Casey Hawkupine Meatballs waiting to be gobbled up by our disappointed tenth boot Casey Hawkins.

Casey Hawkupine Meatballs

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Harry’s lies were needlessly exposed at the non-tribal council, killing off his pretend kid and kicking up an epic fued between him and JaQueen after identifying her as the biggest threat. Shaun then added to the brawn of the Champions tribe in a steal vote, wooing all the former Contenders back together and making David and Luke very nervous. Despite the added brawn the Champions lost immunity and things only got worse for the OGers as Shaun convinced them that everyone would vote Hannah to ensure they don’t play there idols and successfully blindside David. Sadly for the Zaddy, Andy happened, going to the Champs to loop them in on the blindside, leading to them playing their idols and Hannah, somehow, leaving the game.

We followed the tribe back to camp where everyone was licking their wounds, with Baden hopeful that they can light the fire and start spilling their secrets. Daisy wasn’t feeling too bad though, laughing about Luke burning his idol. Shaun shared that he felt Luke had the idol, thus Hannah getting some votes. While Andy, thankfully, was the most frustrated about the situation, pissed that his plan for a flashy mood backfired and left him out of everything. Again. Luke was probably the most angry after needlessly playing the first idol of his Survivor career, leaving he and David with nothing to save themselves.

The next day we returned to the Contenders tribe where JaQueen was still enamoured with the beauty of Fiji and time spent with the iconic Ross. Who continues to be the absolute sweetest guy. On the flipside, Dirty Harry continued to wander around by himself, half-heartedly trying to get coconuts before Zaddy Matt straight up walks up the tree to prove how much more of an asset he is. Abbey too was having a good run, killing it with her tight alliance with Pia and JaQueen and doing exercise with the immunity idol. Then there was Casey, who was madly trying to do jobs around camp to prove her worth and find an in. After waking him from his slumber, Casey approached Ross to float the idea of working together to get a little bit further, though sadly it had the opposite effects as Ross felt overwhelmed. Oh and while this was going on Pia was being an icon, talking about how Casey tried to tell her how they will vote at the next tribal council and then made a joke about her growing a moustache. A bloody icon.

Back at Camp Champ David was still smarting over losing control of the tribe and how close Daisy and Shaun are. As the tribe sat around the fire, Shaun decided to rub salt in Dave’s wounds, pulling out his fake idol to show the tribe how distrustful he is. And while it really made David feel like shit, it also made him even more focused to find another idol.

The tribes ventured to meet Jonathan in the mangroves along the shore for the reward challenge where they would race down monkey bars, one at a time, to retrieve a flag, with the first tribe to three taking out the win. It was for a private Survivor cinema experience of popcorn, bevvies and home movies. As is oft the case, Matt and Luke were first to face off, with Luke quickly falling in the water, allowing Matt to snatch the flag. Ross was tragically beaten by Andy, though was adorably hilarious in defeat. Out of nowhere Baden whipped the Champions into the lead against Abbey, leaving Simon to desperately try to tie things up, falling at the last minute allowing David to snatch victory. As they hugged post-challenge, David told Simon that he and Luke will be voted out should they lose the next challenge, hopeful that they will throw the next challenge.

Despite wanting to trade out of the reward so Pia could get some love, David knew he had to attend the reward to try and find an idol. As the tribe arrived at the reward, they opened a note from Jonathan which explained that the screening is indeed private, with everyone going one at a time, meaning we could have another Benji nachos situation on our hand. Out of nowhere Zaddy John suggested that David should go first as he has kids, which he giddily accepted as he desperately wanted the chance to search for and idol. Or at the very least, a clue. Daisy jumped in to lock in the order, with David and Luke going first. This pissed off Andy, given David is the biggest threat … that he saved last tribal. Again proving he has no idea what he is doing.

As David walked up to watch his moving, Daisy realised her mistake. Sadly for her, it was too little too late, as he searched high and low for the idol as his family talked on the screen. He then opened up the popcorn machine and as it fell everyone, he reached in and discovered his idol. He then went back to his tribe and gave an Oscar worthy performance, pretending to breakdown over seeing his family and not finding an idol. Of course this warmed Zaddy John’s heart, so of course I love him. Megan Gale made an appearance in Shaun’s message, Luke sobbed as he searched for an idol, Andy was jerky to his neices and nephews, Baden gorged while seeing a message from his cat and Daisy marvelled at how green her farm is.

Meanwhile back at the Contenders camp, JaQueen and Abbey were discussing David and Luke’s newfound minority position, leading to them joining Pia, Ross and Simon to float throwing the challenge to save them. While Abbey didn’t like the idea of throwing a challenge, she knew that sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war and as such, had to put her competitive nature aside and do it for the greater good.

Jonathan returned for the aforementioned immunity challenge where the tribe was split into pairs and forced to balance a ball on a narrow gutter between them while balancing on a teeny ledge. Abbey assured David that they would throw the challenge, before trying to force Harry out of the challenge. Janine and Abbey were the first duo to drop, with JaQueen giving an Oscar worthy performance pretending to be disappointed to drop. After thirty minutes the remaining pairs transitioned to the smallest beam, with Pia the icon pretending to fall off eliminating themselves followed by Simon faking a fall, handing the Champions immunity. And TBH, the fake disappointment was really, well, fake.

Back at camp Harry was suspicious of the former Champions throwing the challenge, given they were the only ones to drop out of the challenge. Obviously this made him nervous, particularly since Casey heard them talking about throwing a challenge. Harry, Matt and Casey got together to discuss whether they believed they threw the challenge, unaware that they really need to focus on strategising instead. Finally Harry got to the point, suggesting that they vote together and he will play his idol negating all of their votes and they get rid of Abbey instead. He then mentioned their predicament being a David vs. Goliath battle. Couple that with the fact his favourite player is Nick Wilson, which lead to his douchey toothpick bit at their last tribal council despite Tyson rocking that move seasons earlier, me thinks the superfan only started watching last year.

Feeling nervous Casey decided that it is easier to save herself, approaching JaQueen and Abbey to tell them about the plan and reiterate that Harry is playing his idol. While it is 100% the truth, they weren’t sure whether to trust her and doubled down on voting Harry. Thankfully Abbey grew nervous, making the former Champions come up with a vote split to guarantee at least a Contender goes, even if it isn’t Harry. They then tasked Ross with getting Matt on board with the vote, and while he assured them he would, he had no intention of following through. Harry witnessed all of the conversations, growing more and more nervous, leading to him approaching Ross to find out if they are splitting the vote or going five strong on him. And since Ross requested his socks, he was very confident that his plan was going to come together and he will get rid of Abbey and weaken the godmother that is actually JaQueen.

At tribal council Harry doubled down on JaQueen being in charge, leading to her pointing out that he is a known liar and as such, he is trying to deflect the target on to her. He tried to work the stick game again, pointing out how much he loves their relationship. Which JaQueen was less than receptive off. Casey denied that JaQueen was in charge, feeling like everyone in the majority has a voice from what she had seen.

Feeling like his ship was sinking, Harry pointed out that he thought the Champions threw the challenge and while JaQueen denied it, Matt agreed that he had heard about their willingness to throw a challenge back at camp. Abbey tried to avoid the conversation, reminding them that they are Champions rather than denying it. Casey said that she didn’t believe they would throw the challenge, though agreed it would be a good idea for them. Matt then threw her under the bus and said that she is the one that told them about the Champions throwing the challenge and while she tried to blame Harry, he admitted that that is one thing he isn’t lying about. Matt then went in on Casey for trying to play both sides, leading Simon to agree that Matt is an honest guy and as such, he believes what he is saying.

