Arepomare Fifth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I mean, they nailed it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Arepomare Fifth
Serves: 2 dear friends.

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C.

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

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

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

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


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Pinkle Cut Fries

Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor South Africa after swapping over to Yontau together, Dante and Palesa were ready to bond. And by bond, Dante felt like he had found himself another loyal ally, while Palesa bided her time to get rid of him. Dante meanwhile was focused on taking a shot at his nemesis Dino, while Shona, for reasons unknown, opted to join Yontau despite having a numbers disadvantage. Over at new Masu, Killarney was ready to join with the OGs and get revenge on her former tribe. After losing immunity Dino, Phil and Shona tried to fight from the bottom, but Phil got nervous and put a vote on Shona which sent her home over Dante.

Back at camp Phil was rightly feeling like a bonehead for voting out his ally, though blamed Shona for not pulling out her fake idol and causing chaos like she was meant to as a cue. Dante meanwhile was angry about Dino voting for him. And not only Dino, but also Meryl and Marian for not trusting him. While Meryl warned Phil that his fuck-up is going to unleash Dante’s full rage, suggesting it would have been better for everyone if he just voted Dante. Palesa meanwhile found it all hilarious, given she was the one quietly working to get rid of Dante, however now because of the chaos, he feels even closer to her than his original allies.

The next day Dino and Phil caught up by the well, with Dino so confused how the plan failed and disappointed to just be a dead man walking. While all Phil could do was apologise and to hope not to make another mistake soon. Palesa joined them and let her full frustrations be known, sick of the excuses and annoyed that other people’s mistakes are bringing her down. And preach. We ventured over to Masu where Tejan pulled Toni aside and shared the idol clue with her. However sadly as they started hunting around, Pinty walked in on them and put a stop to any and all proceedings.

My love Nico arrived for the latest immunity challenge where a caller would direct their blindfolded tribemates to collect puzzle pieces and then solve a word puzzle. First to finish getting immunity and a trip to the Fresh Stop Survivor Shop full of fried chicken, desserts and no doubt, an advantage. After Killarney almost put a stop to the challenge by fainting, she rallied and things kicked off. Well, for Yontau who nailed it as Dino quickly called them all to their pieces while Pinty wandered aimlessly and put Masu at a very large disadvantage. As Dino got to work on the puzzle, his tribe started cheering loudly to drown out Thoriso as she grew angrier and angrier as she tried to direct Toni to the final table. And then even angrier as Dino secured the win for the tribe.

The victors headed to the Survivor shop, featuring the usual one at a time twist – never forget Benji and the nachos – with Marian frustrated to draw the shortest straw and guarantee herself missing out on the chance for advantages. Meryl meanwhile was thrilled, smashing food while desperately hunting for an idol. While she didn’t jag one, she did find a tribal council pass hidden in a cake. And just like that, she is holding a lot of power. While everyone else also tried to hunt for an advantage, Phil and Marian just focused on the food and well, relatable.

Heading back to camp the two factions headed off to catch up with Dante still trying to find someone to blame for almost getting voted off. As Dante went to fume elsewhere with Palesa and lock in a tighter alliance, Meryl caught Marian up on the fact she found the tribal council pass. Adding to their alliance’s haul of all the possible advantages in the game, along with Steffi.

Back at camp Thoriso was heartbroken by Yontau’s dirty play at the challenge, while Felix felt they should all stop complaining since they did the same things in the mud pit. As the tribe sat around eating lunch, Steffi tried to portion out the food and got some sass from Pinty leading to her blowing up on Pinty instead. Then swiftly apologising. Toni meanwhile was busy playing both sides, telling Thoriso, Felix and Pinty she would join them to get rid of Killarney, while telling Steffi and Killarney the OG Masu’s will be working with Killarney to take out Pinty. Speaking of Pinty, she, Killarney and Steffi were awkwardly sitting around the fire and chatting about the vote. And all pretending they don’t have any plan for the night’s tribal council.

Steffi and Toni caught up, ready to take out Pinty and thrilled to have landed together on Masu 2.0 and form a new bond where they want to work together. Sadly for Steffi, Pinty was trying to rally the troops against her as should Steffi make it to the merge, she is going to the end. While she tried to drive home the importance of getting rid of Steffi, Thoriso had no interest, given she wants to get rid of the only other goat in the game Killarney. Because if that strategy is getting someone to the end, best believe it will be her. Felix and Tejan then caught up and well, neither of them were sure which was the right plan to go with.

