Jojo Zahohos

Baking, Cake, Dessert, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, Snack, Sweets

We open the inaugural episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under with all the pomp and circumstance us Aussies can muster, meaning there was a kookaburra carrying on over the beautiful, smooth baritone of a didgeridoo while Ru let rip with some spectacular Australiana puns. And coming from the foremost pun enthusiast of this great southern land, he should really take that as a bloody compliment.

Oh and in the great tradition of bring the US of the southern hemisphere, I’m ignoring the fact this show is half New Zealand – aka our Canada, the prettier more charming country – and should one of their queens win, claim them as quick as we claimed Rusty, Keith Urban, Rebecca Gibney and the iconic Richard Wilkins.

But enough of my ramblings, I really need to turn my attention to the first shiela to show off her map of Tassie in the Down Under work room, the iconic Art Simone. Full of bogan charm and bouncing with joy, she flew her way into my heart like a flaming Galah. After a brief period of isolation which no doubt triggered memories of her recent hotel quarantine, she was joined by Maxi Shield who won my heart by quoting another Australian legend, Lara Bingle. As the two gabbed about in the Werk Room, they gave the world the first taste of the finer details of the Australian language with a few fucken oaths, you’re a srubber and other phrases that really say, how the fuck do Australians think this is how you’re meant to talk to friends? 

Dripping in her self-proclaimed Faboriginality Jojo Zaho quickly became my fave as out of drag, he is hot as hell and rocks the mouth of a trucker. We got our first taste of the queens from the long white cloud when Elektra Shock entered the fray and quickly gagged the Aussie girls, despite them not knowing who she is. Side note, she was absolutely robbed of victory in House of Drag season 2, so if you underestimate her, you may just find yourself da-da-da-da-da, fucking off.

Making things a little more controversial, Scarlet arrived looking like Aquaria and thankfully not rocking on of her many reported black face looks. Coco Jumbo arrived and brought a tonne of charm and energy, and maybe I love her most of all instead? I mean, at least she was charming while mocking Elektra’s thirsty wig. Speaking of Elektra, one of the queens that robbed her of victory on House of Drag, Kita Mean arrived, this time to compete against her. Talk quickly turned to how gaggy it is for Kita to appear without her partner Anita, with Kita admitting that it feels weird to be going it alone. Up next was my new, ultimate, super mega best value favourite Etcetera Etcetera arrived dressed as a cockroach and shut it down, right now – she wins my heart and then hopefully the competition. Messed up antler or not. We then learnt that wait, Kita does not need to worry about getting lonely as Anita also made her triumphant debut and damn, I wish I knew how she managed to stay so charming despite being way too fucking much and so so positive.

Oh and please note, this now means that both of Elektra’s bosses are now in competition with her.

Rounding out the cast is Karen from Finance with the greatest entrance of all time, missing her mark and out of shot while dressed like Jane Fonda in 9 to 5. And like her friends Trixie and Katya, I live for her.

Barely getting any time to kiki and get to know each other on a deep and spiritual level, the siren went off and Mama Ra arrived to welcome the dolls into her international family and then immediately tasked them with a screen test overseen by the man that floods my basement most, Taika Waititi.

Speaking of flooded basements, we quickly pivoted to the shoot where the Pit Crew were well and truly packing – and had me primed to shoot – as the queens filed in to film their audition for Thore. Art was first, lisping her way further into my heart and completely charming Ru with her stupidity. Maxi was sexy, Jojo was ready to mount the Pit Crew – #RelatableQueen – Scarlet rocked laser titties, Coco was wacky, Etcetera was ridiculous and in the zone, Kita was focused, Anita served anger and joy in exactly the same way, while Elektra was absolutely demented while screaming out her rage and having Ru in hysterics. Karen then danced her way into my heart. But sadly for her, not Ru and Taika’s, as Elektra took out the first Mini Challenge of the series and silenced all the girls that didn’t believe in her.

With that out of the way, Ru quickly dropped the bomb that their first Maxi Challenge would be a cheeky little get to know you ball. The first category is Born Naked, with the queens getting us thirsty in their sexiest nude illusion. No Place Like Home would be the second category, giving the queens the chance to sell themselves while selling what makes their hometown so good.

As soon as Ru departed the queens scrambled to find a place in the Week Room, while Etcetera, Coco and Jojo were busy looking for the trade of the season. Which fills my heart with joy that the trio of icons have their priorities correct. While Kita decreed Maxi the trade of the season for looking like a trucker, Coco identified Anita as the PeeWee Herman before nearly fainting as she discovered that Elektra is hot. As such, she immediately regretted being shady about her as her only shot now may be a hate fuck. Speaking of Elektra, she was already feeling like the underdog of the season and felt like she really needed to turn out the first challenge to counteract the other queens’ reputations.

Elimination Day arrived – the episode ran fast, fam – with Karen sharing that her hometown runway was inspired by all of the drunk girls late in the afternoon of Melbourne Cup, meanwhile Jojo was going to rock a look in honour of her ancestry rather than one specific place, before sharing with Art how proud she is to be an Indigenous Australian. Elektra and Kita meanwhile were kikiing about their Born Naked runways, with Kita sharing that she is still uncomfortable in her skin after losing weight after her recent lap band surgery. Oh and Anita was starting to feel very awkward about competing against her dear friend, though vowed that this is her time to shine as Scarlet’s born naked outfit tore open as they were about to head off to the runway.

With that, we check in with Michelle – lover of penal colonies – and Rhys, who loves his new daddy RuPaul. Who conveniently was sans drag as her make-up decided not to join her in New Zealand in time.

On the Born Naked runway, Scarlet was able to sew together her silicone catsuit and rocked full bush and nips, proving Australia and New Zealand are a bit more lax with their censorship. Maxi meanwhile lived in her see-through trench. Elektra was inspired by Ru in a gladiator number, Coco covered herself in over-sized, camp drag props, Etcetera rocked their non-binary roots in a gory and glamous goddess gown. Jojo meanwhile had me living with her even fuller bush than Scarlet, Karen looked like a sparkle, stripping dream while Anita slayed as Eve, though not as much as Alaska Eve, it should be noted. Kita’s bodysuit was sadly  ill fitting around the arms but she made up for it with a beautiful ball covered number while Art gave split personality in the most polished way possible.

Extra points go to Kita for getting Rhys to quickly assert himself as the alpha non-Ru-or-Michelle judge on all franchises ever by uttering, “I love balls slapping against my arse,” which I feel in my soul. I mean, ugh, it is soothing and I’m glad Rhys is bringing it into the broader consciousness.