With that the tribe voted and a nervous, dirty Harry played his idol and while the Champions all looked panic stricken, it was all a ploy as after four votes piled up on Harry the remainder landed on Casey, blindsiding her from the game. And wiping the smug look off Harry’s face. While she was disappointed to find herself out of the game, she was thrilled to find me waiting in the wings to provide a little bit of comfort. Slash more than she is used to after living in a van. I first met Casey when she wanted me to mentor her as an upcoming storytelling, and though I quickly realised she was far more talented than I, I didn’t try and bring her down. Instead, I vowed to support her until she got famous and make her all the Casey Hawkupine Meatballs she could eat.

 

Casey Hawkins ready to claim her only Australian Survivor prize, in the form of my Casey Hawkupine Meatballs

 

As kitsch as living out of a van, these delightful balls invoke memories of ‘80s slash ’90s Australiana and TBH, I am living for it. The balls melt away in your mouth – the only way to take them – thanks to being lightly poached in tomato soup. Add in the creamy Gabriel Macht and you honestly can’t go better.

Enjoy!

 

Casey Hawkins claiming her only Australian Survivor prize, in the form of my Casey Hawkupine Meatballs

 

Casey Hawkupine Meatballs
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L Tomato Soup Clarke or 420g can concentrated tomato soup mixed with 1 ¾ cup water
500g beef mince
1 onion, diced
½  cup long-grain rice, rinsed
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chilli flakes
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup oregano, roughly chopped
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Gabriel Macht, to serve

Method
Place soup – or soup and water – in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile combine the mince, onion, rice, garlic, chilli, parsley, oregano and parmesan in and bowl and scrunch until well combined. Form into golf-ball sized … balls.

Once the soup is well and truly rollicking, add the balls, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until cooked through and tender.

Serve piping hot on a bed of mash and eat your feelings, whether you were the tenth boot or not.

 

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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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Dan Rengingering Beef

Main, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Carl and Nick each collected an advantage and shared their intel in an attempt to find a way out of the David minority. That being said, Alison and Alec weren’t so sure they wanted to stay loyal to their fellow Goliaths though did agree to stick with them to get rid of the biggest threat in Christian. At tribal council however the Davids played into Probst’s wet dreams, using the right tool at the right time to save Christian with an idol, make Dan blow – one of – his on Angelina and tragically albeit wisely blindside my love, the George Bushy of Tushy John from the game.

Back at camp things weren’t as tense as predicted with Davie asking everyone to respect game and not take things personally. However he then delighted in inheriting John’s jacket which I assume Angelina would be none to pleased about.

Natalie. Natalie? … Natalie?

Alec, Alison and Kara removed themselves to the beach to discuss how they bounce back from the blindside, vowing to find the next advantage before it blows up in their face. Again. Alison in particular was feeling nervous, given she keeps telling the Davids she is going to flip but hasn’t, and their window for flipping is rapidly closing. Dan wasn’t taking the blindside well, given he lost one of his closest allies while saving Angelina. Worse still Kara went to have a pow wow without him and as such, he was extremely upset and felt like their showmance didn’t mean as much to her as it does him. Kara thankfully realised that now is the point to cut ties with him, given he is the albatross around her neck.

The next day my boy Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribe would be split into two teams – Angelina, Christian, Alison, Gabby and Nick vs. Mike, Davie, Dan, Alec and Kara – to run through an obstacle course retrieving bags of numbers, which they will use to unlock puzzle pieces before solving a puzzle. It was for burgers and beers, so you know I think it is worth playing for! As is oft the case, Alec got his team out to an early lead – and looked beautiful doing it – until Mike didn’t cover the numbers to release their key, allowing Alison to cheat and close the gap. It was all for nought however as Alec and Kara dominated the puzzle and snatched the burgers for their team.

Back at camp Angelina was feeling quite emotional to have lost the burgs, forced to slum it with the Davids and Alison whilst smashing some rice. Gabby used the emptier camp to discuss working together with Alison, playing into her desire for big moves and encouraging her to forget about taking out Angelina and instead set her sights on getting rid of Dan. While she was trying to keep her options open, Mike was working to shut his down by using the reward to push the Goliath strong mentality. Dan encouraged them to return their focus to getting rid of Christian, begging the question – where is Davie? Did they kick him out of the reward? After finishing their lunch, Kara and Alec caught up with Alison to discuss their options with Kara sharing that Dan actually has a second idol. And then they all locked in a plan to blindside Dan. Well Kara and Alec at least, as Alison is still scared to get rid of her Goliath security blanket.

The next morning the Davids awoke early and went hunting for what they assumed was a newly hidden immunity idol. While everyone slowly gave up and returned to camp for breakfast, Christian applied his analytic robotics mind and segmented up the island and methodically searched until he successfully found the idol.

Jeffrey returned for this week’s immunity challenge where everyone was required to walk through an obstacle, retrieve balls, balance said balls on a disc, carry it over an obstacle and then maneuver them down a track. Alec, obviously, and Dan got out to an early lead before Carl, Angelina, Alison and Kara caught up at the track. However none of them were a match for Alec, who snatched immunity and TBH my heart. The man is fine and proved adept at ballplay.

Back at camp Kara started to panic about turning on Dan, unsure whether it is too soon. She and Alison approached Gabby and Nick about joining them to split the vote on Dan and Angelina and while they were all in, Alison started to worry that the Davids were planning to pull a fast one over them. Alison shared her worries with Alec who agreed it may be safest to stick with voting out Christian, much to Kara’s frustration. Much to Nick’s frustration, the Goliaths disappeared to the beach one by one despite having the majority. Sadly for them, this gave the Davids the opportunity to get together, share knowledge of all their advantages and hatch the best possible way to use them and snatch the majority whether the Goliaths are onboard or not.

At tribal council Alison spoke about being awoken by the previous tribal council while Gabby admitted she was relieved to take them down a notch. Christian started to play the downtrodden underdog with no options, while Dan gloated about his impressive majority and sticking with it. Mike admitted no one wants to be seen as the first person to flip and Alec spoke about blurred lines in the alliances, which frustrated Gabby who near-screamed that they aren’t asking to know who is getting voted, only that they want to help whoever is on the bottom. Dan continued to be salty, sassing her that going from being one alliance’s bottom to anothers doesn’t sound good – little does he know. This in turn drew the ire of the wider David tribe with Davie, Carl and Christian jumping in to explain how wrong Dan is and how great riding the bottom can be.

Nick pointed out everyone agreed to get rid of Elizabeth but the Goliaths reneged on their deal to take out Angelina next, labeling the Goliaths liars and saying they keep blowing the chances to shake things up. Christian spoke about the game struggling to kick into gear and Carl said that this tribal would be pivotal, given one of the Goliaths are either going to flip or another David will go home. With that the tribe went off to vote, well everyone but Alison who had her vote stolen by Nick as stage one of their plan to snatch control as the Goliaths whispered in panic with Dan wondering who to play his idol for. Dan confidently pulled out his second idol and played it for himself, which sadly (for him) was nullified by Carl’s nullifier, much to the shock of the Goliaths. With that, the votes rolled in for Christian and Angelina before piling up on Dan who looked like he was about to explode in a fit of rage as he was blindsided from the game.

