sloppy. Jorgeous meanwhile threw an outfit together in minutes and took out her first victory of the season, much to the absolute rage of the safe Daya. Who had more than a lot of emotion for being safe. Jasmine and Maddy faced off in the lip sync after a massive fight in Untucked with straight icon Maddy tragically going home.

Backstage Jasmine was super sassy about her performance in the lip sync, gloating about how easy it was beating Maddy. Just like she said she would. Jasmine was feeling her oats after showing off how good she was and while she was in the bottom, Willow did admit she was great. And knew she’d be thrilled to get the last word in the argument with Maddy. As the dolls gathered to reflect on the week, Camden admitted she was fired up for the win and that fire remains given how close she was this week. While Camden congratulated Jorgeous on her win, Daya called her out for throwing it together at the last minute and winning. While Jorgeous shadily told us that maybe she should have steamed her garment and done some different make-up if she wanted to make it to the top too.

As they split up to de-drag, Jasmine and DeJa congratulated Jorgeous on her win and asked if she was ok about the Daya situation, with her opening up about how much it sucked to be made to feel like shit when she should be feeling good. But all of them agreed Daya needed to shut up. And stop giving Crystal in every damn look.

Things were far more jubilant the next day with Jorgeous finally able to feel thrilled with her victory as Daya continued to give a bitter face. While Daya apologised for ruining her moment, it wasn’t a very good one and well, maybe she should have just not.

Before anyone could call her out, Ru arrived to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge they’d be starring in the new soap The Daytona Wind, about the duelling drag dynasties, the Davenports, O’Haras and the Michaels. With the soap directed by Ruple herself and as Jorgeous won, she was allowed to allocate the roles and damn I hope she screws over Daya. And looks after Camden, who is very confident given she went to acting school, and I don’t want that confidence to be misplaced. Like Juju, Gorgeous wanted the dolls to do well and to speak up when they saw the roles they wanted.

As they read through, the dolls calmly put their name down with Kerri suggesting she would pick one with fewer lines given it gives you the chance to go big and steal the scene. Like a more bang for your buck situation. DeJa meanwhile was very relaxed when Jorgeous told her she also wanted the same role, given it was her choice and immediately moved on. Which I hope Baga watched to learn about the concept of grace. They continued through the script with everyone snatching at roles until there was only one left, which Camden got stuck with given she was still on page one. But again, she took it in her stride and just hoped for the best. But given she loves Angeria and their roles get to make out, she was thrilled.

Bosco, Willow and Daya caught up to work through their scene with Daya continuing to be desperate for some face time with the judges and given she and Willow were bouncing off each other well, maybe she’ll get her wish. And well, Bosco is a star so I’m sure she will shine too. Kerri, Jorgeous and DeJa were doing well too, until DeJa told them to try going off book with DeJa immediately forgetting every single one. While Jorgeous was just terrified about bombing another acting challenge.

The dolls met Ru on set to film the show, reminding them to find their angles rather than emotions because that is what Joan Collins would want of them. DeJa, Jorgeous and Kerri were up first with Ru giving some great direction to get them as camp and southern as possible, with DeJa struggling while Kerri was a delight and Jorgeous was a campy, soap STAR. Jasmine served Alyssa Edwards realness and she, Angeria and Camden were perfect. Mainly because Jasmine’s accent was just too much and so ridiculous, in all the right ways. With Bosco rightly describing it as so bad it is the best thing she’s ever seen.

Daya and Willow arrived on the scene and were amazing from start to finish, with Ru wanting to bequeath Willow a daytime emmy. Which you know fired up Daya, making it more ridiculous and so fun. Which is new for Daya on the show. Bosco then knocked it out of the park before Angeria and Camden slayed their love scene. And well, I ship them. Despite Angeria feeling herself fading throughout the shoot.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone but Angeria thrilled to watch the video back, as Willow and Kerri checked in to make sure she was ok with Willow worried she isn’t remembering how damn special she is. Daya gave a far better apology to Jorgeous, with Bosco joining in to casually agree that the competition doesn’t necessarily bring out the best aspects of her personality either.

Talk turned to the chaps runway with Bosco bringing up kinks, asking if anyone is into the leather community with Camden admitting how much she loves going to the Folsom Street Fair. Once again, Angeria had no idea what the fair was and when the girls clarified what it was, she was desperate for a ticket. The dolls brought up Maddy again, with Jasmine admitting she felt bad about the fight though was thrilled to get a lovely note from her before she left. Daya then offered that maybe she could catch up with her next week after she herself is eliminated.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the judges panel by the iconic TS Madison as the dolls rocked the Chaps on the Runway runway. Willow was a sexy, stunning latex wedgie vixen complete with high-pigtails. Bosco was a sexy pink hippy leather daddy, DeJa wore a vibrant blue leopard print chaps bodysuit while Kerri gave a stunning hair chap look and Jorgeous was just shimmering in crystal and lace. Angeria was perfection in a golden shimmering disco chap while Jasmine was a blue and yellow graduate, Camden was a sexy, stunning rocker complete with a fall-on-your-face-fake-out, losing her wig and becoming Freddie Mercury. While Daya gave Carmen San Dieg-ho, again serving Shannel’s eyes.

