Madreas Wheeler Curry

Main, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Omar continued to take control of the post-merge game, quietly pulling Mike aside to warn him about Hai no longer having his back. All while Hai was gratefully reflecting on how close he and Mike had gotten in the game. After Lindsay won an overnight reward, she selected Omar and Mike to join her, giving Omar plenty of time to completely turn Mike against Hai. After Lindsay took out immunity, the tribe wanted to finally take a shot and get rid of Jonathan before he had the chance to go on an immunity run. Luckily for him, Omar’s mist proved too powerful as he swayed she tribe to blindside Hai instead.

Back at camp the tribe were thrilled to have come together for the blindside, and while Mike in particular was thrilled to get his revenge on Hai for playing him – which I repeat, did not happen – everyone just quietly added that yeah, yeah, it was good. That being said, Romeo was also particularly smug to have gotten rid of the only person that was targetting him, knowing that the underdogs are almost at the point where they can take control. While Lindsay was just thrilled that her and Drea’s amulets were now a steal a vote.

The next day things were far more chill as Drea was regaling everyone with tales, while Maryanne shocked them with the fact that she loses toenails at least twice a year. Which yeah, is wild but it is Maryanne, so I love her. And the fact that like Romeo, she is readying herself to take control and earn the win. Sadly for her, while she and Romeo talked about gaining power, the rest of the tribe hung on the beach bitching about Romeo and how they are going to get rid of him for doing absolutely nothing to help around camp. Instead snacking on leftover rice and jumping on board with any and all plans screw everyone else over. The beach crew then locked in a final five alliance and while it all looked kosher, Mike assured Omar that he still wants Drea gone as she is the biggest threat left in the game.

Which made Omar nervous, given Mike clearly is growing mad with power.

We then fast forwarded to day 20, with Jonathan opening up abut how exhausted he is while simultaneously wanting everyone to appreciate how much he is sacrificing by not eating more than them but not wanting people to see it, as it is his game plan. He went down to shore to help the tribe fish while Drea told him to help more, leading to them both fighting due to their hanger. While he tried to explain himself to Lindsay and Omar, Lindsay took that back to Drea, Romeo and Maryanne, telling them that she is ready to take him out given he is quite bossy. And to us, shared that his bossiness is becoming dangerously close to ruining her game.

Right on cue, the tribe caught up with Probst for the immunity challenge, once again featuring the Do or Die twist. After explaining how it worked, only Lindsay and Jonathan opted to compete in the challenge where they would stand on a beam and balance as they hold onto handles behind their heads. Last person standing winning immunity, the other facing off with the game of chance. And while Joanthan spent most of the challenge shaking uncontrollably, Lindsay dropped out of nowhere after 12 minutes, handing Jonathan immunity and leaving her place in the game up to fate.

Back at camp Lindsay was regretting her choice to compete in the challenge, with her opening up about her fighting, athletic spirit from childhood. Omar and Maryanne were feeling just as emotional about potentially losing Lindsay too soon, and as such, tried to perk her back up. Drea and Jonathan meanwhile were not bothered about Lindsay potentially going home, partiularly the former who was excited by the prospect of her amulet becoming an idol. To go with her knowledge is power advantage AND extra vote.

Mike meanwhile was the only one focused on the possibility of Lindsay surviving, as such telling Drea that they will just vote out Romeo while rallying everyone else to blindside Drea as their biggest threat. As he caught up with Jonathan and Omar, the latter became keen to vote out Mike instead, though admitted that Drea is just as much of a threat. As he caught up with Drea to float the idea, Drea assured him that Mike’s idol would not be an issue for them, given she has the power to steal it and while they were both giddy about the plan, I’m still worried things will fall apart. Sadly for her, Omar shared everything with Lindsay and the duo realised they could protect Mike by hanging onto the idol for him, neutering both of their advantages and getting rid of either person.

At tribal council Jonathan shared that he competed for immunity because he knows he will now always be a target, while Lindsay admitted that she was blinded by her competitiveness. Mike spoke about how much he admires both of them, while Maryanne reminded her to always keep that competitive edge. Omar meanwhile was happy he sat out, while Maryanne opened up about the varied ways that people communicate while scrambling. Drea meanwhile spoke about her passion for observing literally everyone and everything around camp. Talk turned to the many ways you can miscommunicate around camp with Omar pointing out that there is a time when people need to stop talking, lest they shoot themselves in the foot.

With that, Probst set up the Do or Die boxes and called Lindsay over to the table where she confidently selected the middle box. Probst opened one of the other boxes, revealling a skull before Probst offered her one final chance to swap. With her thankfully sticking to her guns and earning herself immunity. As she returned to her seat, she opened up about how excited she was to evade death and just as Probst was about to send them off to vote, Drea stopped proceedings and asked Mike for his idol with her Knowledge is Power advantage. Sadly for her however, Mike had passed off his idol to Omar before tribal council for safe keeping and as such, Omar successfully neutralised both powers.

With that the tribe finally voted – Drea twice as she used up her extra vote – as the tribe banded together to blindside Drea from the game (well together minus Romeo). Officially turning Lindsay’s amulet into an idol in the process. Drea was delightful and giddy as she exited, praising everyone for being lovely and well, it was so damn wholesome.

She kept that charm up as she entered Ponderosa, pulling me in for a massive hug and sharing how grateful she was that I was on hand to provide her with the culinary comfort I so often provide. And by so often, every week. In return, I praised her for being such a dominant force throughout the season and racking up advantages like it was nothing. As is oft the case, being a dominant force tragically ended up being her downfall however. Meaning I could only toast that success with a big bowl of Madreas Wheeler Curry.

Maybe it is the fact it has been cold and rainy the last few weeks, but there is nothing more smoothing than a rich and earthy madras curry. Packed full of spices, with a light, lingering heat, this is the perfect way to eat your feels.

Enjoy!

Madreas Wheeler Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 bird’s eye chillis
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp ginger, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 onion, sliced
12 curry leaves
3 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
2kg lamb shoulder, diced
400g diced tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp tamarind paste
rice and raita, to serve

Method
Start by grinding the coriander, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel and pepper in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to food processor or blender, and mix with the cinnamon, clove, chilli, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the turmeric, because it will stain.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion for five minutes or until soft and sweet. Add the curry paste, along with the curry leaves, cardamom and bay leaves, and cook for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant. Stir through the lamb and cook for another couple of minutes to coat.

Stir in the tomatoes, stock and taramrind paste, season and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring infrequently for about an hour, or until the lamb is cooked through.

Serve with rice, some raita and devour, greedily.


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Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, while Blood and Water were still battling it out, Jonathan switched things up and offered an individual immunity for each tribe. As both of them were attending tribal council, meaning hijinks were guaranteed to ensue. On the Water Tribe, things came down to Khanh and Sam, with the former promising his necklace to Sam, who quickly fainted when stepping out of the challenge. On Blood meanwhile, Shay completely dominated her tribe while Jordie tried valiantly to bring her down. With their main target immune, the sausage fest opted to take out Mel over on Blood, while Sam and Jesse were owning Water and ready to finally get rid of Ben. Sadly for them, he had one last shot at redemption as Mel and Ben were able to battle in a fire challenge to return to the game. With Mel ultimately smoking the competition and sending Ben home. For realsies, this time.

The next day the Blood tribe were thrilled to be waking up on Day 26, particularly Mel since she had suceesfully won her way back into the game. Jordie spoke about how great the last 26 days have been, exhausted and overwhelmed but so happy to have made it this far. He encouraged everyone to celebrate their successes given everything could change in a minute and oh God, my newly minted villain king is going, isn’t he? Shay meanwhile was missing Ben though thrilled he is getting some breakfast sausage – OMG, swoon – while Jordie was more focused than ever to get to the end with his brother.

And again, Jordie is toast, isn’t he?

Both tribes joined Jonathan in the middle of the bush where he quickly announced that their tribes are no longer as they have officially merged. Which is convenient as Sam literally brought all her belongings, including a fishing rod like it was 6 year-old me taking my maths book in a fire drill. But I’ve digressed. After everyone hugged and traded out their rancid buffs for fresh, clean numbers, Shay shared she was ready to kick things into overdrive, while Jordie was thrilled to actually be hanging with his bro and Sam was just grateful that she and Mark finally made it to the merge. I assume because it means they can stay together.

