Feter Confit Tomato Crostini

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 new Australians were cast into the Samoan wilderness – for the second season of the third attempt of Australian Survivor – before whittling the numbers down to the final three after 53. While they weren’t as flashy as Luke, Henry, Locky or Queens Michelle and Jacqui, Peter, Tara and Jericho have fought hard to make it to the end and survive through a very unpredictable season.

We opened up with our final three commencing the fallen comrades – which needs to be brought back on OG Survivor – where Tara and Peter awkwardly had to dance around Joan, while Jericho tried to pretend he knew something about Adam, Kate and Tarzan. We then paid our respects to Aimee – aye – and lovebirds Sam and Mark, before being reminded by how much of a Queen Jacqui is. Tragically she was followed by Kent, then (thankfully) AK, Ben and Odette, the latter two who got more airtime now, than they did during the game. Jarrad then kicked off the jury portion, followed by super-idol victim Anneliese, before they all praised Henry for his game and fauxgi spirit. They then (awkwardly for Jericho) spoke about ex-juror Tessa’s logical, methodical approach to the game, Sarah’s ability to get down and dirty while playing the game and providing for the tribe. Jericho then described Luke as his other half which is a term I absolutely hate given that it implies people are not whole unless they’re in a relationship. We honoured Olympic powerhouse Ziggy, b-b-b-banging Locky – sadly no rehash of the nudity – and the true Queen of the season, Michelle.

Seriously, they flew through that.

The end of their walk led them to the same cliff Kristie dominated Lee and El last year for the final immunity challenge of the season. Tara was shocked to still be in the game, while Peter knew it was do or die and I assume, Jericho was thinking about kittens and puppies being washed out to sea. Jonathan hyped the challenge, telling them that unlike last year’s challenge, this year it will be conducted under the cover of darkness, making it even colder and miserable…r.

Jonathan spent the early stages of the challenge baiting the contestants to remember how uncomfortable the challenge would be, which truly is savage. Darkness fell by the hour mark where Tara took one in the face – I assume she was referring to a wave – before giving the blunt answer that she was feeling completely shit. Jericho then commenced gloating and playing mind-games with Tara and Pete. The latter then tried to channel Kristie, speaking about how much he loved Survivor and wanted to make it to the end.

To distract from the pain and to add some interest, Tara spoke about how diverse all of the castaways are before her emotions started to get the better of her. Showing true kindness and, shudder, mateship, Jericho and Peter tried to give her a pep talk and motivate her to not give up. She tried to talk through the pain while the boys came up with ways to distract her from the pain – and Jericho got some spelling tips – before she ta-ragically couldn’t hold any longer and stepped down from the challenge at the 3 hour mark. The boys managed to last an extra two hours which seemed not to have phased Jericho at all, while Peter was hunched over like a dead body on The Ring. Try as he might, Peter was in too much pain and asked for JLP to help him out of the challenge, handing Jericho immunity … and by the look on his face, the win. While Peter broke down, Jericho and Tara joined him and all sat, hugged together, comforting him by the fire. Then nature proved to be savage, and threw out a huge wave that wiped out their warmth.

Not wanting to waste any time, we lost the entirety of day 54 as the final three arrived at tribal council where Jericho was daunted by the decision in front of him. Jonathan then led the jury in a round of applause for the final three’s effort in the challenge before Jericho was forced to sit between Tara and Peter as they fought for their place in the game. Or to vote them out, I honestly can’t tell, as both their arguments were that they were not the easy one to take out … which is exactly what you want to do to win the game. Tara then proved she is saavier than I gave her credit for, throwing Peter’s logic to get rid of Jericho three days ago against him.

Peter then went all in for Tara’s game, outlining why she is a goat … and again, that is meant to be his case for getting rid of her. A fired up Tara then tore into Pete’s game, saying him winning is disrespectful to the game which is a better pitch when highlighting how easy someone is to beat. With that, Jericho cast his sole vote and sent Peter out of the game as the final juror.

