Amber Marinara Sauce

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor – which yes, yes, was minutes ago – 20 former champions of the game arrived in Fiji for the 20th anniversary special edition, battle royale, all winners season. While the opening didn’t have the majesty of dislocated shoulders or Sugar running around topless flipping the bird at the heroes, seeing winners like Amber, Ethan and Danni, who I never thought I would see again, was so exciting and grand, my gay little heart almost exploded. Mainly because Ethan is a zaddy and can get it. But anyway, the victors were split into two tribe Dakal and Sele, with the former taking out the opening immunity, meaning Queen Sandra lived to avoid becoming the first boot. Over at Sele, Rob, Parvati, Ethan and Danni joined together to form an old school alliance, taking control and deciding whether to split up Adam and Denise – who got lost together – and Natalie and Jeremy. Given the latter two were such close allies, and Jeremy’s blindside literally pushed Natalie to victory, they targeted them and sent Natalie to the Edge of Extinction.

We followed Natalie off to the Edge of Extinction, which she was now a massive fan of given it gives her the chance to return to the game. Despite following in her sister’s footsteps and getting booted first in The Amazing Race All Stars, she was still shocked to have been voted out of the game, describing the feeling of picking up a torch at tribal as weird.

The next day we checked in with Dakal where Sandra and Sarah were talking to Yul by the well, finding some common ground on their lack of connections and not having family. Sandra told the duo how hurt she was by Rob lying to her about playing, after denying it while spending 36 days together on the Island of the Idols. And honestly, I don’t know if this is a brilliant lie to get the target off her own back, or whether she was genuinely hurt … but I live for my vengeful queen. I just wish it didn’t mean she was likely going to take it out on Amber, instead of her hubby. Seeing a chance to split up the poker pals, Yul asked Sandra and Sarah if they would be willing to split up the marrieds and their card shark chums, which the Game Changers both quickly agreed to. Yul was mainly thrilled that the ladies were trying to pull together the same people he was. Aka the one time players that don’t have any connections on the tribe. Yul took the information back to his allies Sophie, Wendell and Nick and they were obviously keen to snatch the majority.

Over at Sele Michele was smarting over being left out of the vote at the previous tribal council, given she has so much pressure to prove that she deserved her first win and is actually a good player. She and Ben caught up, agreeing that Rob is in control of the tribe, no matter what he says, and that they need to hook up with Adam to make sure the new school kids aren’t led to the slaughter by the oldies. Firmly in the middle of the factions, Jeremy excused himself to a quiet section of the jungle where he learnt that Nat had bequeathed him her Fire Token and as such, he was the richest man in the game.

Speaking of Nat, she discovered the price list for items on Edge of Extinction which was accompanied by a note, offering a chance to earn herself a Fire Token. With that, she went hiking around the island to find the last place you would see the sun set. Where she discovered an immunity idol that is good for the next three tribal councils, which she could sell to someone from the losing tribe at the next immunity challenge for one Fire Token.

Speaking of the immunity challenge, Jeffrey arrived to lord over it. Each tribe was required to paddle out to retrieve a bag of number tiles, race over a series of obstacles, use the numbers to release three rings and then toss three rings to raise three flags. Both tribes were neck and neck getting into the water, until Sele straight up paddled into a pontoon and gave Dakal a huge lead. Which only extended as Sele over shot the dock with the number tiles. Sele desperately tried to close the gap but Dakal proved too strong, extended the lead as Rob single handedly flipped his tribemates over an obstacle. By the time Sele made it to the last obstacles, Yul had managed to release the rings giving Tyson and Wendell a massive head start tossing their rings. Wendell scored the first point before Adam finally released the rings. While Wendell continued to struggle, Jeremy quickly landed three rings in a row and handed Sele a massive come from behind win.

