Bacon, Brocolli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

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

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

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


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Roasted Sweet Potato and Choriso M-Afrika

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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La Briochéesecake Ice Cream

Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the dolls were tasked with starring in a parody of Call My Agent. While France trended closely to Espana – aka showing the entire, lengthy scene – every time Paloma was on screen, she lit it up and stole the show. Which is saying something, given Briochée gave an iconic turn as Marion Cotillard possessed by Edith Piaf. Everyone turned delicate, beautiful looks on the Dites-le avec des fleurs runway which meant that Soa and Lova’s slightly muted acting performances landed them in the bottom, with Soa demolishing the lip sync and sending sweet Lova home.

Backstage the dolls toasted to how kind and lovely Lova was, with Lolita particularly going to miss her. On the flipside, Kam was just glad to see another girl home and was ready to power through the competition. Soa meanwhile was feeling her oats after slaying the lip sync, ready to send other girls home but also not loving the vibe of being in the bottom. Bertha meanwhile was just in her feels to have lost her fellow big girl. The next day the dolls were energised and ready to turn it as the speculated what challenge they’re likely to be up against, with the dolls agreeing they either want to dance or sew. 

Obviously that manifested Nicky, who arrived to put them through their paces in a Mini Challenge where they would have to film a video about making a baguette in teams of two. And while I feel like Nicky was trying to come for my gig, I am willing to look the other way. Because the other way saw the return of the zaddy pit crew and they seem to flood my basement more than any pit crew that has come before them. Soa and Bertha were up first and appeared to be having a ball, making a total mess and being so stupid. Lolita and La Grande Dame saw their stupidity and raised it as Lolita ended up with flour all over her face as Grande Dame’s arms flailed about. La Briochée gave an acting masterclass as Elips created as much chaos as possible before Paloma and Kam literally added tits to their dough. Though obviously victory went to Elips and Briochée.

Nicky then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be throwing a little French Ball, with them first stomping the runway in a Ma France à moi look while the second look would need to be about French Clichés. And well, Elips and Briochée were both feeling confident. Even after Nicky announced they would also be modelling a third dress which they would have to make in a day, ready for the red carpet of the Festival de Cannes. And they would be made out of a minimum of three beach toys. Which obviously filled everyone with dread. Even Elips and Briochée who won a headstart in the ransack for taking out the Mini Challenge, which proved quite a prize since everything soon disappeared once the other dolls got involved.

Everyone split up to go through their haul with Bertha looking to give a Gaultier and Galiano hybrid. Briochée had a detailed plan for an asymmetrical dress. And for everything she couldn’t do, she would go get advice from Elips. Kam and Grande Dame meanwhile were busy kiki-ing about their hometowns, with Kam admitting it was difficult growing up in a small town, while Grande Dame had to leave Nice after experiencing a hate crime. A crime so violent she doesn’t even remember what happened. Which was a story that broke Lolita, Bertha and Soa’s hearts who were all ready to defend her till the ends of the earth.

Nicky dropped by to check on the girls’ progress with the one and only Kiddy Smile to give them advice on stomping the runway. They lived for Bertha though wanted her to not fear being serious, Kam was reminded to walk tall, Elips was perfect, Paloma kinda gave Ramona in RHONY, Briochée was read for looking down, Lolita stripped so was great in my eyes, Soa was perfection from the walk to the attitude, as was Grande Dame. And well, the dolls are ready for their ball.

Nicky then dropped the bomb that Véronique Philipponnat and Chantal Thomass would be joining them on the judges panel before she departed and well, the dolls were now far less ready and far more nervous.

As Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy took the stage with the duo of icons, Paloma kicked off the Sweet France of Mine runway, looking like a caged, camp delight in honour of cheese. Lolita was a netted, locked delight in honour of Paris, Grande Dame gave all the drama in a massive haute couture black widow gown, while Elips went from black widow to glamour pride and it was gorgeous before Briochée served glamour in a blue and pearl gown. Soa was perfection in a tartan and white delight in honour of her mother, Kam sold suited sexy pigeon and well, it was amazing before Bertha closed the category with a glamorous blue jean gown before she straight up flooded herself, the stage and my basement.

When it came to French Cliches, Paloma was stunning as a white suited artiste, Lolita gave the sexiest chartreuse protester known to man, Grande Dame was a white ruffled delight, like if Jerry’s shirt was glamour, before Elips served red wine. Which obviously is a win in my eyes. Briochée gave gingham glam with baguette arms – aka Baguette Bardot – while Soa read all the basic white women of France and well, I live. Though maybe it is because her arse is hot? Kam served sexy maid and then revealed a bodysuit covered in croissants. Which again, is a win in my eyes. Oh and then Bertha gave an accordion gown and well, it was so damn cool. Complete with a light bulb up her arse.

When it came to the designed looks for the Cannes Festival, Paloma was pink perfection. Lolita gave a polished yellow and teal gown looking like The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica. Grande Dame was stunning in bright blue with red rope detail – a description which doesn’t do it justice – while Elips was suited in lime and black. Briochée was kinda messy, giving more Marilyn impersonator rather than Cannes, while Soa looked more Studio 54 in gold lame. But again, her butt was out. Kam was stunning in a pink and orange stripe as sexy Nemo. While Bertha was stunning in navy, despite the gown being an absolute mess construction wise.

Paloma was praised for being so funny while serving three stunning looks. Lolita was praised for her bold design, they lived for Grande Dame’s commitment to being the fashion queen of the season while Elips was read for her designed look, given there was absolutely no tailoring. Which led to Briochée pointing out that she spent most of her time helping everyone else, which may have contributed. Before Briochée’s designed look was read for absolute filth for having a giant rip on the leg. Soa’s brought looks were praised, though she was read for not giving enough on the third. Kam meanwhile received universal praise for everything she did in each category. From the polish to the concepts, they lived for every damn moment. While Bertha similarly received praise for her bought looks, while her designed look was deemed an absolute mess.

Backstage everyone congratulated Kam on her obvious win, while she pointed out Paloma and Grande Dame were just as good. Soa, Briochée, Elips and Bertha weren’t sure which duo would be lip syncing, with all of them feeling like they had let themselves down and well, I hate to see it. Particularly Elips who looked broken, while her sisters reiterated how grateful they were for all that she did for them this week. 

Obviously it was Kam that took out her first victory of the season before Bertha and Elips were narrowly saved, leaving Sea and Briochée to lip sync for their lives. And once again, Soa was not going down without a fight and absolutely slayed from start to finish. As soon as Pookie by Aya Nakamura kicked off, she pulled all the focus and while Briochée was cute, charming and hitting every lyric, Soa’s fire was just too much to come up against as she once again dominated and saved herself. Tragically felling sweet Briochée.

Backstage Briochée was so kind and upbeat about her elimination, I almost ran into Nicky’s dressing room and screamed at her until she agreed to reinstate the icon into the competition. But alas, I was mature. And instead, I pulled her in for a massive hugged and thanked her for not only sharing her talents with the world, but also for being so open with her story. Given she is a delight, she took it all in stride as we laughed together before smashing a massive bowl of La Briochéesecake Ice Cream.

Just when you thought I was going to zig, I zagged instead. Straight into an epic bowl of deliciousness. This barely tweaked take on the Milkbar classic is so damn delicious. So delicious, in fact, that even a cheesecake hater could be converted.

Enjoy!

La Briochéesecake Ice Cream
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
1 gelatin leaf
240ml milk
45g Lauren Graham Cracker crumbs
25g milk powder
¾ tsp raw caster sugar
¾ tsp kosher salt
15g butter, melted
15ml double cream
½ batch of Liquidita Von Däshcake
1 tbsp sour cream

Method
Pop the gelatin leaf in some water for ten minutes to bloom. While that is getting soft, transfer some of the milk into a saucepan and lightly warm. Drain the excess liquid from the gelatin before adding to the warmed milk and whisk until completely dissolved.

Meanwhile combine the graham crumbs, 5g of the milk powder, raw caster sugar and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl until well combined. Fold through the melted butter and double cream until well combined and small clusters form.

Transfer to a blender with the gelatine milk and remaining milk, the liquid cheesecake, sour cream, remaining milk powder and salt, and blitz until smooth. When you think it is blitzed enough, leave it going for another couple of minutes.