With that out of the way, they were tasked with competing in their first individual reward challenge where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and then walk back and forth to collect blocks which they would use to build a pyramid on the balancing board. Oh and the winner would score $60k. Like, what?! That is more than Sharn won over two seasons as the runner-up. Madness!

Madness, but also lols.

In any event, this sort of challenge is never exciting to read about, so I will spare you the they dropped, they dropped commentary and instead will tell you that while Mark got out to an early lead, Shay was playing it fast and loose while Chrissy was surprisingly dominant. Though none of them were competition for Khanh and his steady chef hands, who defied everyone dropping around him and jagged the mega-jackpot reward without dropping once. And sadly made that target on his back just that little bit bigger.

The newly merged tribe arrived at a sandbank in the middle of the river – which TBH, is a bit triggering in Brisbane ATM – for a celebratory feast where they quickly congratulated Khanh on taking out his massive prize, which he was thrilled about despite now being the foremost challenge beast of the season. He was thrilled to be a single in the newly merged tribe, given he doesn’t have to worry about anyone else when playing his game. While everyone was thrilled to be smashing their food, Jordie pulled his brother aside to focus on the game, looping him in on Mark’s idol and catching him up on his sausage fest alliance.

The tribe ventured back to the camp formerly home to the Water Tribe where we finally met Mel and Michelle, who are iconic identical twins who are ready to come and dominate the game. By putting their twin powers to good use, obvi. Sam and Mark too were thrilled to finally redeem their first runs, ready to get some idols and take some names. While Mark oddly stayed quiet about his idol, despite the fact they are straight up married. Sadly for him, Jordie and Sam then caught up by the shelter with Jordie telling Sam about her husband’s idol and well, let’s just say she was pissed. And while Survivor may have brought them together, it may also be the reason for their divorce.

Sam eventually confronted her husband, who thought it was absolutely hilarious she found out from someone else. Giving his mate a smirk on the way out of camp to fight about it. While Sam was happy that Mark’s little snafu had proven himself loyal to Jordie, I can’t help but feel like it makes him look like he has some hardcore trust issues. But whatever.

The tribe reconvened at the shelter to come up with the merge tribe name with both Glitter and Bin Chicken thrown around before they settled on the even worse option of Lava. Which, yuck! Thankfully though Chrissy was well and truly ready to fight for her place in the game, which makes the shit name feel better. Mark caught up with his alliance of five men – the four J names and him – thrilled that with the addition of his wife as their sixth member, they can take control. And with Sam, comes Khanh meaning they should be unstoppable. But you best believe that while Mark was willing to use Khanh, he was still focused on getting him out ASAP. Meaning, maybe not?

The Lava tribe joined Jonathan by a dam for the first individual immunity challenge of the season, the iconic ‘When it Rains it Pours’, most famously won by Shi Ann in All Stars as she briefly blocked Romber’s dominance. You know they one, they hold on to a rope tethered to a bucket of water with the last one standing, dry, winning immunity. Out of nowhere Chrissy was the first to drop out of the challenge, quickly followed by Michelle while Jordie was talking shit at everyone before he and Khanh dropped together, followed by Mark. 

After ten minutes, Mel and Josh dropped back-to-back, leaving the rest to battle it out. Five minutes later, KJ fishing for compliments led to Shay dropping out of the challenge, followed by Jordan, while Mark and Jordie grew bored as they waited around and started strategising, debating the merits of voting either Khanh or Shay out. Sam and Dave were next to drop, leaving Jesse and KJ to fight for immunity. Despite putting up a strong effort, poor KJ couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping her rope after 50 minutes and handing immunity to Jesse.

Back at camp Jesse was well and truly feeling his oats, thrilled to be immune though definitely concerned about how exactly he would be taking control of the tribe. He caught up with his former tribemates, with Sam, Mel and Michelle thrilled to band together as the couples to take out the singles. Sam’s husband Mark meanwhile was still solely focused on blindsiding Khanh. He and the boys were thrilled to lock in the vote split between him and Mel, given they can eliminate another pair at worst case. Meanwhile Sam and Jesse were focused on getting rid of Shay instead, locking in their plans and ready to dominate the tribe. After Khanh was looped in, he pulled KJ aside to lock her in as a number against Shay before moving on to Mel and Michelle.

The latter then approached Sam back at camp, with Sam assuring her the plan is still to get rid of Shay though she did think she should check in with Mark. Who then straight up shat all over her plan when they caught up. Mark then went in on Sam’s loyalty to Khanh, ignoring the fact Mark and his alphas are all the more threatening than Khanh and leaving him as a target could help their longevity. Their bickering was interrupted by the arrival of Khanh, who quickly pointed out they were having a domestic and offered to help counsel them. Sadly unaware that Sam was fighting to protect him, while Mark was stubbornly wanting to get him out.

Sam moved on to Jordie to question why nobody is considering Shay as a viable boot option, with Jordie admitting that turning the tribe off voting out Khanh simply seems near impossible. But boy did Sam continue to fight, bless her. Jesse meanwhile had given up fighting Khanh, approaching his brother with each agreeing to stay loyal to their alliances to get the maximum amount of information for them as a pair. And maybe they will be a formidable duo after all?

At tribal council Shay spoke about how difficult it already is to navigate the merged tribe given she hasn’t even had a chance to talk to everyone before firmly calling all the pairs out as threats. KJ agreed that being outnumbered by the pairs is scary, particularly since they’re all so strong. Jesse tried to downplay their advantage, talking about the fact there are so many ways the tribe could split things. Mark spoke about how he and Sam have not seen eye to eye so far, but out of the spirited discussions, the best ideas have risen to the top. Aka his, in his mind. While Sam tried to downplay the fact they were having a domestic and assured everyone she will stick to who she is loyal to. Mark agreed that tonight is a big vote for everyone to prove their loyalty.

Khanh fully accepted the fact he is a massive target, particularly since he just won $60k in a challenge. While he wasn’t sure he could truly trust anyone in his tribe, he opened up to Jonathan about how trust is always a risk in life and sometimes you just have to take the risks to build something great. Shay meanwhile wasn’t having much faith in the tryibe though reminded everyone that she is a safe single vote that can be added to any alliance. Which led to Mark continuing to gloat about how much better his alliance and plans are than Sam’s and ugh, yuck. Khanh meanwhile was just hoping his trust wasn’t blind.

With that the tribe voted and Khanh held on to his idol while Sam tragically sided with her husband’s alliance and booted him from the game. Thankfully to become the King of Jury, which honestly is the only worthy finish for him if he couldn’t take out the win.

As he arrived at the fresh, clean and very empty Jury Villa, Khanh was still taking his shocking blindside in his stride but given he will be the person taking home the second biggest prize of the season, how could you not be happy? Given we’re both highly respected members of the queer cooking community, Khanh and I have long been the best of friends so he was thrilled to see me waiting for him. While normally my meals are a step down from what he makes for himself, after a month in the bush, he was thrilled to see me whipping up something other than rice and beans. This time in the form of my – Diana Chan inspired – Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs.

As you’ve probably noticed (or definitely will have by the end of the season), I am almost as obsessed with dumplings as I am about burgers. I don’t know if it is the fact they are essentially little mouthfuls packed with flavour, but these babies are so good you’ll forget you just got booted and are now responsible for the entire jury.

Enjoy!

Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
6 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp muscovado sugar
40 gow gee wrappers
vegetable oil, for frying

Method
Combine the chicken mince through muscovado sugar in a bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for an hour to rest.

Once things are nice and chill, place the wrappers on a clean board and cover with a damp cloth. Working one-by-one, spoon a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of your dumpling wrappers and crimp and fold as desired. Given my lack of skills, I try and hide behind a pleat to cover my bad joins.

Once they’re all done, heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Cooking 6-8 at a time, pop the dumplings in the hot oil to fry on the bottom and cook for a few minutes. Add about ½ a cup of water and immediately pop on the lid, cooking for a further five minutes or until cooked through.

Repeat the process until they are all done – they can be frozen uncooked, but I am greedy – before devouring. Ideally with some Nam Jimbo Dressing.