Back at camp Tony decided to simply ask if anyone wants to go keep Natalie company on the Edge of Extinction. With nobody jumping at the chance to exit the game, the tribe quickly splintered to find a target – not calmly, as Yul requested – with Sandra and Nick keen to take out Amber, while Kim, Amber and Tyson suggested those two and Tony to Wendell, unaware that they were aligned. Wendell, Nick and Yul caught up, Amber was feeling confident in her alliance with Tyson and Kim, though the pace made her nervous and she knew that she needed to keep up. Amber approached Sophie to see whether they should be getting rid of Sandra, given she spreads information to keep the target of herself. Speaking of Sandra, she was spreading information to her allies, to solidify the target on Tyson, Kim or Amber.

Sandra was feeling particularly confident, given she discovered and accepted the immunity idol in her bag. Stirring the pot with safe, glee, Sandra told Tony and co that Tyson now wants Tony out, pissing Tony off and getting his allies to change the plan to get rid of Tyson instead. Particularly since Amber isn’t scrambling, and keeping the married couple together keeps the target off him. Meanwhile Yul and Nick approached Tyson to let him know that everyone is terrified about the poker alliance, and as such, Tyson immediately flipped his game from dictating a vote, to assuring them that he will be a loyal number and vote whichever way they want him to. Kim and Amber be damned. Speaking of Kim, she was feeling nervous for the first time in her Survivor career, approaching Sandra and Wendell to find out who the target is, quickly realising that it may just be her.

Knowing that her presence was causing a lot of silences, she desperately tried to find someone to talk to and started announcing herself before entering any populated areas. She felt awful to finally be left out in her Survivor career, and was just hopeful that she wasn’t the one that was punished for the alleged poker alliance.

At tribal council Probst continued to make Amber feel super old, reminding her that she hasn’t played in over 16 years with her admitting that the speed of the game is overwhelming. Tyson spoke about the differences in each of the eras of Survivor, with the oldies sitting back and observing while the newer victors seem to act first, think second. Amber felt that Tony was running around erratically, with he and Sandra defending him because they were going to tribal council. And if she can’t keep up with the pace, she needs to get out of the way. Sophie said that the scrambling dropped off throughout the day, and as such, people should be nervous that their last conversation is correct. Which Sandra agreed with, given it was whittled down to a small group. Kim admitted that she was part of the small group because she played in a poker game which everyone believes is an alliance, which Tyson agreed was also putting him in danger.

Kim desperately tried to convince everyone that she is not close with the poker group and if it is, she isn’t a part of it. Wendell agreed that there are so many connections that the game is a mess, while Amber said that with $2 million dollars on the line, everyone was playing for themselves. Which Sandra gladly agreed with.

With that the tribe voted, Sandra held on to her hidden immunity idol and Kim and Tyson were spared as Amber became the second person and first Mariano voted out of the game to the Edge of Extinction. After bequeathing her Fire Token to Rob, I jumped out from behind the Edge of Extinction sign and unlike Natalie, she wasn’t terrified nor surprised to see me. She simply threw her arms around my neck and told me how glad she was to at least see me in her moment of crushing defeat.

Like Sandra said while voting for her, it was heartbreaking to see Amber’s third chance cut because of Rob’s threat level, rather than her own. And that thought made me start to break down in tears. Immediately, she went into mum/mom mode, pulled me in for a hug and reminded me that everything will be ok. And that while Edge of Extinction sucks, I can at least watch her in every episode. With that thought bringing a smile to my face, she got a fire going and I quickly whipped her up an Amber Marinara Sauce for the road.

 

 

Rich, robust and versatile – am I describing the perfect man or a simply beautiful marinara sauce. Por que no los dos, amirite? Smooth and lightly herbed, this marinara is the basis for all that is good in Italian cooking – from pizza to pasta, this baby has your back.

Enjoy!

