Pixie Poliaf

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls did a makeover on their dearest minders, the Queen Team. Oh and Ru was sick and skipped out on most of the episode. While everyone was perfectly paired – by accident, no less – results were a little more mixed. Danny was able to make her newest sister feel confident enough to don a beard while Cheddar and hers were having a while dripping in gold. At the other end of the pack, however, Pixie aged up her new sister badly. Oh and apparently Dakota’s perfect makeover and consistent branding wasn’t enough, as the judges placed her in the bottom with Pixie. Cheddar rightly took out the win before Michelle continued to glitch and booted Dakota.

Incorrectly.

Backstage everyone was gutted to lose sweet Dakota, none more so than Pixie who had to deal with the guilt of eliminating her. Cheddar meanwhile led the dolls in praising her for being so damn strong and making such a splash on the competition, while Danny assured Pixie that they are glad she stayed. Despite how terrible her outfit was. Pixie meanwhile was glad to have lip synced given she has been coasting and that moment in the bottom she was able to be shaken out of her head. As they sat down to kiki, Danny sobbed talking about how she felt like Dakota had much more to give and she felt like she didn’t even deserve to be in the bottom. Which is true, but I hate the fact it came at the expense of Jonbers feeling like she doesn’t think she is worthy. Because she is.

The next day everyone spoke about how surreal it is to make it to the top five, with Cheddar admitting that she is shocked to have made it this far given she wasn’t sure her drag would come across. Peppa obviously saw herself here, while everyone admitted that they thought Dakota would get there. This led to Pixie reiterating that she didn’t think Dakota should have been in the bottom, which again led to Jonbers getting frustrated and when Pixie continued to go in, Cheddar stepped in to assure her they just want to know more about the story she is telling.

Before things got physical, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would be overacting in The Squirrel Games. A murder mystery set in the Big Mother house, overseen by a deranged squirrel. And as Cheddar won the last challenge, she would be casting the show before they acted with director – and Dakota robber – Miselle Visage. They sat down to read through the script with everyone excited by the range of iconic British reality stereotypes, while Pixie was laser focused on getting the lead hero role. Jonbers meanwhile wanted to play a dog given she dreamt it, Peppa went with the Bear Grylls character, Cheddar went with the vapid influencer, Danny got the Davina McCall role leaving Pixie with the easiest win, Kim Woodburne. Everyone split up to learn their lines with Danny concerned about Peppa and Jonbers bringing the group down, but damn were they having fun.

The dolls joined Michelle on set where Danny was a charming mess, unable to get her lines down, but well, you know she is going to slay so this is a fake out. Peppa was very loud and intense, Cheddar’s accent was less consistent than DK – aka Dorit Kemsley – while Jonbers just could not remember her dog’s name. While Pixie was doing a perfect character study, though struggled with light and shade. And her lines. So yeah, it was an absolute mess.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls split up to beat their mugs with Jonbers opening up about how much she is missing her family. Particularly since her family is super supportive, with her dad desperately pushing her to audition for the show. Cheddar too opened up about her supportive family and how her dad calls out homophobes on the reg, while Danny’s dad kinda took coming out, out of his hands, letting him know that he knew and will always love him. Pixie too is grateful for building a relationship with her dad the older she has gotten, while Peppa spoke about how much her chosen family mean to her and that they lift her up when her birth family don’t.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by the stunning Lorraine Pascale as Danny opened the Ruff and Ready – aka ruffles – runway in a stunningly gaudy blue gown, Jonbers was perfection in a white and green fluffy number – complete with playing some sexy flute – while Cheddar was a gorgeous living pansy in honour of the pansy project, where pansies are planted at the sites of homophobic crimes. Peppa was stunning in a denim-does-Oz look and ugh, she is per. Fect. Pixie meanwhile was gorgeous as a slutty Elizabeth, which was bested only by Michelle’s queen puns. We then settled in for the premiere of The Squirrel Games and well it was better than the shoot would have us believe, but well, it wasn’t exactly stunning. Though watching Cheddar go full demented, vapid delight was an absolute joy to behold. As was Pixie’s Kimmy performance.

The judges lived for Danny’s character and how hard she went in, making Davina a wild caricature and obviously felt she looked gorgeous on the runway. Jonbers meanwhile was read for giving one note despite having two characters, though they lived for every single moment she served on the runway. Cheddar was praised for giving light and shade and slaying the acting, with the praise only getting better when it came to her beautiful look. And the story behind it. Peppa was read for screaming through the challenge despite everyone living for the depth she brought to the runway, while Pixie received universal praise for the performance despite the fact she didn’t bring herself to the character. And Michelle felt she didn’t bring enough ruffles to the runway, despite looking gorgeous.

Backstage Jonbers was thrilled by Ru calling her outfit one of the best of all times, particularly given it proved to the other dolls that she has a brand. Peppa too was happy with how they felt about her runway, despite knowing it will be her and Jonbers lip syncing tonight. Danny reiterated how much they all love Jonbers before Pixie praised her for serving stunning tonight, which led to Danny breaking down about feeling good looking. Pixie too was emotional about the fact Ru told her she was proud, while Cheddar was just thrilled to be having so much fun in the game. And well, is she starting to feel competitive? The dolls then received messages from home with us learning Jonbers brother is a total zaddy, Peppa’s loved one is also a zaddy and so is Danny’s partner. And that is the end of zaddy watch.

We returned to the mainstage where Danny was sent to safety before Cheddar took out her fourth win of the season – please don’t go the route of Bimini and Ella and be robbed, Cheds – before Pixie joined them, leaving Jonbers and Peppa to battle it out for safety to Some Kinda Rush by Booty Luv and well, it is was a show. Both the dolls had a fire within them, desperate to avoid missing out on the top four, hitting every lyric and giving tricks, hitting every line and flipping and splitting around the stage and well, I was glad to see Ru bring some sense back to the judges panel – who would have thought?! – as she saved both the dolls, leaving the top five to fight another day.

Backstage Jonbers and Peppa were on cloud nine, thrilled to have both made it through. And while Danny led the other girls in congratulating them for turning out the show, she was disappointed to have been beaten by Cheddar. Particularly since she felt her runway was superior. But well, she best be scared because now that Cheddar has her fourth badge she is hungry for the win.

The next day the top five were feeling deja-Ru to be starting another week as a fivesome (or do we just say orgy). Danny was feeling less bitter today, congratulating Cheddar on her win while the latter joked she is aware that she now has a massive target on her back. Before we could unpack any of that, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would need to participate in the General Erection where they will roast their opponents and the eliminated queens. Immediately filling Peppa with dread, even though they will be coached by Bafta winning comedian Aislin Bea. Though given she survived the week before, she and Jonbers were given the power to decide the order which could help her. If she plays it wisely.

As soon as Ru exited, Peppa and Jonbers pulled themselves aside to strategise the order with the former wanting to hide in the middle. Jonbers meanwhile didn’t want to put Pixie in the end and give her the chance to finish strong, given Pixie is very confident in her ability to roast. Cheddar meanwhile was terrified of the challenge, so told the girls that she would like to go early or in the middle. Danny just didn’t want to follow Pixie, who was reading the dolls and not charming them, which was a vibe. Ultimately the order was Danny, Jonbers, Peppa, Pixie and then Cheddar, with her positively ropeable given she felt her style will end things on a flat note. And well, things were well and truly tense in the Werk Room. And, well, work. One by one the dolls met with Aislin and well, she was an absolute delight, giving wonderful, smart advice and uplifting the dolls who were more nervous. I mean, even Peppa left rehearsal confident in herself!

Elimination Day arrived with Danny opening up about how nervous she is about the challenge, particularly given everyone expects her to do well. Cheddar agreed that the competition is terrifying and despite being successful, stepping outside of your comfort zone is risky and always fills her with fear. Peppa meanwhile was glad to surprise people while Pixie was looking forward to absolutely roasting everyone.

We ventured to the mainstage where Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Olly Alexander for the General Erection Roast where Danny opened the show and absolutely demolished, going for Olly’s teeth and slaying Starlet’s lack of personality. Then she pivoted back to teeth, reading Peppa and Alan’s too, before casually destroying everyone. Completely. I mean, just give her the badge now. Jonbers followed and was an absolute delight, leaning into her drunk persona and joking about her gender reveal being a bomb scare because she is from Northern Ireland. I mean, she was delightful, charming and a ball of fun. Peppa destroyed Pixie’s messy makeover – and gurl, she was angry – but the jokes stopped there until she just told them to laugh whenever she wanted. 

I mean, at least she is a self-aware icon and her telling everyone to laugh at her bombing was adorbs.

Despite following such a mess, Pixie seemed to be even worse as she got into her head under the pressure of the expectation she would easily win. And ugh, it was hard to watch as she botched her jokes, lost her way and looked absolutely broken. Cheddar thankfully bought some energy back to the roast, leaning into a solid character and going with safe jokes. While it got a little derailed, she was charming and that saved things.

On the Pretty in Punk runway Danny continued her triumphant week in yellow tartan in honour of fucking gender and well, it was glorious. Jonbers gave showgirl punker, complete with giant safety pin through her front and well, I loved it. Peppa served sexy Beyond Thunderdome and it was a total slay, while Pixie served a punky Queen Liz and Cheddar closed the show looking classic punker, giving Sid Vicious Ts.

The judges rightly gave Danny universal praise for everything, from dominating the dolls in the challenge and giving all the Westwood glory on the runway. Jonbers too received only praise, particularly for playing it smart in the roast with the drunk character and for giving a killer look on the runway, despite Michelle not living for the wig. Peppa was praised for being so bad she was good and the fact she had everyone rooting for her, though they sure as hell lived for the runway given it was absolute perfection. Pixie was read for bombing the roast and not even mentioning Alan’s teeth with the stonehenge joke, though they liked the runway despite it swallowing her a little. Oh and then Cheddar was read for showing her first sign of weakness and playing it too intellectual, though her runway was deemed perfect.

Backstage the dolls kikied about the critiques, with Jonbers gagged to have landed in the top, while it was obvious Danny won. Cheddar felt the judges were fair with what they wanted, before reiterating that her going at the end was kinda bad for everyone. Particularly since she verbalised not wanting to go last. Pixie meanwhile was gutted to have bombed, with Danny assuring her that she would have done well if she just had a couple of laughs in the first 30 seconds to build momentum. While Peppa was just ready to send someone home. The eliminated queens dropped by to chat with Dakota talking about how funny they were, while Le Fil wanted them to go harder on her. Talk thankfully turned to Sminty’s iconic exit and how much Ru lived.

Obviously Danny took out victory with Jonbers joining her as safety, before Peppa was gagged to learn that she would be facing off against Pixie for safety. Meaning Cheddar earnt her spot in the finale, because, duh. As soon as Another One Bites the Dust began, Peppa was on fire and while Pixie also turned it, Peppa is Peppa and knows how to turn a show. And then poor Pixie literally stumbled mid-performance and while she recovered well and powered on, it wasn’t enough as she became the last person eliminated, sending Peppa through to the finale. 

Backstage I pulled Miss Polite in for a massive hug and praised her for doing such a killer job throughout the season. And more importantly, for not being too polite all season and for giving us some iconic moments. Speaking of which, while she only had one win, Pixie was consistently killer from the first week and while she had her stumbles, they really only happened when she got in her head, proving the inner saboteur is real. Real, but easily vanquished with a piping hot, herby Pixie Poliaf.