Pour the liquid into an ice cream churn and cook as per instructions before transferring to an airtight container. Pop in the freezer for a couple of hours to set, or just smash straight out of the churn if you want it soft-serve style.


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Trufelle Howaioli

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Vati, Ika and Taku’s were dismantled however like last year, Jeffrey wanted to play things a little coy and delayed the merge. Through the power of a terrible twist that was once again trying to masquerade as time travel. After Jonathan doomed his group by leading them to victory, Rocksroy went to hourglass island where he rightly opted to give himself immunity. After Tori cussed him out for stripping her of her immunity, she then went and won it back in the first individual immunity. Which doomed everyone’s plans as she was public enemy number one, meaning out of nowhere, Lydia found herself felled and just missed the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council, grateful to have officially made the merge and to be a part of the jury. Though according to Mike, that is as far as Romeo, Chanelle, Tori and Maryanne will go since they are left right out. Chanelle caught up with Hai, heartbroken to realise she hasn’t played the killer game she thinks she has after being left out of the last vote. Drea meanwhile was ready to drop Romeo like a newborn giraffe due to his growing shiftiness, while Lindsay was assuring Maryanne that they are still aligned and she will look out for her. Despite that assurance, Maryanne was still gutted to be on the bottom of the tribe and opened up about how it reminded her of being left out in school as a weirdo.

The next day Mike was working hard to get to know his fellow tribemates, knowing that as the old guy of the tribe, he needs to make sure people like him. And given he kindly sat and learnt about religion from Omar as he prayed and instantly made him fall in love with him, I think he’s going to be ok. At the very least, he warmed my cold dead heart.

My love Probst appeared to hide a little beware advantage on the sit out bench as the Kula Kula tribe arrived for the reward challenge. After telling us he’d be disappointed if the advantage went unfound like it did last season, he explained to the tribe that in teams of two they would swim out and retrieve five buoys in an obstacle course and then shoot them into a basket. Oh and the winners get PB&J and chips. And while Drea was chosen on one of the teams, she shared that she hates PB&J and as such, she was offered to tap out with Maryanne. Obviously Drea quickly snatched another advantage while Maryanne obviously lost the reward given she went to Drea’s former team which was decidedly lacking in Jonathan’s, who quickly got his team out to a lead. While Omar quickly shot four of the five baskets in a row, he then missed while Joanthan tagged out with Rocksroy and quickly shot all of their baskets in a row.

Meaning Maryanne shoulda just sat out and at least got an advantage.

Back at camp the victors were thrilled to discover their sandwiches and quickly smashed them, while the losers bonded over how much fun they had in the challenge. And how damn close it was. The groups combined and rehashed the order they wanted to take the outsiders out before Omar shared with us that he was also keeping said outsiders happy, pretending to try and keep them safe so he always has options should the alliance break.

Drea meanwhile was going hunting for her advantage, which was five paces away from the well hidden under a coconut. And that she needed to cover her tracks or get caught red handed. Which is what happened, since the producers hid the damn advantage in a pot of red paint like icons. While she desperately tried to clean her hands, she learnt that her latest haul is the Knowledge is Power advantage, which would grant her the power to steal one of the other idols – or any old advantage – in the game. As she returned to camp, Tori was worried she was bleeding when she saw the red on her hands. And while she lied and said she was painting something, the fact that their tribe flag was yet to be touched and all the paints were sealed, she knew there was something dodgy going on.

The tribe met up with Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would each balance on a narrow perch and hold a buoy between sticks. Well, everyone that chose to compete because Probst was willing to give them a bag of rice if enough people were willing to sit out of the challenge. The tribe offered two people, which annoyed Probst who then offered nine. Lindsay and Drea said they were happy to sit out, with Maryanne agreeing that she would also be willing to sit out, leading to Jonathan getting Probst to offer the big bag of rice if four people sit out. Which was enough to get Maryanne crying and make people feel bad about her choosing to sit out when she is on the bottom, leading to Omar agreeing to forgo the challenge too. And damn, she is going to emotionally blackmail herself to victory, isn’t she?

Turns out Hai should have been one of the people sitting out given he dropped within a second, quickly followed by Rocksroy and Mike. Romeo soon followed while the remaining trio made it to ten minutes. Tori and Jonathan started to wobble though managed to save themselves before Chanelle dropped out of nowhere. While Jonathan saved himself multiple more times, he eventually dropped and handed Tori her second immunity in as many episodes. Once again throwing the majority’s plans into chaos.

Back at camp Hai was thrilled to have jagged the rice without having to sit out and gladly started locking in the vote against Chanelle, since Tori had immunity. He and Mike went person to person while telling Chanelle that the actual plan was Romeo, in the hope she wouldn’t play her Shot in the Dark. While Mike assured him it was all a ruse, Romeo started to get nervous and checked in with Drea to find out why things changed between them since the merge. Tori told him that Rocks told her that his name was floating around, leading to him telling Rocks what she said and well, his paranoia started to drive everyone insane. As such, Hai tried to flip the vote on him and while everyone was keen, Mike was very against it and desperate to keep the target on Chanelle. Since she has been nothing but shady to him all game.

At tribal council Jonathan spoke about the fact he was very firm about the people sitting out of the challenge being off limits in the vote. Tori mentioned that while she is safe, it is always hard to not be in the majority since they want to focus on making unified choices. Romeo told everyone they need to stop deluding themselves before Hai clapped back and spoke about not wanting to align with paranoid people. Like Romeo. Drea talked about how aligning with people is dangerous given their bad moves can reflect on you too, before Chanelle and Mike spoke about being unsure who they can trust and what is the right choice to make.

Talk then turned to being in a car and well, it was wild and confusing, though I live for Maryanne talking about holding on to the little middle seat to try and stay in the game. But yeah, who cares about cars, you know they are cursed in Survivor like pizza is on this blog. In any event, the tribe put the car talk into park and voted, with Romeo narrowly avoiding the boot as Chanelle was sent out of the game to become the Queen of the Jury.

As she arrived in the empty Ponderosa, I quickly congratulated her on a game well played. I mean, sure, she tanked it a little after her trip to ship-wheel island, but she still managed to navigate to the jury and most importantly, rule over it as the Queen. With that, I toasted to her success and filled up our royal cups with a fresh batch of Trufelle Howaioli.

At this point in my life, my mantra could easily be, if there is truffle in it, it is in me. Does it make sense? Not so much. But given how good this truffle aioli is, who cares? Creamy and packing a beautiful punch of truffle, I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

Trufelle Howaioli
Makes: 1-2 cups.

Ingredients
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp white truffle oil, plus more for drizzlin’
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup rosemary, finely chopped

Method
Pop everything in a jug or bowl. Stir until well combined. Adjust seasoning according to taste.\

Cover and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour before devouring, in a glass or with some Jud Beerza Battered Fries.


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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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Cheddar, Sour Cream and Orion Story Mash

RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Side, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race a new batch of queens were put through their paces while the pandemic raged on around them. But that sure as hell didn’t stop them from turning a show. From Symone charming from start to finish – and all the way to crown – to Mik’s iconic Snatch Game, Utica’s kindness saving her from the Pork Chop, Kandy living her best life, Lala Ri’s bag look and Rosé being, well, professional, the dolls served. Good and bad. But thankfully, with a new year, a new batch of dolls are ready to charm their way into our hearts.

First up was my dear Alyssa Hunter looking like the love child of Serena ChaCha and Rosé out of drag – in a swoon way – and like Lady Gaga as an old timey witch in American Horror Story when in drag. She was quickly joined by Bosco looking like Sasha Velour does the devil in drag, in the best way possible. And girl, she is very competitive and ready to fight. Up next was the iconic Kornbread giving Silky in the lip-sync episode levels of perfection – energetic, charming and so damn likeable. Up next was Willow Pill as an extra from Jawbreaker, giving totally vapid delight and ugh, I love her already. I mean, the shirt said ANGLE!

Though not as much as I love Kornbread’s shade for her comfort couture shoes.