 

 

Amber Marinara Sauce
Serves: 4-6 in a Dolognese, or about 1L if chugging.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
2 tsp chilli flakes
800g can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
½ tsp raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped

Method
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the garlic for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant and starting to catch on the bottom. Add the chilli and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Add the tomatoes, and a cup of water that has been swilled around the can to get every last drop of ruby, delicious goodness. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, sugar and herbs and cook – stirring occasionally still, FYI – for a further 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat to cool completely, before bottling.

 

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Alicia Caraway Meatballs

Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: The Australian Outback, Tapas

Get your flagging finger ready and sidle up to my face because Survivor: Island of the Idols is back in less than four weeks and my girl Alicia Calaway is finally making her triumphant debut on this here anthropological study.

I’ve known Alicia for years after training as personal trainers together in NYC and when Probst was casting Australian Outback, I knew she would be a perfect fit. While her epic finger-waving fight with Kimmi made our friendship difficult for a couple of years, we eventually buried the hatchet as I aggressively tried to help pre-game for All Stars.

While Alicia’s most famous moves in the game are the aforementioned fight and providing a break to the Mogo Mogo pagoning in All Stars, she also holds the joint distinction of being the first person to vote for the winner of two seasons.

Given she has a history with Rob, I thought it would be entertaining to bring her over to celebrate his return with Sandra to pal around Gilligan’s Island style. Though tragically, they had moved on from their All Stars dramas and instead she was excited to see him back. And hopes it isn’t as long between this season and his next.

Again, I won’t say anything here about warring winners.

We laughed and caught up on life, toasted to the ongoing success of the show despite its ever worsening twists and gorged on Alicia Caraway Meatballs in the hope that Island of the Idols will follow David vs. Goliath and be a killer season despite the shitty title.

 

 

I stumbled upon this recipe on Taste.com.au in a desperate hunt for something quick, easy and featuring caraway, and it quickly won my heart. Delicate meatballs, with a good whack of spice and sticky sweetness? They’re now the second favourite balls I like in and around my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alicia Caraway Meatballs

Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup

Method
Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, egg, caraway, chilli and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined and form into golf sized balls.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and once hot, toss through the balls and cook for ten minutes, or until cooked through. Add the maple syrup and toss to coat.

Serve immediately and devour, careful not to wag the balls near my face. Though there would go my social life.

 

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Cherry Manthey Float

Cherry Manthey Float

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: The Australian Outback

While I will allow people to talk some light smack behind Jenna Lewis’ back with regards to her status as an icon of the show, there is no denying that Jerri Manthey is a damn icon of the game and should be celebrated at any and all occasions.

I mean, I have even brought up Queen Jerri at funerals – thankfully not Rudy’s – as I thought that she deserved a cheeky moment of adoration during the eulogy.

But seriously, as much as Kim played a dominant game on her way to victory, Sandra is the undisputed Queen thanks to her two from two (on her first two tries) victories, Denise attended every tribal during her season and Parvati always manages to make a deep run despite a target, the greatest thing Survivor has gifted us in the last two decades is the majestic three season arc of Jerri Manthey.

From hated villain trying to woo American dreamboat Colby Donaldson – who kinda bullied her all across the Outback and led her on – to reviled returnee that was booed off the stage in All Stars, she then returned in the modern era for Heroes vs. Villains, became the hero we all rooted for and was mere seconds away from winning final immunity and snatching the game.

On top of that, she also does consistently magnificent hat work. Which does matter.

Given my passionately love for her, Jerri was thrilled to repay the favour and help me countdown to the season celebrating two of her fellow villains in Sandy and Boston Rob. While I didn’t get her to commit to appearing in a future legends season given she too loves her three season arc as is, she was happy to down a Cherry Manthey Float or two and toast to another season.

 

Cherry Manthey Float

 

Creamy and sweet … yet a little bit wrong, a float – or spider, as they are known in Australia – always fills me with a little bit of joy. Plus, after downing the syrupy, creamy nectar you get to down a little ice cream surprise and that is something that always makes me feel happy. Like Queen Jerri.