While pilaf is a basic kind of French side, it proves that sometimes classics are the best – right, Pixie? Gently spiced, full of herbs and a little sweet, pilaf pairs perfectly a French stew. Or TBH, devoured from the fridge at midnight (being mindful of the rice is poison situation, of course).

Enjoy!

Pixie Poliaf
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups long grain white rice
120g butter
1 onion, diced
1L chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and pop the stock in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. 

In a dutch oven, heat the butter and saute the onions and rice for a few minutes, or until the rice becomes opaque. Slowly stir in the hot stock and bay leaf before covering and popping in the oven to braise for 20 minutes.

Once cooked, separate with a fork, stir through the thyme and remove the bay leaf. And then serve and immediately devour.


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Pork Jeanine Schzheng

Main, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the non-merged tribe officially merged and immediately new factions were formed. Jeanine was feeling left out given her closest ally was blindsided, though Noelle and Dwight assured her that it will only free her up to play a better game. Sadly for her though, Jesse and Cody were becoming nervous of their fellow Vesi’s growing power and were ready to make a move. After Gabler took out immunity and James found the Knowledge is Power advantage, chaos ensued leading to many a name being thrown out and advantages trading hands to avoid being stolen by James, resulting in Dwight’s exit.

With poor Jeanine’s idol in her pocket, no less!

Back at camp Cody and Jesse were thrilled to have taken control with the Cocos, but were kinda shocked that Sami had joined them. Unaware that he is somehow now in the majority. Talk turned to the fact that James’ Knowledge is Power led to a game of advantage roulette and how confusing it was, with Jeanine particularly heartbroken to lose not just an ally but her idol. Sami tried to play damage control with Owen and Jeanine, assuring them that he only flipped because he knew it was a done deal and as such, he wanted to earn the majority’s trust. Oh and he assured Jeanine that now she is idolless it only makes working with her more enticing. Sami then spread the word that Jeanine’s idol went out of the game alongside Dwight before Jesse surprised us by announcing that he had actually collected Jeanine’s idol and given he also has Cody’s, he is holding all the power now. Specifically two idols.

Secretly, which is important given the Knowledge is Power is in play.

The next day Karla and Jesse were bonding over their Latino heritage before Owen opened up to them about how he was originally born in Korea and adopted at 4 months old. He spoke about how growing up he felt like an outsider and that being left out of two votes in a row, it was bringing up trauma. Though trust and believe he was going to try and find those cracks and take control with some other underdogs. He immediately caught up with Noelle and Jeanine to talk about who to align with, with Jeanine hopeful in their chances with Gabler while Noelle wasn’t so sure the seven that voted together the night before will stick together for long. Jesse, Karla, Cassidy and James caught up, hopeful that they would be able to stick together, with James wanting them to target Owen next given he voted for him at the first merge tribal.

The groups game together, with Karla opening up about her dreams about Probst making ramen during a gross food challenge and then crowd surfing. While it was weird, it got everyone talking about food and how damn hungry they were, fantasising about new food combinations and well, this is why Probst drags me to Fiji twice a year, I guess. Rather than just talking about food, Ryan went to go find some, fishing for hours to feed the tribe and make sure everyone was well fed. And therefore a little reliant on him. He opened up to Gabler about how proud of himself he is, particularly for a kid that grew up with CP and as such he is hopeful being a provider counteracts the fact he is a massive physical threat. After locking in his place in the alliance of seven, Sami approached the outsiders to try and align with them, given going to the end with the others is far more risky. He then returned to Jesse and James to keep them feeling about aligning with him, but trust, he was ready to make a move.

The tribe reconnected with Jeffrey where they would each have to balance a ball on a disc on the end of a tall pole, with the last one standing taking out immunity and guaranteeing their place in the top ten. Before getting to the challenge though, Jeff offered the tribe a bag of rice if five people were to sit out of the challenge and if nobody takes it, it will only be more expensive. Thankfully James, Sami, Jesse, Cassidy and Karla opted to sit out for the rice, despite James trying to assure Owen that he is TOTALLY safe if he were to sit out. Which is definitely not the case. The six players lined up for the challenge with Jeanine and Noelle dropping back to back when adding their third length of pole. Gabler dropped on the next round, Ryan dropped on the next before Cody dropped out of nowhere on the next transition, handing Owen a much needed victory.

Back at camp Owen was thrilled to have some much needed safety because despite the fact the 7 may not stay aligned, he is still on the bottom. As evidenced by James assuring him he is good. Gabler meanwhile was just trying to keep himself safe, hanging around Ryan and James as they locked in the vote against Jeanine. Ryan went person to person to fill them in on the vote, trying to get things unanimous before disappearing to fish for everyone to remind them how great eating is. Cody and Jesse meanwhile were confident that getting rid of Jeanine was the best for everyone, while Sami kicked it into high gear to save his fellow Baka, as such, floating Ryan as another option.

Knowing he had to play things carefully, he floated whether getting rid of Ryan makes sense to Karla. And while she was obviously keen, she knew it would be a tough sell with the rest of the alliance. Particularly since he is spending his afternoon fishing, rather than strategising with his allies. The Ryan vote spread like wildfire with Jeanine growing hopeful that she would be saved, until Cody and James started to turn things back around. James then went person to person, with Cassidy in particular frustrated to see yet another woman voted out particularly since she is clearly a sitting duck  and they will be able to get rid of her whenever. Oh and Ryan has burnt her multiple times, whereas Jeanine hasn’t.

At tribal council Jeff spoke about how each season has a unique vibe, with Gabler talking about theirs being focused on the social connections. While Karla countered that while the social games have been subtle, eventually someone has to make moves to claim victory. Ryan meanwhile suggested everyone was laying low for now and just enjoying themselves, while Owen admitted he doesn’t care what happens as long as he is voting with the group. Sami pointed out that the last two votes have been blindsides, while Cassidy reminded everyone that subtle games aren’t weak and James suggested everything is fluid within the game.

Jeanine opened up about trying to go with the momentum and keep navigating around the uncertainty, while Gabler was concerned about how quickly things change. Cody admitted he is nervous whenever he feels safe, while Ryan reminded everyone he caught 21 fish today. Jeanine spoke about not feeling safe, at all, given she was on the bottom last tribal, though was hopeful to trust her gut before Cody spoke about distances and reading body language and well, I was confused. As was Sami, given he was expecting everything to blow up pretty soon whether they were feeling safe or not. With that the tribe voted and despite their best efforts to feel Ryan, poor Jeanine found herself exiting the game as the Queen of the Jury.

Which, as you know, is my favourite placing.

As soon as she arrived at the freshly transformed Ponderosa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on a game well played. I told her that I was concerned that the women were having such a tough time this season due to the back-to-back success of Erika and Maryanne, and as such, there is an element of her being screwed by what was fresh in everyone’s mind. Which proved to be enough to dull the pain. Although maybe it was the piping hot Pork Jeanine Schzheng that made her feel better?

Delicate, melt in your mouth pork, coated in a gloriously crunchy crust, this little schnitty is perfect – particularly with some Dwight Moorshroom Gravy to wash it down! Add in a little mash and you have a comforting meal, easy enough to slot into your mid-week rotation.

Enjoy!

Pork Jeanine Schzheng
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 pork steaks, flattened to about 2cm thick
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
flour, for dredging
olive oil, for fryin’
lemon, mash and Dwight Moorshroom Gravy, to serve

Method
Take the pork out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature while you prepare your crumb. Combine the breadcrumbs, rosemary, thyme and garlic in one bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, the egg in another and flour in a third.

Dip the pork in the flour, followed by the egg and finally the crumb.

Heat a lug of oil in a large skillet and cook the schnitzels for a few minutes, or until golden and crisp. Flip and cook for a further few minutes or until golden, crisp and perfectly cooked through.

Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, some mash and a generous amount of Dwight’s gravy. And then devour.


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Dwight Moorshroom Gravy

Condiment, Gravy, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the three tribes came together for not the merge, but the now traditional non-merge-but-earn-your-place-in-the-real-one-a-palooza. Now, thankfully, gloriously hourglass free. After Elie, Owen and Sami were left vulnerable, the Baka’s worked overtime to put the target on Cassidy or James. Though obviously told them to target Cody. Sadly as hard as they worked to get rid of anyone else, Gabler decided to air their dirty laundry at the merge feast and outed Elie for going through his bag earlier in the season (when it was in fact Jeanine). And while she valiantly kicked it into overdrive to save herself, it was all it took to unite the rest of the group against Elie and boot her from the game as the final pre-merger.

Tragically, for my drama loving heart.

We returned to camp where the Gaia Tribe were reeling from what happened at tribal council, specifically Jeanine who was ready to rise from the ashes despite being left out. Noelle pulled her aside and assured her that despite what happened to her closest ally, she is still safe and if her experience with being left out of the Justine vote is anything to go by, it may actually help things. As such Jeanine went person to person, assuring them that there are no hard feelings and she is glad to lose her partner. Though in private, she still kinda just wanted to just cry.

The next day everyone ventured down to the beach for sunrise where Owen and Dwight quietly strategised about how to proceed, with Owen admitting he just doesn’t see himself working with Gabler any more given he is too unpredictable. Speaking of Gabler, he was busy talking to Cody about how chill he feels now that Elie is gone. He explained to us that he planned to continue playing like an ali-gabler. Aka duck back under water to chill until he next needs to strike.

Owen and Dwight continued their double act, collecting treemail which they thought was for art supplies to paint the tribe flag. Instead they learnt that the tribe would need to split into pairs for the upcoming challenge. And how those pairs were formed is completely up to them. While everyone obviously was desperate to get Ryan or Cody though, nobody outright said it and instead they decided to draw rocks.

We quickly pivoted to said epic challenge where Jeffrey confirmed it was for immunity and explained that the pairs would only be pairs for the first two stages of the challenge and after that, it was everyone for themselves. In the first stage, the pairs would race through a tangled net tube before digging up planks and a flag, with the first four back to their mat moving on. For stage two, they would race up a cargo net and cross a rope bridge and race to a mat with the last two pairs moving forward to the final stage, where they would each have to hold a bucket containing 25% of their starting weight. Last one holding the bucket jagging immunity.

Ryan and James were first through their tube followed by Karla and Cassidy. After Ryan and James moved on to the final round, Owen and Gabler and Cody and Dwight joined them, while Karla and Cassidy secured their spot in the next round with the other duos making it to the end as Noelle and Sami, and Jesse and Jeanine were eliminated without even exiting the tube. Before moving on to a new round, Probst gave a speech praising how hard Noelle fought in the challenge and while she was down on herself, seeing Sami and the rest of the tribe rally around her was heartwarming.

We then did a hard pivot as Probst set the second round in motion as Dwight and Cody blitzed through the competition and secured their place in the final round before Owen and Gabler narrowly joined them as the Coco duos dropped as they tried to rush to the finish. The four men took their place holding the buckets for the final round. Almost instantly Dwight dropped out as the other trio shared what was inspiring them before Owen lost concentration and dropped his bucket. Oh and then after 37 minutes of Gabler dedicating minutes to random people – which was far sweeter than I just made it sound – Cody put us out of our misery as he dropped his bucket and handed immunity to Gabler.