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Roast Liamba Wallace

Main, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribe came back together after their split tribal councils with Deshawn and Shan’s trust levels at an all time low. Despite having a beautiful discussion about playing the game for more than themselves, they agreed that they will continue to work on their trust though they knew that they both posed a threat to the other’s game. Wanting to weaken Shan, her alliance decided that getting rid of Ricard was their best plan, which obviously meant he won immunity. After Liana spilled the deets to Shan, she in turn told Ricard and rather than be reassured that she had his back, he worked with Erika to rally everyone but Liana to band together and get rid of the biggest threat, Shan.

After tribal council Danny and Deshawn quickly pulled Liana aside to discuss the blindside and smooth things over with their ally. Liana asked for a simple explanation as to why they flipped on her, with Danny explaining that it was Ricard’s plan and that the numbers were already against them, so they either joined the minority or risked the target moving to them. While Xander, Ricard, Heather and Erika quietly celebrated taking control back in the shelter. Xander assured them that he would use his advantages to benefit this newfound alliance and damn, is this overconfidence going to backfire on him next? After Liana returned to camp, Deshawn shared his frustrations with Danny about Shan calling him a snake. He then returned to the shelter and asked Ricard why she wasn’t pressed about his betrayal as well, with Ricard calmly explaining that they always knew they would have to cross each other and that she understood because her alliance’s plan led to his speeding up the process to target her.

But Deshawn did wisley – unwittingly or not – reiterate that Shan told Ricard he would have her vote in the end which isn’t something you want to hear if you were considering facing him in the end. 

The next day Ricard pulled Deshawn aside and suggested that he was coming off as paranoid and advised him to calm down, with Deshawn reiterating that it was a witting decision to paint said target on Ricard’s back, though did vow to calm down. Deshawn then caught up with Liana and assured her that they are together and he will never write her name down and while they looked all friendly, she was still fired up to get revenge on him.

We then checked in on Danny who opened up that it was the 25th anniversary of his father’s death and while he usually tries to keep himself busy, there is nowhere to hide in the game and he finally has to acknowledge his feelings. He shared that he always resented his father for dying and despite knowing there was nothing he could control, he missed him and realised he needs to move forward and live for his legacy.

And fuck Danny, why you got me ugly crying so early in the episode?!

Jeffrey arrived to loop us in on a new twist the castaways were about to face at the immunity challenge. Each castaway would have the choice whether they would participate but should they do, the first person to drop out would have to face a ‘Do or Die’ twist where their fate is decided by a game of chance. Should they win, they are also immune at the upcoming vote but should they lose, they are out of the game and tribal council is cancelled. Oh and to make it more triggering, the challenge was the one that cost Cirie and Malcolm Micronesia and Philippines, respectively. You know, you hold up cylinders between blocks and balance a ball with the last one standing winning.

Heather and Liana decided the risk was too great and jumped on over to the sit out bench leaving Erika and the boys to battle for immunity. Almost instantly Deshawn dropped, leaving him to face the coin flip of destiny, as I would have preferred it be called. Erika dropped just before the end of the next phase, while everyone else made it to the final round. As the wind picked up, Ricard and Xander dropped in unison, handing Danny his first immunity of the season. And why am I crying thinking about how proud his dad would be without him even saying anything?

Back at camp the tribe started to prepare for the option of Deshawn surviving the coin flip as he gladly admitted he is either safe or he can say he was never voted out. Danny opened up to Deshawn and admitted that he was so grateful he was able to make his father proud at the challenge before pivoting to a plan to get rid of Ricard. As such, Danny pulled Xander aside to float the idea of turning on Ricard at the upcoming vote and while he agreed Ricard is a threat, he also knew that he was the next biggest threat and with Ricard gone, Xander is the one they’d be coming for. Xander instead wanted to target Liana, though Danny reminded him that she is a non-entity and they can always deal with her later.

With that Xander and Erika caught up, with the latter reminding him that Ricard is a threat to both of them winning, though the question remains about the right time to pull the trigger. Xander and Ricard caught up and they both warned the other that both their names were out there, while they agreed that as long as their alliance sticks together, there is no risk and Liana will go home. Well, unless she plays her Shot in the Dark. And poor Erika just continued to go back and forth between which way to go.

At tribal council Jeff filled the jury in on the Do or Die twist before Liana spoke about how she didn’t sit out of the challenge because she felt safe, but because she hasn’t been doing great at them and as such, the risk was too high. Then Heather put that sentiment in a far less eloquent way, reading the people on the jury for being worse than her and as such, she had no flops left in the game to guarantee her safety. Essentially. Xander spoke about how much he is loving all the twists thrown at them while Danny is just glad to be immune, despite worrying about his closest ally being at risk. Jeff gagged them all with the fact it is their last chance to play their Shot in the Dark, which made Erika super nervous given there is so much to navigate around. And well, today is one of the days she totally hates the game.

Deshawn opened up about why he played the immunity challenge, sharing with the jury that he felt his confrontation with Ricard after the last tribal wasn’t him at his best and as such, he knew he was in trouble. This led to Ricard stepping in pointing out that Shan came to him to get rid of Deshawn and as such, that is what set the wheels in motion. Deshawn started to break down over the fact he had to turn on Shan to further his game despite wanting to stick with his culture. 

Liana agreed that in life and playing Survivor, she is always a black woman first and foremost and that puts bias on how people treat her and as such, they have so much more pressure on them to do better and be the representation they didn’t have growing up. Danny agreed that the alliance was so much more than that and that he looked forward to them starting a broader conversation outside the game. 

Xander thanked them for sharing and acknowledged his privilege in not having to represent any cultures and was aware how much easier life is for him, leading to Danny thanking him for being such a great ally. Heather jumped in and shared her gratitude for Deshawn being so open, apologising – for what, I wonder – and sharing how grateful she is to be learning from her fellow castaways. Liana spoke to the audience and apologised for bringing the real world into the game, but reminded those haters that this is the world and Survivor has always meant to be a microcosm of society and as such, these are important conversations.

Finally Jeffrey set up the Do or Die twist which tragically wasn’t a coin flip, but instead three boxes laid out in front of Probst. One box contained safety, while the other two contained Deshawn’s demise. Somehow, Deshawn shockingly defied the odds and guaranteed himself a spot in the final six. With that, the game continued and the tribe voted, with Erika sticking with her alliance and sending Liana from the game.

Despite the heavy, emotional tribal council, Liana had her head held high when she arrived in Ponderosa and was proud of how well she played the game. While I’ve only known Liana a short while – we crossed paths in DC when I was meeting with Michelle Obama about a business deal after Barack left office – her kindness is something I truly love, so I was glad to be able to help dull the post-boot pain with a Roast Liamba Wallace.

Honestly, there is nothing better than a perfectly cooked roast lamb. Despite being more a sausages and mince kinda carnivore, roast lamb is something that I will never go past. Plus, how damn good as the cold leftovers on a little sandy-j with a really punchy mustard?

Enjoy!

Roast Liamba Wallace
Serves: 6, plus leftovers, ideally.

Ingredients
1.6kg boned leg of lamb
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 large sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tbsp flour
½ cup dry cinzano
½-1 cup chicken stock

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C. 

Using a paring knife, make six holes 2cm deep and 2cm long in the lamb and press a clove of garlic inside. Carefully rub the leg of lamb with some of the oil and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with the rosemary and a good whack of salt and pepper before placing the lamb in the oven for an hour or so for medium.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate before covering with foil to rest for 15 minutes.

While that is happening, remove the rack from the pan and place the pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to form a roux, using your judgement on how much flour is needed. Whisk in the cinzano and half the stock, scraping all the baked on goodness from the pan for optimal umami goodness. Cook, stirring, for five minutes or so, adding additional stock as needed until the gravy is at your desired thickness.

Once the lamb is well rested, carve and serve with your favourite veggies, completely slathered in gravy. Then devour.


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Chicken Kezadilla McGee

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Dani and Simon were enjoying holding all the power over on Brawns. However after the Brains evened things up thanks to Hayley, Dani and Chelsea grew tired of Simon’s power specifically, convincing the Brains to work with them to throw the challenge and boot him from the game. While everyone was easily convinced, Dani pushed hard to get the tribe to do her bidding, making it clear it was her move. This annoyed Hayley, who decided she needed to be knocked down a peg and instead threw some votes on Dani as a backup to guarantee Flick is safe should Simon play his idol/s. Ultimately Simon was blindsided, zaddy king, while Dani was left back at camp, irate to have received some votes.