Category No Place Like Home saw Scarlet slayk, serving Black Swan realness, Maxi served Big Prawn eleganza in honour of Ballina – which for those that have tragically never been, was a petrol station. Elektra was a technicolour dream angel for Auckland, which was stunning despite me not getting her references. Coco rocked King Kong chic in honour of another of my Christmas roadtrip faves, the Big Banana of Coffs Harbour. Etcetera served the map of Canberra in the sexiest way possible before Jojo stole the damn show as the self-crowned Queen of the Kooris. Karen pivoted in the best way possible, slaying as a very realistic drunk chick at the races. And I should know, as I was once kicked out of the races. Oh and then Anita turned up as a sheep, before Kita was All Black and sexy as hell and Art closed the show with a reveal, from little black dress to a graffiti covered gown and honestly, it was impeccable.

Ultimately Maxi, Etcetera, Anita and Kita were sent to safety, leaving the tops and bottoms – you know I have to say it, we’re all bottoms – on stage to receive critiques. The judges lived for Scarlet, despite her meaty damn tuck. They thought Elektra’s looks were simple albeit great, and then confusing and basic for her hometown look. They didn’t love Coco’s nude look, but lived for her hometown runway despite it potentially being legitimate Party City. Jojo was tragically read for being unpolished despite having a powerful message. Karen meanwhile received universal praise for both looks, as did Art.

Critically, Rhys followed his earlier majesty by quoting his boyfriend, “this is a strong opening, I hope you can top it.” And with that, the hilarious Ross Matthews, Carson, Alan and Graham started to worry about their job security.

Backstage Coco was gutted to have received mixed reviews, while Elektra was sure that she was in the bottom with Coco. Jojo meanwhile was heartbroken to not impress the judges, breaking down as she listened to the lip sync song, sure of her fate before she even returned to the stage.

Ultimately Scarlet was deemed safe as was Art, meaning Karen took out victory in the first challenge. On the other end of the spectrum, Coco scraped through by the skin of her teeth leaving Elektra and Jojo to battle it out in the first lip sync of the season to Tragedy by the mother tucking BeeGees.

Right from the start Elektra was desperate for victory as she slapped her pussy into the stage, but damn did both of the duo kill it. Bouncing off each other, the queens gave comedy and ultimately were delightfully congenial and altogether ridiculous, giving the world a taste of just how fun Down Under drag can be. Tragically though, someone had to become the Pork Chop of the franchise and despite it being such a strong opening lip sync, poor Jojo Zaho was felled from the competition.

Upon arriving backstage, I immediately pulled her in for a massive hug partly because I was so heartbroken to see her go and partly because she is hot. As I wiped away her tears, I reminded her that as her dear friend – we met at that place when we were both doing that thing, I’m sure I mentioned it – I know that this will not bring her down and frankly, snagged herself one of the most iconic places in the history of the series. Bested only by a crown. But since she was eliminated wearing one, she kinda got the best of both worlds. With that, we whipped out our Jojo Zahohos and toasted to all her success.

I was going to try and avoid smut upon my return, but when serving up a long, firm pole filled with glorious, sweet cream there is no way to avoid it. I am a ho for a hoho and after putting one in your mouth, you will be too.

Enjoy!

Jojo Zahohos
Serves: 2 dear friends, looking for a creamy filling.
Edited from Gale Gand’s recipe.

Ingredients
7 eggs, two of which need to be separated
¾ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup clarified butter, warm
3 cups icing sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
350g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil, or whatever flavourless oil you prefer

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two jelly roll pans with baking paper.

Combine five whole eggs, two yolks – you could use the whites for a cheeky Macarooney Mara – muscovado sugar and two teaspoons of the vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk over a double boiler until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture homogeneous. Remove from the heat and transfer to a stand mixer, beating for five minutes or so, or until light and fluffy.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the flour, cocoa and baking powder until just combined before finally folding through the clarified butter. Split the batter between the two pans, smooth the tops and transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Take the cakes out of the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and cover with some cling while you get to work on the rest.

While the cake is getting chill, mix the icing sugar, butter and remaining vanilla with the paddle of a mixer until the sugar is wet. Insert the paddle into the stand mixer and beat on medium for a few minutes or until so light and fluffy it is pulsating.

To assemble the cakes, smear a layer of filling over the top of each cake, leaving a centimetre on one of the long sides. Roll each cake tightly to form a fat roll, trim into lengths, transfer to baking sheet – seam side down – and place in the fridge to set for an hour.

While they’re in the fridge, combine the chocolate and oil in a bowl over a double boiler and mix until it forms a glossy liquid. Leave to chill for five minutes before grabbing the cakes and working one at a time, dip them in the glaze, allow excess to drip off and then transfer to a baking sheet to set.

Once firm, plate up, serve them to your iconic friend and devour together, in the smuttiest way possible.


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Rhys Nicholsonoran Hot Dog

Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, Street Food

Well, well, well, just went you thought I was down and out – was I ever in, though? – Ru pulls me back into the world of fame, food, fortune and glamour. And into the orbit of one of my first loves, Rhys.

While I am mixing things up in the pursuit of trying to avoid angering the internet and posting our ru-caps on a one week delay, I had to mark the exciting occasion of Ru and Michelle judging our collective maps of Tassie with a little date with Rhys.

Oh Rhys. Dear, sweet Rhys.

We met in Sydney in 2009, he had just relocated and ready to take on the comedy world while I was being chased out of town by a modern version of a mob with pitchforks. You see, I had just tried to make my drag debut in THE frill-necked lizard costume from Priscilla and was clocked at The Beresford. Because if nothing else, us gays can sleuth.

In any event, I saw Rhys when running down Oxford Street and was immediately taken. Like that, I slid into an alley, did a cheeky quick change and went and swept him off my feet.

It was a beautiful, torrid spring fling which ended horribly three months later as I was finally arrested for my frilled-neck crimes as he looked on in absolute horror. While the relationship ended, we maintained a lovely friendship as he wrote to me in priz, updating me on his blossoming relationship with Kyran.

As is oft the case, there was a brief period of turmoil when I arrived on the Down Under set and realised that Ru and Michelle opted for a younger, prettier model to join them on the judges panel but I was glad to be able to repair the friendship after returning to Oz and share in the premiere with him.

But you know, we’ve got a new spoiler policy in place, you won’t be hearing anything about that until next week. In the meantime, may I suggest getting a big, fat Rhys Nicholsonoran Hot Dog in your mouth.

There was no more fitting way to return to this little venture than by splitting a soft, pillowy bun with a big fat sausage, slathering it in a creamy, zesty sauce and adding a little bit of spice. And avocado.

Nothing says sexy quite like an avocado, no?

Enjoy!

Rhys Nicholsonoran Hot Dog
Serves: 4.
Inspired by Jeff Mauro’s recipe.