While he was feeling pretty salty when he arrived at tribal council, he freely ran into the arms of his dear friend – me, we’re both totes homo in communications, of course we know each other – and lamented what could have been. I joined him in crying, though thinking about the tragic loss of Michelle at the previous tribal council. Thankfully I cooked through the pain and whipped him up a big, comforting batch of my Feter Confit Tomato Crostini.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of bruschetta … but this is where its at. I love tomatoes, but have always struggled with them in their raw state, so this is the perfect fix to the Italian classic. Rich and caramelised tomato, tart creamy feta and sweet basil? Sign me up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Feter Confit Tomato Crostini
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp champagne vinegar
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
200g feta, whipped
12 thick slices sourdough

Method
Preheat oven to 130°C.

Combine the oil, garlic, fennel, sugar, vinegar and tomato in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. And when I say good, I mean good. Ok? Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or until soft and caramelised. Fold through the basil leaves.

Grill the sourdough, spread with the whipped feta and top with the confit tomatoes … before devouring.

 

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Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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Troyzanella Robertson

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

With Cirie, Aubry and Tai swiftly ejected from the finale, Cirie under tragic circumstances, we opened up on day 39 with Troyzan sharing a touching story about dreaming of this moment from seeing the very first episode. If only we’d seen more of him this season, I would have shared his confidence.

They got to work whipping up the finale breakfast with Sarah proud of how she has played the game, hoping that the jury would reward her gameplay and her officer-esque honesty at final tribal.

Brad was feeling very confident, sure that he could put his lawyer skills to use and convince the jury to award him the money.

We quickly returned to tribal where the jury looked as disappointed with the final three as I was – I mean, it could have been Sandra, Cirie and Malcolm for fucks sake. Given that this is game changers, Jeff announced one final twist in the game – changing the jury format of the game to allow a more open dialogue between the jury and the finalists.

Zeke was quick to start the dialogue, praising Sarah for turning on him and then returning to tribal every night wearing his jacket AND turning on Sierra while still being able to convince her to hand over the legacy advantage. He then volunteered as tribute for her and this is suddenly the Hunger Games … which kinda makes sense.

Andrea also praised Sarah before breaking down because Sarah had hurt her and she wasn’t sure if she could move past it and feel good about voting for her. Sarah said that she valued all of their relationships, earning laughs from Ozzy and Debbie who couldn’t trust a word she said before volunteering as Brad’s tribute, to champion his victory based solely on challenge performance.

Cirie quickly pointed out that they booted Sierra as she was the brains of Brad and Troy’s operation and without her, assumed they’d wander around bumping into each other. He was obviously very quick to outline that he was in fact responsible for assembling the alliances.

Michaela joined the fray to test Brad on his personal connection to her, highlighting a major flaw in his social game. On the flipside, Andrea and Tai then asked Sarah how she felt about building those relationships for the sole purpose of taking her out. Aubry quickly directed the question to where it needed to go, allowing Sarah to knock her answer out of the park.

Obviously that upset Debbie, with her vowing to vote for Brad. That in turn earned Michaela’s frustration, with her highlighting that it is just a game and they need to get over their hurt feelings. She then threw shade at Troyzan, asking what the hell he even did in the game. That lead to everyone in the jury jumping on board to berate his lack of gameplay.

Andrea was quick to point out that Brad wasn’t very good at forming relationships with people that weren’t a part of his inner circle. Brad tried to defend himself, before Tai cut him off and told him that he clearly has no idea how he comes across to others. Hali then jumped in and the dear law student, schooled the lawyer.

Debbie then added that he was virial and full of testosterone.

Zeke jumped in to point out that Sarah voted correctly all the time because she was always aware of what was going on, while the others did not.

Brad’s tribute from district 7, Ozzy, jumped in to once again praise Brad’s challenge prowess and tell people that that clearly means he deserves the win. Debbie again agreed, before Sarah cut in to point out that he was a professional athlete and kind of had a leg up. Brad tried to cut back in before Michaela told him to shut-it-down and let her finish.