At tribal council Toni spoke about how grateful she is to have landed on Masu 2.0, with Killarney admitting she finally has stuff in common with her tribemates. While Pinty likened it to starting at a new school and making new friends. Toni pledged her undying loyalty to Masu 2.0, with Felix talking about how weakness comes in many forms and how a social faux pas can ruin the vibe. Everyone admitted they were nervous about tribal, while Pinty admitted she just doesn’t want to get blindsided again. Killarney spoke about making the right decision for the entire tribe, which is what Pinty agreed was the best plan. While Tejan and Steffi just wanted the vote to strengthen them as a unit.

With that the tribe voted and Pinty’s fears were realised as she was blindsided from the game, as she asked everyone if they were the ones to turn on her. Pinty was disappointed as she arrived at Loser Lodge, though was also grateful to have gotten another shot at the game and to have made it further. Obviously I didn’t want to rock the boat with her given we have similar temperaments, so instead, we toasted her success with a big bowl of Pinkle Cut Fries.

Yes, yes – crinkle cut chips are only really special because of their shape and are no different to cooking chips. But like brownie pans that increase the edge pieces, the crinkle shape gives you an all around crunchier experience with the inside perfectly light and fluffy. So yeah, they good.

Enjoy!

Pinkle Cut Fries
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
500g starchy potatoes, peeled
sunflower oil, for fryin’
salt, to taste

Method
Use a crinkle-cutter to cut the potatoes lengthways into batons and rinse under cold running water to remove most of the starch.

Pop enough oil in a large wok or a deep fryer and bring to 130°C. Cook the chips in a few batches, agitating often and remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel.

Increase the oil to 180°C and repeat the process, this time cooking until golden and glorious. This double cook is the key to perfect crunch, and a fluffy inside. Remove with a slotted spoon again and drain on a new paper towel. Toss with copious amounts of salt and devour immediately.


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Mikaraage Chicken Turger

Burgers, Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor after Mike defeated Jonathan in the firemaking challenge and won his spot in the final three, the trio enjoyed one final day in Fiji before heading to tribal council. After copping a respectful grilling, Maryanne dominated the Q&A with equal parts charm and wisdom while Romeo was surprisingly confident in articulating why he deserved to be here. Sadly for him, it wasn’t enough to secure him any votes as he finished in third place.

Jeffrey then read the votes and despite playing a strong game, only one vote turned up for Mike as he took out second place, handing Maryanne a near unanimous victory as the jury crowned her the Sole Survivor. 

Once Mike was done smashing pizza on the after show, I pulled him aside to perk him back up after just coming up short. Mike had played such a dominant game, controlling his tribe before the merge and managing to form meaningful bonds that carried him far into the game. Never mind the fact he was smart and knew when to make a move, all while minimising the fact he was super buff and a massive threat.

Really the only major flaw was his game was not owning it and like Sharn in Australia – who suffered her third loss in the recent election – the jury couldn’t respect it and it cost him the game. While he was disappointed at the outcome, Mike being Mike, he was super upbeat and proud of Maryanne. Though it is easy to work through the pain when you’re smashing a Mikaarage Chicken Turger.

Super crispy chicken, velvety mayonnaise and creamy avocado, smooshed between two soft buns, how can you go wrong? Oh and did I mention crunchy lettuce and a punch of kecap manis. It is, so, good.

Enjoy!

Mikaraage Chicken Turger
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
½ cup kewpie mayonnaise
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
100g cornflour
sunflower oil, for frying
3 avocados, mashed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
8 burger rolls
1 butter lettuce
2 tomatoes
¼ cup kecap manis

Method
Combine the mirin, soy, garlic and ginger  and 1 tbsp of the mayo in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat, before covering and popping in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.

Pop the cornflour in a bowl and heat about 5cm deep of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Take the chicken out of the fridge and press the chicken into the cornflour to coat before transferring the chicken into the pot to fry, two at a time, for about 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to some paper towel to drain and repeat the process until the chicken is done.

To assemble the burgers, mash the avo with the lemon zest and juice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Split all the buns in half and toast on a griddle pan. Spread the avo on the base, followed by some lettuce and tomato, then the chicken, followed by a drizzle of kewpie and some kecap manis. Then devour immediately, greedily. Messily. Happily.


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Arielcini Rec

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race España we were blessed with a batch of twelve new iconic queens who had me gagged by their talents. And flooded my basement with their beauty. After a sultry, artistic nude-illusion photo shoot with the pit crew, the dolls rocked two looks dedicated to their hometowns on the runway. Poor Marisa and Samantha fell a little flat while Onyx took flight. Though more importantly, Marina flashed her penis on the runway which is more than worthy of a win in my books. Ultimately though it was Onyx who took out the first victory of the season while Samantha and Marisa battled in the lip sync, with the latter finding herself becoming the Porkchop of the season.