Despite appearing to be filled – swoon – with said rage – less swoon – Dan quickly calmed down and even seemed to take his blindside at the hands of an unprecedented twist in stride. I mean, like Chrissy, there was no way they could navigate around a new element of the game and it cost both of them their spot. Obvi I am not saying that Dan would have won the season, but it still has to hurt. Tragically I said all of this to him and he appeared to fill – again, I wish – with anger, so I quickly had to whip up a big, fat bowl of Dan Rengingering Beef to cheer him up.

 

 

A little bit sweet and packing a spicy surprise, there is no better way I like to take my meat. At the table. Sorry, I’m just going to miss watching him during challenges.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dan Rengingering Beef
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
vegetable oil
500g beef rump steak, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
6 shallots, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
½ cup cooking sake
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
rice or Stephanie Fried Rice, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan over high heat and stir fry the beef for a couple of minutes, or until browned. Add the onions and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook for a minute.

Add the sauces to the pan and cook for a minute, or until thickened. Serve piping hot on a bed of fluffy rice, or better yet, with a little bit of Steph’s fried rice.

 

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Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders luck started to turn around in the reward challenge, in no small part thanks to Monika belly-flopping through the challenge. Sadly it was short lived as they found themselves back at tribal – in no small part thanks to Steve taking nut after nut for victory – where Paige’s stint playing the middle of the road ended, run over (thanks Aubry) by the rest of the tribe and booted from the game.

We kicked things off with zaddy Steve and Mat at the Champions, where Lydia talked us through how well the tribe is going and how much they are loving the experience. Lydia was focused on getting through the game and taking out victory, which sure doesn’t bode well for her, no? Mat too was loving things, learning to swim with Shane and controlling the tribe with Jackie and Brian on the left right out. Meanwhile over at the Contenders things weren’t as upbeat as they talked about Paige’s boot and sat around, two-by-two, unsure how things were going to play out on the tribe. Well, aside from the fact that Queen Tegan is channeling Queen Sandra and straight up doesn’t give a shit who goes home, as long as it isn’t her or Heath.

Jonathan decided to drop by nice and early this ep for the latest rewa, wa, wa, what – there isn’t a challenge in sight. This is a switch! Tegan looked giddy, the Champions looked terrified and to quote Big Kev, I’m excited. The new Champions tribe was made up of Tegan – who was less excited – Shonee, Steve, Shane, Mat, Sam, Jackie and Brian while Sharn, Lydia and Monika joined Benji, Fenella, Heath and Robbie as the new Contenders tribe. Tegan felt like she couldn’t catch a break in the game while Lydia was gutted to be slumming it at the Contenders.

At said camp Lydia was heartbroken to discover everything was awful and the camp was in disarray, before they all introduced themselves. Sharn made fast friends, pulling a fishing rod out of her bag and started feeding her new tribemates, Lydia got to work jushing the shelter and Robbie fell in love with Monika. Meanwhile Shonee was giving the producers hella sass at the Champions tribe, pissed about going from on top of the tribe to left right out with Tegan. Thankfully Tegan gave her a pep-talk and they got to work making friends with their new tribemates, while Mat was paranoid about how the numbers would fall on the new tribe. Tegan started the strategising early, asking to be shown the well … which Mat happily obliged to make sure he made a connection before Brian and Jackie got the chance. Jackie and Brian meanwhile seethed near the fire, taking everything in and biding her time to make a move. Jackie didn’t bide long however, with Jackie quickly cornering Tegan and lying that the boys plan to throw the next challenge to take them out ASAP.

Back at the Contenders Lydia was bonding with Benji and Robbie, hoping that her strength would be enough to keep her around. Lydia proposed a meatshield alliance – perfected by Stephen – with the boys joining with her Champions alliance to make it to the end. Sadly she decided sacrificing Fenella would be the best option, and given the fact she was the strongest Contender woman … I don’t see it panning out.

Lil’ JoJo made a return for the first immunity challenge as new tribes with Monika pretending they weren’t slumming it at the new tribe, while Tegan and Shonee could barely hide how nervous they were. Which was evident, as Tegan said she looked forward to making new connections ahead of the merge. Anyway, challenge. The tribes were required to pair up and balance a block between their feet, with the last block remaining winning immunity for their tribe. Sam immediately started to play mind games, seeing that Benji was struggling from the get go. Sadly though he and Tegan were also struggling, and became the first to drop out of the challenge. Out of nowhere Fenella and Monika dropped, and things were evened up. Steve couldn’t hold out any longer, leaving Shonee and Shane as the last pair standing at the Champions while Benji and Sharn continued to struggle, dropping, leaving Robbie and Lydia as the new Contenders last hope. After forty-five minutes poor Shane could hold on no longer, dropping the cube and handing immunity to the new Contenders. Out of nowhere while everyone was comforting Shonee for putting in such a killer effort, Robbie hugged Mat and whispered for him to look after the girls like Rob to Lex in All Stars. And I don’t feel like that will actually work out for him.

Back at camp the Survivor gods decided to kick the Champions while they were down, heaping rain up them so they can not scramble for the vote ahead. Mat was confident that the OG Champions would stick together and send Shonee or Tegan home, while Jackie wasn’t feeling as hopeful so commenced making second plans. Jackie whispered to Shonee that they would likely split the vote at tribal and she would protect her. When the rain let up Jackie checked in with Mat to see that they would be splitting the vote, locking in the boys for Tegan and girls for Shonee. Sadly for her, Mat approached Tegan to make sure she and Shonee were ok with Tegan telling him that Jackie told her about the plan to throw the challenge to get them out. Which pissed off Mat, who approached Steve to get rid of Jackie or Brian instead since the girls would be sitting ducks for later. Brian and Jackie worried about the growing bond between Mat and Tegan, while Mat approached Shane to see if she’d be open to turning on Brian if it kept them safe.

At tribal council Jonathan shaded the Champions for losing the challenge before Mat turned it around and praised Shane and Shonee for dominating the challenge. Steve said the tribe was weaker post swap, while Shonee quickly threw some shade saying, again, that she and Shane dominated the challenge. Jackie, if she was a betting woman, would say that one of the Champions would have gone had the new Contenders tribe lost the challenge, Sam said he would hope to make new bonds with new tribemates, while poor Tegan was feeling like it is her time to go. Again. Shonee admitted that she was trying to make bonds with her new tribe mates, but it was be difficult given they’ve known each other for twenty-five days and them for one … but she does have faith in putting trust in people. Brian said it is a toss of a coin which of the girls go, which made Tegan feel like shit. Mat started talking about the importance of fake outs in sport, which started making Jackie and Brian quite nervous with Jackie encourage everyone to play safe rather than focussing on making a move for the sake of it. Mat said he was hoping to keep the tribe strong and play with people he can trust, while Jackie and Brian doubled down on keeping the Champions, specifically, strong.

With that the tribe voted and they rolled in for Tegan, Jackie, Shonee and Brian … before they all piled up on Jackie and Brian, with the poker player ultimately out played and sent out of the game. Much to her shock and feigned respect. While she was still smarting from the pain of a vicious blindside when she rolled into Loser Lodge, she couldn’t help but respect the game. Particularly given she had been looking for a way to make a crack at the other alliance. When distracting her by joking about how we both fucking suck at rubix cube stopped cheering her up, I pulled out a big batch of (verbose) Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings.