Back at camp Gabler opened up how much the veteran community means to him while the rest of the tribe washed the mud of themselves. In the water everyone started scrambling with the Baka and Vesi crew looking to stick together to get rid of James or Ryan. That is until James, Dwight, Owen and Sami went to get water and found a clue in the well, telling them an advantage was hidden under the shelter. While James assured them he wouldn’t take it until after tribal council, he obviously made a beeline for it. Dwight then went and looped Noelle in, who in turn went and told everyone about the advantage, rallying the troops against James.

Jesse and Karla meanwhile were spooked by how quickly Noelle was able to get everyone on side and as such, wanted to weaken her. When Jesse approached Cody about getting rid of Noelle, Cody suggested that getting rid of Dwight would be the better option, given Dwight is better at challenges and has always been sketchy to him. James meanwhile learnt that he had found the Knowledge Is Power advantage, fresh from Geo’s pocket. And rather than keep things quiet, he thought it could help build trust with people and as such, told his potential allies. Who were immediately spooked and started trading out idols and advantages so that he couldn’t snatch them. Jeanine gave her idol to Dwight, Owen scored Noelle’s extra vote and Jesse ended up in possession of Cody’s idol. Meaning everyone was nervous and mildly confused by the end of the day.

At tribal council Karla spoke about how reflective the immunity challenge was of the game, while Jesse felt like today truly levelled up the competition. Dwight spoke about how everyone has kicked in to playing their own game while Noelle felt like they needed a steady stream of plans to make sure they and their allies survive. James spoke about how advantages are only useful when played correctly and as such, people needed to spend less time focussing on them and, instead, just play the game. Cody spoke about surfing at Probst’s request, while most people admitted they were feeling confident they were on the right side of the numbers. Except for Sami who knew that there was always a risk and as such, they just needed to all play balls to the wall. Basically.

With that the tribe voted and despite a solid 7 out of 10 he was sure he was on the right side of the numbers, Dwight was shocked to be voted out of the game. With Jeanine’s idol in his pocket, no less! Despite being crushingly blindsided as the final pre-juror, Dwight was in pretty good form and took his boot like an absolute champion. While he played a low-key game – at least in the edit, given he was on a tribe with Cody – it was clear he was a strong contender, having relationships across all the OG tribes and dare I say it, should he had survived the vote, had what it takes to go all the way. And given that was a super upbeat and nice assessment from me, he was feeling pretty happy with himself and as such, gladly drank a jug of Dwight Moorshroom Gravy to toast his success.

The earthy nuttiness of the mushroom and the punch of wine work perfectly with the cream to form a warm, soulful gravy. Pop it with chicken, steak or maybe even something coming up later this season, and you’re alway left with the same result. An empty plate and a happy belly.

Enjoy!

Dwight Moorshroom Gravy
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
500g mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup white wine
⅔ cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Pop a lug of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and saute for five minutes or until golden, soft and the liquid has reabsorbed. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Pour in the wine and leave to bubble up, cooking till it’s almost all absorbed before stirring in the cream. Leave to bubble for a couple of minutes until it slightly thickens before seasoning to taste, alongside the parsley.

Then devour, either pour onto a protein or into a glass. No judgement.


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Za’tarlet

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Spice Mix, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK twelve new queens arrived and promptly paid tribute to the Spiceys’ iconic entrance at the London Olympics in a photoshoot Mini Challenge. Which Peppa promptly won, as she is an icon, despite the fact the premiere Geri Halliwell impersonator was in the building. For the Maxi Challenge, the dolls were tasked with stomping too runways in honour of the BBC and their hometown. Poor Copper, Dakota and Just May struggled, while Black Peppa slayed literally everything she did and took out the first win of the season. And more importantly demolished Danny Beard to be the Grand Supreme Blobby. Tragically it just wasn’t Just May’s week, as while she gave a solid lip sync, Dakota’s was full of fire and saved herself, leaving May to become the Gothy of the season.

Backstage the dolls were feeling the usual shock that the competition is well and truly on. Dakota opened up about the shock that it wasn’t Copper in the bottom with her while Starlet was just grateful she learnt who Geri Halliwell was, given nobody bothered to teach her in her five years in the UK. The dolls sat down for a little kiki, with Copper ready to redeem herself and prove her stint in the bottom was a one off while Peppa was thrilled to stamp her mark on the competition. Pixie meanwhile was just happy she broke the Brighton curse. And Sminty’s insides were rearranged, which is important if you ask me.

The next day the girls were feeling far more hopeful and upbeat, with Danny in particular ready for the challenge ahead. Starlet meanwhile shadily speculated over who would be the next to go before Pixie opted to focus on good things, praising Peppa for absolutely slaying. Danny pointed out the fashion queens did well last week, begging the question, how will they go with the next challenge? Which summoned Ru faster than saying Bloody Mary in a mirror, where he announced the arrival of one of the earliest girl groups challenge of all time. This year, they would split into two bands for a headlining performance at Yass-tonberry Festival with their new singles, Come Alive. Which had Baby ready to slay, given this is right in her wheelhouse.

As the winner of last week’s challenge and lip sync respectively, Peppa and Dakota were tasked with choosing their groups with Peppa snatching Baby, Sminty, Jonbers and Starlet while Dakota opted for Danny, Le Fil, Cheddar and Pixie, leaving Copper as the last one standing. And while she was smarting, she had the last laugh by getting to pick which team she sided with, selecting team Dakota. Or the winning team as she told their rivals, while Peppa was just glad to avoid having her.

The bands split up to listen to the songs, with team Peppa kiki-ing about being happy to avoid landing on team Dakota. Which totally means they are going to bomb, right? Particularly since they went with the name Triple Threat. Despite their being five of them. Pixie meanwhile suggested Team Dakota should be Shakespeare’s Fister while Danny thankfully suggested the greatest name of all time, Queens of the Bone Age instead. Pixie opened up about having a girl group pedigree, though was hopeful she would do better than bandmate Tia Kofi, who landed in the bottom on her season. Danny described their aesthetic like a band that broke up, had kids and is returning to the festival for a comeback. While Triple Threat were super confident, given Baby has a doctorate in songwriting. And while yeah, she slayed, will she be the only one on her team?

Ru made her ru-turn with songwriting icon Cathy Dennis for a bit of a masterclass, with Baby giddy to meet such a talent and likened her own writing as FKA Twigs inspired. Peppa meanwhile had Cathy in hysterics, Starlet was nervous about her shy personality, Jonbers’ lyrics were a bit bland – but what about the FAMINE?! Queens of the Bone Age traded out, with Dakota using her time in the bottom to give herself a phoenix verse, Cheddar was ready to melt, Danny dropped some F-bombs in front of Cathy while Pixie was ready to Famke Jansen her way to choking people. Oh and on Ru’s exit, he announced FKA Twigs would be this week’s guest judge which instantly blew Baby’s mind.

Queens of the Bone Age were first to record their track with Leland and Freddy, where Dakota was lacking the confidence while Le Fil was dripping in it. Speaking of dripping, Cheddar wasn’t dripping after getting rid of the melting cheese line, though damn can she sing. Copper was energetic and full of joy, Danny was a powerhouse – despite the swears – and Pixie was an absolute hilarious delight. The five members of Triple Threat traded in where Baby slayed from start to finish while Starlet was stuck in her head and Sminty gave us all of the attitude. Peppa too was perfection – duh – before Jonbers just bombed. Oh so badly. Which just breaks my damn heart, because Jonbers is a perfect delight.

When it came to learning the choreography, Dakota quickly put Le Fil in charge of Queens of the Bone Age’s performance. And well, she was born to choreograph, working around people’s weaknesses and giving them enough to make it look stunning. Despite the fact Danny was terrified about each and every moment. Thankfully though, her sisters were confident for her. And well, maybe this is RuPaul’s Best Friend’s Race after all. Triple Threat meanwhile were giving all the confidence, well, three of them were, as Starlet and Sminty struggled to get it down.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls feeling all the oats as they split up to talk through their outfits. Bone Age locked in lime green before Dakota opened up to Sminty about how close she is to her twin and how grateful she is to have that relationship. Particularly since they were both bullied agressively at school and came out as queer together before her sibling came out as non-binary and her as trans. Despite having a stereotypically cockney father, she admitted she feels all the love from her parents, despite the initial difficulty as she came into her tran-ness. And ugh, you know I’m crying. 

On the Mainstage FKA – or is it Twigs – took her place next to Ru, Michelle and Graham as The Triple Threats kicked off the show with their debut performance of Come Alive. And oh my God, Baby was perfection from start to finish, as was Peppa. Sadly Starlet just felt lost the entire time and Jonbers was trapped in her head. Though Sminty was having fun, which was nice to see! Well, until she got backstage and brokedown about messing up some of the moves, though Baby assured her that while she was annoyed by it – lol – she will move on. When it came to the Queens of the Bone Age however, each and everyone of them knocked it out of the park, they were in the pocket from start to finish, were in sync and felt like one cohesive unit.

While backstage Baby continued to fume and was ready to tell her sisters how disappointed in them she is.

Starlet kicked off the Neon Nights runway looking like a fluffy version of Peppa’s Blobby from last week. Jonbers was a sexy neon painter, Baby was a feathered neon delight – of a feather go’a if you ask my new bestie, FKA – Sminty was a perfect showgirl jellyfish, despite thinking she looked alien and Peppa was a glorious neon yellow delight, serving ALL THE DRAMA. Again, crown her. Copper was a Shakespearean delight does new wave, while Danny was a genuine alien invasion, though coming bubbles. Cheddar then brought out hallucinogenic mushrooms delight – and oh so sexy – Dakota gave Gaga in House of Gucci, skiing at a Pokemon resort, while Le Fil was sexy in honour of Naomi Campbell collecting litter and Pixie was a bright, wet delight. 

Obviously the Queens of the Bone Age took out victory – meaning 7 of the 11 dolls have a win – before they were sent backstage to untuck before the judges read Starlet for absolute filth given she looked so nervous. SO nervous. And while she looked stunning on the runway, she needed to give more in the performance if she wanted to make it to the end. Jonbers was praised for her energy, though read for going Toto with too many syllables in her lyrics. Though they loved her runway. Baby received universal praise for each and every moment this week, though was read for standing out compared to her sisters. Ru then told Twigs how big of a fan she is, leading to some effusive praise from her hero and well, it was lovely. Sminty was read for her struggles on stage, despite the judges loving her confidence and vibe. While Michelle wanted a new silhouette. Oh and then Peppa received all the praise yet again.

Because. She. Is. Perfect.

Backstage the victors were absolutely bouncing off the walls, shocked to have taken out victory but so proud of how hard they worked. Pixie in particular was thrilled to kill it, despite the pressure she put on herself. The bottoms joined them and the mood quickly turned tense, as Peppa and Baby were disappointed to be in the bottom despite slaying. The remaining trio however were bricking it, with Jonbers ready to lip sync after her choke – which breaks my heart – while Sminty was sure it would be her joining Starlet in the bottom. Sminty was worried about serving a new silhouette, given she doesn’t want to serve old maiden, which obviously annoyed Cheddar who wanted her to realise there are more styles than sexy. But whatever. While Starlet was just disappointed that Michelle thought she was uncomfortable. Given she was having fun.

Ultimately it was Sminty that joined Baby and Peppa by being sent to safety, leaving Starlet and Jonbers to lip sync for their lives to Sugababe’s Cathy Dennis penned hit About You Now. And from start to finish, it was the Jonbers show as she served all the emotion and flipped around the stage. While it is Starlet’s vibe to serve muted, she hit every lyric and stayed true to herself. But yeah, Jonbers rightly earned her safety as Starlet sashayed away.