Backstage Samantha was gagged to have survived the lip sync while her sisters gathered around to congratulate her on her performance. After toasting to their sister Marisa, they sat down and rightly praised Onyx for her showstopping runways, who for some reason, was shocked to have taken out victory. Though grateful that her arse carried her to victory. Once again. The dolls spoke about how intense it is to be judged, admitting that the experience has well and truly woken them up to the fact that this is a damn competition. While Sharonne did some demonic vocalising which was as scary as it was erotic. For some reason.

The next day the dolls were back to living their best lives, taking it in turns to ride Estrella like a horse before she showed off her goodies on the table. And someone grabbed at her balls, which isn’t necessary to the story but will play on a loop in my head longer than the Oscars slap has. Wait, no, that one will never die.

Samantha meanwhile was ready to claim the title of lip sync assassin of the season, truly turning the lemon that is being the only queen to have lip synced so far into lemonade. Talk then turned to the burgeoning love between Drag Sethlas and Onyx, and yeah, I want to see that video. Before we could get any of the juicy, juicy details, Supremme arrived to task the girls with a little light reading. Si, la biblioteca is well and truly open and well, if all librarians looked like the pit crew, I would perpetually be dehydrated. First up was Sharonne who was hilarious and quick, Venedita was harsh, Sethlas went in on Estrella’s twirls, Onyx made the girls blush and then Estrella stole the show with some Harry Potter (non-transphobic) magic. Samantha bombed, Jota was even worse while Diamante brought the laughs back. Sweet Juriji was perfectly brutal before Ariel just flooded my basement and I don’t even know if she was good or bad because she is so damn hot. 

Oh and then Marina was read while trying to read. Did I mention Ariel is fucking hot?

Ultimately Sharonne took out victory before Supremme announced that they would be following up the reading challenge by putting on the Supremme Eleganza Talent Extravaganza in front of a live audience of surprise guests. Which Diamante immediately decided would be the Spice Girls. Dream big, I guess? Everyone split up to start planning their talents with Samantha a little bit terrified while Estrella was thinking of going the comedy route. Ariel meanwhile had too many talents to choose from, while Sethlas was hoping to not incite any controversy like she had in the past when she did a performance crucifying herself.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with everyone splitting up to beat their mugs ahead of the show with Ariel and Onyx bonding over their journeys with therapy and how it has helped them throughout their lives. Onyx opened up about how the pandemic broke her, with her partner leaving her around the time she lost her job, so she ultimately had to move back in with her parents. Thankfully they rallied around and reminded each other that seeking help is always the best idea.

Supreme, Ana and the Javiers were joined by La Zowi on the judging panel, while the cast of season 1 returned to watch the dolls perform. Drag Sethlas opened the show as a straight up transformer and well, I lived. She then vogued the house down before jumping from there, aka splitting from a massive box. Jota Carajota meanwhile went full Phantom of the Opera before singing a camp original song and well, I think I loved it. Ariel Rec did a moody original song and honestly, I just wished she stripped and called it a day. Because again, he keeps me drenched. Juriji gave a camp opera and damn, she has pipes. And the back-up dancers were in harnesses, so yeah, give her the win right damn now. 

Samantha Ballentines then painted a picture of one of the hottest pit crew members – which was just a penis – so obviously I now want her to win the challenge. I mean, I can’t. Venedita Von Dash went from peasant to glamazon as she flamenco’d around stage in a strip show. And again, basement. Flooded. Onyx cracked out of an egg before giving an alien lip sync and well, it was weird and wonderful. Particularly since she birthed her baby on stage, which is something I always love. Particularly if it is sliced ham. Marina gave us a moody midnight ballroom dance and damn, she’s got some legs on her. Estrella then slayed a camp lip sync in honour of fast mood, which is super relatable. Complete with mustard coming out of her titties. Sharonne then stole the show with a live jazz duet, complete with puppeteering her partner. Before Diamante Merrybrown slayed a lip sync, dancing the house down however coming after Sharonne, it was hard to steal the show.

On the Day of the Beast Runway, Jota was an alien delight, despite the odd body shape. Juriji was a sexy rose bush, Ariel was a sexy sleep paralysis demon – complete with blue blood and growing sores – while Samantha Ballentines served the most demented plastic surgery addict ever seen. Venedita was a bleeding mummy, Onyx was breathtaking as a massive spider and Marina gave us a two faced woman, half covered in burns. Sethlas gave demon llama, Sharonne was a kooky spooky voodoo doll while Estrella was a demented mirror queen and Diamante slayed as a hessian boogeyman. 

