Samantha Bellinitines

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls put on a little talent show. Though not until after reading each other for filth, where Sharonne destroyed the competition and took out victory. In the talent show, Ariel was there, Samantha was messy and Sharonne was an absolute star. After demolishing both challenges and the runway, Sharonne took out victory while Samantha and Ariel landed in the bottom. And after another wild Samantha lip sync, she managed to save herself while Ariel exited the competition. And my basement became just that little bit less flooded.

Backstage Samantha was gagged to not only have lip synced again but to have survived over Ariel and as such, she was fired up to really shine. Drag Sethlas meanwhile was super gagged that Ariel went out so soon before Diamante interjected to explain that she feels like Samanatha lost the lip sync and that she should have been the one to go instead. Thankfully before it descended into chaos, Onyx cut through the shade and got the dolls to focus on Sharonne’s well deserved victory and led the girls in congratulating her.

The next day the dolls were going a little batty, impersonating animals and living their best lives. Things were still a little awkward between Samantha and Diamante as everyone spoke about how much they missed Ariel (for her cleaning services), before Supremme dropped by to task them with this week’s mini challenge. Where they would do some very quick, quick drag and complete the look with some shower caps. Which made sense when the Pit Crew were wheeled out to creampie them. El Gran Juego de la Loca style. As is oft the case when they are wheeled out, it doesn’t really matter what the queens were doing because the pit crew are muy guapo.

Ultimately though Onyx and Diamante took out victory and while I don’t know how exactly they got there, I do know what they won. As did all of us. While they also got the chance to decide teams in this week’s Maxi Challenge, improv-ing their way through an episode of Putricia’s Diario which seems to be a little like Sally Jesse Raphael. Though obviously far more wild.

As Supremme exited, Onyx and Diamante joined up to go through the scenes and figure out which parts were best slash they should take for themselves. Then surround themselves with the people they wanted, leaving the dregs for the final team. That led to Diamante, Estrella and Sharonne forming one team, Sethlas, Marina, Venedita and Jota Cara formed the dregs group, while Samantha, Juriji and Onyx were the final team. The dolls split up with the two former groups vibing well and very confident in their chances of taking out the win, while Team Onyx worried Diamante would be overshadowed by her loud sisters. While the leftover group were just ready to prove themselves.

The dolls quickly made it to the set to film Putricia’s Diario with Supremme where Diamante was immediately overshadowed by her sisters as they bounced off each other and lived their best lives. Except for when Estrella kept eating raw onion like Tony Abbott. She didn’t live for that. The team of leftovers were strong from start to finish, slapping it out like likeable Will Smiths and being equally camp and demented, just as the challenge required. Though given Venedita got to make out with the Pit Crew, she is the winner in my eyes. Rounding out the show, Samantha was committed and wild as an ageing dominatrix on Team Onyx. While Juriji writhed around in flan – only flans, geddit – Onyx was barking mad and tragically getting scene partners seemed to hurt Smanatha, as she struggled to keep up.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Diamante happy with her strategy to pick a strong team, knowing it should be enough to keep her safe. Which is not a sentiment echoed by all of the queens who felt she was overshadowed. Before it could blow up the dolls split up to beat their mugs with Jota, Estrella, Marine and Onyx kiki-ing together, with Estrella struggling to buy any of Jota’s stories and well, it is a level of pettiness I live for. Venedita and Sharonne meanwhile were kiki-ing quietly, bonding over how hard they have worked and how much they love their careers. Sharonne opened up about how drag also gave her the flexibility to look after her sick father over the last decade as well and it was a sweet moment and I ship them hard. Oh and I love Sharonne’s dad dying on gay pride. I mean, iconic.