Backstage Starlet asssured me she was feeling ok about her elimination, like Michelle before me, I was honestly feeling like she was disappointed. Or annoyed. I pulled her in for a hug anyway and assured her that despite a short run, she showed off some stunning looks and as such, she will always have a place in my heart. Which, combined with a fierce punch of Za’tarlet, was enough to cheer her up.

Za’atar is one of the best things to add to a dish if you want a quick punch of flavour. Not every dish, obviously – this isn’t my dad and coriander in the ‘90s – but when it is right, it is right. Herby, fresh and packing a zing, it makes lamb in particular sing.

Enjoy!

Za’tarlet
Makes: ½ cup.

Ingredients
1 tbsp​ roasted sesame seeds
¼ cup ground sumac
2 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp toasted groud cumin
½ tsp chilli

Method
Pop everything in a jar. Shake. Use, or like we did, shot like you’re Jaida and her Tajin.


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Justerrine Brennan

Lunch, Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, 18 new castaways were dumped on the now traditional isles of Fiji to put themselves to the test in the ultimate game. And by ultimate, we’d all far prefer it to still be 39 days, but once again, I digress. Despite having some new editing tricks – hello drones – the dramas were the same at the three tribes as everyone had varying degrees of success setting up camp and starting fire. After Baka lost the first immunity challenge, Elie quickly flipped on her plan to lead a strong, all female alliance and instead decided to target Morriah for being weak. With Gabler immune, hair-goals Owen became the target for the other side, though thankfully his locks lived to see another day, as Elie ended the chances of the women taking control of their tribe.

Back at camp – or Baka at camp, specifically – Owen pulled the tribe together to apologise for his nervous scrambling and thanked everyone for saving him and trusting in him. Leading to Elie and Gabler admitting tribal council was a trust exercise and now that they’ve been able to prove it, the five should be unbreakable. Now Gabler was solely focused on getting the tribe fed, spirits lifted and ready to win challenges. Right on cue, an epic storm rolled over the islands and while everyone didn’t look to fare well, the fact that Baka was without a flint, means they are truly at a disadvantage. Though bless, the next morning, they used it as a learning moment and quickly decided to work on getting the roof of their shelter secured. While Owen was also very concerned about Gabler’s health, given he was clearly on struggle street after three days.

Over at Vesi, Jesse and Dwight were far less concerned about repairing after the storm and instead were hunting for an idol and talking about the dynamics of their tribe. They noticed it was kinda split into three pairs, with Nneka and Cody close, Noelle and Justine closer and as such, Jesse decided that Dwight should be his island wife. We then learnt a bit more of Dwight, who was essentially a child political journo which is iconic. After that detour, Dwight suggested to Jesse that Cody is the biggest threat and that he would prefer to align with the girls, while Jesse definitely wasn’t threatened by him, giving Cody is clearly just here for a good time. And therefore, super easy to navigate around. Someone he wasn’t vibing with was Justine who was busy making eye contact with spiders and as such, also seemed a wee out of her element.

And just like that, a duo is already divided.

Over at Coco the tribe were doing a little ballet or yoga or something, followed by some back cracking from Ryan. Karla reiterated she is literally aligned with everyone in the tribe, though she would most like to take out Geo first. The only concern being about how his bestie zaddy-Ryan would react. As the duo went hunting for nuts, Geo opened up about his coming out experience and how it ended with his parents kicking him out of home. Which is absolutely fucked and I am so glad he used it to make a life for himself that he could be proud of. And well, to put it simply, fuck his parents. Ryan meanwhile was gushing about how close he and Geo were and ugh, give Ryan the win, in addition to my heart.

Back at Vesi Noelle was talking Cody through putting on her prosthesis, which he explained to Nneka and Jesse was important to him as he watched one of his friends lose their leg and then die from cancer in High School. Which goes a long way to explaining why he is so upbeat, silly and adventurous. Flipping to Baka, Owen went for a walk to get water for the tribe where he shared to us that he was trying to keep his old-grump personality under wraps. Particularly if he were to find out everyone was hunting for idols instead of helping him keep everyone alive. Right on cue, Jeanine and Elie were busy looking for said idol while trying to decide whether they should focus on adding Sami or Owen as their third. Elie likened Sami as her responsible, independent older child while Owen is her needy baby, and given the boys don’t appear tight, she was confident pulling one in would be an easy win. Which obviously meant Sami was floating the idea of an all male alliance at that very moment.

The tribes reconnected with Probst for the next immunity challenge where they would swim to a cage, climb in and release a large snake containing number tiles, use the tiles to solve a combination and then release puzzle pieces, which they would need to solve. With the winners getting immunity and a full fishing set, second getting a few fishing items and the losers getting some face time with Probst at tribal. Given the snake was ridiculously heavy, everyone struggled to get through the first phase until Elie fell off while holding on to it which gave them the lead, while Coco and Vesi were left to nip at their heels. Well, Coco at the very least, as Nneka kinda gave up on helping with the snake at Vesi, leading to them falling way behind. So far behind in fact that Jeanine and Elie secured the win for Baka with ease, just ahead of Coco. Sending Vesi to tribal council, while Noelle looked on angrily from the sit out bench.

Which, relatable.

Back at camp the tribe got a quick little pep talk from Cody, before pivoting to scrambling with Cody knowing he would have his work cut out for himself to protect his bestie Nneka after bombing the challenge. As the girls locked in their plan against Nneka, she approached Jesse and Dwight to see if they’d be open to keeping her. We dabbed out and checked in with the triumphant Baka who were riding high on their first victory, with Elie particularly thrilled to have had the hero moment in the puzzle given she struggled at school growing up due to her ADHD and dyslexia. As the tribe discussed how best to use their fishing gear, Gabler ignored everyone’s suggestion to pop a rope on the Hawaiian sling given he had never used one and immediately put a target on his back. That somehow led to Jeanine going through his bag to get confirmation whether his idol expires after the second tribal council or his second tribal council. Which ended up being the latter, meaning she, Elie and Owen needed to figure out a way to navigate around it should they actually want to take a shot.

We returned to Vesi for the more pressing scramble with Justine approaching Dwight and Jesse to figure out a split vote plan to navigate Nneka potentially playing her shot in the dark. Sadly for her, she needed Jesse to pull it off and given Justine had already made him more nervous than Nneka, Justine girl, you in danger. Jesse caught up with his island wife Dwight to see how he was feeling about the upcoming tribal council and while Dwight was more interested in aligning with the girls to weaken Cody, by way of taking out Nneka, Jesse was also aware that Dwight does not have a vote and as such, he can’t help either way. Justine approached the duo and admitted that she wasn’t sure she could trust Jesse, which made him want her gone ASAP. And Dwight? Well, he wasn’t bothered.

Jesse approached Cody and Nneka to discuss the upcoming tribal council, giving them the deets and straight up vibing. Feeling good about getting rid of Justine, Cody turned his attention to idol hunting where he quickly stumbled across the Beware Advantage. And despite the risk, took it and immediately lost his vote unless he was able to convince each person in the tribe to give him a unique bead from their bags to activate his idol bracelet. He got to work, admitting to Jesse what happened and they set to work securing the rest. Cody decided he would wear a palm frond hat at tribal council and as such, needed to bedazzle it with beads, asking everyone to give him theirs. Which worked, for everyone but Noelle, who had already made a bracelet out of hers.

At tribal council Cody admitted they were crushed to lose immunity, before gushing about his iconic hat to Probst and how the tribe all helped by gifting him their beads. Justine admitted she would like a hat, with Cody offering to make one should she survive. She opened up about knowing she is on the block given everyone is paired up in the tribe and she hasn’t talked strategy with Cody at all. Dwight opened up about the fact everyone knows he doesn’t have a vote tonight, while Jesse and Nneka admitted that it may seem silly for him to have shared that intel, in the game it makes sense. Talk turned to the potential idol, with Nneka trying to distract while Noelle was genuinely in the dark about the situation.

Cody admitted that Dwight losing his vote likely won’t impact tribal council while Noelle felt that nobody had done anything wrong and as such, tonight was a tough decision for everyone. Though she was planning to vote for strength so they don’t have to come back. With that the tribe voted – including Cody, who was able to get the last bead from Noelle in a flashback – which tragically led to her friend Justine being booted from the game. JUST LIKE I PREDICTED BY ANOINTING HER THE MODERN ERA JESSIE CAMACHO?!

Which was not something she delighted in when I gave her a hug at Loser Lodge. She was understandably super bummed to be out of the game second but I reminded her that an iconic early boot – that is gorgeous to boot – will live on in the hearts of us gays for decades to come, just like Jesse, and as such, she should be proud of herself. And while I don’t know if it was that or the Justerrine Brennan that cheered her up, all I know is that she was happy when I exited.

While this terrine gives off big turducken energy, I assure you the pork and chicken combination is damn near perfection. Sweet, succulent and packed with a juicy-earthy punch, this is the perfect thing to feast on for dinner, or have cold at a picnic. She. Is. Versatile, mama.

Enjoy!

Justerrine Brennan
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush
1 onion, diced
12 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 chicken breasts, diced
500g pork mince
⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
⅓ cup dried cranberries
¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onion over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Transfer to a bowl.

While the onion gets chill, use 10 of the bacon rashers to line a 1kg loaf tin, leaving excess to hang over the sides. Add the chicken, pork, pistachios, cranberries, nutmeg, thyme, sage and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir until well combined. Press the filing into the tin and fold the overhanging bacon over to seal tightly. Oil some foil – lol, rhyme – and cover the terrine. Again, tightly.

Transfer to a roasting pan and half-fill – the roasting pan, obvi – with boiling water and pop in the oven to bake for 90 minutes. Once cooked, gently remove from the water bath, uncover, drain excess fat and leave to cool.

Once cool, transfer to a baking tray and cover with foiling and pop something heavy on top – filled tin cans work best – and transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.

To serve, unmold the terrine, brush with a little oil and pop in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Then, finally, devour.


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Soavlaki De Muse

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top three competed in an epic final challenge which involved learning languages, lip syncing, dancing and kiki-ing. In addition to stomping the runway in a gown, worthy of a crown. Aka the usual set-up. While Paloma struggled through rehearsal, she turned it out when taking the stage, embracing her charm and living her best life. Soa slayed literally any and all moment, while La Grande Dame was just so beautiful. And cool.

As has been the tradition of the season, La Grande Dame, Soa and Paloma were all fiercely talented icons. Though tragically, Nicky and Co. had to make a decision and while I already spoiled La Grande Dame as one of our runners-up, she shared the position with the owner of my heart Soa De Muse.

Despite a rocky start after her first win, there was no denying she was compelling as all hell and it was more of a situation of when rather than if she would bounce back. From giving killer, hilarious confessionals and being charming as all hell in the challenges and the Werk Room, she was well and truly the breakout star of the season.

And will make a very worthy winner of Drag Race France vs. The World.

As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and while I wanted to tell her she was the ultimate robbed goddess of the season, I couldn’t do it. Because France’s top three were all iconic talents in their own ways, which made it such a joy of a season to watch.

Instead, I reminded her that she is a star and while she didn’t leave with the crown, the season is only the beginning for her and I can’t wait for the globe to fall in love with her. Just like I have. Then I stopped myself short of calling her the second coming of Ru and simply served her a big, fat Soavlaki De Muse to show her my devotion.