 

 

Yes, the name is clunky … but how can you not love the combination of honey, chilli and lemon so much that they require equal billing? Sweet, spicy and little tart, the flavours cut through the fatty wings and leave you with the ultimate comfort snack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
125ml honey
1 tbsp tamari
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 chilli, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
12 chicken wings, jointed in the disgusting process that makes me sad

Method
Combine the honey, tamari, lemon, chilli, garlic and shallots in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Line a large baking tray and spread out the wings with a little space between each. Transfer to hot oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, like a slob. Because that is the only way to eat wings, damnit.

 

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Bradth Norris

Breakfast, Main, Soup, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, in the wise words of my dearest friends the Spice Girls two became one as the tribes merged. This lead to a shit tonne of feasting, reuniting alliances and the reminder that Matt and Dave went to school together and that Dave would be safe. As such he held on tight to his idol as Renee decided it was time to jump ship and save herself, joining the OG Khangkhaw to take out Arun.

Back at camp Brad and Lisa celebrated their success, with Lisa continuing to play the innocent mother and echoing how bad she felt. Dave on the other hand was feeling bad to see Arun go, wishing that he had left instead as it was so painful to watch. Which I guess is simultaneously sweet and idiotic. Thankfully both Renee and Adam were proud of making a move and getting rid of a threat, with Adam reminding us that he is kind of the Sandra Diaz-Twine of New Zealand in that no one sees him as a threat – well, on her first two appearances – despite controlling the game and being hella sassy.

The next day Renee, Matt and Tess were discussing the importance of toast, in both quantity and toppings. Though maybe that was Matt’s way to distract everyone from their feelings, as he is concerned about how Dave and Eve must be feeling trapped on the bottom. Sadly for him Adam is dead set on getting Dave out ASAP, as is Tess and Br … wait, Brad is wanting to make a move! Sadly for him, Matt decided to channel SDT and lurked in the bushes at the exact right moment, hearing that Brad and Tess were open to taking him out. Making it super awks, Matt emerged from the bushes forcing them to about face and talk about taking Dave and Eve out at the next two tribals. While Matt was more than ready to take one of them out.

Back at the camp Tess gushed about her love for Renee who was using her time to coach Brad and Adam how to braid hair. Renee gushed about her decision to flip at the last tribal council as it was giving her the best hope for being the only Chani to flip to the other alliance and make it far. The entire tribe then joined the braiding party before Dave reminded us he owns an idol and Renee spoke about the importance of getting rid of Dave.

But enough of camp life – Matt Chis is here and we’re ready for the reward challenge where Dave unveiled a new look to try and fit in with the long hair club! The challenge required everyone to run out and untie sandbags before returning to the starting mat and throwing them into a series of targets. It was for ingredients to make tuna melts – which explains Tess’ tin salmon chat – and I am literally vomming at the thought of how shit it is. The tribe clearly weren’t overly impressed either, casually walking to collect their bags before tossing away. Renee got out to an early lead, followed closely by Dave, Matt and Brad before Dave and Brad overtook her, with Brad snagging himself the worst reward since the bag of melted chocolate. Inspired by Jiffy Pop, Matt then gave Brad the opportunity to share his reward with just one other person, selecting his main target Dave as he wanted to be fair. As such, Matt gave him the chance to choose another person this time forgoing the fair third place, selected Tess. Since it appeared to be a struggle, Matt gave him one other person to share with with Brad selecting contestant Matt.

The victors arrived at reward to kick off the episode’s product placement portion, making he feel violently ill. There was gushing, talk about flavours and it looked fucked. Not even mayo smeared around Matt’s mouth could excitement me. Dave decided to take the opportunity of being stuck on a reward with each other’s rancid tuna breath to try and flip Brad and Tess to his side. He then went on and on while the boys tried desperately not to fall asleep while Tess’ eyes almost fell out of her head from rolling them so much. He felt it went ok though, so that makes he think he isn’t as self-aware slash good as I thought he was.

Back at the camp Adam was entertaining the girls with his shark attack victim performance as the winner’s arrived, vowing to punch Dave in the face if he complained about being full. Eve then pulled the biggest move of her game, asking Brad to give them a run down of everything they ate which infuriated Adam who wanted to take ALL the tuna melters out.

Matt and Dave went for a walk to digest said food and talk about Dave’s pleas at reward. Matt then caught Dave up, telling him that Tess and Brad plan to target him no matter what and he needs to find a way save Dave that still benefits his game. Dave shared that he has an idol, which was music to Matt’s ears at it meant he could help pull off a blindside without getting his hands dirty. The unspoken qualifier is that he also knows that Dave is too nice to deny the move should they make final tribal.

Matt Chis returned for this week’s immunity challenge where each tribe member was required to hold two weighted discs with a pot attached between their hands and a pole, with the last person to drop winning. Though given only Dave and Eve feel in danger, it really shouldn’t take long. Sadly poor Dave was the first contestant out, leading to Adam dropping straight behind since he just wanted Dave to lose before Lisa and Tess after what felt like an eternity. The remaining five survived an hour and a half, leading to Chissy forcing them all on to one leg which saw Brad, Tara and Renee drop in quick succession. After a further 45 minutes, Matt started to struggle while Eve stood like a statue and snatched immunity.

The castaways quickly got to work scrambling back at camp with Brad, Lisa, Tess and Tara focusing on how to split the vote since Eve was immune. Brad then got uber cocky and decreed who everyone was voting for out of Dave and Renee before pulling Dave aside to assure him that he won’t be voting for Dave. Since Dave heard the subtext loud and clear, that pissed him off and he focused instead of trying to throw some votes on Brad. Renee and Tess caught up to talk about the likelihood of idols, with Renee assuring them that it is highly unlikely. Matt, Lisa and Adam then caught up to talk about wanting to avoid throwing votes on Renee for no reason, with Matt then throwing Brad’s name out there as a potential option. Which appeared to both excite and terrify Adam, who didn’t trust the numbers however slowly came to the realisation that it was the perfect time for a blindside and they really need to take it. Matt and Lisa were nervous about Adam running back to Brad and looping him in, however the longer it went on the more it seemed like Adam knew it had to be done. With the three of them locked it, Matt filled Dave in on the plan and they debated whether it were better to play the idol or not, lest it spook Brad to play his.

At tribal council Eve spoke about feeling relieved to be immune though didn’t seem to think it would have a difference on the game at large. Renee shared that she was feeling vulnerable and knew that votes would be coming her way tonight, Dave played the nervous target roll very well, likely because he doesn’t seem to believe he will actually stay safe. On the flipside, Brad spoke about his desire to start making some big moves before trying to pretend that he wasn’t trying to dictate the game and lead his alliance. Matt hinted that he is definitely about to shake up the game, vowing to play a game that benefits him rather than leaving it up to someone else. Tara vowed to stick to her own pace – which seems to be close to non-existent – before Dave tried to go for a last minute plea, though it ended up sounding more like he was reminding them that he has been hustling. With that the tribe voted and Matt and Lisa’s plan went off without a hitch as Brad was sent from the game much to the utter shock and disbelief of him, Renee and a livid Tess.

Despite the crippling rage burning inside him as he made his way out of tribal council, Brad quickly calmed down though TBH I think he was in shock. I sat him down in the Jury Villa and calmly explained that yes, he had been voted out, yes, he is no longer eligible for the money, yes, he has to return to the cave every couple of days before eventually voting for someone to win the prize he just lost. Where was I? Anyway, I rubbed salt in his wounds, then felt hella guilty so served him up a warm, nourishing Bradth Norris.