After tribal council Hayley, Flick and the Brains were thrilled by the outcome of tribal council, while Dani called out Hayley for casting some votes against her as a back-up, knowing that if the blindside failed, she would have gone home. While Dani continued to rage, identifying Hayley as the next to go, Queen Hayley just calmly explained that she couldn’t afford to have Flick go home given they are tight and as such, loaded some votes on Dani as a back-up. Simple as that. And ugh, I love how businesslike she is.

The next day the tribes ventured straight to Jonathan where Flick shaded Simon for being blindsided by his own arrogance. Dani tried to sell herself as the mastermind of the move, while George was confident that the Brains were peaking. Particularly since Brains and Brawns are no more, as the tribes are merged. With that, the final 13 dropped their buffs, grabbing a new stunning dark teal number – finally mixing things up – and were gagged for their first individual reward challenge.

Everyone would need to dig up sacks and then use a see-saw to land their sacks on poles, with the first person to land two scoring the first choice at the merge buffet. With everyone that comes after them getting the dregs, including hidden items, a boiled egg and a phone call home. Gerald, Baden, Emmett, Laura and Emmett were first to start shooting their sacks, with Emmett first to land a bag before the rest of the tribe joined them. 

George landed a sack, quickly followed by his second, immediately snatching a burger from the feast. Hayley finished second and snatched herself a steak and beer, allowing her and George enough time to catch up on the state of their tribes. Despite being the last to get her sacks, Chelsea was next and jagged herself a phone call home. Dani picked a baked potato, Wai went for a covered item of pancakes while Cara lucked out with some donuts. Emmett got a surprise jar of lollies, Baden got a hidden boiled egg, Laura grabbed surprise pizza and wine, while Andrew got smashed avo, Flick picked a bowl of rice leaving Kez and Gerald to fight it out for the banana and milk.

With the challenge over Chelsea finally gave her boyfriend a call, breaking down as they caught up and the tribe cutely yelled out to Jimmy in the background. And well, Chelsea is now fired up and ready to fight for the win.

The tribe finally ventured to the merge camp where Kez was thrilled to be reunited with her gal pals, while Wai was shocked to have made it this far while Emmett tried to bring the remaining Brawns back together. While they technically had a numbers disadvantage, Emmett was confident that given George and Cara have always felt on the bottom of the Brains, he could take control of the merge tribe and well, game. And given how elaborately he spoke about felling the brains, it doesn’t feel like things will go well for him since pride, you know, comes before the fall.

Talk turned to what to call the tribe, with Emmett suggesting ‘Love’, while George wanted to call it ‘Queen Elizabeth’ or ‘Unity,’ which Dani thankfully shut down. Sadly however she didn’t kill his next choice, ‘Fire’. With that, the Fire Tribe were born and Dani got to work telling all the Brawns just how dangerous Hayley is and that she needs to be the next to go.

Meanwhile Gerald tried to charm George with some union poetry, while Hayley calmly charmed Laura into bringing all the Brains back together. Which Hayley desperately needed since she is at a massive disadvantage with the rest of the tribe locked together against her. But Hayley being Hayley, she realised she needed just two more at the next vote, so spoke to Flick and Gerald about joining the Wai, Baden, Andrew, Hayley and Laura alliance. Hayley reminded Flick that the other alliance are in control of the game and have compelling cases to win, and as such, she and Gerald need to join with the desperate people to make a move and take control, boosting their own resumes.

Flick caught up with Chelsea, who quickly shat on Hayley’s pitch – obviously – before returning to Hayley and assuring her that she is all in, but is worried about how exactly she will be able to pull Gerald to their side. WIth that, Hayley quickly disappeared to try and come up with plan B through Z. She caught up with her solid five to desperately try and think of said plans, while the other eight confidently laughed it up back at camp. But given that Hayley still has an idol and is ready to play to take one of her rivals out, I don’t think they should let their guards down.

Again, pride. Falls. All that jazz.

George meanwhile was off on his own, trying to play both sides. First things first, he pulled Emmett aside to talk about booting Hayley due to her scrambling. However Emmett shared that he’d prefer to flush out the idol instead and get rid of her next. As such, George went for a walk to the well with Hayley, Laura and Baden, pointing out that he would rather jump back to the Brains and as such, will get the information to ensure Hayley plays her idol at the correct time. And you know, destroy the hopes and dreams of the Brawns.

With so much scrambling already complete, the Fire tribe joined Jonathan for the first immunity challenge where they would each have to hold a bar above their heads to keep a ball balanced in a gutter. Last one standing taking out victory. Gerald was first to drop, followed by Wai and Hayley. This made Dani feel confident enough to drop, followed by Laura and Cara. Kez, Flick and Baden dropped out in quick succession, leaving Chelsea, Emmett, Andrew and GEORGE to battle it out for the first individual immunity of the season. Tragically he was the next to drop, followed by Chelsea – who got too confident with her shoulder presses – before Emmett desperately tried to get Andrew to take a deal. Before Andrew dropped after a valiant fight, handing Emmett immunity. And further solidifying the target on his back.

Back at camp Emmett’s confidence was at an all time high, thrilled to survive the first merge tribal council and you know, stack the odds in the Brawns favour. That being said he was still pretty intense about keeping the Brawns strong, with Flick clearly irked by his attitude. That being said, the group stood firm and locked in their vote for Laura, but are planning to make Hayley nervous enough to burn her idol. To solidify the Brawn majority, Emmett shared his lolly jar with his allies while George charmed them with his Labor caucus shtick.

And then he took all the information to Hayley, in exchange for she and Brains voting out the person he wants without blowing his cover as a double agent. Well, after George pulled Emmett aside to assure him that Hayley is panicked and he advised she definitely play her idol for herself. He then approached Dani and lied that she is the Brains target, all while Kez spotted an oddly clean rock at the edge of the billabong. Before she wadded over and pulled out her second hidden immunity idol, right in front of George who was well and truly over the Brawn confidence stepping over into arrogance.

Kez caught up with Flick and Gerald to let them know about her idol, while George focused his attention on forcing the Brains to throw their votes on Kez instead and burn both idols in a single tribal council. As such, he ran to find the old Brains and quickly told them about Kez and that they would be voting for Kez but are to pitch things for Dani, while playing the idol on Laura and saving her. Which isn’t nearly as confusing as that sentence made it sound. This won’t be another Cara/Daini situation, I promise.

The Brains meanwhile spread the information around, though Hayley wasn’t exactly confident whether she could trust George enough to follow through with his plans. And while she searched her brain to try and find a way this isn’t also the best move for George, she struggled and as such, felt like it had to be a good idea to follow his lead.

At tribal council Emmett’s confidence was in full force while Baden admitted that despite the apparent numbers advantage for the Brains, a couple of them had sadly jumped ship. George tried to give non answers to keep everyone happy and zen, without spooking anything. Kez admitted the vote is split in half, but she would be voting for trust while Dani was just straight up confident. Speaking of Emmett, he said the Brains five are the biggest threat to him because he’s never tested trust with them before Hayley tried to boss the situation and point out that she has the hidden immunity idol and as such, won’t be going home despite their confidence.

George implored both sides to stick to the plan while Kez agreed they all just needed to power on ahead. Emmett doubled down, assuring Jonathan that everyone in his alliance is on the same page and ready to move forward. Flick meanwhile knows that the game is about deceit, but at this stage needs to stay focused on trust. At this stage. Laura reminded everyone that she has correctly played an idol in the past, while Hayley agreed it is hard to do but they need to keep it random to try and outwit the Brawn majority. Kez continued to preach loyalty and admitted that she is not worried, before Hayley reminded everyone only one person wins this game and as such, sticking with a super majority is kinda the worst possible idea for all of them.

With that the tribe voted, Hayley listened to George and played her idol for Laura, ultimately negating eight votes cast against her. This made the Brawns very nervous, though poor Kez wasn’t nervous enough to play her idol. After the eight Laura votes were read, the rest were split between Dani and Kez with Queen Kez ultimately booted from the game before she passed her idol off to Flick – is this legal?! – after Wai asked her to leave some pants for her to wear like a successful Angelina/Natalie jacket moment.

Like Simon before her, Kez is just such a delightfully fun person, that she didn’t let a blindside get her down as she happily arrived at Loser Lodge. I pulled her in for a hug and told her how gutted I was to see her go, though grateful that she would no doubt appear on an All Stars soon. And while it seems to have become my go-to platitude, do you honestly think Simon and Kez aren’t locks to return?!