Supremme, Ana and the Javiers were joined by Eduardo Cassanova for my favourite runway theme across all the franchises – Night of 1000 Almodovar’s leading ladies! Drag Sethlas was stunning in a floor length red gown in honour of Tilda Swinton. Estrella chewed up the stage in honour of Kika – prosthetic teeth, get it? – Samantha Ballentines was a camp star in honour of Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Venedita Von Dash was iconic in honour of Bad Education and honestly, it was perfection from start to finish. Diamante slayed as The Skin I Live In, literally, as she bled all over the stage. Sharonne was a stunning old dame from High Heels, Jota was an avant garde delight in black and red in honour of Kika. Juriji was a perfect vamp as she served Penelope Cruz in Broken Embraces. Marina was a sexy tigress in honour of The Skin I Live In, while Onyx was a bit sloppy as Kika.

Ultimately Sethlas, Juriji, Marina and Onyx were deemed safe and sent backstage to untuck before the judges heaped praise on Estrella for all that she did from the challenge to the runway. Samantha meanwhile was somehow read for filth for not giving enough on the runway, despite looking the best she has looked. Venedita was praised for knocking each and everything out of the park. Diamante meanwhile was read for being overshadowed in the challenge, despite them loving her runway. Sharonne delighted the judges by staying in her runway character, though given how they ate up everything she served this week, it shouldn’t be a shock they loved her. Oh and then Jota was read for filth for getting lost in the challenge and not adapting the look well enough.

Backstage Marina was complaining about her team and the lack of connection she had with them. While Juriji just quietly, calmly took it all. And then lay in some calmly cold reads and ugh, I live for her! Particularly the way she effortlessly made them all giggle mid-fight about Marina’s farting, Marina included, which is iconic. Before Onyx told them to shut up and celebrate being safe. The tops and bottoms returned to the work room where Samantha shared that once again she is bottom while Diamante knew she would be the one facing off against her. Jota meanwhile admitted her team was a mess before they all put it to bed by having a drink.

Ultimately Venedita took out her first victory of the season before Sharonne and Estrella were sent to safety. When it came to the bottoms, it was Diamante that narrowly avoided lip syncing leaving Jota to face off against the undefeated lip sync assassin Samantha Ballentines. But as soon as Un año de amor by Luz Casal started, it was Jota’s spot to lose as she leant into all the emotion and hit every lyric. While Samantha gave us calm, muted comedy and was as iconic as usual, Jota pulled a Sasha Velour and flooded the stage with roses and honestly, had the judges feeling all the feels they were straight up crying. As such, Jota lived to fight another day while the iconic Samantha was finally felled.

Backstage Samantha was as upbeat and charming as she usually is, even before I praised her for such an iconic run, Despite her track record. There is no denying that Samanatha left her mark on the competition and her brand of silliness will truly be missed. And when we have that feeling, there will always be room for a Samantha Bellinitines or two!

I know I have the reputation for sucking alcohol out of a deodorant, but this drink it straight up the greatest thing. Even before it dulls all of your pains. The sweetness from the peach mix with the fizziness of the sparkling to sooth the soul and make everything alright.

Enjoy!

Samantha Bellinitines
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 peaches, peeled and pitted
1 tbsp sugar syrup 
2 cups sparkling wine

Method
Pop the peaches in a blender and blitz with the sugar syrup for a minute or to before straining into a bottle and chilling for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to drank, pour 1 tbsp of puree into a champagne flute and top with sparkling. Down and repeat until buzzed. Or satiated.


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Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Pie, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Final Three arrived at the final immunity challenge, ready to face a no doubt brutal and traumatic bout of endurance to win their way to the final tribal council. Though not before their loved ones were wheeled out to make us all cry. While it was sweet to see everyone soften at the sight of their families, reminded of what they are playing for, Moana wins best family thanks to the iconic one-two punch of Queen Vinnie who is pure joy and love personified and her sweet wife Isabella. Tragically though, Moana was the first to fall out of the challenge and after David eventually took out the final victory, she was sent to become the final juror of the season.

The final two awoke on Day 50, shocked to have made it all the way to the end while Dave was still feeling guilty about having to blindside his friend Mo. Despite it not really being a blindside since she was one of two options. In any event, David reiterated how much he wants to win before listing his entire resume and hot damn, this is going to be a complete and utter blow-out, isn’t it? I mean, I forgot about the fire from scratch thing it was that long ago.