Ingredients
8 sausages, basic Aussie preferred
16 rashers streaky bacon
8 hot dog rolls, subs or Hulk Hoagies would work in a pinch too because let’s be honest, I couldn’t find bolillos
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain, or any old mayo you have laying around. But you know, in date
small handful of coriander, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp sriracha, plus extra to top
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tomatoes, cored and diced
½ red onion, finely diced
400g can refried beans, warmed
2 avocados, diced
pickled jalapenos, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Tightly wrap each sausage with two rashers of bacon and place, seam side/s down, on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through.

While you’re getting your sausage fest nice and hot, combine the mayo, coriander, hot sauce and zest and juice of one of the limes with a good whack of salt and pepper.

In another bowl, combine the tomato, onion and zest and juice of the remaining lime with a pinch of salt, stir well and allow the citrus to take some of the sharpness form the onion.

To assemble, split the buns, schmear with some refried beans, top with the meaty sausage, drizzle with spicy, herbaceous mayo, some quick-pickled tomato and onion, avo and coriander and some hot sauce. Assuming you’re not one of the people that genetically tastes soap in place of coriander. 

After making that decision, then devour, greedily and happily, grateful that I am back, back, back, back, back again, with another season of Drag Race.


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G’day, g’day, g’day

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1

In the words of the great Colleen, yoo hoo, only me. Remember me? Yes, no, alright, let me tell you a little tale about where I have been and most importantly, why.

It all started some 18 months ago. A cheetoh was President of the United States, Joe Exotic wasn’t a global lifestyle brand and we were not yet afraid of cornova. But then 2020 happened and who do you think was called upon to save it? Little old me. Famed diplomat, fake doctor/lawyer/influencer and celebrity hanger on.

Tragically the UN quickly realised I was neither qualified nor remotely competent to hold down any and all paying jobs and I was sent back to Australia on a cruise ship. I then bounced around the ocean for a couple of months, terrified I would have to talk to strangers, before landing in Brisbane and promptly cryogenically freezing myself for 12 months in the hope the pandemic would end while I was down under.

But alas, it didn’t. But that does bring me to my next point.

I awoke to a tonne of missed calls, pleading messages and irate voicemails from Ru and Michelle, begging me to join them across the ditch and help welcome the Down Under queens into the family.

“Ben, it has long been known that you have the Perth-onality, but I can’t take this attitude anymore – answer your damn phone and assure me you’re coming!”

Coincidentally, I was.

“BEN, I am in a Christ-church, praying, begging on my Syd-knees that you will join us in Auckland. Do NOT be the Bris-BANE of my EXISTENCE”

Long story short – well shorter than it could have been – I called Ru back, hopped on the next plane and vowed to return to the internet once again and celebrate our queens, down under. Because their tucks are tight.

Who will be the first sheila to sashay away? Watch the damn show! Like Brittany Murphy, I’ll never tell … until next week.

Image source: Stan / TVNZ / WoW.

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Lisausage Stanga

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, my dear Matty Chis dropped 18 Kiwis on some islands in the middle of a lake close to the Thai border. After dipping in and out of the drink, debating the merits of peanut butter brands – which I am not shading, I take peanut butter damn seriously – spewing and broken challenges, 15 were voted off one by one from Jose, Karla and Franky to Kaysha, Liam, Josh, JT and Dylan – yes we’re doing this – before the tribes merged and Arun, Brad, Renee, Eve, Matt, Adam and Tara joined the jury, leaving Dave, Tess and Lisa to battle it out at final tribal council.

After Matt threw him under the bus, poor Dave landing in third place leaving superfan Lisa to best Tess, take out the title of Survivor NZ and tick the ultimate thing off her Survivor bucket list.

To be honest, when I saw the cast lined up I assumed that Lisa would be the obvious first boot, however she masterfully downplayed her status as a superfan and hid behind the mum role, to lull people into a false sense of security.

She emerged, coincidentally, at the merge and quickly took control of the game, blindsiding the biggest threats and somehow navigating to the end after she became the biggest threat. Perfectly playing a vote steal and executing a 3-2-1 vote, Lisa’s game was pretty much a masterclass and I am so glad that the was rightfully rewarded.

With the game and a big fat Lisausage Stanga.

 

 

Some may say a sausage sandwich is not worthy of a winner, but to them, I say you’re wrong. Sausage, onion, swiss cheese and mayo on the most nutritionally devoid slice of white bread? Eat your heart out Bunnings, because I’m coming for your game!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lisausage Stanga
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
8 thick pork sausages
8 slices bread
Shayonnaise Swain, to serve
100g Swiss cheese, grated

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for about twenty minutes, or until nice and caramelised.

In a large frying pan, cook the sausages over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, flipping occasionally, until cooked through.

To assemble, smear some mayo on each slice of bread, top with the onion and the sausages, before sprinkling over the cheese.

Then devour, in honour of a game well-played!

 

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Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Tara eliminated herself from the game leaving Dave, Lisa and Tess to battle it out for the title of Sole Survivor. Sadly for Dave, however, his school friend Matt told everyone that they’ve known each other for decades and hid it from everyone to get throughout the game. As such the jury was hella bitter with him and downplayed his achievements, despite the fact he is the only reason Matt made the merge over Zadam’s nemesis Dylan.

With that, the jury voted and completely shut out Dave, landing him in third place with both Tess and Lisa snagging three votes with only one left to be read. Which, no shade to Tess, thankfully went to Lisa, handing the superfan the title and landed Tess as the runner-up.

Despite not knowing a great deal about Survivor going in, Tess played a strong game and managed to sneak through despite her allies being systematically targeted. Couple that with a string of immunity wins at the right time and she almost Fabio-ed her way to victory. Which I reminded her when she was disappointed to have missed out on the cash. Add to that the glory of a Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger and she soon forgot about the pain of losing.

 

 

Succulent chicken breast coated in 11 secret herbs and spices, hang on, this could end in a lawsuit. This homage slash copycat to the glorious OG KFC burg fills anyone with joy, crunchy iceberg, creamy mayo and fried chicken? Sign all ya’ll up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 Kirsten Bunst, sliced
2 Farrahed Moan Chicken, using chicken breast instead obvi
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup iceberg lettuce, shredded, washed and dried

Method
Started by prepping the buns, chicken and mayo as per their respective recipes.

When they’re done, split the buns, slather the top and bottom with mayo, place lettuce on the bottom and top with the fried chicken.

Close the burger and devour immediately.

 

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Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 18 castaways were abandoned in the lakes of Thailand. After being divided into tribes by Jose, she tragically found herself becoming the first boot from the game. Khangkhaw dominated the early section of the game with Karla and Franky following Jose out of the game, with Kaysha the only person heading out the door … or Khangkhaw. The tribe swap left Matt & Josh screwed on new Chani while Dylan had a new lease on life, wait, no Matt and Dave went to school together and Matt found himself safe, while Dylan was sent home.

Oh and Liam was booted from new Khangkhaw and JT medequit, though they don’t play into the narrative much.