Enjoy!

 

Cherry Manthey Float

 

Cherry Manthey Float
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
600ml cherry cola
1 cup Vanilla Ice Cream

Method
Place a huge scoop of ice cream in the bottom of two glasses.

Top with cherry cola.

Down, childishly.

 

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Lamber Tarkich

Baking, Main, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Survivor: The Australian Outback

I have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I mean, we just exited the latest Survivor Dark Ages with the killer albeit horribly named David vs. Goliath, and we’re entering a season named Edge of Extinction. Which without spoiling, actually screw it you need to be warned – features the return of Redemption Island instead with worse rules and a new name.

Will I still watch it and likely love it like a good superfan? Sure. But I am concerned about what it means for Survivor movie forward. The one thing giving me hope is that a season that ends with every person voted out on the jury and the first boot winning, could give us Gabon levels of insanity. Which is literally the best case.

Anyway as I am wont to do, I’m assembling some of my favourite winners – or at least the remaining winners – to help countdown to the new season. And likely do some sort of ritual to steer it towards Gabon.

As you know I am a dear friend of Romber and even introduced them and tee-ed up their alliance which led to love, The Amazing Race, marriage and four daughters. It also makes me responsible for All Stars so either you’re welcome or I apologise, depending on your views on the season.

I’ve known Amber since the filming of Australian Outback after trekking to find the set in search of Probst. While my unintended meddling screwed over Kucha far more than it did Ogakor, I did kinda screw over Amber’s game by wooing Colby – who I must catch soon – and turning him against Jerri – who I also must catch soon – setting up her downfall, she soon moved past the pain after introducing her and Rob.

While we haven’t had an official cast reveal yet, we do know that Aubry will be returning – hopefully with an edit this time – alongside second chancers Kelley and Joe, and Family Guy writer David who I assume was emboldened by Mike White’s success last season. Given the twist seems tailor made for the likes of Joe to finally succeed, I am hoping it backfires and either Kelley or Aubry rank highest amongst the returnees. Amber obviously is hoping that Kelley will snatch victory and complete her Brkich narrative, albeit over three seasons.

It was as robust conversation as it could be without being able to spoil the rest of the cast, however it was a delight to catch-up, talk smack about Rob continuously spoiling the switch and merge tribe colours with his Instagram posts and smash a big ol’ Lamber Tarkich.

 

 

Based on a number I saw whilst browsing Taste.com.au, this tart is a delicious, quick meal to throw together during the week. Not that I don’t believe Amber isn’t worth effort, because she dominated All Stars and played Rob to perfection (… and still ended up married) so don’t at me. Sometimes simply is best, packed with spice and fresh flavours, it will have you salivating from the moment it goes into the oven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lamber Tarkich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g lamb mince
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 red chillies, sliced
¼ cup pine nuts
1 lemon, zested and juiced
small handful mint, roughly chopped
10 sheets filo pastry
50g butter, melted
1 cup Sierra Dawn-Hummus
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
½ tsp sumac
1 red onion, diced
small handful flat-leaf parsley
100g feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large skillet and cook the tomato paste and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the mince, spices and chillies, and cook for five minutes before stirring in the pine nuts, lemon and mint, and removing from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

Brush each sheet of filo with butter -bar the top one – and stack on each other. Fold the edges inward to form a rough rectangular shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Stab the base with a fork and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To assemble, smear the centre with Hummus and top with the lamb mixture. Combine the tomato, sumac, onion, parsley and feta in a bowl and sprinkle over the top. Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and warm.

Devour.

 

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Jeffle Varner

Main, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Debbie was living it up on Exile yacht with Cockstain, while Brad and his interior design skillz were leading things at Mana while Sandra and Varner were on the bottom at new Nuku until Tai’s paranoia almost got to him. Sadly however, it didn’t, resulting in the confirmation that the Game Changers we are seeing is the darkest timeline as Sandra Diaz-Twine found herself voted out – for the first time ever – as the sixth boot.

