Michaela Bradshortcake

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously – slash a minute ago – on Survivor, it became exceedingly more obvious that Sarah was sliding her way to victory, despite Cirie’s killer display. While everyone was against Brad for the entire episode, Andrea stuck her neck out one time too many and found herself sent to the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Aubry apologised to Brad for being the only person remaining that voted for him last tribal. She then acknowledged the elephant in the room, that if you align with her you end up voted out … or near death. She then broke down about having had such a rollercoaster day what with winning immunity and being blindsided, before winning Tai’s affection back and making Cirie wary of Tai’s social game.

Probst quickly returned for the second immunity challenge of the episode, the Darrah Johnson-Shane Powers memorial pour-water-in-the-hole-to-float-a-key-high-enough-to-retrieve-it. Don’t blame me for the title, I was experiencing PTSD by proxy for Cirie.

Michaela got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Troyzan, Aubry and Brad, who made quick work using the key to unlock their puzzle pieces. Given how confusing the puzzle was, Sarah, Tai and Cirie all caught up before Brad found a hole that he couldn’t fill. Michaela thought she had it, which she didn’t before kicking the puzzle … giving enough time for Brad to fill that hole and snatch immunity.

Brad then celebrated and / or through a tantrum, almost channelling Mr. This-Is-My-Island, Troyzan.

Back at camp the Troyzan and Tai were feeling uncomfortable, since the target was immune … despite both of them being in possession of an idol, or two if you’re Tai. Tai approached Aubry about needing to make some moves if they are going to make it to the end, both agreeing that Sarah is currently the one to beat.

Aubry then told Cirie, who went straight back to Sarah who refused to believe that Aubry was telling the truth. Wanting to solidify her loyalty, Sarah decided to give up the extra vote advantage to Cirie. Cirie, being the crafty kween that she is, debating the merits on hanging on to it, or playing it despite the fact Sarah didn’t want to, to protect Sarah from herself and Tai.

Cirie then clued Michaela in on what was happening, with both of them agreeing that Cirie needed to use Sarah’s vote steal to steal Sarah’s own vote to take out Tai … by lulling him into a false sense of security to not play an idol by saying she is doing it to save him. This is some next level inception bullshit right here and if she pulls it off, she is the first in line to Sandra’s throne in the line of procession.

Giving future players a masterclass on how to manipulate people, Cirie pulled Tai aside and played him like a fiddle. I mean, the voice quivering, the panic, the concern?! I love Cirie.

We then arrived at tribal council where Sarah spoke about the mad scrambling that occurred post challenge. Cirie and Brad agreed that everyone was lying to someone and that they need to cut through that, to which Michaela disagreed. Tai then acknowledged that he always gives people the benefit of the doubt and that it could lead to his downfall.

Troyzan sounded like he’s been hurt one too many times in the game, which after being schooled by Kim I assume he has. Michaela then brought up the ‘we’ again before we headed off to vote … but wait, Cirie pulled out the vote steal! Sadly for her, she didn’t read the fine print saying that it could not be transferred.

She was then chastised by Probst and Sarah, for outing the fact she was going to make a huge move but actually couldn’t. And as has become the tradition of Game Changers, Sarah then whispered something in Tai’s ear, before Cirie pulled Sarah aside to tell her she was trying to use it to save her, which Michaela jumped up to agree with. Troyzan then tried to eavesdrop, earning the wrath of Michaela who did not have time for his shit.

Aubry then joined the fray and things started to calm down and everyone returned to their seats … until Sarah got back up to  talk to Tai, with Cirie whispering in the other ear. Cirie then went to Michaela, while Tai went back to talking to Sarah … before the latter decided to just use the advantage, take Tai’s vote and get this over with.

Despite snatching Tai’s vote, Sarah didn’t join Aubry and Michaela in voting out Tai, instead joining Brad and Troyzan to blindside Michaela. While it wasn’t as exciting as her previous exit, the tribal build up was even more exciting and she ended with you do you, boo … which is amazing.

Make no mistake, Michaela is a total sass queen … but she was feeling a little bit salty, having been booted from Survivor twice in the space of a few months. That being said, it is hard to stay salty when you fill up on my Michaela Bradshortcake!

 

 

I know that the doll/TV show firmly pushes for the strawberry version of these delights, I have a strong aversion to the feel of them on my tongue and therefore avoid them at most costs. I mean, I’ll eat them but they are not my first through fifth choice.