The tribes merged and Lisa immediately stepped out of the shadows playing an extra vote to ensure Arun’s departure before flipping the game and taking out Brad. She then dictated the boots of Renee and Eve before flipping on Matt, executing a perfect 3-2-1 to send him from the game. While Tess and Adam tried to turn things around, Lisa maintained control sending Adam from the game leaving Tess to have to pull out an immunity run to make it to final tribal, leading to Tara orchestrating her own boot, blindsiding Tess one final time.

Back at camp Tess apologised for trying to take out Dave whilst also complaining about being perennially blindsided. Lisa felt guilty about lying to Tara throughout the game after she ended her own game so Lisa could make it to the end. Dave then questioned what happens at final tribal, begging the question … has he seen the show before?

The final three awoke the next morning to discover the final three breakfast before reminiscing about all that they’ve achieved. Lisa was shocked about how hard the game was and was proud to have made it to the end as a superfan … though feared how she will be perceived by the jury. Tess too was feeling proud, though mainly because if it is a popularity contest it is her game to lose. Dave was thrilled to have survived the Chani losing streak and planned to avoid mentioning the fact he and Matt are friends, knowing it would make his feat far less impressive.

Right on cue we then pivoted out of the game and over to the Jury Villa where Matt pulled Adam aside to admit that he and Dave are old school friends. Word quickly spread throughout the jury and just like that, Matt ended one of his oldest and dearest friends’ game.

With that we arrived at tribal council where the jury all scrubbed up and looked ready to attack. Hopefully not Lisa, obvi. Speaking of who, she kicked off the opening statements by talking about how she managed to downplay her super fandom and overcome her lack of physicality by making strong relationships and echoing Queen SDT’s strategy. She admitted to lying, though said it was in the name of the game and to do it to them before they did it to her. Continuing to tick off all the bases, she apologised to Renee and Matt for blindsiding them and spoke about how she promised her family that she would do whatever she could to win. Then there were tears and she told them, essentially, that she would be the best winner for their season. Crown. Her. Now.

Tess was up next and tried to summon emotions by talking about how honest and righteous she is, positioning herself as the counterpoint to Lisa. The downtrodden underdog, who was at times pretty nasty, unless you were a Lisa. TBH, I started to tune out because she was proud of not playing the game and that is not something I can get behind. Though the emotion about her family was really sweet, so, I guess she can come second if she has to?

Dave wrapped things up going down the Denise Stapley route, touting how often he went to tribal council. Though unlike her, was proud of how many votes her amassed throughout the season. He then talked up how much of a hustler he was throughout the game, expertly pivoting away from the votes to the point he could hang onto his idol. He then gave props to his friend Arun for protecting him early in the game, however conveniently kept quiet about his relationship with Matt. Obviously he did apologise though before going for the sympathy, talking about his rough upbringing and committing to donate money slash pay off his parents mortgage if he wins. Poor naive Dave doesn’t know what is about to hit him, does he?

The power turned to the jury with Arun kicking things off in a positive tone asking Tess if she really had no idea about the game – she didn’t – before shading Dave by asking how he managed to survive after Matt’s boot – hustlin’, obvi – much to the delight of the jury. Brad was up next and admitted that everyone knows that Dave and Matt are friends, questioning all the lies that Dave had told in the pursuit of selling his game. Dave tried to pretend that he had planned to reveal the relationship when Matt stepped up to talk, though did make the valid point that he saved Matt at the start of the game and if that paid dividends, power to him.

Renee stepped up as the bitter juror, listing why she wasn’t voting for Dave and asking if he was cool with this. She then praised Tess’ honesty before asking Lisa who, if anyone, she thinks will vote for her to win. She then slayed her, answering that she has learnt not to name names around Renee so wasn’t going to bother giving her any. While I thought Eve would come in all nice, she asked Lisa if her family would be proud of her which she answered with an emphatic yes. Wait, no, Eve is actually being nice and congratulated her on a game well played. She was also chill when Dave gave a non-answer about his odds of survival should Matt have not been in the game.

Adam was up next, professing his undying love for Tess … and even Lisa, before asking them the same question – would they rather an advantage of a best friend in the competition or three extra plates in a challenge? They both said friend, which I felt was surprising for Lisa until she explained it would be futile since she is balls at challenges. Dave’s mate Matt was next and kicked things off by apologising for completely blowing up his game, saying he just respected everyone too much. He then asked for a rationalisation about voting him out, which kinda feels like it was a vindictive – justified – move. Seeing the writing on the wall, Dave said that the only reason he turned on him was because he lied to him about the idol.

Rounding things out was Tara who asked everyone what they gained from the experience, with Tess proud of her personal growth and Dave once again trying to apologise and say that he learnt to live with his decisions. Queen Lisa knocked the question out of the park, saying it inspired her to travel and gave her the confidence to step out of her comfort zone and not write things off because they don’t seem likely or realistic.

With that the jury stepped up to vote, Matty Chis whipped them back to Auckland and seamlessly walked out into the auditorium where the scrubbed up castaways awaited their fates. After briefly checking in with booted castaways, he finally got down to crowning a winner with the votes rolling in 3-3 between  … well, not Dave who finished the season in third place.

While most people would be extremely salty about their friend completely destroying their chance at winning $250K, Dave seemingly took his loss in his stride. Though maybe he could just smell the of Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic wafting out of the Jury Villa.

 

 

I honestly don’t think their could be a better dish to make up for someone losing a stack of money. I mean, the butter goodness of croissants, crossed with the sweet, glory of chocolate. That is the perfect duo for drying tears.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
1 batch David Croissants dough
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Method
Prep the dough as her Dave’s (Cross’) recipe and when you’re almost ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C.

Roll out the pastry to form a 30cm x 30cm square of dough, cut it in half to form 2 rectangles and then cut each into quarters. Place a line of chocolate close to the two longest edges and roll the dough towards the centre to meet. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam down, and repeat until done. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 20 minutes, or until slightly puffed.

Whisk together the egg and milk and brush each croissant before adding a sprinkle of salt flakes and transferring to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and risen.

Devour immediately.

 

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Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood

Main, Pasta, Poultry, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Lisa’s epic 3-2-1 caused chaos for Tess and Adam’s friendship as the former raged against the latter for voting for her as he assumed there was no hope. Thankfully all was forgiven after she won the reward challenge and shared it with Adam, moving past the (technically unsuccessful) slight and turning their attentions to getting Lisa – aka the undisputed queen and actual threat – out of the game. Sadly for them Dave and Tara held strong and sent Zadam from the game, and the queen stays queen, so to speak.

Back at camp Tess was once again feeling the sads upon her return from tribal council, though since she lost her best friend slash closet ally I’ll give her a pass. Everyone joined to discuss the massive blow up between Adam and Lisa at tribal, with Lisa concerned that it will cost her the game and Tess hopeful that despite being blindsided week after week, Adam’s influence on the jury will hand her an undeserved win. And since they keep hyping what is happening at the Jury Villa, me thinks it may tragically come to fruition.