I guess the one positive we can take from everything is that her display proved why she is the greatest of all time. Though the glorious timeline where she scores a hatrick is too much joy to comprehend …

Anyway, back at new Nuku Debbie regaled everyone with tails about how awful exile was, to garner sympathy. While Ozzy came for Tai, proving that last week’s tribal wasn’t an elaborate act for Sandra, before Tai gave the understatement of the year, acknowledging that he is terrible at tribal.

Varner however was ropeable and wanted to “punch them bitches in the throat-bone.” Thankfully his dear friend Zeke talked him off the ledge … and then proceeded to spill all the details about OG Nuku.

Wanting to avoid continuing Sandra’s wake, Jeff called in the tribes for the reward challenge – honouring Sandra’s legacy in the process – where the tribes had to untangle themselves from a big, hard pole, untangle some knots, release a big bag of balls and squeeze through some tight mesh before tossing their balls around … for pizza.

No t, no shade … but this is a reward to almost die for, Caleb … ok?

With a stellar performance, obviously, from Debbie – did you see that Brad? – Ozzy’s ball handling skills won out. Though in Brad and the Technicolour Boardshorts’ defense, he did a valiant job trying to catch-up.

Well not really, but dem boardies. YAS.

After suffering a crushing defeat, Cirie returned to the game to outline how horrible it was to miss out on reward and how by this point in the game, everyone was suffering … setting of a major pity party over at Mana.

Sierra joined us to outline how hungry she was and broke down, before Aubry joined in to say how hard it was to adjust when she got home … which is how Monica felt after getting home to Brad after Blood vs. Water.

Brad continued his redemption arc, talking about how tough Monica was and how only now is he starting to understand what she went through. Seriously, Brad and Mon are couple goals at this point.

Moved by his honesty, Aubry connected with Brad … forming what appears to be a tentative alliance.

Meanwhile over at Nuku, Ozzy talked about how important this victory was for the tribe as they progress to the next phase of the game. Debbie then babe-d Ozzy, giving me another couple goal.

Seeing how screwed he is, Varner approached Sarah to get rid of Ozzy given that the merge is approaching and they want to have a fighting chance in challenges. Sarah, the cahp turned criminal seemed receptive to cutting Ozzy’s throat and ride into the merge like a crook, see.

Not wanting to leave me for too long, Probst returned for the next immunity challenge which involved a dick-load of swimming, meaning Ozzy is probs safe given he is part dolphin. Despite an epic lead heading into the word puzzle portion, thanks of course to Ozzy, Hali and her passion for spelling took out immunity for Mana and continued her metamorphosis into a Survivor icon.

Here’s to the merge tribe ‘Merica II, right?

Back at camp Varner scrambled desperately to survive one more day to see ‘Merica II and hopefully for him … the jury. While Sarah pushed hard to get rid of Ozzy, Zeke explained why it is important for him to keep bigger threats around and that Sarah and Andrea would be trying to placate him … upsetting Varner, who wanted to get rid of Ozzy.

He then took said information to Sarah and Andrea, to try and get him in with them and make Zeke look closer with Ozzy.

Then at tribal we got to see how truly desperate and low he was willing to go to save himself, outing Zeke as a transgender man and setting off the ugliest yet all at once most beautiful tribal council.

Make no mistake, what Jeff did was wrong, disgusting and utterly horrific – we know that and thankfully he knows that – but hopefully the silver lining to this incident is that there can be a positive conversation around trans rights and visibility.

The reactions of Tai, Andrea, Ozzy, Debbie and Sarah gave me so much hope for humanity, as they immediately stood up for Zeke and defended his right to come out on his terms, and to direct his experience and personal narrative.

These people and Zeke’s words are why this tribal council can still be classified as beautiful.