You know I have a passion for sticking meat in my mouth, particularly if there is dough somehow involved. And this one is even more fun than usual. Packing a punch of garlic, you’re hit with a fresh kick of flavour that has you begging for more. Like us with Soa on our screens, you know?

Enjoy!

Soavlaki De Muse
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
⅓ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 red onions, sliced
400g Jaida Essence Halloumi, cut into large chips
6 Pita Andre Bread
⅔ cup Carole Radtzikiwill
2 cups Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1 tomato, diced
1 cup lettuce leaf

Method
Combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, cumin, chilli and paprika with a good whack of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat and onions and stir until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight.

To make the kebabs, preheat the oven to 180C. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers, trying to avoid overpacking them. Arrange the onion on a lined baking sheet before laying the skewers on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Add the haloumi in for the last 10 minutes to crisp up on the outside.

To assemble, smear the pita bread with a little bit of tzatziki, followed by the chips, tomato, lettuce, meat and finally the haloumi. Wrap into a tight cylinder and then devour greedily.


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Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls

Main, Party Food, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World, the remaining dolls were cast in the latest rusical, West End Wendys. Well after Jujubee took out her third reading challenge and was given the honour of casting it, before opting to just select her role and let the other girls scrap over them. Despite this fair approach, Baga was very angry about her role because she wanted Juju’s – should have won the reading challenge, no? Despite this, she honestly did a good job, while Jimbo faltered for the first time in the competition while Juju continued to struggle. At the other end of the pack, Pangina and Janey slayed and were deemed the top two of the week, with Juju assuring the latter she still has the fight and can’t go home. Which she didn’t, as Pangina won the lip sync and cut fellow front runner Jimbo.

Backstage the dolls were well and truly gagged by the loss of Jimbo, while Juju was just thrilled – and a little shocked – to have been saved once again. Pangina admitted she is probably the most hated person in Canada right now since she just can’t seem to stop eliminating their queens, while Baga was the angriest person in Britain, ropeable that her bestie was cut despite a stellar track record. When they sat down, Baga confronted Pangina about her choices and while she tried to say it was because Juju did better in the challenge, Baga told us that it was bullshit. Janey meanwhile had selected Jujubee to go, further frustrating Baga given it was the right call and therefore Pangina should just admit why she chose to eliminate Jimbo. 

While Mo just questioned what black magic Juju has tapped into to stop the girls from eliminating her. Oh and Baga vowed to get her revenge on Pangina for Jimbo, which could finally make Baga interesting again. Despite my love for Pangina.

Things were far more zen the next day with Pangina proud to have two badges on her chest, though admitted it is a new week and she is nervous starting over again. Almost as a subtle reminder that she chose Jimbo because she only focuses on their last challenge. Blu admitted anyone can be in the bottom at any time with Janey assuring her she is always just safe, so there is no need for Blu to worry about having to send someone home. While Blu didn’t want that storyline, Jujubee admitted she would gladly take the role of the consistently safe queen. While Mo read Baga for wearing a velvet smock, questioning whether it was laundry day in the Chipz household.

Before we could find out why Baga was wearing a repurposed theatre curtain, Ru dropped in to announce that this week the dolls would be playing Snatch Game. This time in a Family Feud style panel instead, with three dolls partnering with Michelle while the others would get to work with Katie Price. Sadly not as Katie Price, played by Bimini Bon Boulash. And as last week’s winner, Pangina could assign everyone’s family. As they sat down to kiki, Mo asked Pangina if she was nervous about Snatch Game while Jujubee just reminded her the job is to make Ru laugh. Nothing more, nothing less. Pangina then grabbed Juju and Baga to join her on the family Price, leaving Janey to worry she left the three weaker ones together to bomb on Team Visage. Even though her plan could backfire and she get overshadowed by her strong sisters.

Ru dropped by to check in with the dolls with Pangina sharing she is going to be playing Mariah Carey and while she doesn’t see herself as a funny queen, she had made Ru laugh before so was starting to feel confident. Janey meanwhile wanted to do tanning mum, though Ru suggested she should do her back-up option James Charles, despite the controversy. After Ru read Juju for doing Liza, Juju opened up about doing Cher and while she isn’t going to be the BEST Cher, she is going to make Ru laugh. Trust and believe.

Mo was up next with Ru reminding her she doesn’t have the best track record in Snatch Game, trying to talk her out of Gordon Ramsey and her back-up option BeBe Zahara, instead pushing for her to do Billy Porter. Aka Broadway Mo. Ru was thrilled to see how Blu would follow up her filthy Mary Berry, with Blu sharing she would be playing Mike Myers as Austin Powers. Ru praised her for being filthy and hilarious, leading to her breaking down over her insecurities in the past and using that filthy humour to distract from her doubts. And well, Baga is going to be playing Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes from Misery and you know she is going to knock it out of the park.

The dolls ventured to the set where Katie Price admitted she just wanted to make Bimini proud – icons support icons after all – while Baga had Ru in hysterics from the very first sentence. Pangina’s Mariah was great while Juju was ridiculous and nothing like Cher, though did have Ru in stitches. Which, again, is all the matters with Snatch Game. Janey started strong while Blu’s busted teeth for Austin Powers were an absolute delight while poor Mo just leant into the word pose and honestly, is Billy Porter just a heightened version of Mo?

Baga was hilariously scary as Kathy Bates, giving us a narrative from start to finish. While poor Pangina seemed bland by comparison when it got to the end, given Juju was as ridiculous as Ginger Minj doing Michelle Visage on Battle of the Seasons. And it was perfect. Poor Janey suffered a similar fate as Pangina given Blu and Mo were bouncing off each other and delighting Ru. Particularly sweet Blu who was just, well, perfection. As was Juju saying Cher was short for Cher-cuterie. But you know, Blu whipped out Dr Evil half way through and threatened that Graham was being held hostage over a hot vat of smegma, so there is no way she is losing.

Elimination Day arrived with Baga ready to claim her first victory, while Pangina gave Juju a kitty bag. I’m not sure whether it was important, but I did enjoy it. Janey asked the girls what they felt about Ru encouraging her to ignore the potential controversy of playing James Charles, which led to Blu vehemently suggesting they all need to stay safe and not piss anyone off on the internet. While Janey encouraged her to acknowledge any controversies that come her way and to power through it. Pangina opened up about being cancelled when she was a judge on Drag Race Thailand, leading to Juju questioning whether comedy has been impacted by cancel culture. 

Baga admitted she rarely edits herself, though she has never made jokes that aren’t about her which makes it hard for people to get offended by her. Mo pointed out that some jokes were never funny, they’ve just been allowed to get by until people finally started calling them out while Baga just encouraged everyone to live their lives and make themselves the jokes.

Ru and Michelle were joined on the panel by Clara Amfo and Michelle Keegan as the dolls stomped the Luck be a Lady runway. Blu was up first as a stunning forest green irish leprechaun dame – complete with B Witched quote. I mean, she said THE THING – some people say I look like me dad! Janey was a sexy roulette wheel barbie, Juju was a golden lucky kitty while Mo was perfect as a completely lit up showgirl. Baga was a more literal leprechaun than Blu, while Pangina was the sexiest slot machine ever, complete with coins dripping out of her pussy.

Blu received universal praise for her Snatch Game, particularly for flipping the script in the middle and knowing when to pivot with her humour. Oh and they lived for her runway. Janey’s choice to play James Charles was read given he isn’t really even funny, though everyone agreed she looked stunning. Juju was praised for her choice to be a parody of a parody of Cher and being so fun, while her runway was read for not being clear. Despite the fact she looked stunning. Mo received praise for having fun in Snatch Game, though it was her pink flamingo showgirl that was absolutely beloved. Baga received universal praise for her Snatch Game performance and for doing a different character, though her runway was read for being dressed up for St. Paddy’s day. While poor Pangina was read for not bringing Mariah Carey in Snatch Game, despite looking just like her. Though they loved her runway. LOVED it.

Ultimately Blu and Baga were named the top two queens of the week before Ru gagged everyone by announcing that should you not be in the top, you’re now in the bottom and as such, they’re all up for elimination.

Backstage Blu was thrilled to finally make it to the top, particularly in Snatch Game, despite the fact Baga was sure she did slightly better than her UK sister. Blu asked the bottoms whether they felt ok with their placements, with Janey and Juju admitting their critiques were justified. While Pangina was just straight up heartbroken.

Baga first caught up with Janey, vibing on how real she is by admitting she was one of the worst this week. Baga then asked her who she should send home, given she was unsure. Pangina admitted to Blu how sad she is to land in the bottom, while Blu told her that she loves her though she is tempted to take out her biggest competition. Baga meanwhile told Mo that she felt she did third best in the challenge and straight up won’t be eliminating her, while Juju told Blu that if the rules didn’t change, she knows she wouldn’t be in the bottom. This time. Blu asked Juju if she would save her next week, with Juju admitting she would have to judge on the challenge and as such, Blu should do it too. Which is wise.

Janey and Juju caught up, with Janey not sure about what the girls will do while Juju wanted them to vote on the smoothest balls. Since she would win each and every day. Baga and Pangina caught up next with Pangina suggesting Janey was worse in Snatch Game and wanted Baga to make the moral decision and be fair. Just like she was, which made Baga annoyed for Jimbo all over again. Mo meanwhile straight up told Blu that she will keep her in the competition if she is in the top next week, which Blu snapped up while Juju told Baga she knows she wants to compete against her in the final and as such, they should stay together. And then Baga assured her that she is safe. Janey meanwhile told Blu how much she wants to stay and feels she deserves it, with Blu admitting the season would be lacking something if she had ended up going home in the first week.

As Baga and Blu took the stage, Ru appeared to be judging Baga’s sloppy outfit while Blu was just thrilled to already have her win in the bag. And then when Let It Go by Alexandra Burke kicked off, it was a done deal. While Baga gave her brand of demented camp, Blu was intense, fierce and oh so cheeky and well, it was perfect! Even while Baga screwed up her cartwheel and rolled around the stage flashing her tuck, Blu was giving more, rocking star jumps and well, it was stupid in all the right ways. After Blu took out her rightful victory, the cluster of bottoms took the stage before they were even more gagged than last week as Blu went full Naomi Smalls and eliminated the iconic Pangina Heals.

Pangina straight up sobbed her way to exit while Janey, Mo and Juju held on to each other in absolute shock. While Blu looked like she was about to throw up, instantly regretting her choice to cut the icon as Pangina sobbed from the side of the stage. I mean, she was giving Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone by way of Scarlett Harlett, she was that damn scared.

There is no denying that Pangina was absolutely gutted by the time she reached me in the Werk Room. I immediately pulled her into my arms and tried to calm her as best I could, assuring her that she did a great job, is a star and her elimination will never, EVER, change that. With that, I finally cheered her up and reminded her that above all else, All Stars is a game and as such, this just positions her as the mostest robbed queen of all time. Which was enough to get her laughing as we smashed some celebratory Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls.

Like John Eastoe – bogan zaddy of Australian Survivor – before us, Pang and I have a passion for parmigiana varieties. We also live for sausage roll variants, which essentially makes this the greatest meal of all time. Cheesy and dripping in marinara sauce, these babies are near perfection.

Enjoy!

Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
500g Italian sausages, casings removed
200g ham, diced
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Amber Marinara Sauce
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry, just thawed
1 cup cheddar cheese
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C and line a pair of baking sheets with paper.