The next day Dave worked to gut a fish and I am honestly struggling to keep down my dinner, so I’m glad we quickly pivoted to see Lisa. Well until she spoke about the fact she is shocked people are trusting her. This was followed by Tess talking about being confident in her chances of swaying Tara or Dave to her side, and Tara talking about being disappointed that Lisa has lied to her … and now I want to vom at the thought of Queen Lisa not winning.

Before I can actually blow chunks – which I feel like is a direct quote from Matt way back when Zadam and Kaysha vommed in ep 2 and contestant Matt flashed his buns – Matt arrived for the final reward challenge. The challenge required everyone to build plank bridges between two platforms and collecting puzzle pieces which they use to complete a table maze and landing balls in a hole. My fave pastime. Desperate to enjoy a night away in a hotel, Tara got out to an early lead with Dav, as is oft the case, coming in second. Once again a puzzle proved to be Tara’s undoing, as everyone overtook her and Dave won his first challenge … without using an advantage. He was then given the chance to pick someone to go with him, surprisingly choosing Tara. Though it was to ensure Tess couldn’t scramble, so well played Dave.

Dave pulled Tess aside before departing for his reward to find out what her final three plans were, vowing that he will vote with her for whoever she wants if she wins the next immunity challenge. And while she could see right through it, she had no other options so agreed to boot Tara with him if he wins and went on their jolly ways. His a bit jollier, as he and Tara were collected to go enjoy their luxury hotel digs. Which TBH didn’t look that luxury, but maybe I am a snob? After a quick tour of their digs they made their way to the pool before discussing who was the biggest threat moving into the final three. With both of them looking to be unshakeable in their support for Lisa. Thank fuck.

Tara returned to camp rejuvenated while poor Dave wasn’t able to sleep as he couldn’t stop thinking about losing the next immunity challenge. Tara and Lisa spoke about the importance of one of their alliance taking out immunity, Dave said that a Tess win screws them all and Tess said winning is her only option. As such Matt returned for the final immunity challenge, where the final four would each have to hang upside down on a pole for as long as possible. Lisa was the first out after 12 minutes, followed closely by Tara leaving Dave as their alliance’s only hope. Despite being bitten by a wasp early on Dave battled it out for well over an hour … before dropping out, handing Tess immunity and keeping his tradition of coming second right up until the end.

Back at camp Tess was ecstatic to have taken out immunity, while the remaining three got to work scrambling. Tess pulled Tara aside to talk about who to take out, with Tess preferring to get rid of Dave as the biggest threat. Tara shared that there was no way she could vote against Dave, shocking Tess as it meant Tara could only vote for her closest ally Lisa. With the other two away, Dave and Lisa discussed who would be their most likely target with both of them assuming they were on their way out. Tara returned and Dave joined Tess to talk about options, with Tess being cagey and Dave getting super edgy and angry, which is awks since Tess has all the power. Rounding things out, Tess and Lisa got together to discuss options with Lisa pushing Dave as the biggest threat to throw the scent off of her. Out of nowhere, Tara seemed to come up with a plan to blindside Tess and vote herself out of the game and TBH, I am super confused as they head off for tribal.

At tribal council the jury were delighted to see Tess wearing immunity, who herself admitted that she was super proud of making it to the end. Lisa was once again in the hot seat, saying she was glad that she Adam cleared the air at the previous tribal and she hoped that people would focus on game if she makes it to the end. Dave spoke about the ever evolving nature of the game, Tess tried to figure out who she could beat while Tara tried to play things super cagey. Lisa said she was feeling fairly confident in those that she trusts while Tara looked super awkward when she spoke about not throwing in the towel, much to the rage in Matt’s eyes. The votes rolled in and Matt’s rage started to make sense as Tara orchestrated her own boot, blindsiding Tess one final time.

I was quite bamboozled when Tara arrived at the Jury Villa, unsure why she threw away a shot at the prize for her friends. I mean, sure, she knew that she had no shot at said prize, but damn – that is wild. And I guess for that, I’ve got to be impressed. As such I whipped her up a Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood and toasted to her giving the deserving winner the chance to argue for the crown.

 

 

After thirty-eight days out on an island, there is nothing more enticing than carbs. Or dairy. Or hunks of chicken. Add them all together, and you’ve got this glorious American bake. Gooey and hearty, it is the perfect thing to perk you up for the final tribal council. Which you quit to avoid.

For some reason. Which I am grateful for.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g chicken breast, diced
¼ cup butter
500g button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
½ cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry vermouth
3 cups parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp chilli flakes
500g linguine, cut in half and cooked as per packet instructions

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta.

In a second large pot, heat a lug of oil over medium heat and cook the chicken for five minutes, or until browned. Add the butter, mushrooms and peas and cook until the mushroom is tender. Stir through the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the meat and stir through the milk, stock and vermouth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes or so, or until starting to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir through 2 cups of parmesan, and the thyme and chilli.

Once the pasta is cook, stir it through the pan, transfer to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden.

Devour immediately.

 

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Adam O’Brionion Cheeseburger

Burgers, Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Matt’s hold on phower of Phsan continued to grow – or so he thought – painting the target on Tess and keeping his newly found joint-idol with Lisa a secret from school-chum slash ally Dave. That was all Lisa needed to sway Dave’s loyalty to her side, outing Matt’s secret and trying to convince Dave to join her to get him out. While Matt convinced Adam to turn on his ally Tess and get her out, Lisa proved the most persuasive and got Dave and Tara to join her in knocking Matt out in a Cirie Fields patented 3-2-1 vote.

Back at camp Lisa was relieved that the tricky vote turned out in her favour, albeit a little guilty due to her friendship with Matt. On the flipside, Tess was shocked to find herself back at camp since she was sure that it was her that was going. Lisa explained why she flipped the vote on Matt to the rest of the tribe in an attempt to diminish the growing target on her back, which was thankfully overshadowed by the implosion of the Adam-Tess alliance after Adam confessed to voting against her at tribal council. Which she was well pissed about.

Things hadn’t really calmed down the next day, though Adam’s attentions had moved firmly back to Lisa and her rapidly expanding threat level. He was questioning every interaction they had ever had, was concerned about the fact she wanted to each some chicken and generally conflicting pieces of logic. Thank f- he is still a zaddy with those locks. Tess was still sulking about Adam’s slight, giving him a combination of side-eye and silence. Dave being the kind guy that he is, joined her by the shore and calmly listened to her rant about someone else’s blindside and tried to emphasise the difference between the game and real-life. Which was mainly just an attempt at reassuring himself that blindside his friend wasn’t a jerk move that will ultimately screw him over.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t and you’re screwed no matter what if you don’t get Lisa out, respectively.