Kerri Colby came in looking like an absolute angel – not angle – in full trans flag eleganza. And damn, she was ready to be the Aunty of the season with her good Judy, Kornbread. June Jambalaya was up next and once again, she has history with Kornbread and since she likens herself to Megan Thee Stallion and Phaedra Parks, you KNOW I have no choice but to stan. Rounding out the first group of queens with a screech was Orion Story, complete with an entry paragraph and looking like a star in boudoir glam.

The dolls were gagged by Ru’s arrival welcoming them to the competition and, you know, confirming that they are but half of the dolls to feature this season. And speaking of feature, they would immediately have to compete in the first mini challenge, posing for a photoshoot on the lip sync for the crown spinning wheel with the returning Bryce and Bruno of the Pit Crew who still make me swoon-o. Alyssa was up first and hit every damn angle while June managed to serve sex despite her nerves. Willow was up next serving fully demented and charmed Ru with her name. Orion went from glamour to smut, Bosco was fierce and focused while Kerri got a stunning shot despite nearly drowning in fabric while Kornbread and Ru had the best time ever with Kornbread spinning herself around the place.

Despite Ru’s early love for WIllow and Kornbread, it was ultimately Kerri who took out the win before Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be putting on a cheeky Charisma, Nerve and Talent Show to show off all of their mad skillz.

But before we could get to that, the dolls split up to find a workstation and get out of drag. With everyone gagged by Bosco and Willow’s transformation out of drag while Kornbread and June spoke for all of us by thirsting after Alyssa. Everyone turned their attention to Willow, questioning her age, which thankfully is something she is happy about, because she is ready to prove to them she is a star despite the fact they’re all underestimating her.

Oh and it adds nothing to the plot, but Kornbread convinced her new sisters that her talent would be eating hot dogs. And they believed her.

Ru dropped by to get to know the dolls with Kerri admitting her house name was inspired by Dynasty and that she is hoping to live up to the talent and showmanship of her family. Oh and she will be skipping her way through the first challenge. Literally. And again, literally, she learnt to skip at Shady Shores Elementary School. June was up next describing her looks as classy-ratchet to Ru, though when it comes to the talent show, she plans to perform an African dance. Orion admitted to being a shy reserved kid, though would be flipping the script and performing a comedy skit. Ru was still vibing with Willow Pill’s name before we learnt that she is a dear friend of Yvie Oddly’s before sharing that she has cystinosis, which is a kidney disease that causes problems with her eyes, throat and muscles. But most importantly, she described her talent as a lip sync, self-help hybrid. And again, I love her.

Oh and then Ru announced that Lizzo would be this week’s guest judge, delighting – and terrifying – her self-appointed #1 impersonator in L.A., Kornbread.

Elimination Day rolled around with Kornbread smudging her area before Alyssa shared she would be playing guitar, while Bosco will be Wagon Wheel Watusi-ing her way through a Burlesque. Kerri and Kornbread meanwhile were gabbing away while beating their mug, sharing how much they love each other and bonding over their traumatic experiences in the church. Which Kornbread dealt with by straight up farting on a priest like the damn icon she is.

CROWN KORNBREAD NOW.

The dolls were interrupted from beating their mugs by Lizzo who escaped the Green Room to give them some love and a cheeky pep talk. After she left, the dolls were fired up and ready to snatch the first win while all the girls continued to be confused about all things Willow. Which makes me sad because I love lil-low Willow already. 

Oh and then Ru performed a song from her new album and well, there were men in tight, white pants with their nips out, so I am happy. So we’ll let it slide, alright?

June Jambalaya opened up the talent show and while she slayed the performance, her headband kept falling over her face and you know Michelle will focus on that. Bosco was sultry as she stripped down, petal by petal, from her beautiful rose gown until she showed her rose bud. Alyssa confused Lizzo with her metal rocker performance and the dolls with the fact she was just air guitaring on an actual guitar. Kerri meanwhile was iconic, serving slutty schoolgirl as she lip synced before her skipping performance kicked into gear and just made me smile. Like Kornbread, just give her the damn crown, ok?

Orion was a trashy mess aerobics instructor and while I love that she went for something different, it went nowhere, until she joked about taking a massive dump which I obviously found hilarious. Kornbread meanwhile came out of the gate ready to make herself the frontrunner, nailing her performance to her own, hilarious, catchy song. Oh and she had a bag of groceries featuring a missing Merle Ginsberg on the milk carton. And that was before she even started eating her fried chicken necklace and intensely looking at the judges. Willow closed out the show and while her sisters were confused, her Enya lip sync around a bath before eating meatballs, tipping them in a bath and jumping in with a slice of toast was ICONIC.

And damn, did she finally have her sisters gagged.

On the Signature Drag runway, June served golden goddess realness while Bosco was a horny, black devil and Alyssa was a pageant-y, feathered delight. Kerri wore a stunning lion coat with a sexy bodysuit made of Ks. Orion was a red and white mushroom delight, complete with three titties. Kornbread meanwhile came out serving full Lizzo, serving eyes, face and swagger and I fucking love her. While Willow closed things out as a neon ugly-glamour mean girl.

June received praise for her performance while Michelle read her for not securing her headband and wearing control tops. Bosco’s performance was universally beloved for all that she did, while Alyssa was praised for doing something different, despite it being one note. Though the judges lived for her runway, despite the fact none of them understand who she is based on the variety she showed in the first episode. Kerri meanwhile received universal praise, despite the fact Ross wished she started skipping earlier and Michelle wanting her to lean into the stupid. Orion made Lizzo uncomfortable, and while the judges loved that she tried something different, they felt she needed more ‘funny’ in her skit. Michelle read Kornbread’s look for needing more polish, though everyone lived for her performance, none more so than Lizzo. Meanwhile Willow’s look was read for being weak, though they unanimously agreed that her talent was demented and PERFECT.

Backstage the dolls were gooped to finally be competing in the competition, talking about how wild it was to be on the mainstage. Kornbread was particularly thrilled to have made such an impression on Lizzo, while Bosco was thrilled that the judges got her. And to live up to her fellow Seattle queens, Jinkx and DeLa. Kerri meanwhile felt she would ultimately be safe which was enough for her in the first episode. The dolls all admitted that they were judging Willow for her entry look, though were gagged by how entertaining she was in her performance and praised her for being so talented as they gladly ate slice after slice of humble pie. 

Willow shared that during the performance, she didn’t think the judges were getting her and as such, got into her head and was so negative on the runway. Leading to Kornbread pointing out that she now sees her as her biggest competition and she needs to start believing in herself. June opened up about feeling like she messed up her shot by messing up some of the details. She spoke about not normally wearing tights, though worried about being judged for her body on TV and now regretting letting those fears win. Alyssa then brokedown about the pressure of feeling like she is performing for her people and didn’t want to let anyone down. Leading to a huge pep talk from all the girls AND, obviously, some flirting from Kornbread.

Orion meanwhile felt she got far and away the worst critiques and knew she’d be in the bottom, opening up that she was going to do an original song, though ran out of time due to life and as such, had to pull something together and was glad she got to show off her brand of weird. Which this time led to a pep talk from Bosco. Kornbread asked the dolls who they thought would be in the bottom with everyone kinda agreeding June will likely be joining Orion in the bottom, though Kerri assured them that because there are so few girls in the competition, the judges had to be harder on all of them and as such, they shouldn’t be hard on themselves if they do have to lip sync.

Ultimately Bosco and Willow Pill were sent to safety while Kornbread rightly snatched her first victory of the season. Kerri too was deemed safe, followed by Alyssa Hunter who narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving June and Orion to lip sync for their lives to Water Me by Lizzo. June connected with the lyrics and gave all the Lizzo swag while Orion gave campy, comedy and despite being charming and putting on a hell of a show, there was no way June was going home with that fire. As such, poor Orion became the first doll to exit the competition.

Poor Orion was heartbroken to be the first one to leave but I pulled out my old faithful pep talk, reminding her that first boots are always more memorable than the girls that go in the few weeks after and as such, she now joins the legendary group. I mean, fierce Broc-ally, Kahmora Hall, Jaymes Mansfield? There is enough talent in this group to fill an entire All Stars season!