Though maybe that is because I know Kez so well. You see, we first met about five years ago on the bodybuilding circuit – I also trained Teresa Guidice, which is another story for another time – and we just became the best of friends. Mainly because she is a damn boss and I have a passion for riding coattails. Given she lived in the bush for four weeks with only bikepants, I knew that she would need something fiery to warm her up post boot and as such, quickly plated her a Chicken Kezadilla McGee or two.

Like Kez, a quesadilla is the ‘fun one’ of Mexican cuisine and well, this is quite a stellar one at that. A little bit spicy – to quote Daini – dripping in sour cream and paired with a whack of citrus and a tonne of cheese, this is near perfection. Like my Queen Kez.

Enjoy! 

Chicken Kezadilla McGee
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
800g chicken thighs, diced
4 chipotle chillies in Adobo Sauce
400g can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
8 large tortillas
1-2 cups Lady Guagamole
1-2 cups Pico de Vincent Gallo
½ cup sour cream
jack cheese, to taste
1 lime, cut into eighths

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and once hot, saute the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the chicken and cook, stirring intermittently for a further five minutes, or until browned. Add the chipotles and diced tomatoes, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season and remove from heat.

To assemble, place about ¼-½ cup of the chicken on each tortilla and spread over half, while spreading guac on another half. Divide pico de gallo between the tortillas, followed by sour cream and a generous heap of cheese. Fold in half to form a semicircle.

To cook, brush a large griddle with oil and place it over high heat. Once scorching, reduce to medium-low and one at a time, cook each quesadilla for a couple of minutes on each side, or until crisp and cooked through.

Remove from heat, squeeze with some lime juice and devour while piping hot.


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Nicken Migniadanza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sharn’s attempts to play both sides during Phoebe’s boot made her a target with Dave, who questioned how he could trust her. Thankfully for her though poor Nick was the one left feeling all alone and not sure how to survive, given he is the obvious next target. Over at Vakama Harry found an advantage to stop the votes being read at one of the upcoming tribal councils, which could cause issues for Brooke’s plan to blindside Flick. After losing another immunity challenge, Brooke got to work rallying the troops to get revenge, however Harry grew nervous that it was all a ruse to blindside him instead. That feeling snowballed at tribal council, leading to Harry standing up to play his advantage and put a stop to tribal. Ultimately AK stood up and convinced him that he is safe and needs to trust him, which was enough for him to stand down and leave Flick to be blindsided from the game.

That night Mokuta were experiencing fireworks of their own, as Tarzan and Jacqui bickered, leaving the rest of the tribe to feel like the kids watching their parents’ marriage dissolved. Oh and most importantly, they were bickering because Jacqui was farting like a trooper. Which makes her instantly 80% more charming.

We checked in with Vakama the next morning where Brooke was giddy to have followed in Lydia’s footsteps and took revenge against the person that blindsided her. Whether it benefited her game or not. Speaking of her game, Brooke was desperate to find out what the advantage Harry went to play was so that she could plan against it. One by one, she, AK and Locky pulled him aside to try and get the information out of him and honestly, I love his ability to stay quiet with a shit eating grin on his face. Harry was feeling good about his decision to stay quiet, though wanted to use it for ultimate impact and as such, looped Shonee in on its power to plan for the future. Talk obviously turned to what happens should they win the next immunity challenge and whether they should pass it off to Nick to protect him and make sure the key to their merge plan sticks around.

Speaking of Nick, he was all alone doing the dishes in the shallows, knowing that he was busy working to earn favour and get him and Lee out of the horrible position that they have found themselves in. While he appears to be out, Nick knows that Survivor is all about ups and downs and as such, he just needs to find a way to ride it out until he can find a crack. He caught up with his two closest allies, who are actually one ally and one enemy. Nick’s hope was that they could work together to get to the merge, reunite with Shonee and Harry and take control. Sadly for him, obviously, Sharn has no interest in working him and worse still, David can see how nervous he is and as such, he wants to put him out of his misery and kill the chance of Harry and Shonee taking control. As such, David pulled Nick aside to set a trap, floating the idea of another secret, unlikely alliance. He floated cross-tribal alliances, big moves all the while planning to eliminate any options that may arise.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where the tribes would climb over a wall, slide up a big, hard pole, dive from the top into the water, swim to release puzzle pieces and then use said pieces to solve the puzzle. With the victors getting BLT sandos and Bloody Marys, so you know Shonee is happy. With that motivation pushing her forward, Vakama got out to an early lead, until Mokuta outclassed them on the pole with some human centipede action. And most importantly, Nick and Lee grabbed each others bums and undercarriages. That being said, neither tribe was really good at it. Mokuta extended their newfound lead, collecting the puzzle pieces before Harry mounted the pole. And given Nick was on the puzzle portion for Mokuta, they solved it and won reward before Vakama even made it back with their pieces.

Before exiting to enjoy their BLTs, Jonathan advised Mokuta that they were able to take someone from the losing tribe to share their spoils with them. Without hesitating, they selected Brooke before Jonathan obviously gave them one other choice, with them eventually settling on Shonee, hoping that she would be the smallest eater. Clearly unaware how much she loves a sandwich. Particularly when it comes with a side of information, despite being on the losing tribe.

Back at Mokuta the tribe – plus Brooke and Shonee – got to work pouring their bloody marys and whipping up their BLTs, much to the disgust of Jacqui who just did not want to share. Everyone was far more welcoming, not so subtly asking about what happened at the previous tribal council. Or in Moana’s case, asking if she and Locky were making out yet. Shonee quickly noted that Moana was running the tribe and as such, when she was summoned to share their first conversation, she gamely played into it and knew her future safety could depend on it. Eventually she made her way to her actually friend and ally Nick, who desperately tried to let her know how screwed he is on the tribe and that David is the one gunning for him.

We returned to the hungry trio of Vakama boys where we learnt that Jacqui left her clothes on the pontoon after the challenge. And as such, they stole them to make a scarecrow. Though Harry did plan to give it back, given that merge is right around the corner. The girls returned to camp and tried to downplay the majesty of the sandwiches before sharing that Nick ignored them so as not to give his tribe another reason to vote him out. Knowing that his ally is in danger, this made Harry even more inclined to pass off the advantage should Mokuta lose the immunity challenge.

My love Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to hold a rope tethered to a platform and walk between the platform and a series of blocks, stacking the blocks without tipping the platform with the rope. First tribe to finish snatching immunity. Vakama got out to an early lead, but given how quickly people could flip their stacks, we all know it could mean nothing. Brooke became the first person to get to three blocks, though quickly dropped. Jacqui was close to three before dropping, pissing her off and making her toss her rope in anger. Much to Zach’s frustration. By the time she threw her second tantrum and took out Zach’s stack, he was furious. Ultimately Brooke was the first to complete her stack, leaving her to stand at the end, desperately willing her tribe to hurry the F up and join her. Which they did, leaving AK and Shonee to catch-up while Mokuta just tried to get on the board. Given it is quite boring to write about the back and forth of blocks, Shonee finally claimed immunity for Vakama, sending Mokuta and her ally Nick back to tribal council.

Much to Nick’s dismay. Particularly after Harry explained the advantage to his tribe and Locky cautioned him to hold on to it to so as not to put a target on their backs come merge.

Back at camp the tribe were annoyed to lose the challenge, more specifically so at Jacqui, given her tantrums were the reason for said lost. That being said while the tribe were annoyed at Jacqui, David was thrilled to be going back to tribal council to get rid of Nick. And somehow call it a blindside. Moana channeled Abi-Maria, thrilled to vote him out given he has dared to vote for her three times. Wisely David wanted to make this vote a unifying move to keep the tribe strong heading in to the merge, so Moana got to rallying the troops while David pulled Nick aside to loop him in on the fake plan of the tribe joining together to get rid of Jacqui.

While David thought he was pulling the wool over Nick’s eyes, Nick knew that David was planning to target him which made him angry enough to force him to put his money where his mouth is. As such, he pulled Lee and Sharn aside to float the idea of blindsiding David with an idol in his pocket. The spoiler being that he has to work with Jacqui and Tarzan to split the vote and get rid of him, or the worst case scenario of his puppet Zach. Nick caught up with Jacqui to let her know that David has been throwing her name around and given she fought with Zach at the challenge, it looked like she may actually flip just because she likes Nick better.