Ru announced that while watching the dailies, she felt something was missing in all of their performances so she asked the editors to work overtime in post. And by that, the name The Daytona Wind made a lot more sense as Ru’s heavy-handed additions of farts elevated the script and frankly, was perfection. Jasmine’s ridiculous acting was joyous, Angeria was delightful as always despite how she felt while Camden was an absolute star. While Willow gave perfect bimbo, Daya truly did get her moment in the show and well, it was stunning.

DeJa, Kerri and Angeria were sent to safety, leaving Daya to finally receive critiques for the first time since week two. When she was eliminated. Backstage the trio were absolutely gagged to be deemed safe, unsure how they avoided being the bottoms of the week. Admitting they all struggled with the challenge, they quickly deduced that those left on the stage were the top six of the week and that there must not be any bottoms (we’re all bottoms). Angeria opened up about how being in the top each week made the pressure get to her, though was grateful for Jasmine getting her out of her head before filming. Kerri felt she was going to slay, but realised the judges just wanted to challenge her and push her out of her comfort zone. Admitting that being pretty, you really don’t usually have to work as hard.

Back on the mainstage, Ru announced they were the top six and that because everyone did such a good job this week that nobody would be going home. Instead, the top two will lip sync for the win. Jorgeous received universal praise for the look despite not giving much chap, though Michelle felt she could have given more in the show despite hitting every damn beat. Jasmine received universal praise for her runway and demented accent before the judges gave Camden even more glowing praise, particularly for the best runway reveal ever. Daya finally got her moment in the sun, with the judges living for everything she did with Ru decreeing this the week she finally showed up and that she is so proud of her. As always Willow was universally beloved, though Michelle read her for being too similar to Moira Rose. Oh and once again, Bosco was beloved for knocking it out of the park with her ending role.

The top six returned to the Werk Room and immediately confirmed the safe girls’ suspicions, with Angeria admitting she was gagged since she knew she belonged in the bottom while Jorgeous was ready to get grumpy. Daya opened up about her glowing praise, grateful for her moment and taking another in Untucked as she monologued about her skills. Jorgeous finally got to step in and talk, glad to finally not bomb an acting challenge while Kerri asked Camden if she was ready to lip sync for her win and ugh, I love them both.

Camden opened up about how gagged the judges were by her reveal with Jasmine agreeing that like Jorgeous, she was glad to finally slay an acting challenge. Which irritated Daya, despite the fact she wouldn’t shut up. Daya continued to get frustrated, asking the safe girls who they felt would be in the top and when they agreed Bosco and Camden should be lip syncing for the win, she got even more annoyed. They then made things worse by saying it could be Jasmine, pissing off Daya since they were once again overlooking her.

Angeria thanked Jasmine for getting her out of her head with Angeria opening up about how much she is missing her mum. Camden opened up that she wanted to lip sync to the song because it was one of her mum’s faves and was even wearing one of her mum’s chokers. DeJa spoke about feeling horrible for how she has treated her mother in the past before TS dropped by to kiki with the girls, agreeing that for the LGBTQIA+ community, the support of your family is critical.  TS asked the dolls what they want out of the experience with Jasmine opening up about wanting financial stability and how the pandemic left her struggling to put food on the table. She then told Jorgeous she was fierce and then left.

DeJa then asked the dolls if anyone had considered transitioning, with Bosco announcing that yes she has thought about it and definitely thinks she wants to push the dial a little more to the feminine side of non-binary (which she did post-filming!). Jasmine started to sob as she opened up about the fact she was going to start hormones before the competition, though got scared, however seeing Kerri thrive just made her feel like she couldn’t hold it in anymore. She then came out as trans, grateful to feel safe enough to talk about it and like Bosco, have a supportive partner to go on the journey with. She spoke about how Kerri is an inspiration for her and who she wants to be, leading to Kerri sobbing over how happy she is for her sister.

After that deeply personal, empowering conversation, the dolls returned to the mainstage where Jorgeous and Jasmine were sent to safety while Camden was announced as one of the Top 2 queens. Bosco too was sent to safety, leaving Willow and Daya for the final spot, as Daya was placed in the top while Willow was sent to safety. As soon as One Way or Another kicked off however, it was clear the Top 2 was as far as Daya was getting because Camden was absolute fire. She was charming, camp, stupid and splitting and kicking all over the stage and ugh, it was just an absolute joy to watch. And rightly handed her her first win of the competition.

Backstage Daya was thrilled to make it to the top, despite the fact Camden demolished her out of the win. Camden too was rightly feeling her oats while DeJa congratulated them both on a job well done, as Jasmine suggested she should have been in the top two over Camden. She was proud that once again Ru told them how good they are which made Willow joke that eventually there will be a challenge they will all bomb. And oh God, is that a premonition? As the dolls de-dragged, DeJa checked in with Jasmine to see how she was doing, as Jasmine admitted she felt she did a better job than Daya in the challenge though given she came out in Untucked, it probably was best she didn’t have to lip sync after such a cathartic moment. While everyone once again reiterated how proud of Jasmine they were.

Then Kerri and Angeria started wrasslin’ and well, I love the dolls!

