Libbean Vincek Soup

Main, Side, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, the three tribes became one and the war between Dom and Chris reignited. While the Naviti women wanted to stick Naviti strong and take out the more threatening Libby first, they couldn’t put an end to the pissing match to sway the numbers. Instead Dom threatened to play his fake idol, denied having an actual idol then played Sierra Dawn-Thomas’ legacy advantage – despite not getting any votes – as poor, bad rapping Chris found himself booted to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp the tribe processed the first merge tribal, with Libby confused about why people keep targeting her and how she should work to change their perceptions of her. Or find an advantage, obvi. Meanwhile Dom was feeling relieved, thankful to no longer have Chris on his back and able to distract people from his threat status. Maybe.

The next day Wendell continued to be a God, quickly pulling together an island kitchen  – off topic, could you imagine he, Brad and Monica on a season together, him building a killer home, them decorating with found objects? It would be iconic, make it happen – while confirming with us that he is still firmly aligned with Laurel, Dom and Donathan, though wasn’t sure how things will play out with Chris around. He checked in with Laurel to make sure them were feeling ok and to reassure her, confirming Dom has an idol and hoping to win back her trust … before locking in a top four deal. To solidify that, he shared that he too had an idol which seems to have had the opposite effect, with her no longer sure she can trust him and debating whether she should pounce.

My boy Probst arrived on the scene for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams of six, and then run across a floating bridge to the shore before shooting bags at tiles. It was for a Survivor Taco bar, but let’s ignore the fact that Jeff got creative with his pronunciation like Matty Chisholm, ok? Team Angela, Laurel, Wendell, Chelsea, Libby and Donathan got out to a quick lead and damn he looks good in his jocks. While Domenick evened things up, Laurel extended their lead while Sebastian, Donathan, Angela and Chelsea struggling to connect. The orange team evened things up before Libby had a turn and Wendell and his cakes heading back in to snatch the lead. Laurel went out for another turn, followed by Wendell before Laurel just missed the target, leaving Wendell to snatch victory for the purple team.

Before heading off for tacos, they opted not to select someone to attend Ghost Island, with the Survivor Gods instead channeling the white rock to send Jenna. She arrived hopeful for an opportunity to play for an advantage before quickly being disappointed to discover she was one of the unlucky visitors. While she was feeling dejected, her fellow outside Libby was feeling herself at the taco bar. They loaded up their plates, grabbed some fresh margs and toasted to their success. Wendell was thankful to find himself on reward with Laurel and Donathan, wanting to reconfirm their bond. Libby quickly asked them when she was targeted at the last tribal, with Angela and Chelsea assuring her it was simply an easy option and they wanted to break up her and Michael.

The next day Angela and Michael, who is young enough to be her son, joined together to float the idea about breaking up actual power couple Wendell and Dom. Angela was feeling her freedom from Chris and his inability to follow anyone else’s idea, she then took Michael’s concerns to Kellyn and Chelsea before stirring things up with Wendell, Dom and Des. While I love Michael, come through queen Angela and welcome to the game!

The tribe reconvened by the beach to discover an ominous table – yas yas yas, it is the gross food challenge! The first round required three people to scoff down two fish eyes, with Michael, Des and Laurel progressing and Libby, Donathan and Jenna eliminated from the competition. Probst lined up the rest of the castaways for their eyes, with Angela, Sebastian and Domenick moving on and Wendell, Kellyn and Chelsea eliminated. The next course saw the remaining castaways downing three live grubs, with Sebastian, Michael and Angela dominating the rest. For their third course, they had to down two massive sea slugs with Angela shoving them down her throat like a damn boss while Michael’s slow and steady approached kept him alive. The final round saw Michael and Angela downing some mother of pearl with Angela completely dominant with poor Michael struggling with each bite, ultimately securing herself immunity and showing the most personality she has all season.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Angela on slaying dem slugs before quickly getting to work scrambling for the tribal ahead. Laurel and Donathan got to work finding an in with Des, Chelsea and Kellyn to figure out what they’re planning to do and try and come up with a counter plan. They took the plan to target Michael back to Michael and Jenna, with Michael wanting Malolo to stick together while Naviti splits the votes allowing them to take out the bigger threat of Wendell. Laurel and Donathan got together to weigh up their options, with Donathan feeling it is time to take out Wendell to even up the numbers a bit though scared it would make him a target. Dom then told Libby she was safe tonight before being contradicted by Donathan who fleshed out that the plan involved splitting the votes between her and Michael. Kellyn then joined Wendell and Domenick, with Kellyn lamenting she can’t get a read on Laurel and Donathan which made her feel insecure.

At tribal council Chris scrubbed up extremely well before Probst praised Angela for stepping things up and coming out of her shell, with Sebastian congratulating her ability to swallow a sea slug whole. While it was impressive, who can’t? Anyway Des said that big moves where critical to everyone’s game allowing Probst to remind them of the new round-table final tribal format, with Dom and Wendell praising it for favouring the big players. Once again, Michael got to work blowing things up at tribal reminding everyone that they can’t rely on safe – which Milk obvi agrees with. Laurel wants the Naviti tribe to use her while they have a chance, the Navitis acknowledge sticking together required some cult-level convincing. Again, Kellyn continued to harp on about Naviti strong while Michael continued to push to be used, to which I say, yas gawd.