That allowed Sarah to point out more ways she owned the game, manoeuvring around the technicality of voting out Sierra without voting for her and snatching the advantage from under Michaela’s feet while everyone was distracted by Cirie’s balance beam triumph.

Brad gave his last ditch plea, relying pretty much on winning immunities and being a neat guy and helping out at camp. Sarah simply implored them to vote for the best player who controlled every vote, rather than with their hurt feelings. Defeated, Troyzan simply thanked them for being a part of the journey because it meant a lot to him.

With that, they went to vote with Michaela announcing that anyone that didn’t vote for Sarah is a bitter Betty. Ozzy hoped that Brad could do what he couldn’t. Zeke was honour to vote for his girl Sarah and Debbie obviously voted for Brad, hoping that just once good guys – like the guy she screamed at pre-merge – could finish first just once. With that the jury voted, crowning Sarah the sole Survivor and Brad the second second-place Culpepper, and Troyzan as predicted the zero votes third place finisher.

While Troyzan’s game wasn’t very showy, he was far more likeable than his first go-around and that in itself is a win. I mean, I’ve always known that he is a kind, friendly soul as one of his dearest friend – I forced him into taking my photo in swimsuits. He was disappointed when he exited the game, but quickly perked up with a little bit of love from his friend and a big ole Troyzanella Robertson.

 

 

There is nothing more comforting than bread and as such, I knew that this is all that he would ever need to move on from his third place finish. Plus … he knew it was coming since he was on the ballot for Second Chances.

All that aside, this is delicious – fragrant, sweet … and bread. There is damn bread, case closed, it is perfect. Enjoy!

 

 

Troyzanella Robertson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g ciabatta, roughly torn into chunks and left to dry for an hour
600g mixed very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
200g chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves torn
champagne vinegar
olive oil

Method
Place the tomatoes in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

Add the onion, garlic, capsicum, basil, and a good lug of both the champagne vinegar and the olive oil, to taste. Again, toss … you know I love a toss.

Add the bread, toss, serve and devour.

 

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Hannah Shapiravioli

Main, Pasta, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the jury convened to berate, question and congratulate the final three before casting their votes, none of which went to our co-runner-up and my future lover Kengel or my dear friend Hannah Shapiro.

While Hannah wasn’t rewarded with any votes by the jury, I was firmly buying everything she was selling during final tribal council. Yes, Adam was successful in convincing the jury that her moves were simply blunders … but they were only blunders in respect to her game.

She made it to final tribal and took risks – like leaving David in until the final four and trusting Kengel to turn on him – eliminated people that she thought would be final three fodder and convinced people to risk their game – Adam included – to save her.

So while she wasn’t able to secure any votes, she played an underrated game and I couldn’t be more proud to call her my dearest friend.

I’ve known Han for a few years now, after meeting in college while studying Professor Dawson’s Survivor course – the student became the master, it seems. After graduating I put her in touch with some comedy contacts I met through my besties Tina and Amy, and she has had the honour of working with Second City, Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade.

Anyway, while she was disappointed to not take out the title – or any votes – I was able to turn her around with a quick pep talk and a generous serving of my Hannah Shapiravioli.

 

hannah-shapiravioli-1

 

It is time for your favourite part, where I liken her game to the dish!

But in all seriousness, Hannah was a soft, gentle soul, that was packed with a punch – deep down – and was able to take over the game without noticing.

Plus – who doesn’t love pumpkin, spinach and ricotta? Enjoy!

 

hannah-shapiravioli-2

 

Hannah Shapiravioli
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
600g butternut pumpkin, diced
lug of olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
60g pancetta, cut into thin strips
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
½ cup basil, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme
⅓ cup verjuice
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g fresh ricotta
250g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
60 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet with a lug of oil, toss to coat and bake for about half an hour, or until golden, sweet and soft. Remove and leave to rest while you get to work on the sauce.

Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan and sweat the garlic for a minute or two. Add the pancetta and fry for a further five minutes. Add in the tomatoes, herbs, verjuice, sugar and a generous whack of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat while you get er’rything sorted.

Get a large pot of salted water on the boil and combine the ricotta and spinach in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Lay out half the gow gee wrappers and divide the cooled pumpkin amongst the pastry, and divide the cheesy spinach on top of the pumpkin.

Brush the dough with water and top with a second wrapper, sealing each parcel to ensure no air is trapped.

When they’re all done, place all the ravioli in the boiling water and cook until they have risen to the top. It should be no more than ten minutes. Drain and add the ravioli to the sauce and return to a low heat for five minutes.

Serve immediately and cover generously with parmesan. Devour, obviously.

 

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Ken McPickle Dip

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, Ken made the best decision for him – and everyone in the final three – and sent David out of the game as the final juror.

The next morning Hannah started talking about the sunrise – and being hungry – while Ken complained about those dang millennials – despite being the one to defend them in the first episode.

After a brief interlude of the final three talking about why they deserved to win over breakfast, Ken, Hannah and Adam arrived at final tribal council ready to sit in front of the jolly firing squad that is the jury.

Taylor kicked off the fun offering them all a chance to deliver opening statements before Sunday got to work asking each to describe how adaptable they were where Ken – out of nowhere, like Australian Survivor’s Kristie – started throwing shade at Hannah, which Adam jumped on board of. Hannah – wanting a piece of the Kristie-esque action – cut him off and outlined why she had been making all of the decisions and that she voted Sunday out for being a threat, not as a mistake which Adam was trying to say.

Jess then asked Ken how he could vote David out after putting himself on a pedestal for the previous 37 days. He then broke my heart and mentioned that above all else, his alliance is with his daughter.

Take me Ken – take me now!

Will then congratulated Ken for making the move and threw Adam under the bus for being on the wrong side of the numbers all the damn time. He then tried to throw Hannah under the bus, who once again fought back and said that going rogue, as Adam was saying she did, was her taking control of her game.

Channeling Stephen Fishbach, Zeke arrived to talk about the evolution of the game – or game change, if you will – dismissing Ken for not adding to the narrative and allowing Hannah and Adam to continue their fight about who played the better game.

Whoever you prefer out of the two, they have to be congratulated for entering final tribal ready to battle for the title.

Michelle returned to the screen in all her glory and asked Hannah how many times she was on the wrong side of the vote – for the record, it was once. She then asked Adam why she should vote for him despite his failings – he again started to throw shade at Hannah, who again wouldn’t take his shit and outlined why she made the right decisions.

Bret came for my boy Kengel, which immediately pisses me off before Ken started fighting with Adam who was underestimating him. Jay soon followed to ask Adam why turned on him, rather than using him to take out David – spoiler alert, you were also a threat and one that was more likely to win immunity. Plus, the best he could do is force a tie. They then referenced Adam’s mother’s illness but Adam chose to stay quiet about it, which I found quite interesting.

Chris then announced that he wasn’t a coach and was actually a trial lawyer, putting to bed a secret that I never knew existed. Luckily for Adam, he then played the role of juror going into bat for a flailing finalist and implored the jury to vote for Adam, who he believed had played the best game.

Closing out tribal council, David asked everyone to outline how the experience had changed them.

Swoon.

Hannah spoke about her growth – aka the Cirie Fields memorial arc … which she shared with David, Ken then spoke about having to overcome being socially awkward to win for his daughter. Adam closed out the show talking about how Survivor was a shared dream with his mother and broke down. Again, breaking hearts completely knowing how that story ends. With that the jury voted, though sadly none for Ken and Hannah as Adam was crowned the Sole Survivor.

So Ken is the outlier in the cast because we weren’t actually friends before filming, which you may have been able to tell thanks to my lecherous recaps each week. I mean yes, I talk lecherously about my friends all the time but I couldn’t go as far as I did with Ken if I knew him.