The next day Willow was shocked by how real the competition was feeling, with Bosco admitting that she now wants the money and will gladly become their friends AFTER the show. Which was the perfect transition as Ru arrived to open the library. Which is what Bosco feels she was born for. Kerri was up first and was surprisingly cutting and hilarious, Angeria was brutal, Camden called Jorgeous a waste of time and Willow a hunchback while DeJa went in on Kerri’s safe streak. Jorgeous went in on Jasmine for proving white do crack, while Jasmine read Kerri for a lack of dancing skills and Daya’s two-faced ways. Willow was hilarious as she called Jorgeous Serena ChaCha, Daya was solid and then Bosco stole the show with smart reads including the dolls being Ru’s pallbearers on the mainstage so they could let her down on the runway one last time.

Obviously Bosco took out victory, though Camden was commended for being super shady too. But more importantly, Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be forming ‘60s girl groups with everyone allowed to form the three bands themselves. The dolls split up to listen to the songs to decide what they wanted, with Daya desperately focused on getting the Bad Boy song. Sadly four of the girls wanted that one, leading to a stand-off for the band. And guaranteeing Daya does not win fan favourite or Miss Congeniality. Eventually DeJa took a step back, leading to Bosco and Willow sticking with Daya in one band, while DeJa joined Jasmine and Jorgeous as the Ru-nettes while Kerri, Camden and Angeria formed the Ru-premes.

While Daya was confident in their chances of taking out a win, DeJa had already moved on and was ready to slay with the Ru-nettes. Shang-ru-las be damned! Though given Jasmine is straight up tone deaf, DeJa you may be in danger girl! While Kerri was just excited to knock it out of the park and get her first Grammy.

We first followed the Ru-premes as they joined Michelle to record their song, with Angeria selling confidence and giving all the Diana Ross. Kerri meanwhile was pitchy on her first run, leading to her getting in her head and damn, I hope this is a fake-out. When the Shang-ru-las stepped up to record, Bosco was hilarious while Daya was super confident and tragically seemed to knock it out of the park. None of the Ru-nettes were singers however, filling Michelle with nerves for them. Though when DeJa slayed from start to finish, things looked up. Wait, no, Jorgeous and Jasmine could not sing. At all.

Thankfully they were better when it came to choreography, though not by much as DeJa got stuck in the details as they ran through their moves and frustrated the hell out of her dancer sisters. Willow, Daya and Bosco were super together, nailing it from start to finish while the girls finally realised that Willow is a damn dancer! Camden meanwhile took control for their band, choreographing a simple routine so everyone could shine and while Angeria struggled anyway, I am confident their charm will sell the shit out of things. Despite the other girls looking on in fear for their chances.

Elimination Day rolled around with the dolls splitting up to get in their ‘60s looks, while they kikied about their favourite songs, with the dolls mainly focusing on Destiny’s Child while Camden spoke about her love of Spice Girls. And how girl power got her through high school. Angeria spoke about her love for En Vogue, while Kerri opened up about how her family didn’t let her embrace any music and she was forced into listening to church music only. Which made her even more obsessed with that kind of music.

Talk turned to the reading challenge and how amazing Bosco was before Daya confronted Jasmine for calling her two faced. And while she was super cut, Jasmine straight up listed all the things she said behind her back and how she had never said anything to her. With Daya admitting she would have, but Jasmine was preparing to lip sync for her life at the time. And while Daya was getting pressed, Jasmine reiterated that she never even tried to apologise, just make herself the victim.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the panel by Alec Mapa as the girl groups took the stage with the Shang-ru-las up first. And as much as I hate to say it, Daya did a killer job. Though not as good as Bosco and Willow, thankfully. The Ru-nettes did well, in no small part due to Jorgeous getting to speak all her lyrics instead of singing. That being said, this was well and truly DeJa’s performance. Closing the show the Ru-premes were so, so charming with Angeria and Camden in particular knocking it out of the park.

On the Heart On runway, Willow was stunning as she dropped all of her panties, Daya looked a mess as Jojo Siwa and Pink’s daughter, while Bosco was perfection in all white with her hole out and a heart in her hand. DeJa was a sexy nurse in an episode of Sailor Moon, Jorgeous was full on Victoria’s Secret realness, though made it carnivale. Jasmine gave a red, velvet gown with some hearts pinned on her hips while Angeria was a star as a high-headed checkerboard while Kerri was a dripping heart and veins while Camden was perfection as cupid, shot by her own arrow.

Willow, Bosco and Jorgeous were sent to safety, leaving Daya to receive universal praise for her performance as the one that stole the limelight. Which is not how I saw it. They also lived for her runway. DeJa too received universal praise before Jasmine was read for not finding a key, though praised for her commitment. Angeria returned to her place in the top as the judges loved everything she served, before Kerri was read for being too churchy for the challenge rather than giving girl groups. And well, she wasn’t very fun and they felt her outfit needed work. Camden meanwhile was read for blending into the background, though praised for looking like a star on the runway. Though reminded to bring the energy she served last week, every week.

Backstage Bosco was just thrilled to definitely not be lip syncing, given her outfit is quite immobile. Talk turned to the reading challenge with Bosco happy with everything people said about her, while laughing about how pressed Daya Betty was about being called two-faced. They agreed that Daya clearly is feeling the pressure of the competition, though were glad she is in the top to get praise. And to hopefully take the edge off. They speculated about the dolls placements, agreeing DeJa may be in the bottom as would be Jasmine. Unsure whether Kerri or Camden would be joining them, unaware that both were in the bottom, while DeJa was high.