As they settled in for their final breakfast and mimosas – treat yo’ ‘self – by the shore, Sharn told us how big of a mistake Dave made by taking her to the end, given she is the first and only player in Australian Survivor to make it to 100 days in the game. Which yeah, it is super impressive. She spoke about how hard the first loss was on her and she assured us that she had a fire in her belly and was not going to lose again. And oh Sharn, I am starting to feel bad about you losing again.

At tribal council Sharn kicked things off with her opening statement, reminding them that she is the only person to have played 100 days in the game and the only one in their season that has never had their torch snuffed. She said that after the winners were booted first, she knew that runner-ups would be targeted soon after and as such, she kept things quiet. She highlighted that she played both sides all season, told them that not going to rocks was a huge move and her plan as the puppet-master was to ride the Golden God before turning him into her golden ticket. And well, it all just felt a little bit too staged no?

David followed that up with a super sweet, relatable speech, fanning over the jury and charming the shit out of everyone. He admitted to being the mole, he told them how he found his idols – playing Phoebe in the process – blindsided Locky out of a necessity, voted Harry out because he wanted more days played than him before switching tacts and apologising for voting out Tarzan because he loves him, but loves his family more.  Oh and then he welled up talking about how much of a beast Brooke was and how much he loved Mo. Hell, is Sharn going to vote for him too?

Things turned over to the jury, with Locky asking Dave why his desire for a big game disappeared at the merge and he started to hide in a big alliance. Dave explained that being the Golden God got him to tenth last time, and as such he had to pull his head in if he wanted to make it to the end. Shonee then savaged Sharn by asking why she would bother voting for Sharn this time, when she didn’t the last time she was in this situation. Sharn spoke about how well she played this time and built up the alliance that dominated the merge, but didn’t really add anything else. A.K. spoke about the fact Sharn talked him out of going to rocks, and suggested that she can pick rocks for a chance to win his vote. Or leave it up to her game alone and damn, Sharn, the fact Zach laughed should tell you everything about the lack of votes coming your way.

After what felt like an eternity, Sharn opted to back herself and her game and as such, lost another vote.

Brooke decided to add some messiness to the proceedings, asking Dave why Sharn doesn’t deserve to win. Ignoring the question, he spoke about how he was the idol whisperer of the season before circling to the point, I think, by saying his relationships are what brought him to the end. Harry dragged Sharn for constantly pretending to be in alliances with people and pretending she was going to flip and while she tried to highlight it as good gameplay, Brooke reminded her that she burnt a lot of people in the process and as such, she was too focused on going to the end, rather than winning.

Oh and then Tarzan reminded Sharn that she told him to vote Mo in the near-rock tribal and while she tried to pretend that she was testing Tarzan’s loyalty, he thankfully pushed and said it wasn’t a test because if he did, Moana would have gone. This pissed off Moana who joined Tarzan in dragging her and while Sharn tried to dance around it and said it turned out to be her biggest move, Mo pointed out it was actually just her doing nothing. Harry then told her to keep telling herself that – slay – before Moana pointed out that Dave voting her out proved him to be weak, given he preached non-stop of competing against the best. She then asked the boldest question, asking whether he felt she played the bigger game. David expertly praised her and her game, apologising for ruining her dreams, reminding her that taking her to the end weakened his chances and ultimately they are playing for the title of SOLE survivor.

Dave then listed why everyone played killer games, praising them for their moves which is the exact reason why he made sure they all ended up on the jury. I mean, hot damn – that is a Todd Herzog level tribal council performance!

With that speech sealing the deal, the jury voted and then because of COVID-19, we awkwardly got to experience the single weirdest winner reveal of all time – potentially until Winners at War, I guess – as Andrew G was wheeled out to talk to Jonathan who was trapped in the US because of travel restrictions, before he tallied re-written votes in the US … which ultimately crowned David the winner of the game. Much to poor Sharn and her family’s bitter disappointment via satellite from their lounge room.