Meanwhile David was feeling confident about the upcoming vote, though was nervous about where Sharn’s loyalties actually lie, given she has maintained her spot in the middle. David and Moana pulled Sharn aside to give her the chance to pledge her undying loyalty and while she kinda did, she also hated the thought of turning on Nick.

At tribal council David pretended that last tribal’s idol flash wasn’t a cocky move and instead was him telling his allies that they can trust him and have something that can protect them. Which Nick obviously called bullshit on. He then doubled down, saying that the last vote also was a terrible move for him and being on the wrong side has made him the biggest target. Moana tried to downplay her rage, assuring the tribe that this is the group she wants to ride with after the merge. Nick agreed, though was far less convincing, while Lee tried to bail him out and reiterate that Mokuta will own the merge. David spoke that the upcoming vote is what will dictate the merge for the tribe and whether they go in strong, or fractured. Tarzan spoke about trust, Zach spoke about needing to play it calm, even if he had heard his name thrown around.

Jacqui inferred that a blindside may be imminent, while Moana outlined the merge plan for the tribe to get rid of Vakama before turning on each other. And as such, she needs to eliminate someone that may work with others and while she may have mistrust with people, she knows that she needs to let it go and move forward together. David spoke about trust, trying to channel Queen Shane Gould in the process before Sharn shared that she hopes that her loyalties can be proven after this vote, despite how painful it may be. Nick tried to play up his trustworthiness as a last ditch effort before the tribe voted. And tragically cut him from the game.

I honestly feel like we’re stuck in the darkest timeline right about now, which is what I screamed at Nick through tears as he walked into Loser Lodge. I mean, to think but a week ago that season 1 hadn’t taken a single hit, and now, we’re down to two left. While Nick had played a lower key game than his first outing, the swap well and truly screwed him and while he had to elevate his 

 

 

I’m not sure if these are a legit thing, or if this is just an Australian chicken shop speciality that has rolled over from the ‘80s, but they are great, so who cares? Salty bacon and the punch of garlicky butter elevate the chicken and make it truly sing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nicken Migniadanza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 tbsp butter, softened
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 chicken thighs
1 sprig of rosemary, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices streaky bacon

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the butter and garlic in a bowl.

Place the chicken on a cutting board and sprinkle with the rosemary and season well with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Roll the chicken into a tight round and wrap with bacon to keep together, securing with a bunch of toothpicks.

Place on a lined baking sheet, top with some garlic butter and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven to rest for five minutes before serving with some Gabriel Mash and devouring. Fearing for the safety of the remaining rascals.

 

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Alicia Caraway Meatballs

Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: The Australian Outback, Tapas

Get your flagging finger ready and sidle up to my face because Survivor: Island of the Idols is back in less than four weeks and my girl Alicia Calaway is finally making her triumphant debut on this here anthropological study.

I’ve known Alicia for years after training as personal trainers together in NYC and when Probst was casting Australian Outback, I knew she would be a perfect fit. While her epic finger-waving fight with Kimmi made our friendship difficult for a couple of years, we eventually buried the hatchet as I aggressively tried to help pre-game for All Stars.

While Alicia’s most famous moves in the game are the aforementioned fight and providing a break to the Mogo Mogo pagoning in All Stars, she also holds the joint distinction of being the first person to vote for the winner of two seasons.

Given she has a history with Rob, I thought it would be entertaining to bring her over to celebrate his return with Sandra to pal around Gilligan’s Island style. Though tragically, they had moved on from their All Stars dramas and instead she was excited to see him back. And hopes it isn’t as long between this season and his next.

Again, I won’t say anything here about warring winners.

We laughed and caught up on life, toasted to the ongoing success of the show despite its ever worsening twists and gorged on Alicia Caraway Meatballs in the hope that Island of the Idols will follow David vs. Goliath and be a killer season despite the shitty title.

 

 

I stumbled upon this recipe on Taste.com.au in a desperate hunt for something quick, easy and featuring caraway, and it quickly won my heart. Delicate meatballs, with a good whack of spice and sticky sweetness? They’re now the second favourite balls I like in and around my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alicia Caraway Meatballs

Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup

Method
Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, egg, caraway, chilli and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined and form into golf sized balls.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and once hot, toss through the balls and cook for ten minutes, or until cooked through. Add the maple syrup and toss to coat.

Serve immediately and devour, careful not to wag the balls near my face. Though there would go my social life.

 

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Some Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls waiting to heal Ross Clarke-Jones after his tragic injury on Australian Survivor.

Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls

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

Previously on Australian Survivor after burning himself and then his idol at two back to back tribals, Harry was feeling the heat and again focused on the Ben Driebergen strategy of finding idols until the end. Thankfully we were put out of our misery and distracted from the horrible memories of Chrissy’s robbery with Jonathan lording of the reward challenge for parmas which made John smile so brightly my basement flooded. Once again Andy struggled to get anything right, this time bombing throwing the immunity challenge as Baden single handedly beasted his way to winning the challenge, sending the Contenders back to tribal. Not wanting to rest on his second idol, Harry talked to Simon and Ross to see if they would be interested in flipping on JaQueen, Pia and Abbey and joining him and Matt to take control of the game. Sadly they weren’t interest however and after Harry played his idol, which made Janine nervous enough to play hers, poor Matt was voted out of the game.

The next day we checked in with the Contenders where Ross and the girls were thrilled to still be standing. Well sitting really, in the water as they washed themselves and relished island life. Ross then found a plank of wood which he used to attempt surfing on the reef and again, I love the man and get can’t enough of him on my screen.

We checked in with Camp Champ where they too were enjoying island life, fishing and swimming together on the reef and feeling grateful for everything they were experiencing. Andy too was loving it SA MUCH and damn, that sours things for me. They soon returned to camp where Andy continued to ruin my vibe, talking about the pain of not returning to tribal though was thankful that nobody realised. Right on cue we heard from Luke who knew that Andy’s attempt to throw the challenge were as subtle as a brick and as such, he wanted to take him down ASAP. Luke then dived into his spy shack as Andy tried to catch up with Baden, knowing that getting Baden on board is key to his safety given he single handedly thwarted Andy’s lame attempts at throwing the challenge. Luke then pulled Baden away from Andy and suggested that they will be a powerful duo as nobody would expect it.

Back at the Contenders tribe Harry was feeling all alone, surrounded by Champions while JaQueen continued to lament the pain of Harry still surviving. Ross checked in with Harry to find out whether his tears were real and was disappointed to find out his good nature was taken advantage of. Ross then joked about tethering himself to Harry to avoid him finding one, so the two goofed around as the rest of the tribe got together to hunt for the newly hidden idol. Which filled Harry with joy to have spooked them. With everyone otherwise ocupado, Harry approached JaQueen with a Hail Mary pitch to sell himself as the more helpful ally than some of her current options. She then businessed the hell out of him before agreeing that it is smarter for her to keep him around and hot damn, JaQueen is a bloody icon.

Jonathan arrived for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would race across a series of poles, tarzan swing across a gorge before tossing a monkey fist in a fork before using the ropes to traverse a balance beam. They then need to release puzzle pieces, build a stair ladder and light a fire at the top of the tower. After benching Andy immediately, Shaun got the Champions out to an early lead, while the Contenders slowly tried to close the gap thanks to Daisy struggling on the poles until she leaped into Shauns arms. Swoon. While the Champs started to swing across, Ross and Pia struggled on the poles allowing the Champions to extend their lead. Then tragedy struck as Ross clipped his leg while doing the Tarzan swing, fell into the ditch and started screaming in pain.

That is when I started sobbing uncontrollably. In the words of Countess Luann, don’t let it be about Ross. Anyone but Ross.

The challenge was stopped immediately as the medics were bought in as everyone stood around with a look of sheer panic on their faces. He was then carried off the challenge site by Jonathan to before the doctors decided that his injury was serious enough to warrant further medical assessment … before the challenge was restarted from where they were. Decidedly more sombre the tribes battled it out, as the Contenders desperately tried to close the gap. One by one the Champs landed their planks as the Contenders slowly made their way back into the challenge. Until they didn’t and the Champs got into their rhythm, climbing the tower, lighting their fire and securing immunity for their tribe.