Ultimately Sethlas, Ariel, Onyx, Sharonne, Samantha and Diamante were classed as the tops and bottoms of the week, leaving the rest of the dolls to untuck while they received their critiques. The judges were happy with Ariel’s performance though felt like she wasn’t on the same level as her sisters in either the performance or the runway. Samantha was read for not slaying the performance and lacking originality while Onyx received universal praise for her performance and the runway, despite some pacing issues in the former. Sethlas was praised for splitting her kitty before Sharonne received universal praise for each and every thing that she served this week. Oh and the judges lived for Diamante too, so I guess Onyx is low, somehow?

Backstage the safe girls were relieved to be deemed safe though opted to get shady over who would be in the bottom, suggesting Sharonne should be. Which, lol. As the rest of the queens joined them, Samantha announced that she would definitely be in the bottom while Ariel felt like she would be lip syncing against her. Onyx meanwhile shared that she was disappointed her performance didn’t cut through with the judges as Diamante reminded them all that on the whole – swoon – they served a killer fashion show.

Ultimately Diamante was deemed safe before Sharonne took out her first victory of the season. Drag Sethlas was then sent to safety while Onyx narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving Samantha Ballentines to lip sync once again. This time against Ariel Rec. As soon as Yo Quiero Bailar kicked off, the fight once against came into Samantha Ballentine as she served demented, wild fun while Ariel focused on turning a show. But given how hysterically everyone was laughing at Samantha, there was no way she was going home as once again she saved herself, leaving poor Ariel Rec to sashay away instead.

And well, her loss was my gain! As soon as we met up backstage, I pledged my undying love for her, thanking her for gracing the planet for her beauty and begging him to spend out lives together. While Ariel didn’t agree to get married, we did have a lot of hot fun. And gladly filled out holes with some even hotter Arielcini Rec.

I know I’ve probably said this countless times but it honestly bears repeating; the only way to make something as delicious as risotto better is by coating it and frying it. Crunchy breadcrumbs form a gloriously golden crust, keeping the cheesy rice piping hot and well, there is nothing better.

Enjoy!

Arielcini Rec
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
350g butternut pumpkin, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup arborio rice
¾ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
vegetable or sunflower oil, to deep-fry

Method
To make the risotto, pop the stock in a saucepan over low heat and bring to temperature. Meanwhile, heat a lug of oil in a pot over medium heat and saute the onion and pumpkin for five minutes or so, or until the onion is nice and soft. Add the garlic and rice and cook for a further couple of minutes. 

Working a ladleful of stock at a time, add to the rice mixture and cook stirring until it has just absorbed. Repeat the process until all the stock has been used. Stir through the parmesan, season and cook for another minute. Remove from heat, spread over a lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

Once things are hella chill, pop the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Using wet or floured hands, roll 1-2 tablespoon sized balls of risotto. Pop them first in the flour, then the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on another lined baking sheet and repeat the process until done before transferring to the fridge to set for an hour or so.

When it is time to fry, heat a couple of inches deep of oil in a stock pot until about 180C. Working a few at a time, add the arancini and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for another minute or so. Transfer to a lined plate to drain and repeat the process.

Then devour, while still piping hot.


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Tia Biscoffi Donuts

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens returned from their seven month COVID hiatus. Yes, SEVEN. MONTHS. In which time Tayce and A’Whora lived together and Ellie had to work the drive through to make ends meet. Tragically poor Veronica contracted COVID (in addition to her previous case of rat-bite fever) meaning we were down a cast member leading to Joe being voted to return to the competition to complete the second girl group for RuRuVision song contest. And as you would no doubt now have stuck in your head, let’s just say BING BANG BONG both groups were amazing. Though the United Kingdolls killed the show and snatched victory. Over on the other team, Tia was deemed too regional, while Joe made jokes about H&M, leading to an epic Ru rant before Joe was eliminated first. Again.

Backstage the girls were well and truly shook about Joe’s second departure, with Tayce in particular shocked by the fact she kind of just gave up in the lip sync. Tia meanwhile was feeling her oats to be the first lip sync assassin in the UK. Obviously that didn’t last long as talk turned to Ru’s epic H&M tirade, with the safe girls particularly surprised that it was bad enough to require an apology on the runway. Sister opted to get shady and pointed out that Tia got the worst critiques from Ru, with Lawrence stepping in to point out she also was told to step it up and given she compiled A’Whora’s ideas, glass houses etc. Pretty much. 

Oh and then the editors spoiled that Bimini wins the episode, given she counted herself as winning two challenges with all the other tallies correct. So congratulations, you icon.