With that wonderful reminder, Orion was ready and invigorated to go out and take on the world again. As such, we laughed, we cried – did I mention I’m a dear friend and the talent show was based around me? Because it was – and then sat down to a big, comforting bowl of Cheddar, Sour Cream and Orion Story Mash.

While I know it may feel like this isn’t an epic enough meal to be dishing out to someone post-boot, I counter that this is honestly the perfect salve. Cheese? Check. Potato? Check. Punch Flavours? Check. I mean, c’mon, sign me up.

Enjoy!

Cheddar, Sour Cream and Orion Story Mash
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4-6 washed potatoes, cut into 2cm dice
salt and pepper, to taste
4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
¼ cup sour cream, plus extra if required
½ cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Pop the cut potato in a large pot and rinse with water. Fill with enough water to cover with about 2cm to cover, salt like the dead sea and pop on the hob over medium-high heat. Cook for about five-ten minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Drain, return to the hot pot over the hob with the heat off and leave for the moisture to evaporate for a minute. Season to taste, add the spring onions and sour cream and mash until the potatoes are smooth. Stir aggressively, fold through the cheese and return to the lowest heat possible and cook, stirring, for a minute.

Then devour, piping hot, with your favourite protein. Or, you know, in a bowl.


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Elektra French Onion Gem Bake

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

Previously on Drag Race UK, 12 new dolls arrived in the Werk Room ready to slay the game and join the pantheon of UK Ru girls. To help the judges get to know them, the queens were tasked with serving two looks on the runway – one selling home town and the other, their favourite things. Ru gagged the dolls by making Victoria and Krystal lip sync for the win with the latter ultimately taking out the first victory of the season. On the flipside, Elektra and Anubis found themselves in the bottom with Anubis following in the footsteps of her fellow Brighton queen Joe Black, going out as the first boot.

The dolls returned to the Werk Room, gassed and shell shocked to have lost their first sister. And rightly acknowledged that Brighton is officially a cursed city for Drag Race UK. After Elektra climbed on to the desk to wipe off the message, we learnt that Victoria disappeared to see a doctor about a knee injury from the lip sync for the win. As the dolls kikied, Krystal shared how thrilled she was to take out the first win while Elektra vowed to never bottom again. Before clarifying, on the show. Victoria thankfully returned and explained while her knee was busted, at this stage, she would still be able to continue in the competition as long as she takes it easy   the next couple of days. Oh and fun fact, Kitty’s tits are as heavy as Krystal’s badge.

The next day Krystal was feeling her oats even more, confident that it won’t be her last victory in the competition. While Veronica was left to wonder how someone with such a tiny head could also have such a big one? The dolls congratulated River on her charming runway performance saving herself from the bottom, while Victoria told them that while she has to stay off her feet as much as possible, she will still turn it out. So beware.

They were interrupted by Ru, who arrived and put Krystal to task playing a game called ‘Rupermarket Sweeps’ where she would find superlatives amongst grocery items before handing them out to her fellow queens. First up, she identified Victoria as the biggest competition – denying she was threatened and only gave it to her due to her size – followed by River as having the worst taste, Ella as the trade of the season and Veronica as out of date. But not to worry Veronica, she thinks Elektra will be the next one to go.

With that out of the way – along with the casual fat shaming of Victoria – Ru announced that this week, the dolls would be put to work at Ru’s new fitness business – Dragoton. Choriza, Vanity, Elektra Fence were tasked with leading a spin class, Krystal, River, Veronica and Kitty will be working out their (exercise) balls, leaving Charity, Victoria, Scarlett and Ella to do a little mummy and me class. But always making it drag, obviously.

As the dolls split up into their groups, Veronica read Krystal for being a bit too harsh in her reads but encouraged everyone to put it all aside and embrace the fact they are all vastly different and make that an advantage for their werk out routines. Ella meanwhile felt typecast as a yummy mummy/trade of the season and was confident she and Victoria will lead the group, given they are trained dancers. Elektra was so excited by the challenge she was spitting on herself, while Choriza was just going to wing it and lean into the comedy given she was paired with two killer dancers. And has zero skills.

Mama Ru made her ruturn, immediately making Kitty nervous about how to act. As she watched on quietly, Veronica and River were shady about Krystal in their kiki with the latter admitting that she is ready to go with the pose every week if it takes her to the end. Kitty finally found her voice, and suggested she should have been the trade of the season and had Ru in hysterics. Which made her tell Ru to shut up, essentially. Oh and Krystal was nervous about the challenge. Up next were team yummy mummy, with Victoria doubling down on being a legit threat and was glad that she had the girls on her side, before we learnt Charity’s accent game is weak at best. Rounding out the chats, Choriza was charming as always while Elektra vowed to turn it out this week, given it plays to her strengths and ugh, that always makes me nervous. Very, very, very, very nervous.

As Ru left, the queens ventured to the mainstage to meet Oti Mabuse to get the choreography down. Or in Victoria’s case, she was DTF and well, relatable. Oti is gorgeous. Team Bike were up first and well, poor Choriza was immediately confused but as she suggested, she bought the personality. And more importantly, she vowed to ride it harder than a dick. While poor Elektra was just wishing they got her a toddler’s bike. The yummy mummies were next with my favourite twink Scarlet not sure what was happening, while Ella was just glad to be guaranteed not landing in the bottom since everyone else was falling apart. Rounding out rehearsal was Veronica in lycra with her mick out while River was terrified about keeping up with the tempo. And relatably, Krystal can’t figure out her left from right while Veronica gave her a peptalk to keep her from spiralling from nerves.

Elimination Day rolled around with Krystal still nervous while Victoria admitted that her knee had blown up and she was struggling through the pain. Though vowed to fight through. Kitty and Charity kikied as they got ready, admitting that they are ready to push outside of their comfort zones. Victoria and Krystal meanwhile caught up with the former suggesting they should clear the air, with Krystal immediately offering a genuine apology and admitting that she looks up to her and doesn’t ever want to bring her down. Victoria admitted that she has struggled with eating disorders and has been every size under the sun and as such, she has finally accepted it and is happy and healthy but found Krystal’s comments were triggering.

Ugh, I love Victoria so much and I’m so glad she was mature enough to have the conversation and work through it. Elektra then opened up about how much she hated her freckles growing up, though her boyfriend helped her learn to love them. She then opened up the floor for the rest of the dolls to share their insecurities, with Vanity talking about being told that she is too dark. And uggghhhhh, hearing them all be so vulnerable with each other was so empowering and gorgeous.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined on the judges’ table by Oti Mabuse for the debut werk outs of Dragoton. While I have no idea what was happening most of the time, I do know Choriza stole the show in the bike group with her unique and charming brand of ridiculous. Team Ball Busted were hilarious and a little bit frightening, with everyone getting a chance to shine. While poor Victoria was stuck performing on a stool with the yummy mummies, she was still charming enough to keep up with Ella.

On the Red Carpet Showstoppers Runways, Choriza was stunning in a spotted icy blue flamenco number. Elektra too was sparkly with an awkwardly matt black split while Vanity was stunning in a sheer lilac number. Kitty was full glamour in a Marilyn inspired gown, Krsytal was perfect – aside from the tits – in a green dress, River looked her version of glam in a purple number, complete with a few of her signature points while Veronica was inspired by our KYLIE in a frilly, saffron gown. Charity was a demented orange, fringed, Gatsby’s inspired number, Ella was an absolute peach in peach, while Scarlett was pale and perfect in a scarlett gown while Victoria desperately just tried to hide the fact she was wearing sneakers, while looking gorgeous.

Choriza, River, Ella, Scarlett and Victoria were sent to safety leaving the remaining queens to hear from the judges. And well, poor Elektra was once again read for filth for going out too hard in the performance and ended up looking out of place. And once again was read for a subpar runway, looking more wizard than red carpet. Vanity was read for having a wig that didn’t make sense, while Oti was more concerned about the lack of cohesion between them in the performance. Though they loved her outfit. Kitty was praised for the madness she brought to the work out and for serving too completely different looks. Once again, the judges ate up everything Krystal was serving though Michelle challenged her to start showing more of herself. Veronica too received universal praise for knocking it out of the park while making sure everyone in the team looked good. Charity meanwhile was praised for stepping outside of her comfort zone, though they felt her look felt like it was wearing her.