 

 

I know, I know – broth probably doesn’t feel like the most comforting thing to make someone that was brutally blindsided however, try it and then tell me it isn’t worthy. A fiery kick, eggs and the earthiness of chickpeas? It is damn breakfast perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bradth Norris
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp Harissa Oleynik, plus extra to garnish
800g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1L vegetable stock
2 lemons, zested and juiced
4 eggs
flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped to garnish

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion until soft and sweet. Add the garlic cumin, harissa, chickpeas and capsicum with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Slowly add the stock and lemon juice and zest and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and crack the eggs into the pot. Cover and leave to poach for five minutes or so.

Serve the broth immediately with an extra dollop of harissa and a sprinkling of parsley. And devour.

 

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Loadesiree Potatafuye

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the end of the Chris v. Dom feud led to a unified Naviti splitting the vote between Michael and Libby to continue the desolation of Malolo. While Ozzy’s glowed up stick – not this NSFW one – saved Michael, poor Libby found herself heading out of the game and straight to the jury.

Given it was a rather straightforward tribal, we joined Lavita the next day with Dom telling Laurel about his dream from the previous night which featured a cameo from Martin Sheen – or maybe Michael TBH, I can’t remember – and a killer bacon and egg roll. While I would have loved to hear more about the dream and the BER, Des joined us to share that while the food situation is dire her experience being homeless set her up to deal with it. I’m a terrible person for caring more about the dream story, aren’t I? Des then joined Laurel, Donathand and Jenna to tell them that she was looking to make a move, put an end to Kellyn’s Naviti strong and take her out, followed by Wendell and Dom. While that is the best idea, she is telling Wendell and Dom’s closest ally and therefore it seems doomed to backfire.

Before we can hear more about her BIG MOOOOOVEEEESSSS, Probst returned to lord over yet another team reward challenge where they were required to have two people rescue the remaining members of their team, collect puzzle pieces and then, obvi, assemble said puzzle. Sebastian and Michael got the orange team out to an early lead and I noticed that Michael is once again wearing shorts instead of his holey jocks, making me yearn to see how large the holes are now. Anyway, Wendell is still rocking the jocks and I’m moister than an oyster. So anyway, the orange team of Sebastian, Michael, Chelsea, Kellyn and Jenna dominated while Donathan – who wasn’t selected – looked on and purple languished at sea. While purple did their best to close the gap, boy wonder Michael lead his team through the puzzle and to victory of a chopper ride and picnic. Once again, the victors couldn’t come to consensus about who to send to Ghost Island leaving the Survivor Gods to send Angela for a trip while they headed to the chopper.

Michael and Co arrived at the reward site, struggling to comprehend how epic their victory was and gave Michael the chance to find cracks in the majority. Which I hope for my lust’s sake, they listen to. While Chelsea and Sebastian were making him feel better, Kellyn was confident it was all a rouse and they were still – wait for it – Naviti strong. Meanwhile over at Ghost Island Angela was given the opportunity to play for an advantage and given she has the majority without her vote, she went for it. Sadly for her, she picked badly and finished with no vote at the next tribal which could screw her if a flip does happen.

Back at camp Laurel and Donathan decided they were better off sticking with Dom and Wendell, so went to them to share that the people on the bottom of the Naviti alliance were planning to flip on them ASAP. While Dom admitted it was in their best interests, he made quick work of putting out the fire by telling Kellyn that her closest allies wanted to kick her out at the next tribal council. She was mildly concerned that it was true, she felt confident enough to trust her gut that they would never turn on her.

Laurel and Donathan continued their dominance, encouraging Michael to go searching for yet another idol to try and ensure his safety. While Michael was a man on a mission, Donathan wanted to join him and then snatched it out from beneath him. Said idol was Scot’s Kaoh Rong idol which was cursed when Tai refused to join it with his idol to save him. As such, said idol was powerless unless Donathan could get the idol under the middle of the shelter to restore its power. He then returned to the shelter and with Laurel, Michael and Jenna’s help was able to distract the tribe long enough to make the grab and reverse the, yep, curse.

Probst returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribe was required to balance a ball on a disc suspended like two ropes, so you know Probst is going to have fun with ball puns. Wendell dropped almost instantly, I assume because his balls were covered by shorts. He was quickly followed by Jenna, Laurel, Des and Angela, before Michael proved adept at ball play and could keep it up. Not long after Donathan and Dom dropped out, followed by Michael just before the next section of the challenge. While the final three looked solid, Kellyn dropped soon after getting to the next stage before Sebastian couldn’t keep up his luck, dropping the ball and handing Chelsea victory. I think, since she is barely on screen.

After briefly congratulating Chelsea, Des celebrated the fact Kellyn didn’t win and got to work rallying the troops to take her out. Sadly Kellyn confronted Des and Chelsea about their potential flip assuming it was just a lie Laurel told Dom rather than the truth. Des then approached Laurel and the remaining Malolo members about her alleged lies to Dom to cover her tracks. Sadly for her, Donathan was also present for the conversation and quickly pointed out that it happened. Laurel and Dom reconvened, vowing the strong need to stick together and take Des out on the defensive. Dom then pulled in Michael, while Laurel and Jenna went to convince Kellyn that the conversation actually happened. Which she kinda did, despite still feeling it was too early to destroy the OG Naviti tribe. She then confronted Dom and accused him of starting an all male alliance with Michael which made me extremely confused as they headed off to tribal council.

At tribal council Des was quick to throw Des under the bus for causing all of the drama at camp. While she tried to deflect and make it seem like Laurel was making things up, Laurel, Donathan and Jenna joined Michael in completely dominating tribals and read Des for filth and called her out for all of her lies. While Chelsea was concerned about being thrown under the bus by Des’ plan, she had immunity and was kinda blase about the sitch. Michael was still feeling nervous about the upcoming vote since he is still on the bottom – I wish – while Donathan seethed about the fact no one was trusting them when it came to Des. Kellyn tried to channel her inner Jessica Jones and get to the truth while Des just seemed over sorting it out and just wanted to vote. Tragically for her that was a mistake as said vote resulted in her becoming the third member of the jury.

Poor Des was hella exasperated by the time she arrived at Ponderosa, though given the fact she was the one that spent the last 24 hours lying to save herself I was kinda confused. I mean, sure, be disappointed … but exasperation at people not buying your lie. I call sour grapes. Obvi I didn’t tell her this to her face, instead opting to hold her tight, let her cry through the pain and then cheer her back up with a Loadesiree Potatafuye.

 

 

While my primary school tuckshop referred to them as stuffed potatoes, there is nothing better than a loaded potato. I mean, how can you go wrong with a bed of gloriously baked potato stuffed full o’ – wait for it, waaaaaaiiiiit for iiiiiiit – all the fixin’s?

Enjoy!

 

 

Loadesiree Potatafuye
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 large potatoes
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp smoked paprika
small handful of chives, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 shallots, roughly chopped
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Prick potatoes with mental skewer, wrap tightly in foil and place on a lined baking tray. Transfer to the oven and bake for an hour or so, or until soft.

Unwrap the potatoes and slice off the tops. Scoop out the flesh and mash in a large bowl with the sour cream, butter, paprika, chives and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir through half the shallots, bacon and cheese and spoon the mixture back into the potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining shallots, bacon and cheese, and transfer to the oven to bake for a further ten minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp.

Devour immediately. Full of glee.