Talk turned to Jasmine’s coming out, with Bosco and Willow talking about how hard not being able to do drag was throughout the pandemic given it was an outlet for their gender expression. Willow admitted that after years of focusing on her health concerns, she finally feels able to explore who she really is and what she loves about her body, including how she identifies.

The tops and bottoms joined the party and gagged the dolls with the fact DeJa was one of the tops. Kerri shared she was read for being too churchy and that she will definitely be lip syncing. Daya was thrilled to share that she was definitely in the top, thanking Bosco and Willow for helping get her over the line. Jasmine praised Daya for breaking through, though Angeria joked that it was all anger. Camden agreed she was in the bottom, though hopeful she would avoid the lip sync with Jasmine assuring her that she will be the one lip syncing, not Camden. While Angeria was once again thrilled to be in the top, further cementing herself as THE front runner.

Jasmine and Kerri once again caught up with Jasmine thanking her for being such an inspiration, ready to slay and be the woman she was born to be. The tops and safe dolls caught up, with Daya admitting she was deliberately selfish this week because she wants to win and well, she doesn’t care what anyone has to say about it.

Returning to the stage, somehow Daya Betty took out her first victory, proving tantrums do pay off, while Angeria and DeJa were deemed safe. As was Camden, narrowly, leaving Jasmine and Kerri to lip sync for their life to a weird remix of Toni Braxton’s iconic Unbreak My Heart. And well, it was a show. Jasmine kicked off a shoe and didn’t even bat an eyelid as she served with only a shoe, jumping and splitting all over the stage. Kerri meanwhile gave all the charm and emotion, and while I lived, it proved to be not enough against Alyssa Edwards Jr, leaving the iconic and powerful Kerri Colby to sashay away with only her chocolate bar for company.

Kerri was heartbroken to be eliminated from the competition, though was accepting that she did the worst in the challenge. Plus, Kerri had such a strong impact on so many of her sisters, it was hard for her to not feel the obvious love the world has for her. Which I reiterated to her backstage before sharing a fresh bowl of Kerri Columbines to sweeten her power. 

While Columbines were tragically discontinued in the early ‘00s, they have such a special place in my hearts. Sure, they are just chewy caramels but the memories attached are so joyous. You see, every time my grandparents would come to visit we would arrive home from school to discover a bag of the pink and blue wrapped delights at the foot of our beds. It was such a small thing, but it still makes me happy so I was glad to make a copycat for the iconic Kerri.

Enjoy!

Kerri Columbines
Serves: 4 excited grandkids in the ‘90s or 2 dear friends in the (20)20s.

Ingredients
225g butter
450g muscovado sugar
395g can sweetened condensed milk 
1 cup light corn syrup 
½ tsp kosher salt 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method
Pop everything but the vanilla extract In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it reaches 112-116C on a candy thermometer. Cook for a further couple of minutes at that temperature before removing and gently stirring in the vanilla.

Pour the caramel into a lined baking tin and leave to cool completely at room temperature. Once set, use an oiled knife to cut into squares before wrapping in waxed paper or you know, devouring greedily.


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Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sophie was feeling her oats as the cockroach of the season, despite the fact she only miraculously dodged the boot twice in a row due to a twist and Alex quitting rather than skill or gameplay. Identifying Khanh as a big threat, she realised aligning with him could be mutually beneficial and approached him about aligning. Which he sadly had zero interest in. With Sophie gone from the tribe, the alphas were outnumbered on Blood, though after losing the immunity challenge miraculously were able to make some new friends. After Amy found an idol, she was ready to make a strike on Sandra and take control, however the Queen had already sadly scooped them up as they banded together to boot Amy’s bestie Jay.

The next day things were very zen over at the Water tribe as Nina shared how well positioned she was in the tribe and how she was excelling at the game. While I would have loved to hear more from Nina, I was just as distracted as the cameraperson was when her ally Jordie started to repeatedly flash his bum. And just like that, I was back to stanning our overall king. Despite the excitement and the joy of hearing how well Nina is playing, I couldn’t help but become filled with dread as she opened up about being confident in her chances of making it to the end.

The two tribes reconvened with Jonathan where Sam spoke about how united their tribe was, which perfectly cued up JLP to tell them to drop their buffs. Yep, it’s tribe swap time! Given there were 19 people remaining, Sandra, Amy, Dave and Jordan were joined by Shay, Nina, Jordie, Josh and Mel on Blood, while Khanh, Chrissy, KJ and Sophie welcomed Sam, Michelle, Croc, Ben and Jesse on Water, leaving poor Mark tribeless. Well, for a moment, as he was given the right to choose which tribe to join, ultimately selecting to join Blood. Much to the absolute rage of his wife Sam, who was SO ready to play with him. Not wanting to play with their loved one however was Nina, who was heartbroken to be on a tribe with her mother given she now has a huge target on her back. And once again, dread.