Meanwhile Lisa was trying to do some damage control, checking in with Adam to see that he is healthy … as a way to gauge whether she could trust him again. Which again, she couldn’t, as he complained about her being a dragon, despite the fact she was just playing the game better than anyone else.

Before any of the simmering feuds could explode, Matty Chis returned for the reward challenge where the castaways would carry bags of dominoes across a balance beam. The first two to finish would move onto the finals where they would stack the dominoes to eventually knock a ball into a bucket of water. The winner earned themselves Thai massages and smoothies and to the final five it was well and truly, as OG Jeff would say, worth playing for. Dave and Tess made quick work of the first round before Tess schooled Dave in round two. As is oft the case, Matt gave her the opportunity to select someone to join her which she opted to share with recent enemy Adam. Much to his shock.

Adam decided that he needed to apologise before their relaxing massages, so pulled Tess aside and cleared the air. As awkward as it may have been for him. While the duo were renewing their friendship, Tara took the chance to seethe about not being chosen for the reward and tried to poison Lisa and Dave against her. Doubling down on the seething, Adam complained about Lisa’s gameplay and how she had made everything personal and that no one would vote for her because she is mean.

Adam, you’re making it hard to love you this episode.

While they continued to rage while getting pampered, they identified Dave as their only hope to get rid of Lisa and her hideous gameplay. Back at camp she ran the numbers with Tara, who admitted that she would be pissed if Lisa blindsided her without realising that she is a goat and no one is stupid enough to get rid of her. Lisa continued to do damage control and approached Dave to check how he was feeling after the blindside. They then locked in a final three deal with Tara, so hopefully it works out for her. Because I am stanning the hell out of Lisa.

Matty Chis returned for the classic immunity challenge – owned by Parvati and Ozzy – where everyone has to hold on tight to a long, thick, hard pole for as long as they can. Aka, my fave past time. Adam dropped out as soon as the challenge started, followed closely by Tara while Lisa and Dave struggled their way through. Lisa soon followed, breaking down in tears in the process. As you would expect, Dave’s struggles soon got the best of him as he slowly slid down that pole – yas queen – and handed Tess immunity.

Given her target had snatched immunity, Lisa got straight to scrambling when they returned back to camp. Thankfully for her, Tara was all in for getting rid of Adam. However Tess and Adam also got to work scrambling, hoping to convince Dave to join them in taking out Lisa … with a back-up plan of finding an idol and causing chaos for Lisa at tribal council. While Adam went idol hunting, Tess approached Dave about flipping over to their side and while it is definitely in his best interests, I just don’t see it happening. Ever. No matter how long he debates it. Dave then did his go to move, and approached the person he is potentially blindsiding to see whether he can trust them. Thankfully their pow-wow gave us the glorious scene of Tess asking Tara if she would consider voting with them, and her iconic point blank ‘no’ response.

At tribal council Matt quickly started throwing shade, questioning whether Tess would be capable of winning and checking if Lisa and Dave were struggling emotionally. Which lead to poor Dave breaking down at tribal council over booting Matt, making Eve and Matt well up from the jury box. Talk of Matt’s exit was the catalyst for Adam’s chaos, talking about him also being blindsided by the last tribal council and questioning Lisa about trust to avoid being, and I quote, another man-bun on the jury. Adam tried to make the blindside personal, saying Lisa taking out Matt while convincing him to vote Tess made a joke out of him. Adam then turned his performance into a plea, as he and Tess begged Dave and Tara to take out Lisa instead.

Despite the fact both Tara and Dave were looking salty about their alliance with Lisa – and Dave channeled Hannah in sitting at the voting booth for a ridiculously long time – they stayed loyal and joined Queen Lisa to take out my sassy zaddy Zadam. While he took his boot in his stride, I took him in my arms just in case he needed a hug to cheer him up. We then spent our time in the Jury Villa, laughing, catching-up – I was on the same season of The X Factor as him obviously, since I have the voice of an angel – and smashing … an Adam O’Brionion Cheeseburger or three.

 

 

You know I love sticking meat in between some soft sweet buns, and let me tell you this burger does not disappoint. Crispy onions, sweet sweet barbecue sauce, creamy mayo and cheese? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Adam O’Brionion Cheeseburger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
4 Kirsten Bunst
4 slices American cheese
⅓ cup barbecue sauce
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
8-12 Kent Nelsonion Rings
fries or onion rings, to serve

Method
Place the mince in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch to combine. Form into four patties and place in the fridge to rest for half an hour.

Place a large pan over medium heat and brush with oil. Add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes each side, or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat to rest and place a slice of cheese on top of each to melt slightly.

Split the buns and toast, smear mayo on one side and barbecue sauce on the other. Top with the cheesy patty and onion rings, and devour immediately.

 

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Matt Hamhock Soup

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, when Dave found his idol a couple of episodes back he quickly shared the intel with his school friend slash ally Matt. On the flipside, when Matt and Lisa found an idol last episode the both vowed not to tell anyone, not even Dave. The idol find and immunity win by Matt derailed Lisa’s plan to vote him out, leaving Eve to make her heartbroken exit from the game as the next biggest challenge threat.

Back at camp the tribe discovered that the storm during tribal council had broken their shelter, leaving everything drenched and everyone completely annoyed. Zadam hated everyone and bamboo, Dave was sick of not having any control in the game and Tess shone like a shining beacon of hope while trying to cheer them up. And now I’m back to being team Tess. The next day everyone was still feeling down because of the weather and how heartbroken Eve was when getting voted out. While Tara was proud of giving her friend a heads up before getting cut, Matt felt it made her even shadier and as such he felt she needed to go.

Well, that is until he went to the well with Adam and Tara and told them that Tess was the one that needed to go next as she was trying to get rid of him. This didn’t sit well with Adam who was sick of people coming and telling him who was going next the morning after a tribal council, particularly since they’re closely aligned. While Tara tried to stir some trouble between Adam and Tess, that made him want to get rid of Tara … despite admitting she is an easy person to beat in the end. Meanwhile on the other side of camp Lisa approached Dave to see how he was feeling after tribal and attempted to comfort him. Which seemed to work as he spoke about how he only trusts Matt and Lisa. Which is great for Lisa, except for the fact she needs someone to trust her more.

The tribe ventured deep into the jungle to meet Matty Chis for the first ever Survivor New Zealand auction, much to the delight of everyone. Particularly Matt, who wanted some food and an advantage. Though since he kicked off the bidding on a shit tonne of donuts, me thinks he will spend up before said advantage appears. Adam spent all his money on pizza before Matt spent $300 on beer, chips and nuts … and blew any shot at snatching an advantage. Tara snatched up bolognese and wine with all her cash, leaving Dave and Lisa the only ones waiting to snatch an advantage … wait, no, Lisa spent all her cash on a covered item. Which was tragically white rice … except for the fact she switched it for the second option which was a huge toasted sandwich, fries and soft drink. Dave then snatched an advantage for $300 and tried to pretend he was heartbroken before the auctioned closed with Tess buying a cake for everyone to share.