Anyway, I wanted to make something worthy of his beauty, inside and out, that would also impress him and gain me entry into his pants. I’m pretty sure my phallus-alluding Ken McPickle Dip fits the bill … because who doesn’t want a bit of Ken’s pickle?

 

ken-mcpickle-dip-1

 

While Ken wanted to take our relationship slow, he did love the tangy, creamy dip and let me smear it on his face, nips and abs. So I think we have a future – everyone pray for me, or something.

Enjoy!

 

ken-mcpickle-dip-2

 

Ken McPickle Dip
Serves: 2 future lovers.

Ingredients
300ml sour cream
250g cream cheese, softened
1 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped

Method
Mash the cream cheese with the sour cream, until smooth.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Devour with crackers … or off a nipple.

 

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Coffee El Scrowlands

Australian Survivor, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 Australians were marooned in Samoa where 21 had been voted out leading to what could be the most biege final three in Survivor history.

Thankfully I wasn’t allowed to dwell on this for very long, as we opened up on day 54 where El, Lee and Kristie were already on the way to the final immunity challenge where the producers finally did something right, and brought back fallen comrades.

While I normally love this segment – that Probsty cut from OG Survivor – this just served as another reminder of the wonderful people we could have had sitting in the final three. I mean, Des was hilariously misguided, as was Bianca, Evan never got to tell the cast about his secret career as a drama teacher, Pete … well he would have been a worse option, Barry was loveable, Tegan trained Becks, Rohan rocks a speedo and Kat is just fucking amazing.

Hell, even Andrew would have been more interesting.

Then we went through the darkest timeline where we were reminded that Craig, Phoebe, Conner and Kate were booted back-to-back-to-back-to-back, breaking more hearts than Rohan’s skimpy instagrams.

We obvs recapped the jury but given the fact I am hoping they will provide us with some entertainment later we’ll skip them, ok?

We arrived at the edge of a cliff – sadly not for a suicide pact resulting in Flick getting the title by default – for the most epically staged Hands on a Hard Idol of all time. And that includes watching Mama Kim dominate in Africa.

Before they got around to gripping the pole, JLP pulled out one final twist and whipped out the Final Three’s family. There were tears and proof that El is not the least eloquent person alive, Kristie is the only person left that knows who Richard Hatch is and Lee had major back surgery.

After getting some love, JoJo sent the Final Three over to the edge of the cliff where the tribe had to perch on small, stiff poles and grip an even thicker, harder pole – so yeah, it is completely in my element.

Sadly for the family members, it isn’t a great spectator sport – kind of like cricket, to be honest – and to make matters worse, it went for over 6 hours before El couldn’t go any further and had to be carried away, Bodyguard style (almost) by JLP.

Swoon.

With El out of the way, Kristie got to work making a deal. And by that, point blank told him to give her the challenge and cried … until he did stumble off, either from fatigue or mateship. Let’s be honest, mateship. After winning her first individual challenge, Kristie then appeared to finally snap before Lee apologised to El for ruining their shot at being Australia’s Romber.

Forgoing any form of scrambling, we then arrived at tribal council where the jury were in absolute shock and disbelief to see that Kristie had actually won the final immunity challenge. JoJo gave Lee a rundown of why he and El wouldn’t be voting tonight, before they both had an opportunity to make their case to Kristie. Obviously she gave El – who was actually playing the game – the boot, sending her into my loving arms at loser lodge.

Once again, yeah I’ve been hard on my beaut, mate El – we met in the army where she dobbed in my lewd behaviour, getting me dishonorably discharged – for making this season quite boring … but sometimes the best games are boring to watch (see: One World) and I quickly worked on forgiving her as she arrived for a commiserations cuppa and my favourite, an El Coffee Scrowland.

 

coffee-el-scrowlands-1

 

El and I discovered this recipe on Sweet Perfection Cakes after lamenting the brutal way that – I want to say Arnott’s – removed these beauties from the shelves and ruined lives and the 90s arvo cuppa of Blend 43 my mum and I would share while waiting for my siblings to get home from school.