Plus, how do you go wrong with apple, walnut and cinnamon? Exactly, you can’t – enjoy!

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3-4 apples, cored and finely diced
juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
kosher salt
85g cold unsalted butter
1 ½ cup double cream
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 egg

Method
Combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ¼ cup raw caster sugar to combine. Cover and allow to steep for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add 1 cup cream and walnuts, and stir with a fork until it just starts to come together.

Form the dough into large lime-sized balls and press to flatten on a lined baking tray, repeating the process until done.

Whisk the egg, brush each biscuit/scone and bake until golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for half an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Half the biscuit and top with some apple and cream. Close the biscuit … and because I really like to load up on the toppings, add some more apple, cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Peaches Cobbler

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Sweets

As you should be aware by now, I’ve known most of my celebrity friends for a long, long time and am – not meaning to blow my own trumpet – the reason that 99% of them are even famous/successful.

My dear Merrill aka Peaches, however, is the exception.

You see, I only met Peaches in 2007 when she was playing Big Day Out. Picture it, Gold Coast, 2007 – which I literally just told you. A young, sexy ingenue was killing it on the d-floor of the Boiler Room to Shake Your Tits before collapsing to the ground due from sheer exhaustion from their dance majesty.

That young ingenue, was me.

Peaches quickly sprung into action, I assume due to her pre-fame teaching days, diving of the stage, taking me in her arms and pouring water over my head to wake me up. Side note, that inspired me to travel back in time and write slash choreograph the hit movie Flashdance.

Cutting the set short, Peaches took me backstage to recuperate and we quickly bonded over our mutual love of filthy song lyrics. The following nine years are arguably the best years of my life, as I got to experience the joy of forming such a beautiful friendship.

We both been super busy lately, what with her doing herself, appearing on the (finally) Emmy winning program Orphan Black and releasing a new album and with me, well, being busy, ok, so haven’t been able to see much of each other recently. This almost-milestone date, truly is an absolute blessing.

Now I know that this is only technically my 249th documented catch-up, but I’m just going to pretend this is my moment due to the inconsistent scheduling of Australian Survivor causing problems. Plus, I agreed to catch-up with Peaches when I thought she was going to be the magical 250th visitor, so I needed to treat the occasion like it was.

Plus, Peaches Cobbler is the ultimate party food, so why deny it?

 

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Sweet, rustic and deceptively decadent – the sweet peaches, work beautifully  with the earthy walnuts and the pillowy dough to fill your stomach, and heart, with unending joy.

Plus, you can slather it in ice cream. What is not to love – fruity nuts, dripping in a sweet, white liquid? Enjoy!

 

peaches-cobbler-2

 

Peaches Cobbler
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
2 cups raw caster sugar, divided
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g walnuts nuts
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g muscovado sugar
pinch of sea salt
125g unsalted butter, chilled
vanilla ice cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the sliced peaches, sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir through the vanilla paste and get cobblin’.

Blitz the walnuts in a food processor for a couple of seconds. Now you can either add all the other ingredients and blitz until the mixture resembles wet sand. Obviously I prefer the hand approach, if you do to decant the roughly blitzed walnuts to a bowl and combine with the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Chop the butter into small cubes, add the bowl and rub through the mix … until it resembles wet sand.

Now for the fun – add the peaches and liquid into a small baking dish, grab large balls of the dough and haphazardly place around the top to almost seal it.

Place it in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden, crisp and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately, generously topped with ice cream. It may not look best that way, but it certainly makes it taste good.

 

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Peter Baklavenstos

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, Sweets

Running into an ex is always awkward, but when it is seeing the person that broke your heart after getting them on the show … after they were just voted out is kinda satisfying.

Scrap that, it is fucking glorious.

This week we started with Petey trying to woo Tai into his third showmance in six episodes while over on Chanloh, part-time model Debbie and her adonis Nick engaged in, what on the island was, the filthiest and most explicit romance since Ozzy and Amanda in Micronesia.

Love, however, isn’t what we watch for … it is all about Probst making a series of ball puns while people were bobbing for them during the reward challenge. Once again, Aubrey continued to be the challenge beast of the season.