The votes rolled in and Michael’s fear got the best of him, opting to play Ozzy’s fucking stick – not this one (NSFW, obvi) – which glowed the fuck up and saved him from the boot, negating the seven votes against him. Instead poor Libby found herself off to the jury, while Michael congratulated Wendell on a move well played to lowkey paint a bigger target on his back rather than his own.

Poor Libs was feeling quite down to be out of the game so soon, but was thankful to be one of the few Malolos to make the jury and therefore still a viable option in the love stakes. After perking her back up, I managed to get her to cloud nine as soon as she saw I was packing a piping hot Libbean Vincek Soup.

 

 

Packed full of hearty bean goodness, fresh creamy pesto and the warmth of a soothing, carby broth. How could you stay sad?

Enjoy!

 

 

Libbean Vincek Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 celery, thinly sliced
1 potato, finely diced
2 tbsp Toni Basil Pesto
2L chicken stock
400g canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g crushed tomatoes
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup orzo
bunch of baby spinach
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and potato for a couple of minutes. Stir through pesto for a minute before adding the stock, beans, tomatoes and parsley. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and add the orzo, and simmer for about fifteen minutes.

Once the orzo is cooked through, stir through the spinach and parmesan and serve, devouring immediately … covering in extra parm-parm. Though obvi being careful because soup is hot as balls.

 

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Tessalad O’Halloran

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, Luke scored big at the auction and somehow won me over in the process. Tessa scored big getting an overnight reward, taking Luke and Michelle with her and forming the champagne alliance, not to be confused with the champagne celebrant. Tessa then won immunity and set-up the biggest blindside of the season, with the various factions aligning to take out the biggest threat in the game, fauxgi, Henry.

Asatoa returned to camp where Tara was shocked to once again find herself on the wrong side of the numbers, though wasn’t disappointed by the outcome given Henry was a huge threat. Locky was also sad, though not surprised, repeatedly sharing that he spent Henry’s last minute in the game begging him to play his idol.

The next day Luke was feeling extremely confident to have regained control, despite the fact that Michelle, Tessa and Sarah are the clear brains of the alliance. Luke continued to be overconfident and my brief period of fandom once again came to an end. As she has once again lost her numbers, Tara joined Ziggy and Michelle for a turn around the jungle where Ziggy pushed herself as the ultimate swing vote. Back at camp, Luke continued to be overconfident and reminded us that he invented the spy shack, which was somehow employed by Tony Vlachos in his winning season on Survivor. Despite the fact he is overselling his involvement in a spy shack, he did catch Ziggy and Tessa plotting to get out Jericho by the well so it is worth it. As much as I want Jericho to leave.

A shark then came to the bay leading to Locky wandering out to a sandbar to try and equal Luke’s kill count. Abruptly the tribe then joined together to talk about who has received votes at tribal councils, where Queen Michelle spoke about being in control though not being considered a threat. She then talked smack about Sarah who then tried to form a women’s alliance with Ziggy, minus Tara and I think plus Pete, leading to Michelle distancing herself from her closest ally to avoid getting caught in any potential webs.

My boy JoJo returned for the next immunity challenge, which is one of my faves, requiring everyone to balance an idol on the top of a long, hard – albeit not very girthy – pole. Remember, this is the one leading to Joengel fainting in Second Chance and Keith “ma fuckin’” Nale taking out immunity. The wind was positively cyclonic, though somehow everyone survived the first three rounds before Jericho, Tara and Locky dropped out within seconds of each other, followed by Michelle, Tessa and Sarah. Not long after ticking over into the fourth round Pete faltered in his pole-work, leaving Luke and Ziggy to battle it out for immunity. Thankfully our Olympian outlasted my renewed nemesis and took out her second individual immunity.

Tara was feeling extremely nervous arriving back at camp, identifying that Tessa and Pete are the two that they need to pull in to blindside Sarah. Tessa quickly agreed with the plan, which Locky was buying but Tara was not really trusting her. Tessa and the champagne alliance then reconvened to confirm their plans to split the votes between Locky and Tara, ignoring the fact that that leaves three people to force a three-way tie.

Michelle and Tessa were feeling extremely confident in their plans, which obviously lead to Luke and Jericho plotting to get rid of Tessa due to the spy shack intel. The boys then approached Sarah and Luke became mildly likeable again, explaining that getting rid of Tessa was the best option meaning Sarah and Locky – my obvious faves – should both be safe for tonight. Sarah though wasn’t so sure about flipping on Tessa, meaning there were a sum total of 300 different plans as they headed off to tribal.