Back at camp Adam was furious about Dave’s obvious performance about not wanting an advantage, which would have been unfair had Dave not tried to lay his disappoint on very too thickly. While Tara and Matt were more sympathetic to Dave’s plight, them wondered what his advantage could possibly be before abruptly changing the conversation to taking out either Tess or Dave. While Matt was sick of working hard to keep Dave in the game, he continued to hustle and pointed out how well connected Tess is on the jury. Not to be outdone, Tess was starting to feel like everyone is against her and wasn’t sure who to trust.

Matt and Lisa caught up in the jungle with Lisa pretending that she wasn’t still pushing to take him out and use said move to prove her case to the jury. They continued to discuss their options to get to the end before Matt admitted that he wanted to go to the end with Lisa and Adam, giving her an in to out him. Maybe.

Before we could find out Kiwi Jeff returned for the next immunity challenge where everyone was required to balance dishes on the end of said pole. You know that advantage Dave purchased? Well it bought him the ability to sit out the first for dishes on the challenge, which is huge TBH. Tess dropped on the twelfth dish followed closely by Lisa. Adam tragically dropped on the fifteenth dish immediately followed by Matt and Tara, handing Dave a long overdue victory.

*coughs* thanks to an advantage *coughs*

Back at camp everyone but Tess disappeared to lock in the vote against her, while poor Tess tried desperately to befriend a lizard. Lisa played the role of dutiful number in front of Matt, joking that at least everyone can have normally conversations it is an easy vote. Matt then caught up with Adam to make sure he is ok with getting rid of Tess, which he was … despite preferring Tara to be the next to go. Meanwhile Lisa finally had her chance to talk to Dave and convince him to join her in taking out Matt. She then lay all her cards on the table and admitted that she and Matt found an idol, making Dave feel extremely betrayed and in that moment the breakneck speed of the episode started to make sense. With Dave seething, Lisa brought out the Cirie Fields patented 3-2-1 split vote, suggesting she, Dave and Tara vote for Matt, leave Matt and Adam to vote Tess and Tess can vote for whoever she damn well wants. While Dave wasn’t sure whether he could betray his friend, he appreciated how honest Lisa was with him.

Dave being Dave, he told Lisa he would talk to Matt and see whether he would come clean and if he wasn’t honest, he would join her. Making her and everyone watching extremely nervous about it falling apart. Lisa quickly found Tara and looped her in while Dave and Matt discussed the plan to vote Tess before Dave clumsily tried to give him the opportunity to admit to finding an idol. Which he eventually did admit to and Dave begrudgingly told him that if he felt nervous, he should play his idol tonight. Stupid. Fucking stupid.

Lisa and Dave approached Tess to see what her thoughts were, with Tess suggesting Tara as a possible option. Adam and Tess went off to discuss options, Matt told Lisa he felt like he should play his idol while Lisa tried to insinuate he will need it next week and poor Dave continued to seethe about Matt’s betrayal, despite essentially ruining the plan because he is stupid and can’t separate life from the game. Though his tears did soften my stance, the move was idiotic.

At tribal council Tess shared her shock about how far everyone has come, Tara was sad about her at the challenge, Matt admitted to being nervous about the upcoming vote and Dave spoke about being nervous about what he says at tribal council. Dave gave Matt stankface as he spoke about wanting to play his own game, Adam said he’d be shocked if anyone had an idol and Tess joined the chorus of people nervous about their chances at surviving tribal. With that everyone went off to vote and despite the anxious look on his face Matt decided not to play his idol, no doubt convinced Tess was going due to Adam’s sobbing voting confessional. Despite Dave’s stupidity Lisa’s 3-2-1 split to come to fruition and Matt found himself booted from the game as Lisa giddily watched on.

While I found it ridiculous that he didn’t play his idol – and more importantly was cast opposite a school friend – I couldn’t bring myself to rub salt in the wounds because he is such an absolutely sweetheart. And … he gave me nudity in episode two and I am always grateful for that! As such, I kept my mouth shut, congratulated him on a game well played and served him up a big ol’ Matt Hamhock Soup.

 

 

Like Eve’s recipe before him, I had never really been a fan of hamhock soup on account of the huge bone sticking out of my meal as a child. I would sit there, sadly slurping around wondering whether my mother confused me for the family pet, rather than the child. Thankfully I have worked through said trauma and can appreciate the hammy slop for all its goodness.

Slop. Doesn’t that make you want to enjoy it?!

 

 

Matt Hamhock Soup
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onion, diced
4 celery stalks, sliced
3 carrots, diced
500g split peas, rinsed and drained
800g smoked ham hock
2L chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a stockpot and cook the onion, celery and carrots for a couple of minutes. Add the split peas and hock with a good whack of salt and pepper, gently flipping the hock to try and brown. You won’t be successful, but I’m convinced the process enhances the flavour.Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour, or until thickened.

Remove from the heat and allow the hock to rest on a chopping board for fifteen minutes, or until cooled. Pull the meat from the bone and shred.

Serve immediately, generously topped with the ham and a whack of pepper. Then devour.

 

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Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Tess didn’t react well to the Brad blindside leading to her and Tara going to (passive aggressive) war. On the flipside, Matt’s confidence grew and grew following the blindside, however Lisa admitted to patiently waited in the wings to take her shot at him. Sadly she was unaware that Matt and Dave were old school chums and as such, were protecting each other at every possible juncture. Before the cracks could show in that alliance, they rallied the tribe to take out one of the biggest threats in the form of icon, goddess and queen, Renee.

Back at camp Dave was caught up in the semantics of the betrayal that lead to he and Renee’s feud, unable to see how telling someone to put their vote on her is wrong if he voted with her in the majority. Thankfully Zadam explained that it was in fact a betrayal since they didn’t actually communicate anything. Despite the peptalk, Dave was still hurt slash concerned about his game and as such, Adam was sick of the whining – don’t whine in front of Adam FYI – and vowed to get him out ASAP.

The mood was looking up the next day as Matt and Zadam joked about a Scissor Paper Rock immunity challenge – which would be iconic, TBH – and chilled around camp. Thankfully Lisa was on hand to bring some excitement, identifying that now is the time for her to take out Matt since they’re down to seven and she no longer needs to worry about Renee. Before we could see her work her magic, treemail arrived announcing a glorious food reward. They think.