Peter spent most of the episode putting a target on his back and being paranoid, before a block almost took out Biden at the challenge. Thankfully he wasn’t evacuated, giving Aubrey another chance to shine when she literally crossed out Julia’s name and changed her vote to Peter.

I don’t know if it was due to budget cuts or they are trying to be green, but I’m thankfully there are limited pieces of parchment for drama’s sake.

I first met Petey on the impersonating circuit where he, obviously, was a Time Square Obama and I was any misc-dark haired celebrity with curls, but was most often recognised as Fred Savage, Ray Martin or aggressive Andy Samberg.

Pete and I, again obviously, fell into a torrid love affair bathed amongst the lights of Bro-ad-way (right near where, I assume, Reed cheated on Josh). Our loving relationship was so strong, he convinced me to don blackface (to upset my nemesis Harry Connick Jr. – he always refused my advances/to whisper my name) and play the Michelle to his Barack.

Mich (who I am also friends with) loved the idea and thankfully deemed my arms perfect enough to play her … lucky I invented that workout system with her in 2014. I must look at releasing it soon, if only I paid Todd Tucker for his work filming it.

Anyway, when I found out Pete was officially going to be on Survivor I quickly tried to call Probst and try to help pre-game for my lover, but his attitude got in the way (I’m team Biden on the circuit, not on the island) and we sadly went our separate ways.

While you may assume that I would handle a break-up with expletives, lighter-fluid and booze, that wasn’t the case when I reconnected with Pete in loser lodge … probably as I was so smug to see him just before the merge, meaning my break-up, once again proves that Kat Mr. Edorsson is a genius – who wants to date someone that doesn’t make the merge?

Thankfully I am very mature and rational and was kind enough to whip it out him up a nice batch of my (usually post-coital) Peter Baklaventos.

 

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Baklava, while time consuming, is one of the easiest sweets you can make but still looks impressive. Obviously this is my favourite kind of recipe – one that gives you the most bang for your buck … particularly if it is for a post bang meal.

Between the pastry, rosewater and sticky nuts dripping in a sweet, moist glaze … this is something you need to have in and around your mouth. ASAP.

Enjoy!

 

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Peter Baklavenstos
Makes: About 24 pieces.

Ingredients
250 gm each pistachios and walnuts, finely chopped
100 gm caster sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
200 gm butter, coarsely chopped
500 gm filo pastry
Honey syrup
300 gm caster sugar
125 gm honey
1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
1 cinnamon quill
4 drops rosewater

Method
Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan, set aside and keep warm. Brush a 24x34cm baking dish with butter. Cut filo sheets to fit tray snugly and cover with a damp tea towel.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Layer one-third of the filo pastry in tray, brushing butter between each layer. Yes this can be annoying and I generally avoid this set when making filo pies … but this is the one dish you kind of can’t avoid this step, sorry.

Spread half the nut mixture on top, repeat the process with the next third of filo, top with the remaining nuts and do the filo again. Once more, with feeling and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and cut the dish into 4cm diamonds with a sharp knife, making sure to get through all layers of filo and bake until golden and crisp, about 50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.

While in the oven, get onto the honey syrup by combining the sugar, honey, lemon rind, cinnamon and 300ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 minutes and the flavours have gloriously steeped in the liquid. Remove from heat, strain and stir through the lemon juice and rosewater and set aside.

Cool baklava for about 5 minutes and pour the syrup evenly over the pastry. Set aside at room temperature to cool completely … if you can. Then go crazy and devour it.

 

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Banana Khait Muffins

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, Sweets

Again, seriously?! I don’t know how I am going to pay off all my bookies – once again, one of my top winner picks heading into the season was sent to loser lodge (and I am looking to start another ponzi scheme). Poor Anna was dealt a dud hand in the swap and her tribe opted not to hold her but to fold her and let her run away into my arms.

It all started innocently with Obama capitalising on last week’s drama by opening up the Chan Loh trauma centre, lancing potential (and likely, judging from the rusty hook) future medivac Sexy Rudy’s finger, before my frosty dandy got his hand-ys on the hidden immunity before the aforementioned switch up.

After exiling poor Julia to hell beach, with nothing but Darnell’s brown-trout for company, the members of the new tribes jostled for position … or something – let’s be honest, all I heard was something about Obama’s low hanging fruit.

Yep.