As a cisgender gay man, I am somewhere in the middle of the privilege spectrum. While I have a mildly similar experience by being a part of the broader LGBT community, I am acutely aware of how much more privilege I have than Zeke just by being cisgender.

Zeke spoke beautifully about why he wasn’t open about his gender identity on the show and it broke my heart as it reminded me of how it felt to be labelled by others before I was comfortable … and that is why it stings just that little bit more coming from Jeff.

Being part of the community, he should have known better as he knows what it is like to have to process your identity and often even learn to just accept yourself. People deserve the right to share what they want with others, if and when they want to. Outing people is dangerous, particularly in the trans community in the current climate.

You shouldn’t need to to be a decent person, but Varner has likely experienced something very similar – not being ready to share or not wanting something to be the one thing you’re known for – and he should know far, far, far better. Whatever the reasoning, if it isn’t your truth, it isn’t your place to share.

Ever.

I reiterate that I think Jeff is remorseful and most importantly, Zeke was able to eloquently discuss how he felt and was kind enough to take the high road … when I for sure, would have gone low. Very low. So – and I feel so awkward using this as my segway into a recipe given the enormity of what happened – I felt comfortable enough to sit down with him and share a Jeffle Varner.

 

 

Given what went down and how it played out, I thought it best to whip up an easy, delicious snack – so no sweet Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse for you! – so that I could chastise him and discuss why we, as gay cisgendered men, should know better and how we owe it to our community to be the staunchest of allies.

I truly felt he was remorseful and agreed to smuggle in a heartfelt culinary apology to Zeke. Sadly though, Probst – who let’s just pause here to reiterate that moments like this highlight are why he is the best at what he does … give the man (if Ru can’t get a 2nd) another damn Emmy – wouldn’t let me smuggle in a very, very delicious jaffle, that reminds you of childhood and why leftovers are arguably the best. Plus, how do you go past adding even more carbs to spaghetti bolognese?

Exactly – enjoy!

And if you need more information on how to be a better ally, please follow Zeke/GLAAD’s advice because I know my ramblings can in no way get close to explaining the gravity of the situation and how important it is to stand up for equality. Remember to be kind, to both Zeke and Varner, even if he doesn’t deserve it,  … haterade is reserved for my (*gasp, shock* fake) celebrity friends.

 

 

Jeffle Varner
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices white bread
butter
1 cup leftover Dolognese Parton, including some spaghetti if you want it authentic … but that is up to you
½ shaved parmesan cheese

Method
Now this is insanely complex, so pay attention.

Start by turning on a jaffle iron and buttering the bread.

Divide the Dolognese across two slices.

Top each with parmesan and close the sandwiches with the remaining bread.

Butter the top of the bread and place butter-side down on the jaffle iron.

Butter the remaining pieces of bread and close the machine.

Cook until the red light turns green … aka five minutes or so, and the bread golden and the parmesan gooey, JIC your machine is old and the lights don’t work.

 

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Tinaan Wesson

Bread, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Vegetarian

I know what you’re thinking – please, stop with the fucking posts and give the internet a break, we are sick of you!

Firstly, cool, point taken. But sorry, no can do. And secondly, fuck you, you come here by choice, why be so nasty to me? Thirdly, thanking for boosting my traffic though.

Anyway, let’s stop the drama because something very exciting is almost upon us – Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine is but four weeks away from kicking off her run for a third Survivor crown. Which she will win.

To get in the spirit this season, I thought I would round up four of my favourite winners and countdown to this momentous occasion. And obviously I am starting things with my second favourite winner behind Queen SDT, Tina Wesson.

I mean, she is the closest (other than my girl Parv) to snatching a second crown, so what’s not to love?

I first met Teens while Survivor: The Australian Outback was in production. I was a newbie, 13 year old fan and was desperate to connect with Probst, so trekked Queensland until I stumbled into the Kucha camp on Day 17.