Backstage Victoria was thrilled to be able to sit down, which was a sentiment echoed by Scarlett before Ella shared how disappointed she felt to not be a top. River too was disappointed to not land in the top, though accepted she was the weakest in her team. While Choriza was just glad her personality kept her safe. The tops and bottoms joined them with the safe girls shocked that Krystal was in the top and while she agreed, Veronica cut in and told her to believe in herself given she listened and took advice and she needs to embrace her performer side. Veronica and Kitty shared that they too would be on the top with her. Charity meanwhile was feeling like she was in the bottom and was emotionally prepared to be lip syncing. Vanity too was feeling heartbroken to be in the bottom, though was ready to show the judges what she is made of. 

While poor Elektra was just nervous about facing off against her, given she slays.

Ultimately Krystal narrowly took out her second victory over Veronica while Kitty too was sent to safety. Charity Kase meanwhile narrowly avoided the bottom two, leaving Elektra’s fears to come true as she faced off against Vanity to M People’s Movin On Up. And damn, did the dolls live up to the song. Vanity was splitting and flipping around the state, Elektra was bouncing into splits and careening wildly with acrobatics. I mean, the girls came to play and ugh, what a lip sync! Elektra was break dancing and playing air flute before death dropping off the front of the stage. But tragically, her track record appeared to be the deciding factor as Vanity narrowly took out the win while Elektra found herself becoming the second queen eliminated.

As soon as she exited the stage, I screamed, started crying and ran over to hug her, reminding her that she is so damn talented and such an icon. You see, Elektra and I first met each other a few years ago at a casting. Given I am continually half a foot shorter than the general public, I was immediately taken by Elektra because she made me feel tall. Beyond that petty reason to start a friendship, I was quickly won over by her kindness and as such, I was so glad to be on hand to pay her back with a piping hot Elektra French Onion Gem Bake.

Tangy, creamy and oh so sweet, this dish is near perfection. Then you add a bunch of crispy, gorgeous little gems and well, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Elektra French Onion Gem Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
600g potato gems, cooked per the recipe or packet instructions
1 ½ cups milk
1 packet French onion soup mix
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
½ cup sour cream
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp chives, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the milk and soup mix in a jug. Meanwhile, pop the butter in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Once foamy, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for a further two minutes, stirring, until the flouriness is gone. Remove from the heat, whisk in the milk mixture and sour cream before returning to the heat and cook for a couple of minutes.

Transfer the bubbly liquid to a 20x30cm baking dish, sprinkle with some cheese and top with a single layer of gems. Sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese and transfer to the oven to bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes, before topping with chives and serving joyously. Like a champion. And devouring.


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Wai Chimichangas

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Poultry, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 18 icons fell by the wayside and only six remained in the game. As one of only two Brawns left in the game, Dani continued her reward streak by winning the ultimate spa reward, where she finally convinced Hayley to flip on George. Before any further discussions could take place, they ventured to the immunity challenge where Wai came from behind and upset everyone to win immunity. And by upset, absolutely delighted as she screamed and cried from the shock of it all like a pure icon. We learnt that Hayley and Wai continued to play the middle, debating between the two remaining pairs to join with to get to the top four. Flick meanwhile found an idol, giving an edge to the Brawns so she held on to it before she and Dani discovered Hayley was not in fact with them and as such, Dani was booted from the game.

The next day Wai and Flick were counting down the sleeps left in the outback while the girls spoke about how cold it is getting overnight. Talk turned to the champagne reward with Flick admitting that she couldn’t shut up in the hot tub, giddy from the excitement, champagne or both. Meanwhile Hayley shared with us that she stuck with the Brains at the last tribal council because Dani and Flick said that they would never vote for Cara, Wai and George at the final tribal and since the former duo have the most friends on the jury, getting rid of them was her priority. Hayley and George caught up and reaffirmed their loyalty to each other, agreeing that like Dani, Flick needs to go otherwise she destroys them all at final tribal.

Speaking of Flick, she was feeling super lonely being the last Brawn standing though given she has a hidden immunity idol, she is at least guaranteed final four. Which is a problem for the Brains, given they are committed to voting her out and no other option. So, someone is about to get burnt.

While Flick knew that she was safe for one night, she realised that she had to plan longer term and as such, pulled Wai aside. Immediately the duo agreed that going to the final three with Hayley makes the most sense for both of their games, given no one can beat the unbreakable Cara and George duo. Wai and Cara caught up while hunting for supplies, with the former admitting that she doesn’t want to play by the rules anymore and wants to make the game her own. And well, part of that includes taking out George as the biggest threat while also calling him out for bordering on mean from time to time.

Next up in the personal recaps was George who was proud of his game, narrowly avoiding the boot week after week and making the biggest moves. He shared that his biggest priority is to make the right choice to get to the end and win, rather than make friends. As such, George caught up with Hayley and shared that his only shot at winning is against Hayley and as such, they need each other. Which is the only real pitch to keep her from flipping on him, so well done George.

My love Jonathan arrived for the final five immunity challenge where they would have to face off crawling across a pole to retrieve sandbags which they would use to knock off blocks, use said blocks to knock off a key and then the key to release a grappling hook. And what happens with the grappling hook, you ask? Well, they use that to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle.

Obviously Hayley and Flick got out to an early lead while poor Wai struggled to cross the log. As the other four started tossing their bags at the blocks, George opted to press pause and help Wai out so they could all continue on in the challenge together. Cara overtook the others and was first to start with the blocks, but was quickly joined by the rest of the tribe. Cara was first to make it to the grappling hook and jagged her puzzle pieces before anyone else joined her. As Cara worked through the puzzle, Hayley quickly won all of her pieces and joined her while the other three languished at the back of the pack. While Cara slowly pulled away, she discovered that one of her pieces was wrong as Hayley closed the gap, before George joined them. But it was all for nought as Hayley figured out the last piece and quickly secured another individual immunity win.

The tribe returned to camp with George thrilled by the outcome of the challenge, given they just needed Flick to not win. As such the Brains were comfortable with piling all the votes on Flick, with George taking it one step further and encouraging her to go find a hidden immunity idol, completely unaware that she already has one. As such, Flick got to work pretending to wander around camp looking for an idol so the Brains don’t get spooked and ruin her plan to get rid of George with her one vote.

Flick reflected on her journey throughout the season, glad that her social game has gotten her to this point. Particularly since she has had to fight against her grief for the last week. Sadly Flick was caught by George sitting quietly by the billabong and as such, deduced that she already found the idol and as such, he needed to switch things up. He quickly ran back to camp and found Cara, sharing his suspicions and suggesting that the two of them stack their votes on Wai instead to guarantee one of them isn’t idolled from the ground. Which is a great plan and shows his killer instincts for the game, but damn, don’t let me lose Wai.

While Cara was all on board with the plan, solely because of her trust in George, she was nervous about splitting the vote without looping Hayley in and thus potentially burning a bridge. After a brief back and forth, Cara put her foot down, very concerned about leaving Hayley out this close to the end and telling George she isn’t just going to blindly follow him and either way they go is risky.

Speaking of said risks, Flick pulled Hayley aside and pointed out that the alliance of four is barrelling towards a 2-2 tie and as such, one of the duos needs her to make it to the final three. Which is classic, logical survivor. But Hayley said that she was only on board if Wai was willing to flip. Which she obviously was, despite the fact George wasted time in the challenge to help her along.

At tribal council Hayley spoke about how grateful she is to be wearing the immunity necklace this close to the end. Wai meanwhile was grateful that George helped her in the immunity challenge, showing a side of him that not many people are seeing in the game. George put it down to just doing the right thing by his friends. As Flick spoke about being out of options, George started whispering to Cara about sticking with the safe vote and not splitting. George admitted that he told Flick that she wasn’t going to make it to Day 45 while Flick gloriously pretended to be down and out.

Jonathan asked Flick what happens when she is gone with Flick suggesting a girls alliance could form to oust George, otherwise they will split down the line of duos with the added complication of Hayley probably wanting to sit next to George at final tribal council. Hayley then suggested that maybe she has an idol and this is all a ploy before Wai admitted this would be a perfect time to leverage Flick however if you don’t pull it off correctly, you risk yourself going home. Hayley was nervous that this vote was make or break for each of them, while George just cautioned everyone to err on the side of caution.