 

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Erin Green Soup

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Snack, Soup, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls learnt to dance bringing out the worst in Jeana with she and her bestie Rio feeling upset about being on the outs … despite their attitude being the entire cause for it. That wasn’t the only drama going on though, with Brendi K’s inner saboteur getting the best of her and forcing her to walk away from the competition to look after her health. Thankfully though, her quit ended up saving Kyla and, ugh, Jeana.

On the way back to the house Kyla quickly reminded Jeana that they should both be feeling very lucky to still be there. When they arrived Shanice celebrated her best photo win and sympathised with Brendi K and her emotions, since they both came from similar backgrounds and she inherently feels responsible to be the one that makes it from her family. Erin and Kyla joined her for a victory dance, pissing off Jeana who feels that as she has much more experience she should be doing better than a novice. Quick question, does she know what the premise of this show is? She headed upstairs to have a breakdown with Rio and Khrystyana, and share her own shitty upbringing.

Tyra mail arrived teasing the girls with a trip into the outside world – which is totally for go-sees, right? – which made Erin release that she really needs to stop coasting and step up her game. Before she could come up with any tangible ideas, Law arrived to confirm the go-sees with three seperate designers who each had just one slot to fill in their upcoming shows. Law helped the girls get dressed and make sure their heads were in the game. While he was concerned about Rio’s fugly top, Khrystyana’s necklace and Jeana’s height, nothing was worse than Shanice’s walk.

He then brought out Jerrod Blackwell from Next Model Management to present them with their portfolios before they were split into groups – Erin, Kyla and Rio vs. Shanice, Jeana and Khrystyana –  and sent on their merry way. Kyla and Erin were a mixture of nervous and excited, while Shanice wanted to kill Jeana and pretend she wasn’t in her group. Jeana, Khrystyana and Shanice all did well at their first stop, Erin really sold her personality at their groups first stop, much to the annoyance of the designers. The groups switched designers where Jeana’s height was an issue and Rio, sadly, seemed to dominate. At the final stop, Rio, Khrystyana and Jeana slayed, however Rio and Jeana’s attitudes still totally sucked.

Law rejoined the girls to announce that the winning runways were actually happening immediately, with Kyla, Jeana and Rio dominating the castings with Rio ultimately scoring two and Kyla the other. On the flipside, Erin was called out for upsetting the buzz killingtons with zero energy.

Back at the house Jeana tried to help Shanice out with her walk, however since they hate each other it didn’t go down very well. Obviously.

The next day the girls arrived to shoot covers for Paper magazine, making Erin nervous that if she doesn’t perform she is definitely going home after the go-see disaster. Drew assigned each the girls themes – Kyla got Cyber Sexy Beauty, Khrystyana was Dark Slick and Androgynous, Jeana is showing off her Bald Beauty, Erin is channeling 90s Hip-Hop Music Video, Rio got ‘50s Dreamgirl while Shanice will be Red Carpet Ready. Erin went straight into character, though Drew was concerned she was forgetting to model. Rio slayed the shoot, Shanice was thrilled to finally get a wig … though complained about it the entire time. Though since Drew also hated the look, maybe she was right? While her second look was better, her attitude to Drew wasn’t cute and he looked about ready to cut her at any given moment. Lucky for her, she worked her 1970s Hooker look. Khrystyana and Jeana also slayed while Kyla struggled to channel cyber sexy and not give a fuck, angering Drew.

Arriving at panel Erin and Kyla were extremely nervous about their performances, quite rightly since Erin’s couldn’t bring it beyond the character and Kyla didn’t know how to work her features. Jeana’s photo received universal praise though her height issues at the go-sees concerned the judges. The judges loved Khrystyana’s photo however didn’t like her panel look, Rio was deservedly – ugh – beloved and while Shanice’s photo turned out, her attitude on set was called into question leading to Tyra showing off her glorious acting chops.

Backstage Shanice tried to defend her attitude but really didn’t seem to realise how she behaved and Kyla questioned whether she should be here. Thankfully Tyra started handing out places before another person could quit, handing Rio – rightfully, ugh – best photo, followed by Khrystyana, Jeana and Kyla, leaving Shanice and Erin in the bottom two with poor Mama Erin shown the door.

While she – and I, TBH – was disappointed to exit the competition, she was understanding and harboured no anger. Though given I was standing there with a nutritious Erin Green Soup – oldies love healthy food – how could she be angry?

 

 

Based on Sarah Wilson’s sugar free version, this soup is so hearty and warm … but drastically improved by the addition of chilli, garlic and leek. And while it is obvious I would always say that, it truly is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Erin Green Soup
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 leek, halved and sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
4 cups broccoli, roughly broken up and stalk sliced
2 zucchinis, roughly chopped
1 green capsicum, roughly chopped
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 bunch baby spinach
1 bunch basil
1 bunch parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup grated vintage cheddar

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pot and sweat the leek, garlic and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes. Add the broccoli, zucchini, capsicum and celery and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil, reducing heat once rollicking and simmering, half covered, for half an hour, or until all the veggies are soft.

Remove the lid, add the spinach, basil, parsley, and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir for a couple of minutes.

Remove from heat and carefully blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the lemon zest and juice and cheese until combined.

Serve immediately with warm, fresh sourdough … or with a poached egg for breakfast. Don’t judge, it is amazing.

Oh and obvi, devour.

 

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JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini

Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the mega majority continued to dominate the game … until Ryan told random unnecessary lies about the idol to two of his closest allies, and Ben’s controlling nature started to irk Chrissy and Ashley. That left poor Mike to stir up some drama at tribal council to draw attention to himself before playing an idol. Sadly that was unnecessary as the mega-alliance piled all their votes on Cole and sent his glorious nips out of the game.

Back at camp Mike’s closest ally Joe started to chastised him for playing his idol unnecessarily. This made Chrissy super confident given the dead men walking have absolutely zero protections now. While Mike rationalised that by protecting Joe, he’d ultimately have two votes to help find a crack in the alliance rather than just one. Sadly, Joe remained pissed despite it being exactly what he did with Desi when Alan went home.

Not messing around Probsty arrived for the foot fetishist’s ultimate reward challenge. You know the one, they have to untie some wooden blocks and build a tower out of them with your feet. It is kinda creepy, but I’d do a lot more for some burgers and an island getaway. It is pretty hard to actually commentate on this challenge, given I haven’t obsessed over their feet but Mike and Lauren were out in front, with Ashley close on their tail. Tragically for Mike he couldn’t get it up – it being a flag – without knocking over a block, handing Lauren victory.

As with most rewards, Lauren was given the chance to bring some friends along, immediately picking Devon – who wouldn’t with that glistening torso – Ben and Ashley. While Probst tried to flag this as a concern for the rest of their alliance, Ryan was unconcerned. Though with the mute JP’s chest next to me, I’d feel safe too.

Back at camp Mike and Joe finally reconciled after their post-tribal feud before trying out some ameteur comedy to save themselves. How that is a logical plan, I would never know. I mean, what is worse than ameteur comedy? Not to be outdone, Ryan and Chrissy joined together to discuss their superior gameplay and spoke about how confident they are that they’ll get to the final seven before taking out Ben. Pride, fall, no?

Meanwhile Queen Lauren continued her ascension, downing some burgers before locking in a final four alliance with Ashley, Ben and Devon, vowing to turn against the rest of the alliance ASAP. Lauren then stepped it up another notch and got everyone to spill all of their secrets so they can pool their knowledge and take control. Idols and extra votes were spilled, Ashley realised she was the Jon Snow of the tribe and Lauren told Ben he needs to make peace with Joe to get enough votes. Devon was feeling super thankful to be her ally … before discovering letters from home, bringing everyone to tears. And further solidifying their alliance.