The next day Bimini indeed entered the Werk Room with only one badge, before congratulating Lawrence on snagging three wins in a row. While Tayce just wanted her to share the love around from now on. Ellie meanwhile opted to keep things interesting and asked Tia how exactly she plans to up her game on the runway and when the answer didn’t really say much, things got fiery. Thankfully they were interrupted by Ru who arrived to announce that this week’s Maxi Challenge they will be playing the iconique tiara, Snatch Game.

Much to everyone’s delight.

The queens all split up to talk through their characters with Ellie giving off her best Vicky Pollard, while Lawrence gave out advice like she was the second coming of Ru. Bimini meanwhile was making jokes about A’Whora and Tayce’s past before the latter opened up about being terrified of Snatch Game, though that she was confident in her choice of playing Kath herself, Jane Turner. Ru joined the fray to chat through their choices, with Tia bravely telling Ru that she will be bringing it on the runway from now on before announcing she’d be playing Shirley Bassey in the game. Someone she has never done before. Leading to Ru talking her into playing Mel B instead. Ellie was sticking with Vicky Pollard as she spent her childhood bouncing off her twin brother playing the role. This led to Ellie having a wee bit of a breakdown thinking about how important her brother is to her and ugh, I love them all.

Lawrence had Ru smiling before even sitting down at the table before sharing she’d be playing Miriam Margoles. And then had Ru in stitches, leading me to believe she will slay but since the editors spoiled us, we know she doesn’t slay enough for victory. Speaking of said victory, Bimini dropped by to announce she will be playing the iconic Katie Price – who I hooked up with Peter Andre – and ugh, it makes all the sense now. A’Whora meanwhile will be playing Louie Spence and while I don’t know him, he sounds glorious. Not so glorious is A’Whora getting in her head, breaking down about her insecurities and ugh, I love the broken hearted little villainess.

Oh and then Sister apparently never got to chat to Ru or tell us what she was doing.

Thankfully we cut straight to the Snatch Game set featuring Michelle Visage and THE GC herself, Gemma Collins where we learnt Sister would be playing Psychic Sally. Sadly she didn’t tell Tia that changing to Mel B would be a bad idea because as much as I love her, her Mel B was scarily devoid of spice. See what I did there? On the flipside, Tayce was killing the game from the start and immediately made the upcoming Down Under girls question their choices of playing Kath Day-Knight.

While Tayce was good though, it was Bimini’s challenge from the opening seconds giving one liners, dedicated impersonation and had me in absolute hysterics. Speaking of dedicated impersonation, Lawrence was committed to honouring Miriam but completely devoid of comedy. Rounding out the gang, A’Whora was camp and charming, Sister was fun and Ellie was aggressive and confusing. Oh and then Tayce set herself up to yell at Ru for calling her chooky and ugh, give her the damn crown.

Elimination Day arrived with Lawrence and Tia feeling pretty shit about themselves after bombing Snatch Game, particularly since the former is a comedy queen and the latter is yet to score a win. Lawrence opened up about feeling the need to always be strong for her community and hiding behind a mask, with Tia – of course – reminding her that she is worth it and allowed to feel things. Tayce meanwhile checked in with Ellie and her breakdown the day before, with Ellie sharing how much her brother’s support has meant to her and how it got him through a difficult childhood when he was kicked out of home by her father. Until gag of the season, Ellie’s mum turned around and kicked out Ellie’s dad instead when he gave her an ultimatum.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Jesse Ware to witness the Prehistoric Drag runway where A’Whora opened the show in a full on corset of bones complete with fur and ugh, it is amazing. Tayce meanwhile was stunning as a voodoo priestess complete with guttural screams. Sister looked like Peg Bundy if she was on The Flintstones but with Patsy Stone’s wig, Tia showed body – finally – as a slutty pterodactyl. With a baseball cap like she is Boston Rob. Oh and then Bimini was GORGEOUS as the sexiest, floating bacteria and I think this is the moment we will look back on as when we realised Bimini was winning this season. Poor Lawrence had to follow the ultimate slay giving Roseanne as Peg Bundy in The Flintstones before Ellie gave straight up Pebbles Flintstone.

Ultimately Sister and Ellie were sent to safety, leaving the other girls to be critiqued. A’Whora kicked off the show with the judges admitting that the choice of Louie Spence was brave but that they weren’t sure if it paid off. They did love her outfit though. Tayce meanwhile received universal praise for her Snatch Game, with the judges loving how much fun she was clearly having. And while they loved her runway and the fact she gave something different, Ru clocked her hip pads and you could see the moment she thought Ru was going to yell at her.