Before we could enjoy any drama, Jonathan explained that to take out the reward four people at a time from each tribe would battle in a boat tug-o-war competition to capture a flag, with the first new tribe to three scoring a reward of hot dogs and soda, so you know I would have died to win if I was out there. First up Ben, Croc, Chrissy and Sophie faced off against Mark, Jordan, Mel and Sandra, with the new Water tribe quickly scoring the first point. Josh, Mark, David and Jordie methodically then worked together to tie things up over Croc, Khanh, Jesse and Ben. Sandra, Mel, Shay and Nina worked hard on the third round though were eventually overpowered by Sophie, Sam, KJ and Michelle who scored the second point. Oh and then Ben, Sophie, Croc and Chrissy blitzed through the next round, jagging reward for their tribe. And most importantly, we got to see Ben cheering in his speedo, so everyone is truly a winner.

Back at camp the new Water tribe were delighted to find their hot dog cart, quickly getting to work smashing their snacks and soft drinks. While Sam was thrilled they proved themselves as a new tribe, Chrissy was just thrilled to finally have Croc by her side before talk turned to the fact that Mark was given a choice to join the tribe with Sam and instead opted to keep themselves separated a little longer. Which Sam admitted was a strong strategic decision, despite it hurting. After Croc spoke about feeling bad for those that couldn’t reunite with their pair, Sam and Sophie went for a walk to clear the air and while Sophie promised there were no hard feelings, Sam was very sure that she couldn’t be trusted.

Chrissy interrupted the calm celebrations when she noticed a clue hidden in the side of the cart, quickly rushing to it to snatch it without anyone noticing as she shoved it up her pants. Successfully managing to keep it there, unlike Sharn. Well, until she and Croc awkwardly hugged and she handed it off to him. Back at camp, they went for a walk together where they read their clue and upon Chrissy figuring out where their idol would be, darted off to the river to jag it without anyone noticing. With Croc planning to keep it secret, given that is the advice Sandra gave him and ugh, I now love Croc.

We finally checked in on the new Blood tribe where Jordie was thrilled by how the swap played out for him, keeping him with all of his closest allies and in the majority on the new tribe. And well, to say he was confident is an understatement. Jordie immediately identified Sandra as the biggest threat and vowed to get rid of her ASAP. Essentially. Mark opened up about deciding to stay away from Sam, knowing it was the safest option for them, despite it not being what he truly wanted. As everyone washed off in the water and formed quick bonds, poor Sandra was left alone with Dave back at camp and attempted to try and start over with him, given it is her only option. While she was hopeful Nina’s strong bonds and likability would be able to help her out, she was still very nervous.

Speaking of Nina, she was thrilled to still be on a tribe with all of her allies but sadly – though wisely for her – she approached them to assure them that should they want to vote out her mum, she will be ok with it. While she quietly wondered to us whether she could really bring herself to break her mum’s trust, she also felt it would be hard to cross her allies too.

The tribes reconvened for the immunity challenge where Jonathan explained they would chop through a rope to release a net, climb said net to cross a tower, collect some boxes on balance beams, climb up another tower where they would drop the boxes over the side in an attempt to release a ball. And then use said ball to solve a table maze. Josh got Blood out to the earliest of leads, though they were quickly overtaken by Water who whipped up the nets. After Michelle fell on the balance beams, Blood managed to pull ahead again. Well until they struggled to smash their boxes, giving Water a huge lead while solving their table maze. Sadly, they couldn’t get it together as Nina started to talk her tribe through the puzzle. Though not quickly enough, as Water narrowly took out immunity.

And left Sandra to contend with her Day 16 curse. Much to my mildly simmering rage.

Back at camp Nina quickly apologised for choking while calling the challenge while the rest of the tribe tried to rally and raise her up. Sandra meanwhile stressed about having to go to tribal council on Day 16, though she was hopeful Nina’s connections may be able to keep around for another few days and break said curse. Not wanting to rest on her laurels though, Sandra caught up with Mark and pointed out she has issues with Dave should they be looking for a target, while Dave, Jordie and the cousins hung out to lock in the vote for Mel. Nina went for a walk with Shay and Josh with them filling Nina in on the plan to get rid of Mel, given she is clumsy and may be a liability in future challenges. Which was music to Nina’s, and importantly my ears. 

Sandra meanwhile was back in the water with Jordan, Dave and Amy, with them shocked by the fact Water are willing to get rid of one of their own despite being in the minority. Sadly it was at that moment that Jordie decided they really should have some fun with the vote and instead take out one of the weaker OG Blood women in the form of Sandra, and then at a whisper, Amy.

Jordie, Josh and Mark giddily locked in the vote for Sandra given she is not only weaker and from the rival tribe but most importantly, a massive threat. While Jordie and Josh wanted to give Nina a heads up, Mark assured them it was too dangerous given she could get Shay to play her idol to save her mother and ruin not only their plans but their alliance. Speaking of which, Nina, Sandra and Shay were catching up and well, this better end with an idol play otherwise I’ll be heartbroken. While the trio felt the vote was still going Mel’s way, Sandra worried about what would happen after that given there is nowhere else for her to hide. Even though she isn’t even hiding anymore.

Mark, Jordie and Josh caught up with the other former OG Blood members and Mel to float the Sandra plan and tragically everyone seemed thrilled to jump on board. Thankfully though Nina could tell that Mark and Mel were acting weird with her and as such, felt like something was up. While Jordie caught up with Sandra and assured him the plan was still on Mel, desperate to claim the scalp of Sandra in a blindside.