With that, the tribe voted before Flick gagged them all by playing her idol and despite wanting to be the sole vote to finally get rid of George, he and Cara stuck with their plan and loaded two votes on poor Queen Wai who joyously exited the game.

Sweet Wai was an absolute delight as she arrived at the Jury Villa, equal parts disappointed to be out of the game and thrilled by how well she did despite being the obvious first boot. As soon as she saw me she let out the same squeal she did upon winning immunity, thrilled to be united with her dear friend. You see, Wai and I are part of the same literary circles and have been best friends for years and years. Which is why I knew that after 44 days in the bush, she would need a big plate of Wai Chimichangas to help recover.

I know I say this a lot, but I really love Mexican food. Even if my versions err more closely to the Tex Mex side of the equation. In any event, these spicy little numbers are near perfection – hot, rich, earthy and sweet, by the time you add some fresh avo and lime, you’ve got yourself a new favourite meal.

Enjoy!

Wai Chimichangas
Serves: 2 famished friends or 4 regular peeps.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushin’
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ cup tomato paste
½ cup chicken stock
400g tin diced tomatoes
4 cups shredded roast chicken
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup sour cream, plus more for serving
2 cups refried beans
8 flour tortillas
1 ½ cups Mexican cheese, grated
Lady Guagamole, to serve
small handful coriander leaves, to serve
lime wedges, to serve
hot sauce, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onions for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further minute. Stir through the tomato paste before adding the tomatoes, stock and chicken. Season and bring to the boil before reducing to a low and simmering until most of the liquid is reduced. Then stir through the sour cream.

To assemble, place your tortillas on the bench and divide the refried beans between them, smearing in the middle to leave ‘clean’ space around the edges. Add some of the chicken mixture – about half a cup – before a sprinkle of cheese. Fold in the sides and roll like a burrito before transferring to a lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat the process until down.

Brush each chimichanga with some oil and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve immediately slathered with guac, sour cream, coriander, hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. Whatever you prefer.

Then, obvi, devour.


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Chicken Kezadilla McGee

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Dani and Simon were enjoying holding all the power over on Brawns. However after the Brains evened things up thanks to Hayley, Dani and Chelsea grew tired of Simon’s power specifically, convincing the Brains to work with them to throw the challenge and boot him from the game. While everyone was easily convinced, Dani pushed hard to get the tribe to do her bidding, making it clear it was her move. This annoyed Hayley, who decided she needed to be knocked down a peg and instead threw some votes on Dani as a backup to guarantee Flick is safe should Simon play his idol/s. Ultimately Simon was blindsided, zaddy king, while Dani was left back at camp, irate to have received some votes.

After tribal council Hayley, Flick and the Brains were thrilled by the outcome of tribal council, while Dani called out Hayley for casting some votes against her as a back-up, knowing that if the blindside failed, she would have gone home. While Dani continued to rage, identifying Hayley as the next to go, Queen Hayley just calmly explained that she couldn’t afford to have Flick go home given they are tight and as such, loaded some votes on Dani as a back-up. Simple as that. And ugh, I love how businesslike she is.

The next day the tribes ventured straight to Jonathan where Flick shaded Simon for being blindsided by his own arrogance. Dani tried to sell herself as the mastermind of the move, while George was confident that the Brains were peaking. Particularly since Brains and Brawns are no more, as the tribes are merged. With that, the final 13 dropped their buffs, grabbing a new stunning dark teal number – finally mixing things up – and were gagged for their first individual reward challenge.

Everyone would need to dig up sacks and then use a see-saw to land their sacks on poles, with the first person to land two scoring the first choice at the merge buffet. With everyone that comes after them getting the dregs, including hidden items, a boiled egg and a phone call home. Gerald, Baden, Emmett, Laura and Emmett were first to start shooting their sacks, with Emmett first to land a bag before the rest of the tribe joined them. 

George landed a sack, quickly followed by his second, immediately snatching a burger from the feast. Hayley finished second and snatched herself a steak and beer, allowing her and George enough time to catch up on the state of their tribes. Despite being the last to get her sacks, Chelsea was next and jagged herself a phone call home. Dani picked a baked potato, Wai went for a covered item of pancakes while Cara lucked out with some donuts. Emmett got a surprise jar of lollies, Baden got a hidden boiled egg, Laura grabbed surprise pizza and wine, while Andrew got smashed avo, Flick picked a bowl of rice leaving Kez and Gerald to fight it out for the banana and milk.

With the challenge over Chelsea finally gave her boyfriend a call, breaking down as they caught up and the tribe cutely yelled out to Jimmy in the background. And well, Chelsea is now fired up and ready to fight for the win.

The tribe finally ventured to the merge camp where Kez was thrilled to be reunited with her gal pals, while Wai was shocked to have made it this far while Emmett tried to bring the remaining Brawns back together. While they technically had a numbers disadvantage, Emmett was confident that given George and Cara have always felt on the bottom of the Brains, he could take control of the merge tribe and well, game. And given how elaborately he spoke about felling the brains, it doesn’t feel like things will go well for him since pride, you know, comes before the fall.

Talk turned to what to call the tribe, with Emmett suggesting ‘Love’, while George wanted to call it ‘Queen Elizabeth’ or ‘Unity,’ which Dani thankfully shut down. Sadly however she didn’t kill his next choice, ‘Fire’. With that, the Fire Tribe were born and Dani got to work telling all the Brawns just how dangerous Hayley is and that she needs to be the next to go.

Meanwhile Gerald tried to charm George with some union poetry, while Hayley calmly charmed Laura into bringing all the Brains back together. Which Hayley desperately needed since she is at a massive disadvantage with the rest of the tribe locked together against her. But Hayley being Hayley, she realised she needed just two more at the next vote, so spoke to Flick and Gerald about joining the Wai, Baden, Andrew, Hayley and Laura alliance. Hayley reminded Flick that the other alliance are in control of the game and have compelling cases to win, and as such, she and Gerald need to join with the desperate people to make a move and take control, boosting their own resumes.

Flick caught up with Chelsea, who quickly shat on Hayley’s pitch – obviously – before returning to Hayley and assuring her that she is all in, but is worried about how exactly she will be able to pull Gerald to their side. WIth that, Hayley quickly disappeared to try and come up with plan B through Z. She caught up with her solid five to desperately try and think of said plans, while the other eight confidently laughed it up back at camp. But given that Hayley still has an idol and is ready to play to take one of her rivals out, I don’t think they should let their guards down.

Again, pride. Falls. All that jazz.

George meanwhile was off on his own, trying to play both sides. First things first, he pulled Emmett aside to talk about booting Hayley due to her scrambling. However Emmett shared that he’d prefer to flush out the idol instead and get rid of her next. As such, George went for a walk to the well with Hayley, Laura and Baden, pointing out that he would rather jump back to the Brains and as such, will get the information to ensure Hayley plays her idol at the correct time. And you know, destroy the hopes and dreams of the Brawns.

With so much scrambling already complete, the Fire tribe joined Jonathan for the first immunity challenge where they would each have to hold a bar above their heads to keep a ball balanced in a gutter. Last one standing taking out victory. Gerald was first to drop, followed by Wai and Hayley. This made Dani feel confident enough to drop, followed by Laura and Cara. Kez, Flick and Baden dropped out in quick succession, leaving Chelsea, Emmett, Andrew and GEORGE to battle it out for the first individual immunity of the season. Tragically he was the next to drop, followed by Chelsea – who got too confident with her shoulder presses – before Emmett desperately tried to get Andrew to take a deal. Before Andrew dropped after a valiant fight, handing Emmett immunity. And further solidifying the target on his back.

Back at camp Emmett’s confidence was at an all time high, thrilled to survive the first merge tribal council and you know, stack the odds in the Brawns favour. That being said he was still pretty intense about keeping the Brawns strong, with Flick clearly irked by his attitude. That being said, the group stood firm and locked in their vote for Laura, but are planning to make Hayley nervous enough to burn her idol. To solidify the Brawn majority, Emmett shared his lolly jar with his allies while George charmed them with his Labor caucus shtick.