Tragically poor Sharn’s biggest fears came to a reality and while once again she came second, she does hold a tonne of records which prove her to be one of our best players. Despite how messy her second game may have been as her fears started to play on her mind. As such, I am so glad I was able to be on hand to once again provide her culinary comfort with a hearty batch of Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies!

Now lamb shanks and I have a complicated past. I mean, despite what you may think, I’m not a fan of sucking meat off a bone (well, in the kitchen). But in pie form? Sign me up! Earthy, rich and encased in a gorgeously buttery pastry, there is no better may to eat your feelings.

Enjoy!

Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 lamb shanks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, finely sliced
4 celery stalks, finely sliced
2 onions, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 ½ cup red wine
1 ½ cup beef stock
6 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
2 bay leaves
2-4 sheets shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 sheets butter puff pastry

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss through the shanks to coat. Heat a good lug of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and add the shanks, cooking for five minutes or until nice and caramelised on the outside. Transfer to a plate to rest.

Add the remaining oil to the dutch onion and saute the carrot, celery, onion and garlic for five minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further minute. Repeat the process with the wine, followed by the stock before adding the thyme, bay leaves and shanks to the pan, covering and popping in the oven to cook for 2 ½-3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.

Once cooked, remove from the oven – leaving it on – and carefully remove the meat from the bone and roughly chop into largish chunks. Return the meat to the pan, remove the bay leaves and cook over medium heat until the sauce has reduced. 

To assemble, line 8 individual pie dishes with a square of shortcrust pastry to fit the mould. Line each and fill with some baking weights. Pop them on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to cook for ten minutes, or until the pastry is starting to cook. Remove from the oven and remove the baking paper and weight combo.

Fill each dish with some of the shank mixture and brush around the rim of each dish with some egg, followed by closing with the puff pastry and cutting a little slit into the top. Brush the pie tops with more egg and transfer to the oven to bake for about half an hour, or until golden and puffed.

Then devour.


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Frosé-K

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sharn decided it would be a good idea to continue playing in the middle, despite how much heat it was clearly causing her. She continued to make more and more promises to Vakama, followed by pledging her undying loyalty to Moana and David and given each alliance will make up a bulk of the jury, she is pretty much a non-entity. After Brooke took out immunity again, David and Shonee became the respective targets for each side. Knowing he was in danger, David showed off his idol to woo or intimidate Sharn. While Shonee played for the jury, calling out Sharn for flip flopping and making promises to them, screwing her should she choose to not flip. Which she obviously didn’t, sending the iconic Shonee to the jury (again).

The weather was miserable the next day, no doubt in retaliation for the heinous boot of Queen Shonee. Sadly Moana has no clue, however, and was thrilled by the turn of events, glad that her bestie Sharn proved to David and Tarzan that she was loyal to them until the end. Despite how boring that may be for us at home. Sharn and Moana caught up in the shelter, with Sharn breaking down over missing her family and hoping to prove to her kids that she can win, given she came so close last time. She then spoke about her uncertainty in trusting David, though was hopeful that him showing her the idol was honest on his part. She then mentioned – again – how close she came to winning last time and hot damn, she is losing again at final tribal, isn’t she?

Brooke meanwhile was thrilled to have made it as far as she has, disappointing me by not acknowledging the tragedy of losing Shonee. Wait, no, she and AK were well pissed, heartbroken and desperately want to get revenge on Sharn, post haste and damn – GET THEM BROOKE! I mean, she then cut laps of the beach to psych them out. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen. Tarzan continued to play his own game, picking about 20 pawpaws for everyone and then wandering around aimlessly. And for some reason, I am shocked by this completely expected behaviour. AK thankfully was still simmering in his juices, handing some salty sass to Moana and Sharn. Continuing the whip around, Moana too was thrilled about how close her allies all are to her, though she was starting to get nervous about the growing bond between Sharn and David. Moana pulled her aside to casually test her loyalty, and when she didn’t mention knowing about Dave’s idol, Moana seemed to be pissed. But alas, no, she told Sharn to continue playing Dave while she works on Tarzan. And the four can continue voting out the minority.