Ben excused himself to go read his letter – again sharing some personal information about his life *coughs winner’s edit* – before stumbling upon a map to another hidden immunity idol. He went straight into marine mode, searching him and low for the idol … eventually discovering it lodge in a pot in a tree. I mean, yay for him and all, but the way the camera was panning around, I was sure he was going to miss it. And it would have been hilarious.

Probst returned for the next immunity challenge where everyone would need to balance on small beams on an a-frame floating in the water. Given he seems hell bent on breaking up the alliance, he gave the castaways the opportunity to forgo the challenge and instead devour a shit tonne of peanut butter and chocolate. I mean, without even taking off their clothes for it. While Devon, Ben and Lauren got busy eatin’, the rest of the tribe got busy balancin’. After ten minutes JP fell off the platform before Chrissy and Joe quickly followed after transitioning to the top of the platform. Ryan soon followed, leaving Mike and Ashley to battle it out for immunity, which the latter won after Mike dropped out of nowhere.

Back at camp everyone told Mike how shocked they were by his killer challenge performance. While Ryan was pissed that three of his allies sat out of the challenge, he nor Chrissy seemed concerned that they could actually be blindsided. After the seven broke up their pow-wow, Lauren assembled her troops and debated who to take out, out of Ryan and Chrissy. Not to be outdone, Devon decided it was best to have Ben vote with Ryan and Chrissy to distance himself from their new alliance and allow him to get information after the blindside. Given the plan hinges on them, Lauren and Ashley pulled Joe and Mike aside to get them on board before they headed off.

Cole sadly chose to wear a shirt to tribal at the jury, which was hella distracting and, well, kinda rude. Mike started to promote he and Joe’s comedy show, which Chrissy was keen to tell them was completely terrible. She and Ryan then spoke about how confident they are in the seven, meaning this blindside it definitely going to be successful. While Devon and Lauren spoke in vague, non-committal statements which kind of signal change is afoot – am I Keith Nale? – both Chrissy and Ryan were completely shocked as the votes rolled out … and JP found himself exiting the game.

At least, I think that is his name, since he never speaks. In any event, he is the dude that stripped way back in episode one before Kat got voted out.

While I had no idea who he was when he rolled into Ponderosa, he quickly explained that he was JP … one of my dearest friends. I first met the fit fire-fighter when I was a firebug a few years back. I had decided that setting shit on fire was the best way to meet men, as they’d have to rescue me by carrying me out of a building. I mean, sure, questionable logic but it worked on JP and we were eating post-coital JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini in each others’ arms for six blissful months.

 

 

These perfect little delights remind me of everything I loved about our relationship. I mean, how can you go past such a creamy, salty delight … when it comes to meat?

Enjoy!

 

 

JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g baby bocconcini
100g thinly sliced speck
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
crusty bread, for serving … if you feel carbs are necessary

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Wrap each bocconcini with a piece of speck and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil, season to taste and bake for about ten minutes, or until the meat is juicy and starting to firm up and the cheesy inside is starting to ooze.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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Pake Bowl

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Ben and Henry were warmly welcomed after opting to swap to Samatau. Well Henry was liked, making him a threat while poor Ben continued to be a non-entity. At the reward challenge, Asaga came from behind to win a trip to the Survivor ice cream parlour where Anneliese found a clue for an idol. Sadly for her, it was hidden at the next immunity challenge. Luckily, kinda, Asaga completely bombed the challenge allowing her to snatch the idol while feigning heartache while Henry slipped Jericho an idol clue which I assumed is dead. After a heated tribal council between Michelle and Kent, my speedo loving god couldn’t sway anyone over to his side and found himself exiting the game.

Asaga returned from tribal council where Luke was feeling very confident about how things played out, while Odette was feeling mega-shitty … only exacerbated by their lack of fire at camp. While she put herself to bed, Michelle dropped by and saw Luke’s confidence and raised him with arrogance.

Things were looking up the next day when Luke tried to outdo Locky by catching not one, but two sharks. Speaking of Locky, he and his Samatau tribe mates were struggling without fire or a flint to make one. While he, Ben and Tessa tried to get a fire going, ol’ arrogant AK continued to lay back and do nothing to try and bait Locky into snapping at him to further isolate him from his tribe mates.

Back at Asaga, Luke noticed his mate Jericho running off down the beach to find the idol that Henry and Jacqui found episodes ago, thanks to the clue Henry handed him at the last immunity challenge. Please, please, PLEASE – tell me they hid a fucking stick in the tree. Meanwhile at Samatau, Henry was reclining – literally like a healthy, friendly AK – in the hammock where he filled us in that yes he gave Jericho a dead clue to try and woo him back to his side come the merge.

Odette returned to our screen to finally let us know who she is. Given the fact Henry’s plan to switch has left her without any allies, she was feeling extremely sorry for herself and missing her son back at home. Right on queue, she and Luke arrived at treemail to discover that they all got gifts from home to celebrate making it to day 25. Luke was likeable, Odette’s story broke my heart, Ben got a Thomas the tank engine, Locky got me hot by getting a jersey that inspired some NFL fantasies before Henry brought the house down by getting a necklace from his mum who died six weeks before the game began. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

Also … I know I talk about Locky a lot, but Henry is hella bangin’.

Wanting to quell my thirst, JLP finally made an appearance for the next immunity challenge where Henry discovered he lost another ally. Not wanting to dwell on his loss, Samatau arrived with every reward they had won thus far to barter for a flint. The challenge required three people to jump off a platform to collect keys to unlock a chest of puzzle pieces. Two people then had to build the puzzle before the remaining two knock it down with some bag. But turns out, it isn’t for immunity but for the winning tribe to attend tribal council where they will vote for someone to get the chance to snag a massive reward. Aka the super idol – thanks ads!

Samatau got out to a huge lead thanks to Ziggy’s experience in the olympic pool and Michelle’s general ineptitude. Despite that, AK completely choked the puzzle portion, allowing Asaga to take the lead … then Jericho and Tara struggled to knock pieces off allowing Samatau to close the gap and Ben – BEN – to secure victory for the tribe. That my friends, was a nail biting challenge.

Back at camp Samatau were feeling good about their win and to find a flint attached to a pot. Despite it feeling like they wouldn’t actually snag fire, Locky eventually got the fire going allowing them to eat some rice and switch their brains back on as they commenced scrambling to figure out a) how tribal council can be a win, b) what said win could mean and c) how they convince people to vote for them to get the reward.

AK, obviously, was annoyed when people tried to suggest themselves for the prize, despite also trying to convince people to give him the reward. I mean, it may be my boner talking, but Locky’s logic that if it is a tribal reward, they’re better off voting for the strongest guy there to snatch it for them.  I mean, at least he’s trying to appear altruistic?

Putting us out of our misery, they arrived at tribal where JoJo continued to be very vague about the details of the reward. The tribe tried to get information as to what the “ultimate reward” could be, and how it would benefit them and/or the tribe. All they did get is that the person would not be returning to camp with them that night, though they would still be a member of the tribe.