That stumble changed the course of the game as I accidently pushed Scupin into the fire – in addition, I met my frenemy Lis Filarski, made out with Varner and wagged my finger in Alicia’s face, so win – and allowed Ogakor to tie things up, leading to Tina dominating and winner the game.

While she is one of the best low-key masterminds, Tina was always grateful for my accidental assistance and we have been close ever since.

As a Survivor tragic, Teens was thrilled to get my call and to try and get some information out of me pre-season. Particularly since I was promising a table full of freshly made Tinaan Wesson.

27 days until the premiere – who will join me next week? *Spoiler alert* he is banging.

 

tinaan-wesson-1

 

Now I could make an argument for any form of bread being the best, but a filled naan would have to be up the top of the list. Scorched, warm, pillowy dough enclosing a cheesy, spiced spinach mixture. Need I say more?

Enjoy!

 

tinaan-wesson-2

 

Tinaan Wesson
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
7g dry yeast
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 cup flour, plus more for rolling
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 bunch of baby spinach, washed and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

Method
To make the dough, combine ½ cup of warm water in jug with the sugar and yeast. Give a quick stir and leave to rest for about 10 minutes, or until foamy and smelling like a brewery.

Place the flour in a large bowl of a stand mixer, pour in the yeasty water, oil and a pinch of salt and knead with a dough hook for five minutes, or until combined to make a smooth, elastic dough.

Transfer to a large, oiled bowl and leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough is proving itself like Tina in the outback, heat a lug of oil in a medium frying pan and cook the garlic for a minute. Reduce heat to low and add the spinach, chilli and a good whack of pepper. Cook until all moisture is removed. Take it off the heat and allow to cool for ten minutes or so, before adding in the cheese.

Once the dough and filling are ready, transfer the dough to a bench, punch back and split into 6-8 chunks – depending on how big you’d like your naans.

One at a time, roll out the ball of dough place the filling in the centre and seal it into a ball. Dust the ball with flour, press to flatten and roll into an oval shape. Continue until all the dough and mix are done.

Once ready, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat, sprinkle some water on the naan and place on the pan. Cook for a three minutes or, flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. You want it to be golden and crisp but still soft on the edges … and most importantly the cheese melted.

Devour.

 

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Kimmi Kappenbergers

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

Dear, sweet, chicken protecting, clam eating Kimmi – so close, yet so far. After close to fifteen years on the bench, the original KK made her way back to the island but was undone by the greatest tribal council of all time featuring double idols, nullified votes, tied votes and our ex-lover Keith willing to quit for super K to make it one step further.

But alas, our dear friend Kim went to Ponderosa. Fun fact, while dear Varner couldn’t follow through, Kimmi stuck to the hallowed tradition of having an Australian Outback contestant make the finale of their returning season.

As you know, we hitched a ride on the Survivor: The Australian Outback pre-jury vacay and bonded with Kimmi over our love for public nudity and penchant for getting into loud, violent public screaming matches.

Kimmi played a low-key game as the start of Second Chances, working hard and building relationships and came to a Ciera-esque realisation that she was playing for fourth too late resulting in the aforementioned tribal council majesty.

Wanting to avoid starting any Ponderosa brawls and upsetting Kumbaya Kass, we kept away from clams and made our famous, Kimmi Kappenbergers as congratulations for a job well done.

 

Kimmi Kappenbergers_1

 

Not wanting to harm any chickens (or face Monnie’s wrath when we next saw her), we piled our burgers with haloumi and mushrooms, aka the two greatest vegetarian ingredients – Kimmi earned it!

Enjoy!

 

Kimmi Kappenbergers_2

 

Kimmi Kappenbergers
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
250g haloumi
2 large mushrooms
2 brown onions
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil
2 burger buns
pickled roasted peppers, to serve
rocket, to serve

Method
Slice haloumi into 5mm slabs, remove the stalks from the mushrooms and finely slice the onions.

Heat a lug of oil in a frypan over low heat and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook very slowly for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the pan.