Pop the meats, onion, garlic, ½ cup marinara sauce, breadcrumbs, herbs and one of the eggs in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch until well combined.

Line all the pastry out on a bench and cut in half. Divide the mixture into 8 and form into a long sausage, laying each in the middle of each rectangle of pastry and sprinkle with some cheese. Whisk the remaining egg and brush either side of the sausage. Roll the pastry to enclose the sausage and cut into 2-4 portions, depending on the size you want. Pop the portions on the baking sheet and brush with some more egg. 

Place the baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, drizzle with some marinara sauce and some cheese and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp. Devour immediately with more sauce, if required.


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Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sophie was feeling her oats as the cockroach of the season, despite the fact she only miraculously dodged the boot twice in a row due to a twist and Alex quitting rather than skill or gameplay. Identifying Khanh as a big threat, she realised aligning with him could be mutually beneficial and approached him about aligning. Which he sadly had zero interest in. With Sophie gone from the tribe, the alphas were outnumbered on Blood, though after losing the immunity challenge miraculously were able to make some new friends. After Amy found an idol, she was ready to make a strike on Sandra and take control, however the Queen had already sadly scooped them up as they banded together to boot Amy’s bestie Jay.

The next day things were very zen over at the Water tribe as Nina shared how well positioned she was in the tribe and how she was excelling at the game. While I would have loved to hear more from Nina, I was just as distracted as the cameraperson was when her ally Jordie started to repeatedly flash his bum. And just like that, I was back to stanning our overall king. Despite the excitement and the joy of hearing how well Nina is playing, I couldn’t help but become filled with dread as she opened up about being confident in her chances of making it to the end.

The two tribes reconvened with Jonathan where Sam spoke about how united their tribe was, which perfectly cued up JLP to tell them to drop their buffs. Yep, it’s tribe swap time! Given there were 19 people remaining, Sandra, Amy, Dave and Jordan were joined by Shay, Nina, Jordie, Josh and Mel on Blood, while Khanh, Chrissy, KJ and Sophie welcomed Sam, Michelle, Croc, Ben and Jesse on Water, leaving poor Mark tribeless. Well, for a moment, as he was given the right to choose which tribe to join, ultimately selecting to join Blood. Much to the absolute rage of his wife Sam, who was SO ready to play with him. Not wanting to play with their loved one however was Nina, who was heartbroken to be on a tribe with her mother given she now has a huge target on her back. And once again, dread.

Before we could enjoy any drama, Jonathan explained that to take out the reward four people at a time from each tribe would battle in a boat tug-o-war competition to capture a flag, with the first new tribe to three scoring a reward of hot dogs and soda, so you know I would have died to win if I was out there. First up Ben, Croc, Chrissy and Sophie faced off against Mark, Jordan, Mel and Sandra, with the new Water tribe quickly scoring the first point. Josh, Mark, David and Jordie methodically then worked together to tie things up over Croc, Khanh, Jesse and Ben. Sandra, Mel, Shay and Nina worked hard on the third round though were eventually overpowered by Sophie, Sam, KJ and Michelle who scored the second point. Oh and then Ben, Sophie, Croc and Chrissy blitzed through the next round, jagging reward for their tribe. And most importantly, we got to see Ben cheering in his speedo, so everyone is truly a winner.

Back at camp the new Water tribe were delighted to find their hot dog cart, quickly getting to work smashing their snacks and soft drinks. While Sam was thrilled they proved themselves as a new tribe, Chrissy was just thrilled to finally have Croc by her side before talk turned to the fact that Mark was given a choice to join the tribe with Sam and instead opted to keep themselves separated a little longer. Which Sam admitted was a strong strategic decision, despite it hurting. After Croc spoke about feeling bad for those that couldn’t reunite with their pair, Sam and Sophie went for a walk to clear the air and while Sophie promised there were no hard feelings, Sam was very sure that she couldn’t be trusted.

Chrissy interrupted the calm celebrations when she noticed a clue hidden in the side of the cart, quickly rushing to it to snatch it without anyone noticing as she shoved it up her pants. Successfully managing to keep it there, unlike Sharn. Well, until she and Croc awkwardly hugged and she handed it off to him. Back at camp, they went for a walk together where they read their clue and upon Chrissy figuring out where their idol would be, darted off to the river to jag it without anyone noticing. With Croc planning to keep it secret, given that is the advice Sandra gave him and ugh, I now love Croc.

We finally checked in on the new Blood tribe where Jordie was thrilled by how the swap played out for him, keeping him with all of his closest allies and in the majority on the new tribe. And well, to say he was confident is an understatement. Jordie immediately identified Sandra as the biggest threat and vowed to get rid of her ASAP. Essentially. Mark opened up about deciding to stay away from Sam, knowing it was the safest option for them, despite it not being what he truly wanted. As everyone washed off in the water and formed quick bonds, poor Sandra was left alone with Dave back at camp and attempted to try and start over with him, given it is her only option. While she was hopeful Nina’s strong bonds and likability would be able to help her out, she was still very nervous.

Speaking of Nina, she was thrilled to still be on a tribe with all of her allies but sadly – though wisely for her – she approached them to assure them that should they want to vote out her mum, she will be ok with it. While she quietly wondered to us whether she could really bring herself to break her mum’s trust, she also felt it would be hard to cross her allies too.

The tribes reconvened for the immunity challenge where Jonathan explained they would chop through a rope to release a net, climb said net to cross a tower, collect some boxes on balance beams, climb up another tower where they would drop the boxes over the side in an attempt to release a ball. And then use said ball to solve a table maze. Josh got Blood out to the earliest of leads, though they were quickly overtaken by Water who whipped up the nets. After Michelle fell on the balance beams, Blood managed to pull ahead again. Well until they struggled to smash their boxes, giving Water a huge lead while solving their table maze. Sadly, they couldn’t get it together as Nina started to talk her tribe through the puzzle. Though not quickly enough, as Water narrowly took out immunity.

And left Sandra to contend with her Day 16 curse. Much to my mildly simmering rage.

Back at camp Nina quickly apologised for choking while calling the challenge while the rest of the tribe tried to rally and raise her up. Sandra meanwhile stressed about having to go to tribal council on Day 16, though she was hopeful Nina’s connections may be able to keep around for another few days and break said curse. Not wanting to rest on her laurels though, Sandra caught up with Mark and pointed out she has issues with Dave should they be looking for a target, while Dave, Jordie and the cousins hung out to lock in the vote for Mel. Nina went for a walk with Shay and Josh with them filling Nina in on the plan to get rid of Mel, given she is clumsy and may be a liability in future challenges. Which was music to Nina’s, and importantly my ears. 

Sandra meanwhile was back in the water with Jordan, Dave and Amy, with them shocked by the fact Water are willing to get rid of one of their own despite being in the minority. Sadly it was at that moment that Jordie decided they really should have some fun with the vote and instead take out one of the weaker OG Blood women in the form of Sandra, and then at a whisper, Amy.

Jordie, Josh and Mark giddily locked in the vote for Sandra given she is not only weaker and from the rival tribe but most importantly, a massive threat. While Jordie and Josh wanted to give Nina a heads up, Mark assured them it was too dangerous given she could get Shay to play her idol to save her mother and ruin not only their plans but their alliance. Speaking of which, Nina, Sandra and Shay were catching up and well, this better end with an idol play otherwise I’ll be heartbroken. While the trio felt the vote was still going Mel’s way, Sandra worried about what would happen after that given there is nowhere else for her to hide. Even though she isn’t even hiding anymore.

Mark, Jordie and Josh caught up with the other former OG Blood members and Mel to float the Sandra plan and tragically everyone seemed thrilled to jump on board. Thankfully though Nina could tell that Mark and Mel were acting weird with her and as such, felt like something was up. While Jordie caught up with Sandra and assured him the plan was still on Mel, desperate to claim the scalp of Sandra in a blindside.

At tribal council Sandra spoke about being happy with the new tribe, reiterating how proud she is to still be in the game. Mel opened up about being nervous about the upcoming vote, while Mark tried to downplay the fact the original Water tribe hold the majority in this new tribe. Which Jordie reiterated, though far less eloquently. Shay mentioned that she would be voting on strength, given she is desperate for some food and to get another win. This got Sandra fired up, announcing that is not how Survivor works or how it is played, given one person is not a deciding factor in losing a challenge. Sandra then doubled down and pointed out that alliances are more important because come merge, the weak will outnumber the strong and once the strong people start losing immunity, they are immediately booted. Unless they have allies willing to protect them.

This speech spooked Shay, given she thought she knew what would be playing out while Jordie spoke about every season being a clean slate and kinda pretending like Sandra isn’t a damn icon that could wash each and every one of them any day of the week. And well, he better moon us tomorrow if he gets his way tonight because I am growing tired. Nina admitted she is nervous about the upcoming vote, with Jordie pretty much saying he isn’t looking forward to facing a loved one back at camp which narrows down the boot to one of four people, but really only Sandra. Speaking of the Queen, she admitted that she is definitely expecting to receive a couple of votes at tribal council, though continued to speak strongly, reiterating that being a pair is strong and as such, made Josh and Jordan nervous about potentially being the only pair left in the tribe.

Jonathan then asked Nina whether she felt being a pair was important and when Sandra tried to look her in the eye, she told her to look at Jonathan instead as her eyes welled up. This well and truly got Sandra nervous as she spoke about knowing what she signed up for, though she still looked gutted. Before reminding us that the queen stays queen.

With that the tribe voted and tragically, there were no miracles as Shay played her idol for herself – not sure why, though – and Queen Sandra was unanimously booted from the tribe. Once again swap-screwed on Day 16. Which is why I threw the most epic tantrum Charters Towers had ever seen when I got word that Sandra’s curse had completed its hat trick before she claimed her triple crown. 

My tantrum wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t cute, though I would argue it was completely justified.

Sandra is a complete and utter icon and if her new tribes would only stop losing the first challenge after a swap, she should be a lock for the merge after enough time to endear herself with her new people. Instead, we’re left with the brutal tragedy that one again, Sandra is not on a jury at the worst but more ideally addressing one.

While I was heartbroken by her placement on paper, her run on Australian Survivor has only managed to cement her status as the best to ever play the game. Her strategy is simple and logical, but one that not many people could pull off season after season with her finesse.

As soon as I saw her enter the Pre-Jury Villa – no Loser Lodge for MY queen – I immediately started sobbing and ran into her arms. While she wasn’t receptive to my ideas for her to disown Nina and adopt me in her place, or to find Jonathan and production and force them to re-shoot tribal council, or even add a new version of Redemption Rock where Sandra is automatically given the win; she was grateful for my enduring love and support and glad that I was once again by her side on Day 16 to eat our feelings, this time with a Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine. A meal I had tragically thought would manifest the third win, rather than enacting her curse for a third time.

Now I can not take ownership of this recipe – that is Jock Zonfrillo, with some minor tweaks for my preferences – I knew Sandra’s return from retirement needed to be marked with something decadent and regal, worthy of her legacy. This very baconny, very cheesy number is near perfection – smokey and umami, sweet and salty, it is the only glorious meal worthy of someone as glorious as the Survivor GOAT.

Enjoy!

Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine
Jock Zonfrillo’s original recipe
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
50g thinly sliced smoked pancetta
25g smoked salt
25g dark muscovado sugar
10g ground black pepper, to season
10g hot smoked paprika
10g ground star anise
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.2kg pork belly
1 cup cloudy apple juice
150g sourdough, blitzed to form crumbs
230g sharp aged smoked cheddar, coarsely grated
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
120g unsalted butter, diced
60g flour
2 ½ cups milk
130g blue cheese, diced
130g Fontina, coarsely grated
130g Talleggio, coarsely grated
salt and white pepper, to taste
400g smoked bacon lardons
1 bunch shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
3 x 400g cans sweetcorn, drained
¼ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Start by working on your bacon rub by placing the pancetta on a lined baking sheet and cooking in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to remove grease and allow it to cool. Once chill, combine the pancetta with the smoked salt, muscovado sugar, black pepper, paprika and star anise in a food processor or blender and blitz until crumbed.

Next, score the skin of your pork belly and rub it with oil followed by all but 2 tbsp of the bacon rub, getting it on the meat and skin until it is gorgeously marooned. Pop the pork belly on a rack in a baking dish, skin side up, and pour the apple juice into the dish. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, before reducing the heat to 180C and cooking for a further hour. Keeping an eye on the apple juice in the pan and topping up with more, or water, should it run dry. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

While the pork is getting gorgeously browned, combine the bread crumbs, 100g of the smoked cheddar, parsley and the remaining bacon rub in a bowl until combined.

Next step – FYI, there are a lot of steps and it is what Sandra deserves, so deal – melt half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour, whisk and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk to combine before returning to the heat and bringing to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining cheeses and cooking for a further couple of minutes, or until well combined. Season and keep warm.

In another saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and cook the lardons for five minutes or until starting to caramelise. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for further five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the corn and stir until warmed through.

When the smells have you more than ready to eat, cut the pork belly into a dice, reserving the crackling for a side or to top. Combine the corn and lardon mixture with the cheese sauce, before folding through the pork belly and sour cream.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with the crumb and pop in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately and devour, eating all your feelings away before the next episode.

And remember, the Queen will always stay Queen. Day 16 curse be damned!


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Birriana Goodchild

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 new castaways were dropped into the middle of the lush, Australian bushland. While they entered the game as 12 pairs, Jonathan quickly split them up to form two tribes of individuals. Each had to face off in the first reward challenge where Nina beat her mother – Queen Sandra – to secure reward for her tribe. The Water tribe however bombed the following immunity challenge, while a poor, injured Alex looked on from the sidelines. Back at camp, Andy quickly suggested everyone should band together to get rid of him, however Nina had other ideas as she effortlessly rallied the tribe against Andy. At tribal, Shayelle and Briana were beaten to the idol by Chrissy which was ultimately pointless given Andy was booted anyway.

The next day Shayelle was worried about how her partner Ben was faring over on the other tribe, so focused her energy on leading the tribe in some yoga as a distraction. Because she is an actual yogi, rather than a Henry yogi. While everyone was living for her calming energy, Chrissy was more focused on the fact she was a goddess and instead decided she would try and beef her up in the jungle.

Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe, Sophie was struggling with the heat and completely shocked by life in the jungle. We then learnt that the tribe had still not gotten fire which is quite a concern on Day 3. Thankfully, Briana’s dad Dave finally got a flame as everyone gathered around to block the wind, which instantly changed everyone’s mood as they sat down to a pot of rice. Sophie caught up with Sandra, sharing that a bunch of people would love to learn from her while they are here which made Sandra feel mildly more relaxed about her standing. Though Sophie knew that as great as having Sandra is, she is always a threat. Which should in turn make her nervous. The tribe ventured to the well, worried about who had been voted out at the last tribal council with Kate already having a bad feeling it was Andy. While Sandra warned us that should Nina be voted out, she will be coming for anyone and everyone like the Hulk.

Speaking of Nina she was busy knocking up a washing line on the Water Tribe before they all lazed under the shelter to enjoy some shade. That is, until some of the logs started to snap and they had to rebuild the entire structure. Nina shared that while her mum prepared her for life in the game, she is wanting to play her own game and opened up to her allies that Andy being so keen to be in the presence of her mum is part of what made her nervous about him. Tragically though, while she was vibing on Mark, Alex and Jordie, she was unsure how to feel about Khanh, which is essentially my dream alliance. Particularly as Briana got in her ear talking about how threatening he is.

While that makes me nervous, given the fact that Chrissy is out for Briana’s blood after the way she treated her at the last tribal council, I am hopeful Chrissy will get her revenge before I lose my love Khanh.

Briana meanwhile was living her best life, loving her in-game bestie Shayelle and thinking she is a boss. We learnt a bit more about her, which essentially was that she rollerskates, wears rainbow stripes and is fun. Which is all you need to know – I mean, after the last two years, I’ll take an eternal optimist to bring up my mood! Thankfully, she is self-aware to know her performance at tribal council could be a problem for her game so approached Chrissy in the water to apologise to her and clear the air. And while I thought it was going to be a good thing, her apology was essentially, the game has started and as such, Chrissy was even more annoyed by how intense she is.

The tribes joined Jonathan by a river where poor Kate was heartbroken to see her big brother Andy had indeed been voted out and ugh, watching her hold back tears was heartbreaking. Until she shaded the Water tribe, pointing out he is weirdly good at both puzzles and throwing things and as such, they just made it easier for her tribe to win challenges. Speaking of which, today’s would see people from each tribe racing to climb out of a large, net cube before jumping off and grabbing a flag to secure a point. First to four winning fishing gear and comfort items.

Once again, Sandra refused to sit out of the challenge with Sam taking her place on the sit out bench as Croc and Jesse faced off against her husband Mark and Khanh. And damn, Khanh was a beast as he battled Jesse, climbed out and scored the first point for Water. Kate and Sophie then fought off Nina and Briana and damn, was it a fight as they all scraped and yanked at each other before Nina broke free and snatched another point for the Water tribe. Leading to Sandra apologising to Kate for her daughter’s behaviour.

We then had Mark introduce Khanh to Sam as his boyfriend and just like that, my basement is flooded. I mean, Mark and Sam are so relaxed and fun this year, and I’m living for it!

Up next were Shay and Chrissy fighting Sandra and Amy, with Shay single handedly fighting everyone off and taking out another point for Water. That meant KJ and Khanh faced off against David and Michelle for victory, where David literally tried to rip off Khanh’s shorts who nearly gave full Sugar, before pulling up his pants and securing the win for his tribe. Given this is Blood V Water, Jonathan gave them the opportunity to share their spoils with the other tribe with Water quickly opting to give their loved ones some comfort items while they hung on to the fishing gear.

Back at camp the Water tribe were thrilled by how well they performed in the reward challenge. Well, for a split second before Briana held on to the tackle box with a vice grip to hunt for an idol clue in front of all of the tribe. While she thought she was super smooth and bubbly about it, she was well and truly putting everyone off side as Khanh complained about her intensity. And vowed to keep how at risk she is from her so she continues to annoy the tribe until they boot her from the game.

Meanwhile the Blood tribe were grateful to have been given their comfort items, none more so than Kate who was still heartbroken to have lost Andy. As she walked off to clear her mind, Michelle joined her to make sure she was ok. As they wandered chatting and looking for firewood, Kate spotted Ben, Sophie, Amy, Jordan and Sam plotting by the well, suggesting that if Andy is cutthroat, it is likely Kate is too and as such, they need to keep an eye on her. We then learnt more about Sam who promised us that she has learnt from the mistakes from her first game, vowing to be less anxious and more observant. Oh and she and Mark just want to get to the merge so they can reunite and run the game to the end like Rob and Amber before them.

Back with the rest of the tribe, Croc was asking Sandra about whether there is a point in the game where everyone just loses their mind, with her wisely explaining how everyone gets paranoid at different times and you just need to be agile. Sadly for Croc though, while he was learning from the great, Sam and Sophie are already suggesting he can’t get to the merge and as such, he won’t last long enough to find out more.

The tribes reconvened with Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would have to drag three barrels over hurdles before grabbing three more barrels, which they thenhad to navigate through a path and up to the top of a platform before rolling them down to knock vases off a series of poles. After Sophie took her place on the bench – Sandra wisely choosing to keep performing in the challenges – both tribes made their way to the second trio of barrels neck and neck. While Water had the slightest of leads, Croc’s leadership, and honestly brute strength, was enough to see them close the gap. Wait, no, Water pulled away again and then knocked over their first vase before Blood even joined the fray. Eventually Blood started rolling too, quickly tying things up as both tribes knocked off their second vases in quick succession. Before Jesse calmly knocked off Blood’s third and secured immunity for the tribe.

Back at camp Briana was ready to cause a little bit of chaos in the hope of saving her game, while Chrissy shared that she is feeling like a hot mess. She admitted to KJ and Mark that she is feeling very nervous, with Mark emphatically telling her not to worry. Chrissy then caught up with Mel, Jordie and Josh to lock in the vote for Briana, knowing that she has been playing too hard too fast and as such they need to take her out. Chrissy assured them that she watched Briana like a hawk yesterday but reminded them that somebody needs to watch her today to make sure she doesn’t find an idol and ruin any plans.

Oh and Chrissy shared she is aligned with KJ, Mark, Mel, Jordie, Josh and Khanh and ugh, why is Nina not included in this majority?!

Speaking of Nina, Briana pulled her and Alex aside to float going after Chrissy which they obviously agreed to. As Briana went person to person to woo them to her side, she got absolutely nothing and as such, grew more and more paranoid. She and Shayelle then went hunting for the idol, leading to the rest of the tribe sending out a search party, arriving just in time to see Shay unhook a hidden immunity idol from the top of a tree. As Briana ran to her to celebrate the moment and I assume, her safety.

While King Khanh threatened to steal it before making the real boss move of picking it up from the ground and handing it to Shay, reminding her it is hers and hers only. In front of everyone. After Briana went back to camp, Khanh and Nina got into Shayelle’s ear and told her that Briana was totally planning to steal the idol from her which is why he jumped in to give it to her. Sadly, the drama only made Shayelle more confused about tribal council given she will clearly either be sending her ally Briana home or instead Chrissy, who brings good vibes to the tribe.

At tribal council Alex opened up about how shocked he was to survive his first tribal council, though he shared how grateful he was, given he feels much better. Josh spoke about how that speaks to their desire for a cohesive tribe rather than tossing him aside at the first sign of injury, which immediately made Briana talk about how much she loves everyone. Though she did admit that she is closest to Shay. As Briana spoke about hoping the tribe valued her, Chrissy said that everyone should be expecting their name to come up and as such, she is nervous. Jordie said that everyone is performing in challenges, so like Josh, his vote would be based on keeping the tribe harmonious. 

Chrissy suggested she would have received more votes at the last tribal council if she didn’t find the idol. Mark suggested that this tribal council would be pretty logical and not problematic while Briana assured her allies that she trusts everyone she spoke with (like Andy last tribal, uh oh). Chrissy agreed she could trust her people though wasn’t exactly sure she trusts the plan. Briana then started whispering to Shay to vote for Chrissy before Khanh spoke about being close to a few people, which made Briana more and more nervous. Despite being confident earlier, Briana started to spiral before trying to pull it together. And then immediately threatened the tribe that she was ready to do something crazy.

With that, the tribe voted and nothing crazy happened as the tribe banded together to boot Briana from the game. Well except for Mark who threw a vote on Chrissy, ideally to paint a target on Shay though I feel he is way too nice and was just covering bases in case an idol was played.