And then he took all the information to Hayley, in exchange for she and Brains voting out the person he wants without blowing his cover as a double agent. Well, after George pulled Emmett aside to assure him that Hayley is panicked and he advised she definitely play her idol for herself. He then approached Dani and lied that she is the Brains target, all while Kez spotted an oddly clean rock at the edge of the billabong. Before she wadded over and pulled out her second hidden immunity idol, right in front of George who was well and truly over the Brawn confidence stepping over into arrogance.

Kez caught up with Flick and Gerald to let them know about her idol, while George focused his attention on forcing the Brains to throw their votes on Kez instead and burn both idols in a single tribal council. As such, he ran to find the old Brains and quickly told them about Kez and that they would be voting for Kez but are to pitch things for Dani, while playing the idol on Laura and saving her. Which isn’t nearly as confusing as that sentence made it sound. This won’t be another Cara/Daini situation, I promise.

The Brains meanwhile spread the information around, though Hayley wasn’t exactly confident whether she could trust George enough to follow through with his plans. And while she searched her brain to try and find a way this isn’t also the best move for George, she struggled and as such, felt like it had to be a good idea to follow his lead.

At tribal council Emmett’s confidence was in full force while Baden admitted that despite the apparent numbers advantage for the Brains, a couple of them had sadly jumped ship. George tried to give non answers to keep everyone happy and zen, without spooking anything. Kez admitted the vote is split in half, but she would be voting for trust while Dani was just straight up confident. Speaking of Emmett, he said the Brains five are the biggest threat to him because he’s never tested trust with them before Hayley tried to boss the situation and point out that she has the hidden immunity idol and as such, won’t be going home despite their confidence.

George implored both sides to stick to the plan while Kez agreed they all just needed to power on ahead. Emmett doubled down, assuring Jonathan that everyone in his alliance is on the same page and ready to move forward. Flick meanwhile knows that the game is about deceit, but at this stage needs to stay focused on trust. At this stage. Laura reminded everyone that she has correctly played an idol in the past, while Hayley agreed it is hard to do but they need to keep it random to try and outwit the Brawn majority. Kez continued to preach loyalty and admitted that she is not worried, before Hayley reminded everyone only one person wins this game and as such, sticking with a super majority is kinda the worst possible idea for all of them.

With that the tribe voted, Hayley listened to George and played her idol for Laura, ultimately negating eight votes cast against her. This made the Brawns very nervous, though poor Kez wasn’t nervous enough to play her idol. After the eight Laura votes were read, the rest were split between Dani and Kez with Queen Kez ultimately booted from the game before she passed her idol off to Flick – is this legal?! – after Wai asked her to leave some pants for her to wear like a successful Angelina/Natalie jacket moment.

Like Simon before her, Kez is just such a delightfully fun person, that she didn’t let a blindside get her down as she happily arrived at Loser Lodge. I pulled her in for a hug and told her how gutted I was to see her go, though grateful that she would no doubt appear on an All Stars soon. And while it seems to have become my go-to platitude, do you honestly think Simon and Kez aren’t locks to return?!

Though maybe that is because I know Kez so well. You see, we first met about five years ago on the bodybuilding circuit – I also trained Teresa Guidice, which is another story for another time – and we just became the best of friends. Mainly because she is a damn boss and I have a passion for riding coattails. Given she lived in the bush for four weeks with only bikepants, I knew that she would need something fiery to warm her up post boot and as such, quickly plated her a Chicken Kezadilla McGee or two.

Like Kez, a quesadilla is the ‘fun one’ of Mexican cuisine and well, this is quite a stellar one at that. A little bit spicy – to quote Daini – dripping in sour cream and paired with a whack of citrus and a tonne of cheese, this is near perfection. Like my Queen Kez.

Enjoy! 

Chicken Kezadilla McGee
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
800g chicken thighs, diced
4 chipotle chillies in Adobo Sauce
400g can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
8 large tortillas
1-2 cups Lady Guagamole
1-2 cups Pico de Vincent Gallo
½ cup sour cream
jack cheese, to taste
1 lime, cut into eighths

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and once hot, saute the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the chicken and cook, stirring intermittently for a further five minutes, or until browned. Add the chipotles and diced tomatoes, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season and remove from heat.

To assemble, place about ¼-½ cup of the chicken on each tortilla and spread over half, while spreading guac on another half. Divide pico de gallo between the tortillas, followed by sour cream and a generous heap of cheese. Fold in half to form a semicircle.

To cook, brush a large griddle with oil and place it over high heat. Once scorching, reduce to medium-low and one at a time, cook each quesadilla for a couple of minutes on each side, or until crisp and cooked through.

Remove from heat, squeeze with some lime juice and devour while piping hot.


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Chickly Caliente Burrito

Main, Poultry, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 4, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on All Stars, 13 queens made their triumphant returns to the Drag Race stage. Like us, they learnt that there would be a game within a game this year but it was quickly glossed over and forgotten. In the Variety Show Scarlet somehow only bubbled to safe, Yara shook her titties to victory, Ra’Jah sewed a dress in a minute, Trinity bombed her stand-up and Serena sang about her wig line. Given everyone was pretty damn good, Serena and Trinity landed in the bottom, meaning Yara’s tittie shaking meant she could select who should go should she beat the lip sync assassin. While she opted to vote out the threat, Coco won the lip sync and poor Serena became the first boot.

The queens returned to the Werk Room with Trinity grateful to have survived the first elimination before Ra’Jah counted out all the votes. We learnt that Serena was unanimously booted from the competition, as Trinity thanked the girls for rallying around her and believing in her, making her feel all warm and loving. That is until Yara announced that she actually voted for Trinity to leave, which Yara said wasn’t a personal decision. Which really annoyed Trinity and made Yara nervous that she will be viewed as a little less congenial this season and instead, might be a little darker.

The next day things were far less stressful as the queens found Serena’s message, wisely encouraging them to buy one of her wigs. Ra’Jah meanwhile asked the dolls to identify the trade of the season, with Eureka saying it was probably her. Which Ginger agreed with, given she would love to trade Eureka out for someone else. Jan meanwhile was feeling her oats, which Jiggly did not feel. Eureka pointed out it would probably be Trinity, given she has the sense of danger Jiggly said was required. But given she was wearing a brooch, Silky called bullshit on TKB being a legitimate danger to anyone.

Ru interrupted the vigorous debate, arriving to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the girls would be throwing a cheeky little Blue Ball. Category 1 is Blue Betta Werk, dedicated to blue collar workers, Blue Jean Baby in honour of denim and Blue Ball Bonanza, which the girls need to design using random blue items dumped in the Werk Room, this time sans a buried Art Simone, despite her literally having blue hair.

As soon as Ru departed, the girls started fighting for the blue materials, while Eureka stood back and decided to just run with whatever dregs are left over when they are all done. Jan was opting to re-do the concept she did for the Ball Ball, with Scarlet suggesting that she doesn’t do that and instead trying something new. Jiggly meanwhile was freaking out, given she bombed both of the design challenges in her first season and the only materials left on her table were complete and utter junk. At the other end of the spectrum was Ra’Jah who was feeling confident, despite the fact she went home on a sewing challenge in her original season. Sonique tried to give her a pep talk thinking she was down but Ra’Jah explained she just needed to verbalise it and move on and damn, I love their vibes this season.

Yara meanwhile was living her best life, kikiing with the queens and being stupid while not even touching a sewing machine. You see, her plan was to wait and see what everyone else was making and once they were done, just make something better. 

Ru returned to check in on the girls, with Eureka talking about how much she has grown since her last season and was confident that her craftiness will help her turn a decent look in the third category. Jiggly spoke about how zen she is after coming out as trans and how much better she can now approach the competition, despite not being the most confident designer. Ra’jah meanwhile spoke about how she has finally chilled out and is no longer insecure, ready to take on the world.

Elimination Day arrived with Kylie ready to give the three bluest balls Ru has ever seen. Yara meanwhile was busy getting ready as a construction worker for the first category, though was still hiding her third look from everyone else. Driving Eureka and Jan mad as they wanted to find out what she was planning. Silky was hoping to work her way to the top, A’Keria couldn’t find her scissors and Jiggly was hoping to finally serve a slutty San Tropez dress.