At tribal Tara acknowledged that every time she thinks the vote is easy, she ends up being blindsided. Sarah, Michelle and Locky added that everyone is playing extremely hard and that has resulted in alliances changing every hour. Ziggy added that that sort of gameplay is what is changing up the targets as the latest person to make the move is quickly becoming the newest target. While Luke and Tara, Pete and Tessa, and Sarah and Michelle all said that there are still people they trust left in the game, Sarah pointed out that she never specified for how many votes which is kind of makes me worried. Particularly when Jericho said he was planning to assassinate a threat and I can’t remember, for the life of me, who he thinks is a threat.

The votes then rolled in two a piece for Locky, Tara, Sarah and Tessa, before Dr Tessa was tragically felled and sent to the jury. While I feel sorry for (almost) everyone that gets voted out, Tessa did only manage to make it this far thanks to old Tarzan’s idol so I wasn’t as sympathetic as I could have been. Plus, she was far more compelling when she was an underdog, so I didn’t want to lift her up too much, you know? Despite this, I whipped her up a Tessalad O’Halloran which, truth be told, is the ultimate pick me up anyway.

 

 

The sweetly caramelised sweet potato, with the punch of the onion, garlic and pesto work perfectly with the beautiful orbs of cous cous and fresh spinach. Did I mention that Tessa is a doctor and I knew she’d want a responsible first meal back in reality? Well she did … and she got lockylucky that this was also delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tessalad O’Halloran
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 sweet potato, diced
1 red onion, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
olive oil
250g Israeli cous cous
¼ cup Toni Basil Pesto
2 cups baby spinach

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the sweet potato, onion and garlic on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and caramelised.

While that is on, cook the cous cous as per packet instructions.

When they are both done, transfer to a bowl and toss through the Toni Basil Pesto and baby spinach before serving and devouring, in an aggressive manner like the salad flipped on you.

 

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LasEnya

Baking, Main, Pasta

It has been a rough decade not having Enya in my life. Kind of like being on the trains, in the winter rains … but emotionally, not literally. You know?

Picture it, Middle Earth 2001. I had just gotten Enya the job writing a song for the first Lord of My Ring (that’s what I thought it was called when I, helped, Peter Jackson to secure her job).

I was working my way through the Elfen extras to try and claim the Holy Grail of Orlando, watering my bloom. Long story short, I mistook Ens for an elf, she was upset I stopped when I realised it was her and was distraught that once again, I missed Orlando. Mud was slinged, words were said and I had my name removed from the co-writing credit and was robbed of another Oscar nomination.

Angry and hurt, I toured the most reputable and rational Hollywood publications PerezHilton and TMZ spewing vitriol and campaigning heavily against her winning the Oscar. It worked and sadly cost me our friendship.

Until she called.

You see, like me, Ens had tried to stay up-to-date on how the other was doing and lament the state of our friendship. Seeing my current success (and likely sensing the future plaudits and film adaptation she could score), Ens reached out to bury the hatchet and thankfully she was serious when she assured me it wouldn’t be in my back.

Ens is such an absolute doll and it breaks my heart that we fought so viciously for such a long time. She dropped over at the top of the morning yesterday and despite some initial awkwardness as we apologised and each took the sole blame for our issues while secretly blaming the other for all of them, it was like nothing had changed for the relationship we had in the 70s while I mentored her to success.

We gabbed and gabbed for hours, discussing our mutual disgust for Bono and our hope to collaborate on the melancholic, Opera adaptation of my future hit musical Little Whorephan Andy. Thankfully I had a huge batch of my LasEnya as we were worn out from all the planning!

 

lasenya-1

 

Lasagne is the ultimate comfort food – gooey cheese, rich sauce and a whack of herbs, it is life affirming, truly – and thankfully it is almost cold enough in Brisbane for me to pretend it is weather appropriate.

I mean, pasta? Amazing. Cheese? Even more amazing. Add in some pesto and hot damn you have a holy trinity of ingredients that instantly ends all feuds AND is a lovely shade of green for some cultural celebration.

Enjoy!

 

lasenya-2

 

LasEnya
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
handful button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 onion, roughly diced
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lean beef mince
700g bottle tomato passata
2 cups beef stock
250g dried instant lasagne sheets
1 ½ cup grated mozzarella
250g tub smooth ricotta
300ml thickened cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup Toni Basil pesto
fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the mushrooms, onion, zucchini, carrot, celery and garlic until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the mince and break up with the back of a wooden spoon, as it browns. Stir in the stock, passata and a good whack of salt and pepper, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes and starting to thicken.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Spread 1 ½ cups of the mince mixture over the base of a deep 22x30cm baking dish. Top with ¼ of the lasagne sheets. Top with ⅓ of the remaining meat mixture and ⅓ mozzarella. Repeat layers twice more aka the remaining ⅔ of each, finishing with a layer of lasagne sheets.

Whisk the ricotta, cream, eggs and pesto together in a bowl, season and pour mixture over the lasagne.

Now this is important and I would normally completely ignore this step, but don’t be like me, be a winner; cover the baking dish with tented foil. Tented? You want the foil to cover the dish, but not come into direct contact with it and leave you with a deliciously crisped piece of foil cheese and a mutilated lasagne … but anyway.

Bake for 40 minutes. Un-tent and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Stand for 10 minutes and then serve. Again, don’t be a Ben – allow it to stand. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

 

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