But I’ve digressed. Like Andy yesterday, seeing Briana arrive in Loser Lodge was quite triggering because I see a lot of myself in her. I’m a little bit too much and when backed into a corner, try too hard to win people back despite it being the last thing people want. While Bri was disappointed to be out of the game, she was already hopeful to come back, learn from her mistakes and take out the win – which honestly, is the kind of energy the world needs right now. As such, I served up a big bowl of Birriana Goodchild and vowed to send all the good vibes for her second go.

Don’t let the looks fool you! While birria may appear to be a boring old stew, it is actually a feisty bowl of flavour and goodness. Which like Bri, is just what the world needs more off.

Enjoy!

Birriana Goodchild
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 dried guajillo chillies
4 dried ancho chillies
4 dried chiles de arbol
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
400g tinned crushed tomatoes
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1.2kg beef chuck, cut into a large dice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, diced
1L beef stock
2 sprigs thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon cloves

Method
Place the chillies in a bowl and top with freshly boiled water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes before removing the stems and seeds. Combine the soft chillies with the apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin and 3 cups of the chilli water in a blender and blitz until smooth. Leave aside.

Preheat the oven to 150ºC.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, season the chunks of beef and sear a few pieces at a time, until browned and caramelised on the outside. Remove to rest on a plate and repeat the process until done.

Return the beef back to the pot and top with the chilli mixture, onion, stock, bay leaves, thyme, cinnamon and cloves. Stir and bring to the boil before covering and popping in the oven to cook for about 3 hours, or until juicy and tender.

Remove from the oven and remove the visible bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves – or play it fast and loose like me and eat around the cloves. Serve immediately and devour, glad to have played the game.


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Chilli & Herbaden Chooke

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the producers continued to go balls to the wall with twists, loading up the tribe with three immunities which were won by Emmett, Dani and Andrew. They then learnt that they would be the only ones eligible to vote at tribal council before Jonathan gagged us with just what exactly he meant by eligible, as the trio were forced into a fire challenge with the winner being the sole person to cast a vote. Despite Andrew being a straight up ‘survival expert’ and Emmett having more bravado than the Golden God himself, Queen Dani took out victory and cast the sole vote to boot Baden from the game.

That is when we were gagged with one final twist from production, as he was sent to the majestic Redemption Rock where he awaited an opponent to return to the game. Caught up in the myriad of twists however, fate intervened and poor Chelsea was medevaced after tribal council. And while she is still technically in the game at this part of the story, *spoiler alert* her stay in hospital didn’t help and she had to be removed to make a full recovery.

But more on that later, ok?

While the Brawns tribe anxiously awaited to learn whether Chelsea would return, they got together to lock in their loyalty to each other while the Brains quietly sat back at camp wondering how to get themselves out of their current predicament. And in the middle were George and Cara, who were catching up by the shore and re-pledging their undying loyalty to each other. And only each other. With that, George pulled the Brains aside to leak more information to them about Kez leaving an idol for Flick. And while she already sold George and Cara out before the last vote, Hayley was unsure how she was going to use this to get herself out of her current predicament.

Back at camp poor Dani was really struggling, breaking down over missing her closest friend Chelsea and unsure who she could trust moving forward should she officially be pulled from the game. Emmett pulled her aside to make sure she was ok, with her admitting that in addition to worrying about Chelsea, she is also regretting sending Baden home over Hayley given she is sure that she can’t trust her moving forward. Particularly since George wandered by, right on cue, to point out that Hayley is busy hunting for an idol, just like he told her to.

Wanting to clarify things, Emmett pulled George aside and told him that Hayley told them that George and Cara have been leaking information to the Brains. And while George vehemently denied it, I don’t think this is ending well for George. Because while Emmett believes him for now, I can see the truth coming out with a little more cursory digging.

My love Jonathan returned to oversee the next immunity challenge and advised that Chelsea is not out of the game yet, however she also won’t be at the next tribal council. With that out of the way, Jonathan explained the tribe would each negotiate a wobbling curved beam while balancing a table with a rope and spelling immunity out in block form on top. Oh and you know Emmett was confident he’d be able to make it three from three. Andrew and Emmett were neck and neck at start, until Andrew dropped his stack. Hayley and Dani started to close the gap before Dani dropped hers leaving Hayley as the closest to catching Emmett. Until she dropped, while Emmett slowly and calmly focused on the task at hand. Maybe I shouldn’t have been shady about the confidence, given he is apparently a beast?

While everyone continued to close the gap and then dropped their stacks, Emmett was cool, calm and collected and earned another well deserved victory.

Back at camp Hayley was well and truly fed up with her current predicament, knowing that idols are not enough to make it to the end. That being said, while the Brains were out hunting for idols, George caught up with his allies to encourage them to vote for Hayley given she is the most threatening, despite them wanting Andrew out next due to his challenge prowess. And well, George’s persistence made Emmett wonder why he was so desperate to get rid of Hayley instead.

George ran off to find the missing Dani, with him convincing her that they all need to vote Hayley at the next tribal council rather than split it. With her in, he then decided to get all of the Brains to join in the fun and send Hayley out of the game in a landslide. He told Andrew she threw his name under the bus with the Brawns before Hayley watched him go person to person to ensure they were on his side. With that, she decided it was time to guarantee he can’t smear her name anymore and get rid of him ASAP. And she had just the information to get the Brawns onside – the fact that Kez handed off the idol to Flick after they executed her blindside together!

While George was trying to woo Wai to join the anti-Hayley train, Hayley approached Emmet, Flick and Gerald to spill all the information that George had been feeding her since the merge. After telling them about George tipping her off about the Laura vote and Kez’s idol, she agreed to join them to vote out Andrew if that is what they need from her to prove trust. She wasn’t sure if she could believe it however, catching up with Laura and Andrew who agreed that they should load all their votes on Gerald as the least likely to be protected by the rest of the Brawns. Andrew assured Hayley that George and Cara are definitely with them and the Brains are ready to run the game, however Hayley, obviously, was still not buying it. At all.

At tribal council George tried to downplay any complexity within the tribe, praising the power of the majority alliance. Hayley agreed that she and the remaining Brains are well and truly at a disadvantage before talk turned to trust, with George sharing that he likes to see how people react under pressure and that is what builds his trust. Gerald got sick of the non-talk, pointing out that Hayley came to them this afternoon and aired everything that George and Cara told them to do to save Laura. 

Hayley admitted to everything, while George denied it and said that it is all a lie and he will not buckle to the pressure Hayley is trying to put on him. Emmett pointed out that buckling under the pressure isn’t a confirmation or denial, so pressed him to just admit it or deny it rather than dancing around it. This got George spiraling, while Hayley calmly pointed out he is still acting like a politician, much to the delight of Emmett.

Dani whispered to Hayley that she believes her before Hayley asked her fellow Brains to either confirm or deny the information, with Wai and Laura backing her while Andrew wasn’t willing to throw George under the bus yet. Hayley stepped in and pointed out that George promised Andrew he was with them tonight, with George denying it, much to the frustration of Andrew. Dani continued to wrack her Brain, wanting to trust Hayley before Hayley tripled down, pointing out that she knows that Flick has Kez’s idol. And how does she know that? George told the Brains.

George continued to get more and more defensive, with Hayley admitting that she is truly fighting for her life and has absolutely nothing to lose. With that, the tribe voted and despite airy all of George’s dirty laundry, the Brawns stuck together and booted Hayley from the game. And by from the game, to Redemption Rock where she was reunited with her closest ally Baden.

Hayley caught Baden up on everything that happened and how unwavering the Brawns are when it comes to George. Baden rightly pointed out that it blew up in her face and that even though the Brawns probably believed her, they were always going to get rid of them ASAP given they’re the bigger threats. And well, I kinda love sassy Baden schooling her for ruining both of their games. Despite how much I still love Queen Hayley.

Things were less tense the next morning as Baden and Hayley assured each other that winning your way back into the game is good for the resume. Baden agreed that he is probably better placed now if he returns, rather than just staying. He then shaded Hayley saying if she gets back, she’d be well placed to take out second at this point as Hayley ranted about people lying when they way they aren’t playing to win.

Meanwhile at the Fire camp, the Brawns started to panic about what Chelsea’s lingering absence means before Jonathan arrived and shared that Chelsea has been diagnosed with temporary balance issues, meaning that she had to be removed from the game officially. With her one regret being that she couldn’ say goodbye to her tribemates. But you know, we already covered that.

Jonathan kindly assured them that she would be fine and not to worry about her before he left, leaving a crying Dani alone, heartbroken to have lost the one person she could trust moving forward.

The Fire tribe arrived to meet Jonathan by a stream where they learnt that neither Baden or Hayley had officially been voted out of the game and instead, the duo would be facing off in an endurance challenge to hold on to a pole suspended over water for as long as they can, with the victor returning to the game and the loser going home permanently. And while they were both desperate to get back into the game, it really isn’t the most interesting challenge to write about, other than to say that the Fire tribe were clearly rooting for Baden while Emmett pointed out that this is not something he would want to compete against Hayley on.

While Baden struggled the entire time, Hayley was like a statue as she focused on the task at hand. Ultimately winning her spot back in the game after only 20 minutes, as zaddy Baden definitively exited the game to become the King of the Jury. After casually burning his buff, obviously which just seems a tad cruel, but whatever.

I audibly – and theatrically – gasped as Baden arrived at the Jury Villa, given I had blown a month of my salary on an unnamed betting site to say that he would sit in the final two with Hayley. After processing my shock, I pulled him in for a big hug and told him how heartbroken I was to see his game end. You see, Baden and I are dear friends as I’ve worked extensively in the cycling world. As is oft the case, I left the industry in a scandalous cloud after some of my medical practices brought down one of cycling’s biggest stars. But Baden being kind, he kept in touch. No doubt because he is just so kind and always abides by the rules, so he didn’t have to fear my reputation bringing him down with me.

After explaining to him the importance of being the King of the Jury and his requirement to set the tone of how they behave, we quickly disappeared to enjoy a Chilli & Herbaden Chooke.

Like Baden’s spicy personality on Redemption Rock, this little roast is delightfully packing a punch. Add to that the sweet, fragrant herbs and the glory of stuffing this little netted number is near perfection.

Enjoy!

Chilli & Herbaden Chooke
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
5 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
100g breadcrumbs
1 egg
2kg chicken, butterflied and deboned but retaining the skin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sriracha
2 garlic cloves, minced|
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
kitchen twine or butcher’s netting

Method
Heat the butter in a skillet over low heat and saute the onion for ten minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Transfer to a bowl and mix together with the lemon zest, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano and breadcrumbs. All to cool before mixing in the egg.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Lay your butterflied chicken on a chopping board, skin side down and lay the stuffing down the centre like a long sausage. Roll the chicken to enclose before trussing the roast with twine, or my favourite, butcher’s netting. Mainly because I’m not great at knots.

Rub the roast with a little bit of olive, season with a whack of salt and pepper and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

Meanwhile combine the oil, sriracha, garlic, muscovado and salt and pepper in a jug. Once the chicken is on it’s way to getting hot, hot, hot, remove from the oven and baste with the chilli sauce. Reduce the oven to 180C and return the saucy chicken to cook for a further half an hour, basting every ten minutes or so to get it nice and sticky.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, pour over any of the remaining chilli and leave to rest for ten minutes before slicing, serving and devouring. Like a King of the Jury, for instance.


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 and Tumblr.