When onions are softened, add sugar and balsamic. Cook over low heat for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised. Leave aside.

Heat a second fry pan over medium heat, add a lug of oil and cook haloumi for about 2 minutes, flip just once and cooking for a further 2 minutes. Remove the haloumi from the heat.

In the same pan, fry the mushroom open side up for about 5 minutes, again flip just once and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and wipe pan clean – carefully to avoid burning yourself, obviously. Slice your buns and fry for a minute or two to lightly toast.

To build the burger, place some caramelised onion on the base, followed by rocket, the haloumi, then the mushroom, then (if you want) more onions or rocket and top with some pickled roasted peppers.

Devour and share with your favourite chickens!

 

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Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse

Dessert, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, Sweets

Over the span of four episodes Jeff Varner has been dominating the game and setting the tone of the season however that two-bit floozy slash my Survivor nemesis Tasha (she cock-blocked my attempts to woo Joe pre-game) was able to wrangle Abi for two successive votes and boot out our dear friend and biggest non-idol-owning-or-person-named-Joe threat, Varner.

We have been friends with Varner for a long time, having met during the filming of Survivor: The Australian Outback where Annelie flew plane in the opening and I supplied Kel with my beef jerky. Much to Probst’s chagrin (we were not friends yet) we loitered around Ponderosa and joined the pre-jury trip where we bonded with Jeff over our mutual hatred for Colby (he had stolen Probst’s heart, obviously).

There was a brief stint following All Stars where we lost contact (we may have leaked spoilers AND blamed it on Varner) however we reconnected while working for Martha Stewert … where Annelie and I had nothing to do with her jail sentence. Trust us and please buy it, Martha can’t know anything.

Varner really took the fan vote to heart and turned up in Cambodia to play hard and reward everyone for his votes and even in an episode with Probsty’s wet dream, aka the DILFs glistening in underwear challenge, Varner was a star, battling hard in his final tribal council and walking into our open arms in Ponderosa with his head held high.

We tried to send a bug flying into Tasha during tribal to force a medivac but sadly it was Varner we were entertaining at Loser Lodge with a big vat of our Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse; well, what Probst left us – he wandered out of the kitchen repeating his commentary from the DILF challenge, Dietz, big and long, it will take some experimenting (hopefully we can join whatever he has planned).

 

Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse_1

 

Like Varner’s short stint on the island, the mousse packs a punch with the Grand Marnier cutting through the velvety dark chocolate to woo even the staunchest of Jaffa critics over to the choc-orange side.

Enjoy – like we will when Varner gets his inevitable third chance!

 

Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse_2

 

Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse
Serves: 6(ish).

Ingredients
6 eggs, at room temperature
350g (at least) 70% dark chocolate, preferably Valrhona
75g butter, cold
75g sugar
a good dash of Grand Marnier
a pinch of cream of tartar

Method
Separate the eggs, I prefer by hand for some visceral reason about connecting with your food however do it the easiest way you know, placing the yolks in a small bowl to the side and the whites in a large clean, dry bowl for a stand mixer.

Leave the eggs just hanging out on the bench and get to work melting the chocolate using a double boiler method (aka large bowl over boiling water – just make sure to avoid the bowl touching the water or it may cook rather than melt). Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the cold butter. Once the butter is fully combined, add a good dash (about a 2 tbsp, depending ultimately on how much orange flavour you want) Grand Marnier and 4 of the egg yolks. Leave to cool slightly.

Start beating the egg whites on medium in a stand mixer, adding the sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar the egg whites when they start to foam and continue to beat the until they form stiff peaks. Add in the two remaining egg yolks and beat until combined.

When the chocolate cream has cooled slightly, fold through the egg whites in three goes, gently folding through each addition. Spoon the mousse into cups/serving dishes – I went with ceramic mugs and espresso cups –  and refrigerate overnight.

Devour and enjoy, with or without what Probst has planned with his share.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.