Poor Tia was read for being one note on Snatch Game and for giving a sub par outfit, despite finally showing body. This led to Tia breaking down about not proving herself to Ru and damn, I hate to see. Next up Bimini received universal praise for literally everything, from Katie’s wisp, the hilarious one liners and the white-eyed amoeba runway, which is head and shoulders above everything else that has ever appeared on the runway. Oh and then Lawrence, she had the judges laughing when they went to her which only made her performance crueler, given it was a total bomb. Lawrence then started to sob as the judges praised her charisma, with her sharing she built up that persona to survive childhood and it is honestly so relatable.

Backstage Ellie and Sister were congratulating each other on surviving the hardest challenge before the tops and bottoms joined them. Tayce and Bimini were clearly thrilled with their critiques, while Tia was bitterly disappointed to clearly be in the bottom again. Talk turned to Lawrence who immediately started to cry again, struggling to accept that she bombed a challenge. Much to A’Whora’s chagrin, who was annoyed that Lawrence is falling apart at the first sign of weakness.

Obviously Bimini took out her victory not just because of the editors spoiling it at the top of the episode but because I watched her absolutely destroy everyone all episode. Tayce was rightly sent to safety, while A’Whora was gagged to join her, leaving frontrunner Lawrence to lip sync for her life against Tia to Touch Me by Cathy Dennis. And oh girl, did Lawrence light a fire under herself. Serving comedy as she hit every lyric, she commanded your attention and while Tia once again slayed and showed off her legs, she was no match for the triple winner as Lawrence sent her from the competition.

Backstage I pulled Tia in for a massive hug and assured her that while she wasn’t able to take out a win, she truly won people’s hearts and as such, is destined for greatness on All Stars. I mean, she was fun, friendly and gave a hell of a confessional. AND kept her hair the same during the lockdown for continuity when Sister Sister literally replaced her entire face. She is the moment (as is Sister, TBH). As such, I toasted her killer, memorable run with a batch of Tia Biscoffi Donuts.

Biscoff is the new nutella in that we’re all eating it out of the jar like it’s peanut butter – the OG, of course – and injecting it into any and all foods. Specifically donuts like this, which are, in a word, amazing. Like Tia.

Enjoy!

Tia Biscoffi Donut
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
150g water
500g flour
60g raw caster sugar, plus extra for coatin’
7g dried yeast
4 eggs
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp kosher salt
125g unsalted butter softened
sunflower oil, for fryin’
2 cups Biscoff spread, for fillin’
200g white chocolate
15 Biscoff cookies, for decoratin’

Method
Combine the water, flour, sugar, yeast, egg, salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer and best on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes, or until a ball forms. Still going, add the butter in 25g chunks and mix until well combined before adding the next portion. Once everything is in, keep it mixing for about 5 minutes or until smooth and springy when touched.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with cling, and leave to prove for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size. Punch back the dough, return to the bowl, recover with cling and transfer to the fridge to rest overnight.

When it is chilled and well proven – and you’ve had a nice rest – divide the dough into 16 equal portions, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Leave to prove one final time for a couple of hours, or until doubled.

Combine the rest of the cinnamon in a bowl with about ½ cup of raw caster sugar.

Once they have puffed, place a pot of 15cm of oil over medium high heat and bring to 180C. When the oil is hot enough, cook the doughnuts a couple at a time for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further few minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Toss through the cinnamon sugar and transfer to a wire rack while you repeat the process.

Melt the white chocolate, either in a double boiler or in the microwave and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the Biscoff into a piping bag and pipe a couple of tablespoons into the centre of each donut, dip them in the white chocolate and then top with a biscuit and serve immediately and devour, joyously. 


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Luke Tokolate Banana Bread

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Abbey continued to roll with the Contenders boys, with their sights set directly on Luke. Knowing he was screwed, Luke searched high and low for an idol and while he couldn’t find one, instead he won a powerful advantage followed by the next immunity challenge. Abbey and the boys identified Pia as the next biggest threat and worked to get rid of her, while Pia worked Luke to see if they could move forward together. Luke played his advantage and senr Baden back to camp, leading to an epic game of whispers and posturing that led to Luke and Pia standing strong and blindsiding Abbey from the game.

Pia, Luke and Harry returned to camp with Baden shocked to hear Pia was still in the game, while Luke celebrated the fact that he pulled off one of the biggest moves ever. Pia joined him to congratulate him on putting on an epic show, thrilled that she was able to charm her way into him protecting her. On the flipside Harry wasn’t thrilled by the turn of events, knowing that he was made a fool of and as such, he could only double down on the fact he needed Luke to go.