With that, they trundled off to find Kiwi Jeff to learn they would need to balance a pole of corn on the end on an ever expanding long, hard pole – aka the challenge that almost killed Joe-gel in Second Chances – with the winner snatching themselves a sweet feast. Which almost made them all cream their shorts. Given this isn’t the most exciting challenge to watch unless someone faints, the Kiwis added some Harry Potter musical queues as Lisa made jokes – maybe – about nobody liking a floppy pole before she, Tess, Tara, Adam and Matt dropped their corn leaving Dave and Eve to battle it out. Though since Dave had clearly struggle for the past couple of minutes, it came as no surprise that he soon followed and handed Eve a shit tonne of sweet treats. And us, the joy of seeing Dave just miss out on winning another challenge.

While Matt felt that yet another Eve victory painted a big old target on her back, she chose to share her reward with his bestie Dave – and Zadam who reminded us about his massive pregame botox injection – so hopefully that can help keep her alive. Adam was concerned about sharing the reward with Dave, given his penchant for eating to the point of vomming … until he saw the massive spread and almost died. Though true to form, Dave made out like he had eaten too much and that he was regretting it. Which Adam obviously felt was a dramatic cry for attention.

Back at camp Lisa and Tara tried to convince themselves the pre-challenge teaser was more than enough for them before Tess put an end to the happiness by pointing out Dave had been on every reward while she hasn’t been on one. While that didn’t get Tara to bite and want to take her out, Matt was more than willing to get her out as the endurance challenge queen. While Matt and Tess seethed, Adam, Eve and Dave bonded on reward and opened up hope for our quiet queen to avoid the boot. As did the fact that Lisa actively kicked off her assault on Matt making quick work of pulling in Tara and them trying to figure out the other two people that would be best to help them.

The victors returned back to camp with Dave continuing to be dramatic about how full he is, much to the absolute disgust of Adam who quickly unfriended Dave after their bonding. Adam then decided it was time to get rid of Dave, puzzled about why it hasn’t occurred already and why Matt wants to keep him around. Speaking of which, Matt lamented about the difficulty of playing the game with someone he is already friends with as it is yet another layer of deception they need to keep in check. Unaware she was leading the charge against him, Matt and Dave checked in with Lisa to see where her head was at heading into the next tribal. Obviously she quickly assured him that she is all in on taking out Eve and they headed back to camp … until Lisa and Matt spotted an arrow on the ground, made a meditating excuse to get rid of Dave and found themselves a hidden immunity idol. Which is great, except for the fact Lisa wants to take him out and he technically snatched it first.

With that, Matt was feeling confident about his place in the game and his alliance with Lisa thanks to his assurances that it is their idol. Sadly she isn’t feeling that trust as it now makes getting him out just that little bit more difficult and her chances of winning are now slim to none. And her pain broke my heart because I would totally react the exact same way. Lisa was feeling more confident the next day after coming up with a plan to get him to hand over the idol and sell it as a way to keep things even between them by having someone ‘own’ it and the other ‘hold’ it. Sadly it made her feel like he didn’t trust her, though thankfully that wasn’t the case and vowed to work with her to make it to the end.

Matty Chis returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the castaways were required to manoeuvre bamboo through a tangled piece of rope, then across a balance beam and lastly through an obstacle, dropping people along the way. Tess made quick work of the first stage, joined by Matt, Dave, Lisa and Adam for the second obstacle. Despite hoping to take out immunity to ensure Matt didn’t, poor Lisa didn’t survive the second round as Matt, Tess and Dave faced down the final stage. All three remained neck and neck throughout the challenge, though since Dave never wins it was clearly a two horse race which Matt tragically won. Well, tragically if you’re a fan of Lisa. Which everyone should be. Making it even worse, she audibly said “oh no, Matt won,” as he took out the challenge and she is concerned someone may have heard her.

Back at camp Lisa tried to come up with a plan B for the upcoming vote, while Matt tried to rally the troops to continue on with his plan to get rid of Eve. Dave and Eve caught up by the shore and decided to focus their attention on getting rid of Tess, or so Eve thought. Adam joined Matt and Lisa by the well to discuss who to get rid of and the weird pre-tribal mood. While they all lamented not wanting to take out Eve, Adam confirmed that her challenge prowess was a concern while poor Lisa had to stand silent instead of countering the fact she is the best chance of beating Matt at a challenge. She then went to talk to Tara who was keen to vote Dave instead, though Lisa felt they had left it too late to change up the vote before tribal and that sticking their necks out would come back to bite them. Tara tried to convince Matt to flip to Dave which did make him nervous about whether he could trust her, though appeared to talk her around from flipping. While on the other side of camp, Adam and Tess spoke about not wanting Tess to go and considered getting rid of Dave instead. Thankfully the stars aligned and Tara and Adam were able to talk before tribal council about pulling in some numbers to get Dave out instead … however since Tara has never spoken to Adam about strategy, it seems doomed to fail.

At tribal council Matt spoke about his second immunity win painting a bigger target on his back, Tara shared that she is not a hustler baby and instead just listened to what people told her while poor Eve started to break down about not being a hustler and fearing for her place in the game as everyone had ignored her during the day. She then kinda went one step too far and spoke about how hard she has fought – aka how well she has played – through sobbing tears, cementing why she does need to go. While she didn’t want to shame the people she felt betrayed her, Dave felt that she was hurt by him not voting with her despite not actually having any control or sway to change it.

Poor Eve continued to fight through tears and begged people to vote with their heart before Matt gave everyone a chance to speak up before voting. Which Zadam did, telling her that while he likes her they have never actually had a strategic conversation and as such, he has no idea what tomorrow would bring if he did in fact flip. While she – rightly – pointed out that he has a huge amount of influence on the tribe, her pleas however were too little too late, as she found herself booted from the game. While she was really gutted and emotional to find herself heading to the jury, dear, sweet Eve was quickly cheered up by the sight of a big bowl of Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce.

 

 

Now I am ashamed to admit that beef and black bean isn’t usually on my go-to list of Chinese take-away dishes, given our delicious it is. Let’s just put it down to childhood loathing – unadulterated loathing – and never really wising up to the fact of this beauty in my teen years because I had men to secretly thirst after.

So … enjoy!

 

 

Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup shaoxing wine
2 tsp raw caster sugar
600g beef fillet, thinly sliced
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
1/4 cup beef stock
vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 green capsicum, cut into large dice
100g mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, cut into 5cm lengths

Method
Combine half the shaoxing in a large bowl with the sugar. Add the beef, toss to coat and leave to marinate in the fridge for half an hour. While that is gettin’ chill, whisk the remaining shaoxing in a jug with the cornflour, soy, black bean, sriracha and stock and leave to rest.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in a wok and stir fry the beef in batches for a couple of minutes or until browned. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for a minute before adding the capsicum and mushrooms. Cook, stirring for a further couple of minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Stir through the shallots and serve immediately, on a bed of fluffy rice.

Devour through your tears.

 

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