Yes – I snuck coffee at five, thus being so short. It really does stunt growth, yo.

Despite the fact I’ve tried to tinker with this to make it my own, it is perfection and takes you back to the joys of childhood. Arnotts, bring back my scrolls! And in the meantime, bake these – enjoy!

 

coffee-el-scrowlands-2

 

Coffee El Scrowlands
Makes: 48.
Ingredients
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
225g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
¼ cup small dried black currants
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
375g white chocolate
few drops of red food colouring (the OG recipe called for oil colouring, but I used the generic water based and it worked a treat)

Method
Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and spices on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and mix in the egg on low speed. Remove from mixer, fold in the flour and baking powder and return to mixer on low speed until combined. The removal and folding is solely because when I don’t, I flour bomb my own kitchen.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the currants. Roll into a disc, wrap in cling and leave to rest for 30 minutes in fridge and preheat the oven to 160C.

Cut the dough into thirds and roll out between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut into mug sized(-ish) rounds and place on a lined cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone.

Using a spiral egg whisk, press into the top of each biscuit to give the scroll design. Obviously I did not have a spiral whisk so tried my best to be handy. D- for execution, B+ for effort – stay off my back, ok?

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before loosening and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While they are cooling, melt your chocolate – double boiler, microwave, I don’t mind, do what you think it right – until smooth. Stir through a few drops of food colouring and dollop on to the centre of the biscuits when cooled.

Leave to set. Devour.

 

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Mai Tai Trang

Drink, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

After Cyd went out in, well technically without, flames, we returned to camp – after spending a bit of time with Cyd’s buff mum – where Aubry discussed her ability to pull it out and Michele was concerned about Tai’s decision to save Aubry and what that means to her potential victory.

Echoing the audience at home, Tai questioned whether it was a final two or a three given Probst’s cryptic wording.

Ultimately though it was classic Probst just being classic, as a new twist was unleashed where the final three competed for the right to vote out a juror. After a tight race, Michele continued her low-key – is that her motto? – string of challenge wins and after hearing Aubry and Tai’s compelling arguments, sent a guaranteed and persuasive Aubry voter, Neal, packing.

Ultimately though, it didn’t impacted the outcome as my dear friend Tai continued in the hallowed tradition of Becky Lee by getting zero votes at final tribal council.

I first connected with Tai while staging my own one-man, zero audience, independent adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in San Fran’s Golden Gate Park. Given his gentle, loving spirit Tai would offer me support as he went about his job. You could argue that his kindness is responsible for my excessive, irritating self-confidence.

Tai was upset after final tribal, not because he lost but because he had just said goodbye to his dear friend and surrogate son #MarkTheChicken. After assuring him that he should be proud of his game – and that I had no chicken recipes for the top two – he started to perk back up.

My miracle, liquid elixir – which is just butt-loads of alcohol, dressed up with tropical mixers – may have had something to do with that though. Either way, my Mai Tai Trang was just what doc-Tai ordered.

 

mai-tai-trang-1

 

I was very depressed by the lack of audience for my performance back in San Fran, which resulted in my downing a morning mai tai to give me the courage to continue with my dreams. After connecting with Tai, I started to double the batch as a way to say thank you … for being a friend.

Give the light, fresh flavours and a good whack of booze, it is also the perfect way to down your sorrows after snagging no final tribal council votes.

Enjoy.

 

mai-tai-trang-2

 

Mai Tai Trang
Serves: 1-2, depending on the mood.

Ingredients
60ml spiced rum
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
20ml orange curacao
10ml orgeat
crushed ice
mint sprig, to garnish … or if you forgot, a lime wedge

Method
Combine all liquid in a cocktail shaker, shake.

Place some crushed ice in the base of a glass, top with the booze, garnish with mint … or the aforementioned lime wedge and wash away your sorrows.

 

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+.