The next day the top four sat by the shore and congratulated each other on making it this far, with Luke particularly excited to have broken his record by making day 47. He was also particularly shocked to have not been sent packing as soon as he landed on the beach, given he has played before and showed what he was made of. He then ran through his resume and it was hella heartwarming and honestly, I teared up a little. Even when he went wild in the water. Harry was still salty about the previous tribal council and knew that Luke wins if he makes it to the final tribal council, and as such, he needs to win the next immunity challenge to get rid of him ASAP. Harry also noted that Pia is the next biggest threat, hid behind a meatshield while dominating the game strategically.

Pia returned to camp with a box with a quiz and honestly I wasn’t sure what was happening until they voted for Luke and Baden to get burgers and I realised it was a de facto reward challenge. While Harry shaded Baden’s weak gameplay to us, Baden was proud of the game he played with the hand he was dealt and well and truly exceeded his expectations.

My love Jonathan returned for the second last immunity challenge of the season where the final four each had to try and keep their balls in the air. One by one they would drop a ball at the top of a maze and race to the bottom to catch it and keep the cycle going, slowly adding balls at regular intervals with the last person standing taking out immunity. Everyone worked slowly and methodically with their first ball, trying to get the rhythm of the maze and figure out how they will manage when four balls are in play. Everyone made it through the first and second balls, with the panic well and truly sitting in as they added in their third balls. Pia ultimately was the first to drop. The fourth ball then tragically claimed Luke, followed by Baden, handing Harry his first immunity win.

An exhausted Luke then started to break down and honestly, I have some horrible Kelley Wentworth flashbacks and my heart is broken.

Back at camp Harry doubled down on the fact that he needs to take out Luke if he wants to have any chance of winning. He then approached Baden to lock in their votes against Luke, thought tried to downplay how desperately he wants him out of the game. Baden wasn’t as convinced about who should go next, knowing he has no shot against Luke thought wanting to keep him around because he likes him the best. Luke and Baden then caught up and lamented about Harry’s win, with Luke heartbroken to have fumbled at the last moment and trying to find the perfect balance of convincing them to keep him around without being overbearing.

Luke proposed that he and Baden vote together, and Pia and Harry will vote together and then he will face off with Pia in a fire challenge to guarantee they’re both in the final three and have a better shot of beating Harry and getting to the end. While Baden seemed open to the idea, he admitted that he won’t be able to make a decision until tribal council. Uneasy Luke and Pia caught up with them proposing causing a tie between Luke and Baden, with Pia knowing that he would win and let’s be honest, she is guaranteed a place in the final two as both boys would take her. While Pia wasn’t sure which way to go, she knew that if she couldn’t win, she wants him to to better his family’s life. They then broke down and spoke about how much they mean to each other and honestly, I’m a fucking mess. After that emotional little interlude, Pia went for a walk to try and figure out which way is better for her game, knowing that she can beat both Harry and Baden but realising that neither of them will take her to the final tribal council.

At tribal council Harry continued to think the contrived toothpick thing was cute, while he gave the jury his best shit eating grin as they filed in. He spoke about the pride and happiness of securing himself immunity, and more importantly kept it from Luke. Luke spoke about how hard it was to let his game literally slip through his fingers. His voice started to break as he spoke about having only one option left, sharing that he will be voting Baden and hoping that Pia will join him and force them into a fire challenge. He then went one step further and said that he will take her to the final tribal council if that happens, though assured her that he won’t be annoyed if she voted him out too. She spoke about her current dilemma, not sure whether to play with her head or her heart, and not sure which one actually gives her the best chance of making it to the end. As an aside, keeping Luke gives her the best shot at making it to the end.

Baden admitted that he is not confident should it end in a fire challenge, given he has done minimal work with the flint. Harry tried to praise Luke’s pitch and tell him it makes sense, though tried to get into Pia’s head and tell her that a guaranteed place at the end isn’t better than having to rely on herself to get there. With that the tribe voted and Pia decided to trust in herself, joining the boys and sending Luke out of the game as this year’s fourth place robbed goddess of the season alongside Flick, Michelle and Shonee.

Through tears, I took him in my arms and reassured him that he should be proud of his performance and I’m so glad to once again whip him up some comfort

While I slept on the power of the people’s Champion during his first run – I was a Sarah fan and was always distracted by Locky’s nudity, so, yeah – he well and truly won me over on his second attempt. Which I guess is why he manages to make it deep, and I believe always will, when he plays Survivor. He is laid back, fun and dulls the pain of starving on an island. Like my Luke Tokolate Banana Bread would if Jonathan ever wanted to offer my services for a reward.