At tribal council Sandra spoke about being happy with the new tribe, reiterating how proud she is to still be in the game. Mel opened up about being nervous about the upcoming vote, while Mark tried to downplay the fact the original Water tribe hold the majority in this new tribe. Which Jordie reiterated, though far less eloquently. Shay mentioned that she would be voting on strength, given she is desperate for some food and to get another win. This got Sandra fired up, announcing that is not how Survivor works or how it is played, given one person is not a deciding factor in losing a challenge. Sandra then doubled down and pointed out that alliances are more important because come merge, the weak will outnumber the strong and once the strong people start losing immunity, they are immediately booted. Unless they have allies willing to protect them.

This speech spooked Shay, given she thought she knew what would be playing out while Jordie spoke about every season being a clean slate and kinda pretending like Sandra isn’t a damn icon that could wash each and every one of them any day of the week. And well, he better moon us tomorrow if he gets his way tonight because I am growing tired. Nina admitted she is nervous about the upcoming vote, with Jordie pretty much saying he isn’t looking forward to facing a loved one back at camp which narrows down the boot to one of four people, but really only Sandra. Speaking of the Queen, she admitted that she is definitely expecting to receive a couple of votes at tribal council, though continued to speak strongly, reiterating that being a pair is strong and as such, made Josh and Jordan nervous about potentially being the only pair left in the tribe.

Jonathan then asked Nina whether she felt being a pair was important and when Sandra tried to look her in the eye, she told her to look at Jonathan instead as her eyes welled up. This well and truly got Sandra nervous as she spoke about knowing what she signed up for, though she still looked gutted. Before reminding us that the queen stays queen.

With that the tribe voted and tragically, there were no miracles as Shay played her idol for herself – not sure why, though – and Queen Sandra was unanimously booted from the tribe. Once again swap-screwed on Day 16. Which is why I threw the most epic tantrum Charters Towers had ever seen when I got word that Sandra’s curse had completed its hat trick before she claimed her triple crown. 

My tantrum wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t cute, though I would argue it was completely justified.

Sandra is a complete and utter icon and if her new tribes would only stop losing the first challenge after a swap, she should be a lock for the merge after enough time to endear herself with her new people. Instead, we’re left with the brutal tragedy that one again, Sandra is not on a jury at the worst but more ideally addressing one.

While I was heartbroken by her placement on paper, her run on Australian Survivor has only managed to cement her status as the best to ever play the game. Her strategy is simple and logical, but one that not many people could pull off season after season with her finesse.

As soon as I saw her enter the Pre-Jury Villa – no Loser Lodge for MY queen – I immediately started sobbing and ran into her arms. While she wasn’t receptive to my ideas for her to disown Nina and adopt me in her place, or to find Jonathan and production and force them to re-shoot tribal council, or even add a new version of Redemption Rock where Sandra is automatically given the win; she was grateful for my enduring love and support and glad that I was once again by her side on Day 16 to eat our feelings, this time with a Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine. A meal I had tragically thought would manifest the third win, rather than enacting her curse for a third time.

Now I can not take ownership of this recipe – that is Jock Zonfrillo, with some minor tweaks for my preferences – I knew Sandra’s return from retirement needed to be marked with something decadent and regal, worthy of her legacy. This very baconny, very cheesy number is near perfection – smokey and umami, sweet and salty, it is the only glorious meal worthy of someone as glorious as the Survivor GOAT.

Enjoy!

Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine
Jock Zonfrillo’s original recipe
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
50g thinly sliced smoked pancetta
25g smoked salt
25g dark muscovado sugar
10g ground black pepper, to season
10g hot smoked paprika
10g ground star anise
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.2kg pork belly
1 cup cloudy apple juice
150g sourdough, blitzed to form crumbs
230g sharp aged smoked cheddar, coarsely grated
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
120g unsalted butter, diced
60g flour
2 ½ cups milk
130g blue cheese, diced
130g Fontina, coarsely grated
130g Talleggio, coarsely grated
salt and white pepper, to taste
400g smoked bacon lardons
1 bunch shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
3 x 400g cans sweetcorn, drained
¼ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Start by working on your bacon rub by placing the pancetta on a lined baking sheet and cooking in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to remove grease and allow it to cool. Once chill, combine the pancetta with the smoked salt, muscovado sugar, black pepper, paprika and star anise in a food processor or blender and blitz until crumbed.

Next, score the skin of your pork belly and rub it with oil followed by all but 2 tbsp of the bacon rub, getting it on the meat and skin until it is gorgeously marooned. Pop the pork belly on a rack in a baking dish, skin side up, and pour the apple juice into the dish. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, before reducing the heat to 180C and cooking for a further hour. Keeping an eye on the apple juice in the pan and topping up with more, or water, should it run dry. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

While the pork is getting gorgeously browned, combine the bread crumbs, 100g of the smoked cheddar, parsley and the remaining bacon rub in a bowl until combined.

Next step – FYI, there are a lot of steps and it is what Sandra deserves, so deal – melt half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour, whisk and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk to combine before returning to the heat and bringing to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining cheeses and cooking for a further couple of minutes, or until well combined. Season and keep warm.

In another saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and cook the lardons for five minutes or until starting to caramelise. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for further five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the corn and stir until warmed through.