The Contenders returned to camp worried about Ross’ injury and wondering what to do at tribal council, should it go ahead. The four former Champs speculated whether Harry could have found another idol, before JaQueen started weighing her options and wondering whether keeping Harry over Simon is the smarter move. JaQueen approached Pia who was keen to get rid of Simon instead of Harry with them then going to Abbey who was far less convinced about the idea. While she was getting emotional, Pia grew more and more sure that taking out Simon was the better idea as Harry is desperate and will stick with them to take control. JaQueen and Pia approached Harry who was super keen, with JaQueen only requesting his undying loyalty in return for them going out on a limb to keep him around.

As Simon wandered alone in his speedo, the new alliance of four sat around the shelter speculating about Ross’ safety. Before Ross was escorted back into camp on crutches by Jonathan, who announced that he had broken his ankle and as such such could not return to the game. The Contenders all started to breakdown, heartbroken to lose the life of the party before Ross encouraged Pia and Luke to go out and win this thing. The Champions were then wheeled over to camp so that they could farewell Ross and celebrate the bloody icon, as he hobbled away wearing Harry’s socks.

Before hopping – quite literally – into the back of the 4WD to see if he could finally have his culinary comfort. You see Ross and I have known each other for years, as I grew up surfing up and down the NSW coast from D’Bah to Bateau Bay, with Ross spotted my talent and taking me under his wing and coaching me. While I found myself too distracted by attractive men in speedos to ever get anywhere with my surfing, Ross continued to mentor me, I believe, because he loved that I paid in Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls. I mean, I could have paid him, but I am also very cheap.

 

Ross Clarke-Jones waiting to test whether Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls could heal him after his tragic injury on Australian Survivor.

 

These babies are so delicious and warming, that I’ve oft said that they have healing qualities and while that may seem opportunistic or convenient based on the tragedy that befell our King, the proof is in the pudding. Or sausage roll. Sweet, salty and melting in your mouth, these are the only things that will dull the pain of losing the icon of the game. Our new, literally fallen god, Ross.

Enjoy!

 

Ross Clarke-Jones testing whether Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls could heal him after his tragic injury on Australian Survivor.

 

Chicken Rossage Clarke-Rolls
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
250g streaky bacon, diced
1 bunch shallots, sliced
1kg chicken mince
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp sage leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
6 sheets puff pastry, thawed and sliced into quarters
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until sweet, fragrant and translucent. Add the bacon and cook for a further ten minutes, or until its just starting to brown. Add the shallots, stir and remove to a bowl to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Add the chicken mince to the bowl with the breadcrumbs, chilli, maple, sage and a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.

Divide the mixture into 24 and form into a sausage shape. Place a sausage along one edge of the pastry squares and roll to enclose, brushing the last centimetre or so with egg wash to close. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam side down, and repeat the process until done.

Brush all the rolls with the rest of the egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour or so, or until golden and puffed. Devour immediately, to fix your broken, Ross-less heart.

 

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Carl Meatballdreaux Sub

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

Previously on Survivor Elizabeth continued to add to her harem of hunks as Dan was idol nullified from the game, I assume to feed her grapes and fan her with palm fronds with John. Which is totally what I dreamed of last night, with me excelling in the role of Liz. Obvi. Anyway – the Davids were firmly in control, Angelina worked to ingratiate herself with them by throwing Alison, Kara and Alec under the bus. Tragically for the latter, he dropped out of the immunity challenge after a hard-fought battle with Christian, leading to the tribe joining together to take the biggest physical threat out of the game.

And hot damn is Liz lucky!

Back at camp Davie thanked the Goliaths for joining them in taking out Alec, given it levels the playing field. Only it didn’t, since the Davids have finally taken control. Poor Alison broke down about Alec’s departure, sad that she was fighting harder for him to stay with Christian pulling her aside and comforting her and damn I love him. I mean, I get why people are struggling to turn on him since he is an absolute sweetheart.

Just like that my boy Jeff appeared for the latest reward challenge where they’d be split into two teams to swim out to a ladder which they would ascend and then jump into the water to release buoys … which they would use to throw into baskets. It was for fried chicken on a speedboat, so you know I’d be all in. Poor Christian wasn’t selected for a team, leaving him time to look for an advantage on the sit-out bench while Mike, yes Mike, got him, Carl, Davie and Kara out to an early lead. Despite closing the gap slightly – and Nick giving us a glimpse of his buoys – the orange team maintained a slight lead, starting to shoot their baskets before the others arrived at the dock. Nick scored the first basket for the purple team, however the orange team finally got their eye in, scoring goal after goal and snatching victory for Carl’s first reward.

The victors jumped on their speedboat, downing beers leading to the drunkest performance on Survivor since Big Tom as he sat on Kara’s lap and promised that they were good. He shared that Alison is the next best target as it would only upset Gabby. They arrived at their feast on an abandoned island with Davie joining Carl in tipsy-dom, excitedly talking about how proud he was to prove himself as an athlete. Carl continued to run his mouth as Mike and Kara continued to play him and talk about his plans, giving Kara enough power to hopefully make a move. Meanwhile back at camp Gabby was kicking off the move against Carl, approaching Christian to make a move and reclaim their games as Carl looks to be in control. And that won’t win them the game. Gabby pulled in Alison, who was thrilled to jump on board and given she suggested they asked Kara and Mike to join them, I smell a blindside.

After sobering up upon his return to camp, Carl pulled his alliance together to lock in his vote for Alison. Angelina shared that she had essentially replaced Gabby’s place within David alliance, leaving her on the outs. Carl locked Angelina in as the decoy boot for Gabby before pulling Mike in to join in the Alison. Which seems likely to be a big mistake. Huge! Carl then beckoned Christian to lock in his vote, pissing off yet another person and solidifying Christian’s plan to get rid of him. Christian and Mike shared their Carl stories, before running the numbers and realising that they are more than ready to get rid of Carl. Wait, no, Mike is admitting to be playing the middle. AND IS THIS GOING TO BACKFIRE? I can’t stop overthinking things.

The next morning Gabby and Christian got together to watch the sunset and discuss the fact that she has been completely pushed out of the David alliance. This obviously – and fairly – annoyed the hell out of Gabby, who vowed to turn on them and take control. Meanwhile the rest of the tribe discovered that their rice was near empty with Angelina, bless, naively suggesting that they should negotiate with Jeff for more. Which she should know will not end well. Particularly since her Tracey Flick mentality was annoying the shit out of Mike.

At the immunity challenge the tribe would be required to race over an obstacle, spin on a pole and traverse a balance beam collect while collecting puzzle pieces along the way, which they would use to solve a word puzzle. But before that, Angelina continued with her plan to put her Yale education to use bartering with Jeff to get more rice. She essentially listed everything around the camp, which Jeff shadily called a low ball offer before saying all it will take is one person giving up their shot at immunity for additional rice, with Angelina – obviously – sitting out to add to her resume. Anyway the challenge was fairly neck and neck, with everyone working on the puzzle at the same time. Carl was the first to come up with a word – perceptions – which was wrong but triggered Alison and Davie, leaving them to battle it out for immunity. With the latter snagging immunity.

Angelina was proud of her negotiations when they discovered the rice back at camp. While everyone praised her, she tried to play humble as they cooked up some rice and prepared to lock in their plans. Carl continued to rub people the wrong way, locking in his plan with anyone and everyone. Meanwhile knowing she is on the block, Alison and Kara joined together to figure out how to lock in Mike. With Mike playing the middle and proving his acting chops, buying him enough time to decide whether Alison being a threat was more painful than Carl’s overconfidence. Sadly for him Christian recognised his acting prowess and debated whether he could trust Mike at tribal. Christian joined Gabby and they locked in their vote, with Gabby vowing that tonight would be the tonight people started recognising her as a player.

At tribal council Elizabeth and her hunks arrived before Kara spoke about the ever changing lines and needing to show trust to earn trust. Nick spoke about scrambled eggs, Christian moved it to poaching and Angelina spoke about gladiators. Just to confirm, I’m not joking. Mike admitting to feeling more comfortable voting people out as the game went along, Alison felt nervous and Nick circled back to the eggs. Carl chimed in and came across super arrogant, annoying Gabby and TBH everyone. Probst congratulated Mike on being the last male Goliath standing, Angelina quoted Friday Night Lights and praised herself for getting the rice for everyone and Alison admitting to having a plan but being unsure whether she can trust said plan. With that the tribe voted and hot damn Mike swung to Gabby’s side, ending her feud with Carl and sending him to the jury.