I first met Anna a couple of years ago, when I hired her to be my poker coach. You see, I had created a strip-poker group with my celebrity crushes / hot friends and needed to learn to play to get them as naked as possible, as quickly as possible. Anna is an absolute card shark and after helping me find abs-olute pleasure with my friends, she was instantly welcomed to my inner circle.

Fun fact: I actually used time-travel to go back and co-write The Gambler with Kenny Rogers.

After the tribes convened to go fishing and witness a puzzle laying down for Debbie like a lover, a target was firmly set on Anna or Tai’s back … and since Tai has managed to take another island (non-puzzle) lover, Anna was royal flushed from the tribe.

She was very hurt to have made her way to loser lodge this soon but was thrilled to be able to help me make money off the rest of the pre-merge boots in a high stakes game of Cambrodian Fame Hungry Poker (it is aggressive, sexual and involves also winning the opportunity to be Tai’s next bro-mance).

She was even more thrilled to see my Banana Khait Muffins, which I used as currency to pay her when I was her student … which inspired the old rapping meatball lady from my hit movie The Wedding Singer.

 

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Banana muffins are quite possibly the easiest thing to make but since I originally used these as currency, I had to dress them up a bit so caramelised the bananas first and added some nuts … because who doesn’t love a bit of caramel and nut action to up the stakes? The caramel gives you sticky pockets of goodness that leave your stomach feeling like it’s got a very satisfied full house. Or black jack, probably.

Enjoy!

 

banana-khait-muffins-2

 

Banana Khait Muffins
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp sea salt
2 bananas, sliced
½ cup walnuts, chopped
350g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
135ml grapeseed oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
100g natural yoghurt

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C, fan-forced.

Pour the sugar into a very clean, medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and leave to melt until a caramel begins to firm. As hypocritical as I may sound, don’t stir it … be patient and let it gloriously melt by itself. Once it is molten, add the salt, banana and walnuts, stirring until they are coated.

Place the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet … ingredients in the other. Add the caramel/banana mix to your wet ingredients (saving a teaspoon of caramel for each muffin to drizzle on top after they are baked, if you want).

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, making sure you avoid overworking it. A) if you do, it makes them dense and b) why put in my effort than you have to?

Spoon the mixture into lined muffin pans and bake for 40 minutes. Cool and drizzle with reserved caramel, if you didn’t eat it while they were baking … which full disclosure, I did.

What can I say, Probst makes me hungry!

 

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Cinnamonica Seles Apples

Condiment, Side, Snack, Sweets

Straight up, I would like to dispel your knee-jerk assumptions from earlier in the week – I was not involved in the stabbing of Monica Seles … despite being a close friend of Steffi Graf. There is no proof, so don’t even try. I mean, the glove does not fit etc.

That being said, the tragically senseless and violent crime is what led to my first meeting with Monnie. You see, I was serving a community service term as a Candy Stripper (yes, stripper) in the German hospital where she was recuperating after the attack (I was drunk and disorderly at the same tournament the previous year as part of Steffi’s entourage, when I got into a premature fight with Brooke Shields).

Anyway, being a total sports fanatic I took Monnie under my wing and acted as her chief security and support. Plus, she also had great meds which I swapped out for placebos … thus her extended break to recover.

Despite the theft of the drugs being discovered (Monnie forgave me knowing I was an addict and supported me through rehab), we’ve been the closest of friends ever since, with me ghostwriting her memoir and advising her to make fantastic career choices like her forays into television with The Nanny and DWTS.

Monnie and I hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years so it was such a delight to catch up with her and participate in my personal favourite past-time, hitting tennis balls off the roof of my building at unsuspecting pedestrians below.

Let me just say, Mon still has it!

After such rigorous exercise, we were definitely in need of some simple sugars that we could pretend were healthy – enter my Cinnamonica Seles Apples.

 

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Cinnamon and sugar as quite possibly the greatest culinary combination, with apples and walnuts being a close second. Obviously when you chuck all the keys into a bowl at the kitchen swingers party and instead end up with a flavour orgy, things can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

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Cinnamonica Seles Apples
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 royal gala apples
100g walnuts, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp butter
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Method
Core and thickly slice apples, leaving skin on. Toss in lemon juice.

Melt butter in a non-stick pan over a medium heat, add apples and walnuts. Cook, stirring until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.

Add brown sugar and cinnamon, cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.