When the smells have you more than ready to eat, cut the pork belly into a dice, reserving the crackling for a side or to top. Combine the corn and lardon mixture with the cheese sauce, before folding through the pork belly and sour cream.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with the crumb and pop in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately and devour, eating all your feelings away before the next episode.

And remember, the Queen will always stay Queen. Day 16 curse be damned!


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Choriza Mayshroom Pizza

Main, Pizza, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the queens stepped up and read each other for filth with the legendary Choriza taking out victory for her charming and hilarious takes on her sisters. Sadly that was it for joyous moments of the episode as despite Ella slaying Nigella in Snatch Game and Kitty’s GC being all gamed out, things went south as my faves River and Choriza landed in the bottom. And then Ru had the cheek, the nerve, the gall AND the gumption to send both of them home in the most tragic double elimination to ever grace our screens.

After River left me, I had to do another round of meditation to calm myself to welcome my other fave Choriza to the Werk Room Restaurant. 

As soon as she saw my tear-streaked face, she ran over, pulled me in for a massive hug and then promptly slapped me and told me to snap out of it. This had the desired effect as I burst into laughter, wishing that Choriza had actually done a nonsensical version of Cher in Snatch Game.

Choriza and I have been dear friends for many years, given we have so much in common. That being, we’re thirsty and live for a smutty joke. We immediately bonded upon first meeting at that place that one time and have been the best of friends ever since.

As such, I knew that the only way to dull her post-boot pain would be an innuendo laden back and forth and a big, hot Choriza Mayshroom Pizza.

I think it is fair to say that the Survivor Pizza Curse definitely has cross over with Drag Race, otherwise why else was she eliminated? Thankfully when disappointment is spicy, sweet and packed full of flavour, it is hard to be disappointed. And oh so easy to swallow.

Enjoy!

Choriza Mayshroom Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
a small handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
2 chorizos, sliced into coins
1 onion, sliced
½ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
a small handful of button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
cheddar and mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata and herbs. Sprinkle over the chorizo, onion, olives, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, followed by a mix of the cheeses.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour, careful not to burn yourself on the molten hot cheese.


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River Mediterranean Salad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls were tasked with promoting the new home assistant, Draglexa. And girl, it was a mess. While it often feels like everyone is getting the shady edit during the filming segments, this one didn’t appear to go badly … until their commercials were played for the judges and the rattlesnake sound came out. To the point where Ru gave no one the win. Feeling extra shady, the queens were asked to announce who should go home with the dolls split on sending Scarlett and Charity home. This pissed off Scarlett, who stormed out of untucked, followed by the lip sync which was a rematch against Charity with the latter tragically felled from the competition.

Backstage Scarlett looked like she was returning from war, heartbroken to have sent her sister home though proud to show the fire within herself. River tried to keep things positive by immediately going shady and asked if anyone thought Charity should have stayed, with most of the dolls agreeing that Ru made the right decision. Scarlett complained that everyone suggested she should go home before the lip sync, with Ella trying to remind her they had to answer a question and nobody hates her, so she needs to stop moping around. Choriza spoke about the fact that wins aren’t automatically granted anymore, leaving Vanity to ask whether Choriza will stop relying on comedy and show some diversity. And well, things were about to go south before Krystal suggested they de drag and go the fuck to sleep.

The dolls were feeling far more jovial the next day, conga-ing into the new week with them acutely aware that they need to bring it this week given they kinda bombed the last challenge. Scarlett meanwhile was still feeling salty about getting flagged as the person that should go home and then a myriad of other grievances, leading to Krystal rightly calling her out for bouncing between the things that were upsetting her and damn, how is she only 19?

The fights were interrupted by Ru who dropped by to open the library and damn, that is just what they need, no? Choriza kicked off the reading challenge landing some sick burns, getting the queens mixed up the entire time. Vanity went in on Ella for being bland and Scarlett for saying like a lot. River mocked Choriza being horny and Scarlett for interrupting, Krystal was savagely hilarious, Ella was witty and lovable, Scarlett went IN on everyone for her revenge while Kitty was wild and demented and I live for her. Rightly so, Choriza took out victory before the dolls learnt that this was only just the beginning, for this week, they’d be playing Snatch Game.

The dolls split up to talk about their chosen characters, with Vanity sharing she would be playing Jocelyn Jee Esien while Krystal would be rocking Charity Shop Sue. Ru arrived to kiki with the girls with Choriza sharing that she would be playing Margarita Pracatan aka a singing version of her, who used her charm to get by. Oh but Ru would prefer her to play Cher and well, I’m confused. Ella meanwhile was going to play Mystic Meg, though Ru preferred her back-up character of Nigella Lawson, so she too was likely to change things up. Scarlett planned to do Danny Dyer, so obviously Ru wanted her to do Tilda Swinton or Macaulay Culkin. Kitty thought she would play Cilla Black, so Ru tasked her with playing the GC despite that being played by her sister Cheryl in Sheeeeason One. River was going to play Amy Childs from TOWIE, but Ru surprisingly didn’t give her a new character to do instead.