I was completely expecting Carl to be irate to have found himself arriving at Ponderosa but he took his boot in his stride – maybe he was still tipsy from the reward, who knows? – and held me close, thrilled to see his best trucking friend. Fun fact: my time as a trucker inspired me to write the hit horror film Joy Ride starring Paul Walker, may he rest in peace. Anyway, we laughed, we cried, we lamented him letting the power go to his head … and then smashed a big fat Carl Meatballdreaux Sub.

 

 

I used to be a fiend for this Subway classic, until a tragic encounter at the one next to Studio 54. Alan and Em were starring in Cabaret and were desperate for me to swing by, however being so important and in demand I was in a rush and needed a bite, lest I faint on stage after Showgirls-ing someone out of their role. Anyway, the post-mix was running out of syrup and something whackadoodle was going on with the food.

But this one, I assure you, will sit right – striking the balance between saucy Italian meat and fresh capsi, like only Subway can muster. Well, Subway and me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carl Meatballdreaux Sub
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves
800g canned crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
4 Hulk Hogies
8 slices Swiss cheese
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and shredded
1 green capsicum, sliced

Method
Combine the mince with a good whack of salt and pepper in a bowl and scrunch to combine.

Heat a good lug of oil in a dutch oven over low heat and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and grabbing golf ball-sized chunks, shape balls out of the mince and add to the pot until gone. Cover and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes, or until the balls are cooked through.

To serve, slice you hoagies and top with slices of cheese. Spoon in a couple of balls and a heap of sauce before topping with the tomato, lettuce, capsicum.

And devouring, messily.

 

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Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe swap gave the Contenders a brief pause from their pagonging, well for some. As the new Contenders dominated leaving Benji and Robbie in power with their interloping Champs. Meanwhile over at the Champions Shane took control of the tribe with the Champion boys and the Contenders girls plus Brian pushing to get her. Sadly for Tegan and Shonee, she stuck with the boys and booted Tegan from the game. Thanks to another twist Tegan was given the opportunity to be saved from another boot by the other tribe, however with this time Benji and Robbie opting to send her from the game. For realsies.

We opened up with the Champions where Mat was surveying the land and found a massive beehive with Steve and Sam. Not wanting to leave it alone, they decided to try and smoke them out to get the honey giving me My Girl PTSD, because Thomas J will never be able to see without his glasses. Steve turned pyro and I got Firestarter PTSD, as the honeycomb eventually fell and the fire somehow didn’t burn out of control, leaving the Champions with a safe snack.

The next day Shonee was feeling left right out with four athletes and a genius, with no similarities to help her bond. I mean, they spoke about how long it too for wheels to be added to things and Queen Shonee was over it. Like, give me a shit tonne of Antiques Roadshow instead of suffering through this shit. Feeling like she should start contributing to the survival aspect of the tribe, she decided to try her hand at cooking, cleaning and doing things the others have done for a month. And the fact she has gotten away with that is why she is the queen, TBH. Particularly since Mat was all in on working with her.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders Heath and Fenella were feeling left out as Benji and Robbie continued to bond with the Champion girls, gloating about taking out Tegan. When really, they only added salt to her wounds technically. Fenella however was ropeable about their stupidity and hot damn it seems like the other side of Shonella is finally going to bring hell. Her new pal Heath meanwhile was confronting Robbie about how getting rid of Tegan was a good idea before hooking up with Fenella to bitch and try to find a way to get out of the mess of their making. Heath floated the idea of beating them at their own game, get the Champion girls and get rid of Robbie ASAP with Fenella decided that targeting Monika and her girl power to find an in. Fenella joined Mon and Sharn to talk about the possibility of doing a girls alliance as a way to find an in … in NUDE ROBBIE, BRB.

Sorry – all I can remember is Robbie getting his buns out and Fenella declaring game on molls. So yeah, episode of the season.

Sensing my desire slowly swinging to Robbie, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to use a rope to drag buckets full of sandbags, which two tribe members would use to knock blocks off a beam which the remaining two people will use to solve a word puzzle. Steve got the Champions out to an early lead while superwoman Lydia showed her first signs of challenge weakness, with Brian getting the second bucket back before Lydia got the Contenders first. Try as Robbie might, Shane and Mat only continued to extend the Champions lead while Benji and Heath finally closed the gap while lobbing their sacks until they found themselves stuck on one errant block. Sam and Shonee had a nice lead on the puzzle, leaving Sharn and Fenella to desperately try and come from behind. Sadly for them and thankfully for Shonee, Brian solved the puzzle from the viewing area and they just got their letters in before the Contenders, winning immunity and saving Shonee from certain doom.

The Contenders returned to camp with Benji once again talking about killing and being melodramatic about the process of voting someone out. Which is less than what I’d be like if I were out there. He and Robbie locked in a plan to get rid off Heath with the help of the Champion women, with Lydia and Monika quickly swearing allegiance. Sharn too locked in the plan with Benji, however his assurance that she was safe sounded shifty and me thinks she is going to do something about it. Heath was not happy about the possibility of going home, so when the Champion girls spoke about being in the minority he quickly assured them that he was on the outs and was more of a free agent than them. He then channeled Sandra and vowed to vote for anyone but him, before pulling in Fenella is another number as he can’t trust Lydia. Not to be outdone, Fenella approached Monika and Sharn to once again float the possibility of a women’s alliance and the three quickly locked in a vote against Robbie.

Given they are floating in the middle, Sharn and Monika went for a walk to discuss which pair would work out better for them. Unsure which would work out top their advantage. Robbie then checked in with Lydia, who told him that Heath was throwing his name out there filling him with rage. He then approached Heath to see what he thought, with Heath trying to get him to see sense and take out another Champion as they head into the merge and deciding that Monika would be the best option. Despite the fact Lydia is the biggest challenge threat and needs to go.

At tribal council Fenella was thankful for sitting in on the last tribal council and the intel they gained. Heath joined her in putting doubt in the Champion women’s mind, saying the cracks were obvious much to the smirks of Lydia. She tried to call him out but Heath straight up said that Mat and Steve – Lydia’s closest allies – were running the game and Sam was looking forward to working with the Champions come the merge. Benji and his rando accent tried to downplay the OG tribe connections, planning to grab whatever numbers he can to make it further in the game.

Lydia admitted to feeling nervous as the odd one out on the tribe, though played up how hard she and her fellow Champs worked to help the tribe. Without seeing that was playing up her status as a threat. Robbie tried to emphasise how close they had gotten, with Monika working the social game to try and make herself less of a target. Sharn was concerned that despite joining to kick out Tegan, the tribe may still be split and would turn on the Champs. Everyone alluded to trust without saying much before Robbie committed that this vote was about who he wanted to work the merge with and Sharn spoke about getting rid of threats come the merge, before Jonathan tried to paint the target on Lydia’s back given she is a beast. Robbie downplayed the importance of strength before Heath and Monika admitted that they are confident they’re in on the plan ala Keith Nale. Sadly like Heath, it backfired as he found himself following his ally Tegan out the door. Just before the merge.

Given Heath is an absolute sweetheart and despite the fact he got nude in episode two, I took him into my arms, well his legs at least – not in a suss way, he is super tall – told him how proud of his game I was, how proud his family would be and how much his friendship means to me. It was oddly platonic, which is unnerving I know, but Heath is a delight and I was heartbroken to see him go. With or without a nude scene. Anyway, the fact that that is so off brand for me makes me nervous so I whipped out a big fat Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins and took it all in my mouth at once.

 

 

While that is totally more on brand, I challenge you to do anything but when faced with these beauties. Caramelly and sticky, lightly spiced and full of nut – sorry – I can’t think of anything else I want to pack into my gob.

Enjoy!

 

 

Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of allspice
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
⅓ cup molasses
⅓ cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 ½ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and line an 8-hole Texan Muffin pan. Because Heath is a giant and you can’t give him a regular sized muffin.

Combine the flour, baking powder, muscovado sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt in a large bowl, and combine the milk, molasses, oil and eggs in another. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold through the walnuts and dates.

Divide your batter into the prepared holes – which wasn’t meant to sound suss, but Steve … I’m always prepared – and transfer to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove to cool on a wire rack before devouring.

 

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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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