After a lot of passive aggressive back-and-forth with AK and his alliance trying to put Locky down, while Locky tried to fight for himself as the best person to secure victory for the tribe – and I truly believe that is what he thinks it will be – they deemed Ziggy to be the best all-rounder / trustworthy enough to send. The tribe then filed out of tribal council, leaving Ziggy to be handed a map to the mangroves where she learnt that a super idol – as predicted by Ben – was hidden amongst the trees and she had until sunrise to find it. Despite what Ben thought that meant, the idol split in two allowing one half to cancel out a hidden immunity idol at tribal, while the second half could be played as normal. She meandered all over the swamp for close to five hours before finally laying eyes on the super idol, leaving her with the dilemma of what to do next.

Zigs awoke on a pedestal near the swamp to find a bountiful breakfast while she pawed the super idol. With that, came a great deal of confidence bordering on arrogance begging the question, is it actually the start of a winner’s edit or the beginning of her downfall. She then returned to Samatau with the dilemma of trying to decide what to share with her tribe mates. She then told everyone a very confusing story to cover up what her advantage was, which became so convoluted I almost started to believe it. As did Jarrad and Tessa. Locky then threw some hella shade, which was glorious, while AK was not buying anything she was selling.

Over at Asaga Tara was feeling proud to have made it beyond the halfway point of the game. She then reminded everyone that she harbours will will towards Samatau, none more so than AK. Luke then spoke about being the king of the jungle and made me wish for his downfall as quickly as possible.

Hopefully in a prophetic manner, JLP arrived to lord over the next reward challenge … but wait a minute, everyone is dropping their buffs and switching up the tribes. JoJo meandered around the tribes offering up platters of concealed buffs for them to select their news tribes. AK and Peter ended up switching to new Asaga, with the former’s nemesis Tara while new-Samatau welcomed Anneliese back, this time with Michelle. AK tried to downplay the magnitude of shit he just walked into, before Jonathan introduced the actually reward challenge, where each tribe would select one person at a time to battle balancing an idol on a paddle … for a taste of home and everything Samatau gave up for flint.

Ziggy and Tara were first to face off, with Ziggy grabbing Tara’s tit on the way to victory. Sarah easily defeated Anneliese, a sadly clothed Locky was bested by AK, Henry took out Odette, Luke took out Jarrad, Pete destroyed Ben and Michelle, obviously, was bested by Jericho. Once again, Ziggy beat Tara, Anneliese even things up with Sarah, Locky got one up on AK, , Henry – again – took out Odette before Luke tied things up over Jarrad. Match point came down to Pete and Ben, with Pete, obviously, taking out victory for new Asaga.

Despite being gutted by the loss, Locky – being the babe that he is – was seeing the bright side with AK now screwed on the new tribe and hopefully about to be kicked to the kerb by Ta-tas. On that note, AK and Pete arrived at their new tribe where AK was shitting himself … though hoping to turn things around on Tara. While they devoured their favourite treats AK was trying to work overtime making friends … and then tried to show he had a heart by talking about his girlfriend, proving to Tara that her feelings towards him were more than founded.

Over at new Samatau, Locky was feeling great to no longer have to deal with AK. On the flipside, Anneliese was feeling uneasy to be back with the jerks that voted her off a few days ago. Michelle was also hating life, given the fact she went from top to bottom – it’s called vers, babes – though she quickly got to work connecting with people and gossiping, knowing Ziggy’s friend Jono outside of the game. That obviously annoyed Locky, who missed the sound of silence, who tried to pull numbers to take her out ASAP.

Back at Asaga 3.0 AK continued his faux-charm offensive, emphasis on offensive, playing hard to try and save himself. He and Pete then went for a walk to discuss how best to save themselves, agreeing that Sarah and Odette were their best chances for survival. Thankfully Odette emerged as a queen, dismissing his attempted sweet-talking before Sarah too, didn’t see through his bullshit. That being said, Tara was watching it like a hawk leading her to approach Luke and Jericho to assure their allegiance slash get her revenge. Luke however had very little sympathy, thinking the entire thing is hilarious … leading him to approach AK to form an all boys alliance to take out Tara. Which he was obviously faking about, making him fractionally more likeable.

That obviously lead into the immunity challenge which Samatau are obviously winning given all the focus has been on Asaga. AK continued to sound confident ahead of the challenge, which involved one man and woman to hold a barrel, while the other tribe tried to fill it with water to make them drop it. Locky and Ziggy were in charge of the barrels at Samatau, while nemeses Tara and AK had to carry Asaga. Asaga focussed on taking out Locky, making him glisten in the sea water before AK became the first to drop out of the challenge, leaving a half-full barrel for Tara to hold while Ziggy was still empty. Out of nowhere, Henry threw a huge bucket of water into Tara’s barrel, handing Samatau immunity – shock – and sending AK and Tara to tribal for their latest showdown.

Back at camp Tara confirmed that once again, she would be voting for AK, which annoyed the shit of AK who feels he is entitled to outlast her. He and Luke went for a walk, with Luke lying that Tara was annoying him and she wanted her out next. Luke then approached Sarah to tell her that the plan is still to get rid of AK. Everyone started to get quite confident about the plan to blindside AK, making me anxious given that there is half an hour left in the episode.

Almost like I manifested it, AK started to feel concerned about Luke and Tara tending the fire together leading to AK and Pete meeting up by the well to try and come up with a safety plan, which lead them to Sarah. While Sarah knows that he is a snake, she rightly pointed out that she needs to stick with bottom-feeders and humour AK that she was willing to flip to the old Samatauns to take out Tara. He then approached Odette to firm up numbers, with her simply gloating about being the swing vote. While it seemed like she was kicking him while he was down, I do have a sinking feeling that AK and Luke are both about to survive tribal.

JoJo quickly got to work zeroing in on the ‘AK is fucked and is feuding with Tara narrative,’ with the feuders walking us through the brief history of their drama. Luke then brought up the fact that they are low on strength and need to focus on keeping people that can win challenges, spooking Tara that she may actually lose the battle. Odette then mentioned that she was starting to question what she was doing tonight, making AK equally as nervous. After everyone mentioned that they were now quite confused about how the votes would go down, said votes went down and AK became the tenth person voted out of the game.

As much as I’ve verbalised my rage for AK, we used to be dear friends … until he refused to fly himself to New York to DJ my wedding at his own expense. Despite the fact that that is clearly disgusting behaviour on his part, I decided to take the high road and whip him up a comforting Pake Bowl.

 

 

Spicy and fresh, this is the perfect dish to work through the pain of a brutal, swap-fucked blindside. And, obviously, rub in the pain a little … we all know I’m not nice enough to just kindly whip up a comfort meal for a frenemy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pake Bowl
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
300g firm tofu, cut into 2cm dice
1 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra for frying
2 tbsp gochujang
200g udon noodles
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
2 bok choy, halved
250g mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Combine the tofu, sesame oil and gochujang in a bowl and toss to cover. Spread the tofu over a lined baking sheet – leaving the sauce in the bowl – and place in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until crisp.

While the tofu is in the oven, cook the noodles as per packet instructions.

Get three skillets on the flame over medium heat with a lug of sesame oil. Place the bok choy, cut side down, in one pan, and cook for a couple of minutes each side. In pan two, add the capsicum and toss them for a couple of minutes, or until bright, fragrant and cooked. Then, in pan three, add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Add the white of the shallots, tamari and honey and cook for a further minute. Add the sesame seeds and then cook for a further, further minute.

Drain the noodles and toss them through the saucy bowl.

To serve, place some noodles in a bowl and add each element on top, finishing with the fresh greens of the shallots and let it get fresh with you. Ak … a devour it.

 

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