 

 

Sweet and warm, this baby may not solve all your problems – right Apu – but it does kind of feel like a culinary hug. Lightly spiced and dripping with sticky chocolate, this is what dreams are made of.

Enjoy!

 

 

Luke Tokolate Banana Bread
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
225g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
60g muscovado sugar
70ml sunflower oil
2 eggs
175g sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and chocolate in a bowl, and whisk together the muscovado, sunflower oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and bananas in another. Fold the wet mixture through the dry until just combined.

Transfer to a lined baking dish and place in the oven to bake for an hour, covering with foil for the last 30 minutes. If an inserted skewer doesn’t come out clean, reduce heat to 150C and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further five minutes.

Serve immediately and devour, slathered in butter.

 

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Mongoliam Gallaghlamb

Main, Side

Now I know I ran my fucking mouth a bit on Monday, but I was so fucking excited to be seeing me mate Liam and getting things back to how it used to be that I simply couldn’t watch me fucking p’s or q’s.

And let me tell you, that fucking excitement was not misplaced as me and the lad are back to being the best of fucking friends.

I first met Liam in the ‘80s while attending The Barlow Roman Catholic High School together. While I tried to sell stories about him being expelled when he was 16, it was actually an elaborate ruse to cover up my own expulsion and criminal activities at the time. Liam is just a fucking legend and was willing to take the heat for me.

It should come as no surprise that I fucking love the guy.

While our relationship has been volatile at best and I’ve worked to play the brothers off against each other, he accepted me apology and we had the best fucking time catching up on what we’ve been up to.

Even when we refused to join me in reforming Oasis, I didn’t fly off the handle and threaten him and his career. Which is what I’m known for. Instead, I accepted his rational argument that we should keep our relationship as just mates and served him up a big bowl of Mongoliam Gallaghlamb.

 

 

This anglicised Chinese take-away dish has long been a favourite of mine, even before I realised Mongolian Lamb included lamb, which I hated at the time. A little bit sweet, packing the hint of a kick and full of tender meat, is there anything else you could want?

Enjoy!

 

 

Mongoliam Gallaghlamb
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp sunflower oil
600g lamb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green capsicum, thinly sliced
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp black bean sauce
rice, to serve

Method
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and stir-fry the lamb for a couple of minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion, capsicum and celery and stir-fry for a minute or so before stirring through the five spice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Add the lamb back into the pan with the soy, Shaoxing, hoisin and black bean sauce, and simmer until reduced.

Serve piping hot with freshly cooked rice, or even Stephanie Fried Rice. She’d fucking love it.

Devour.

 

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Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After the debacle of catching up with my frenemy, the worst winner of Drag Race and – my honest opinion only – all around garbage person Tyra Sanchez, it was so nice to spend time with my kind friend Engelbert Humperdinck.

Kind, warm, funny, charming and best of all, kind and open with his fans … friend.

Unlike Tyra.

Anyway, I first met the Dinck and his – well, you know – back in the ‘60s when he was still getting his career off the ground. My dear friend Tom Jones’ manager was his former roommate and one night while we were out partying, we decided his name was holding him back. Ten minutes later Engelbert was born and Arnold was no more.

With that, I earned his complete and unequivocal trust, shaping his career ever since. Well until yesterday, when he tragically declined my offer to coach him to another Eurovision berth. Which no doubt would have been more successful.

While I was upset he didn’t trust me, I respect his wishes like a friend – unlike say, Tyra would – and we instead focused on reconnecting and havin’ a laff. Though that is kind of the go to reaction to splitting an Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake between two best friends.

 

 

Moist, sweet and perfectly spiced, hummingbird cake is like a carrot cake on crack. In all the right ways. Add in some cream cheese icing and my shorts are creamed, culinarily speaking obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup, muscovado sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
2 ripe bananas, mashed
450g crushed pineapple (in juice), drained with juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
¾ cup sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar mixture

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease 2 x 25cm cake tins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, and spices in a large bowl. Fold through the muscovado sugar, coconut and walnuts. In another bowl, combine the banana, pineapple, eggs, oil and ⅓ of the pineapple juice. While stirring pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and continue to fold until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the lined tins, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, checking after half an hour. You want it golden brown on the outside and an inserted skewer to just come out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until it is light, fluffy and just combined. Don’t overbeat as the icing will become too soft.

To assemble, smear a third of the icing on top of one of the cakes. Top with the second cake, and smear the rest of the icing on top and around the edges. Press the remaining walnuts into the icing and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour or so, removing ten minutes before serving … and devouring.

 

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