We immediately pivoted to the Snatch Game set where Judi Love and Nadine Coyle were ready to play with the dolls. Ella, Scarlett and Kitty all opted to change to Ru’s suggested characters, while Krystal, Vanity, River and Choriza held their ground on their OG choices. From the very first moments it was Ella’s show, bringing the sultry smut of Nigella that was always destined for Snatch Game greatness. Kitty was delightful and demented, Scarlett screamed her way through the challenge – in a good way – while on the other end of the panel, River, Choriza and Krystal just kinda got lost in the pack. Most importantly, Ella DID say meek-ro-wa-vay and that alone is worthy of victory.

Elimination Day rolled around with Ella proud to have slayed the Snatch Game, though felt a couple of the girls should be worried. Vanity meanwhile was triggered by the fact she had to play a character, given she had to play the character of a straight kid growing up. Kitty meanwhile shared that she never had to come out, given her parents always said she could bring a girl or boy home. Choriza meanwhile shared that she came out at 11, though it wasn’t until she was 18 that she realised that her father was holding her sexuality against her and always appeared to be angry with her. Krystal shared that she and her father never saw eye to eye, though Drag Race helped him understand who she was as a person. River meanwhile struggled with feeling that being gay is disgusting, with Ella reminding them that as queer kids, you’re constantly in a state of stress. With Scarlett agreeing that that is why she acts the way that she does now, while Ella shared that she just desperately tried to fit in and be straight.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by the iconic Lulu – CHAMPAGNE FOR LULU – for the Feeling Fruity runway. Choriza was up first serving the most iconic Carmen Miranda inspired peach look, Krystal was the sexiest dragonfruit to grace the planet, Scarlett wore lime, though looked like an iceberg lettuce instead. River looked like a cup of Runts, Ella was a sexy, vampy watermelon, Vanity was a gorgeous African mama in a coral gown while Kitty was the juiciest cherry crossed with Little Red Riding Hood.

And Poison Ivy.

The judges lived for Choriza’s runway look, though they felt she needed to give more in Snatch Game. Krystal was praised for pushing herself in Snatch Game, though read for kind of missing the mark. And the fact she was repeating a silhouette on the runway. The judges lived for Scarlett screaming her way through Snatch Game, though was read for dressing as a lettuce. River meanwhile, was read for sticking in early-TOWIE Amy Childs and getting swallowed up by her sisters, while Michelle felt her look was crafty. Ella received universal praise for knocking Nigella out of the park and looking like a star on the runway. Vanity was read in the same way Krystal was, though was praised for looking beautiful on the runway. And Kitty, like Ella, received universal praise for start to finish. And had the judges in hysterics on the runway to boot.

Backstage Kitty was on cloud nine, thrilled to finally have her breakthrough moment in the competition. Ella too was proud of herself for nailing Snatch Game and surprising everyone with her improv skills. Choriza meanwhile was heartbroken to be read for just being there while River was disappointed to be down, but by no means was she ready to go out. Oh and Krystal was sure it would be her lip syncing, given she set such a high standard for herself in the first week’s of the competition. While Scarlett was thrilled to turn things around and prove herself again, leading to the dolls rallying around each other and ugh, I love the girls.

Ultimately Scarlett and Kitty were deemed safe, handing a well deserved victory to Ella. Vanity was sent to safety while Krystal narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving my faves River and Choriza to lip sync to Lulu’s Shout. And while I love everything about Lulu, I hate everything about this dark, dark timeline – NOT MY FAVES. 

Things only got darker as both Choriza and River were wacky and charming, but that lip sync kind of felt flat, despite Lulu living. And then when Choriza changed her wig on stage – not a reveal, changed – the timeline went pitch-black as Ru opted to send BOTH of them home. 

Some people say that you could hear my screams from outer-space at that moment, which reminds me, bravo to the editors for hiding it. And security for stopping me from getting to the mainstage as I tried to storm the get and force Ru and Michelle to change their damn minds. I could have handled one going, but both of my icons? I don’t think.

Eventually the security and on-set psychologists were able to get me calm enough to proceed with the usual culinary comfort but we agreed that it was best to do them one at a time to avoid me being triggered. As such, River was first up and immediately pointed and shuffled her way into my arms to try and lighten the mood. And while it didn’t change the sad outcome, it truly did help and I mustered a weak smile. Think SJP’s first little joke in Mexico in the SATC movie. That was my level of trauma.

After breathing my way through the pain, I was able to praise River on being one of the breakout stars of the season with her kindness, charm and raw talent. And then I realised, while she may have lost this season, she will undoubtedly win her next. Right? Right, Ru? RIGHT? With that, I was able to whip up a River Mediterranean Salad and toast to her success.

While I used to subscribe to the Springfield view of salad, this little number is a game-changing delight. Plus, it is great for a lazy person. Decadent and simple, the feta and crackers elevate the store-bought ingredients to give you a perfect mid-week (get it?) meal.

Enjoy!

River Mediterranean Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup roasted capsicum, drained and torn into strips
1⁄2 cup green Sicilian olives, rinsed
⅓ cup sundried tomatoes, drained
200g Danish feta, diced
2 cups mixed salad leaf, washed and drained
1 cup rosemary and garlic crackers
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
I am lazy when it comes to salad – probably because I’d rather be having fries but I’m north of 30, so shouldn’t – so this one is pretty basic.

Chuck everything in a bowl. Toss. Serve.

Then devour. Always devour.


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