Talk turned to the girls’ strategies, with Eureka wanting to see if they were all on the same page while Trinity alluded to the fact it will be obvious who is in the bottom just by looking at their outfits and they should go from there. Like her last season, Ginger said she would be voting with integrity and will vote for people she can stand behind. Jiggly brought up the fact that she has a lot of friends in the competition and she worried that at the end of the day, those relationships will come into play at some point.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judging panel by the icon herself, Big Freedia. On the Blue Betta Werk runway, Ra’Jah was stunning as a sexy project manager on the construction site, Kylie was a sexy-street carpenter, Eureka was a glorious crossing guard, Jan was Disney mechanic, Jiggly was stunning taking out the trash while Silky was a sparkly milk maiden. Scarlet served buzzsaw bombshell, A’Keria was a comedy welder, Pandora went from lunch lady to sexy waitress, Yara rocked the bouncy titties on the construction site, Ginger went with Mario realness and poor Trinity did the weaker version of Eureka’s look.

When it came to Blue Jean Baby, Ra’Jah wore the sexiest Canadian tuxedo, Kylie channeled Christina Aguilera and honoured her trans roots, Eureka was a gowned delight, Jan worse a structural star denim number, Jiggly was a sexy skater girl, Silky was a fringed cowgirl, Scarlet was American trash in the best way possible, A’Keria was a sexy, cut out dream while Pandora gave us all the Dolly we could dream, Yara channeled Shakira, Ginger was delightful in a chambray jumpsuit while Trinity gave us the sexiest disco diva.

For the final category, Ra’Jah was perfection in a synched gorgeous gown, Kylie gave sexy beach realness, Eureka looked ready to compete for Junior Miss Grand Supreme, Jan slayed her glow-up in the Ball Ball, Jiggly was tragically a mess, Silky dressed in and looked like a doona, Scarlet was gorgeous in a shimmering fishtail gown and A’Keria was a plastic delight, though it didn’t give her the best shape. Pandora was a delight in a blue ribbon gown despite the lack of shape, while Yara was lost in the streamers at a prom, despite making a decent gown. Ginger was stunning in a blue trench, while Trinity finally nailed it in a Cinderella inspired gown.

Jan, Silky, Scarlet, Pandora, Ginger and Trinity were sent to safety and ventured backstage to untuck and grab their drinks. Scarlet shared her disappointment to be safe yet again as was Jan, given she only used hot glue. The girls agreed Eureka and Ra’Jah would be in the top, with the latter the best shot at taking out victory. When Trinityspoke about being nervous about doing bad, she and Scarlet had beef after the latter said that they would clearly have put in her the bottom if she was bad, given that’s literally how it works. Ginger shared that she was concerned about Jiggly, though admitted that Yara did bomb her first two looks. Despite turning the final look.

Talk turned to Jan’s grandfather passing away from COVID and how he was the person that always embraced her talent and as such, she was ready to turn it and have some fun for him. Talk turned to how they should vote, with Trinity saying they should focus on track record while Silky wanted to focus on effort. Trinity said that she was both fangirling over the queens but also saw them as competition, she then apologised to Scarlet for snapping at her and they all came together and ugh, I love the dolls.

Meanwhile on the Main Stage, Ra’Jah received universal praise for each and every look of the ball. Sonique was praised for the first two looks, and the judges were glad the last look didn’t read as messy. Eureka’s first look was beloved, she was praised for doing something different with denim and the fact she gave so much structure to everything. Jiggly’s first look was praised, the second was read as off the rack and the last one, tragically, was read for being a hot mess. A’Keria was praised for giving comedy, despite not screaming welder. She was then read for being basic but praised for having vision. And poor Yara, was read for being a little too much and confusing. Which is totally her brand, right?

Ultimately Ra’Jah took out her very first victory ever, with Kylie and Eureka sent to safety. As was A’Keria who narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving Jiggly and Yara up for elimination.

The girls reconvened backstage with Ra’Jah giddy to share her first victory with the rest of the crew, before pointing out that Yara and Jiggly are in the bottom this week. Ra’Jah pulled Yara aside first, with Yara not looking forward to having to plead her case. As such, she didn’t really do it, but assured her that she will well and truly bring it over the next weeks and will be true to herself. Meanwhile poor Jiggly broke down with the other girls, disappointed that the one challenge she was worried about came up in week two

Ginger was heartbroken about potentially having to send her friend home, before the girls traded places as Yara cried with the other girls. She was overwhelmed to go from the top to the bottom, not wanting to have to prove herself to them given she is already sickening. Which annoyed Trinity, given she spent the first day playing games rather than sewing. Jiggly meanwhile was charming the hell out of Ra’Jah, offering up alliances and her vote before genuinely asking her to just give her another chance to show how much she has grown.

Jan meanwhile pulled the other girls aside to try and figure out how they should vote, with Eureka worried about the decision to vote for a friend coming to bite her if she is up against someone more likeable later. Ginger then pointed out that Jiggly was better in the first two categories, despite being the worst in the third. 

The tops and bottoms made their way outside for voting, with Jiggly taking the chance to run away to the carpark to breathe, sobbing as she shared her disappointed that she can’t even lip sync for her life. As she processed her emotions, the producers gave her a pep talk and ugh, it was hard to watch. 

Meanwhile Scarlet was busy being read for having the saltiest face and living in her own fantasy before Jiggly reunited with the dolls. She caught up Ginger, with Ginger trying to lift up her friend while also realising that Jiggly arguably did the worst in the challenge. As both Yara and Jiggly broke down in separate corners of the tent, the queens went to vote one by one, with Trinity backing Jiggly to fight while Ginger sobbed her way through casting her’s against her friend.

Back on the mainstage Ra’Jah learnt that she would be facing off against her season 11 sister slash Drag Race Canada judge Brooke Lyn Hytes to Miss You Much by Janet Jackson. Both girls immediately slayed the game, hitting every lyric and serving full Janet. They were popping, locking, dropping, flipping and splitting and ugh, it was glorious. As such, it was deemed a very hard fought tie, with both Ra’Jah and the group ultimately voting to send the beautiful Jiggly home, bringing tears to my eyes.

Backstage Jiggly was so heartbroken to be the one to go home though wrote the girls a cute message as she processed the emotion. By the time she met up with me, we were both blubbering messes. I was so excited to finally have Jiggly return to the competition, and while she went home early, I tried to remind her that the world already knows that she is a star and doesn’t need to rudeem herself. And while that positivity is uncharacteristic for me, that is the power of a Chickly Caliente Burrito.

Spicy, sweet and oh so delicious, there is nothing better than a burrito. Except for a burrito WITH FRIES IN IT. Aka a cali burrito. Sure, this recipe is nothing more than adding fries to Kenny’s, but when it tastes this good, who cares?

Enjoy!

Chickly Caliente Burrito
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 ¼ tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
6 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
1 red onion, quartered
¼ cup oil olive oil
1kg chicken breasts
4 x flour tortillas
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli
1 batch Salsa Struthers
1 batch Lady Gaugamole
1 cup Jack cheese, shredded
¼ cup sour cream

Method
Combine the chipotles in adobo sauce with 1 teaspoon of pepper, two teaspoons of the salt and cumin, the oregano, garlic and red onion – minus ½ a cup of red onion – in a blender with the olive oil and blitz to a smooth paste. Transfer to a large bowl, coat the chicken and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, heat an extra lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry chicken, a few breasts at a time, for five-ish minutes each side. Remove from the heat and roughly chop into 1cm-ish chunky, shreds. Repeat until the chicken is all done and return to the pan with the remaining marinade and fry for a few minutes. Leave to rest while you prep the rest.

Now would be a good time to make your fries as per Judd’s recipe and then season with the smoked paprika, chilli, and remaining cumin and a good whack of salt.

Then prep your Salsa Struthers and Lady Gaugamole.

To assemble, heap the chicken, fries, salsa and guac in the centre of a large tortilla, top with cheese and sour cream and roll into a burrito. Aka close in the ends, then roll up to close.

Then devour, greedily. Oh and store the excess chicken for the next batch of burritos.


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