Are the greatest endgame EVER ads the new Sue’s big move?

My dear sweet Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge which was a beast of a challenge where the tribe would race to swim out to a pontoon, run through obstacles, leap up a ladder, collect a monkey fist from a tower, slide down, get to the shore use the monkey fist to release puzzle pieces and – deep breath – solve the puzzle. David tragically got out to an early lead, though our new Queen Brooke was nipping at his heels. And thankfully overtook him at the monkeyfist. While Sharn, Tarzan and Moana caught up with the leaders, AK became paralysed with fear at the top of the ladder. Which led to some sweet cheering from Brooke while she desperately tried to snag her puzzle pieces, eventually resulting in him jumping and getting back in the challenge.

Despite Brooke earning good karma with her kind cheering, David, Moana and Tarzan reeled in their puzzle pieces in quick succession, while the other three just tried to snag the pieces. Out of nowhere AK snagged his puzzle pieces, with a massive comeback. Sharn started to get salty about not being able to catch up since she and Brooke were so far behind, which seemed to be enough to give Brooke a boost. Almost instantly she snagged her bag, before getting to work at the puzzle table and quickly solving the word phrase that had stumped everyone, winning yet another immunity. And more importantly proving Sharn to be a very unreliable narrator.

Back at camp everyone pretended to be happy for Brooke while she casually laughed about spoiling their tribal council plans. Well, until she realised that her victory put a nail in AK’s coffin and it started to make her feel guilty. Moana, Sharn and David all casually whispered about obviously voting AK, hoping that the next tribal will be their chance to get her out. Which again, I hope is wrong. Moana started to get nervous about them potentially having an idol and saving AK, but everyone felt there would be no benefit to split the votes. Meanwhile alone at the shelter Brooke and AK agreed to vote for Sharn before hunting for idols, hoping that their votes would be enough to get rid of her. Sadly for AK though, Moana decided to channel Andrea and babysit him the entire time, putting salt in the wound that is his likely elimination.

He then also straight up tipped out all of the water from the well to get rid of his shadow, which worked as Moana went to camp to dob on him. This bought him ten minutes of peace for hunting, which tragically proved fruitless. Though David did follow him and Brooke into the jungle to check in on them and nervous about them finding the idol, asked them who they were planning to vote for. Wisely they filled him in on the plan to vote Sharn, suggesting that if they didn’t split it would be a bad idea, and as such, he simply needs to vote for Sharn to guarantee his safety. Sharn then started to sense danger and panicked to Moana and Tarzan, which the former quickly seemed to allay. Though Sharn did say she never wants to be on the jury, and honestly, it seems more and more likely that she won’t, and she will be roasted at final tribal council twice, instead.

At this tribal council though, AK sadly spoke about the inevitability of getting voted out at this tribal council. He then spoke about his fear at the challenge and how brutal it was to watch his chances slip away from that moment. Through tears, he then spoke of his pride at Brooke and her achievements and oh my god, I think I love AK. Sharn pretended that his boot isn’t inevitable, and commenced trying to soften her flip flopping by explaining that everything she did to humiliate the minority and get their hopes up, was all done for the alliance. Moana and Tarzan tried to pull out a bit of a cheeky stick to the plan before Jonathan pointed out that if they don’t have a plan B, they’re handing the power over to AK and Brooke. Sharn tried to lowkey threaten her allies to not turn on her, while David was simply hopeful that everyone would stick together.

With that the tribe voted and as Jonathan was just about to read the votes, he offered the person that felt in danger to accept an offer for a trial by fire instead of reading the votes. The remaining four people would then need to select a competitor unanimously, and if not, draw rocks to find out who would be competing. If the volunteer wins, nobody goes home and if the challenger wins, the volunteer leaves. Obviously AK selected to go through with a trial by fire, which gave Queen Brooke the chance to be even more of a bad arse, refusing to budge on anyone but Moana competing against him. Again fearing rocks, everyone bowed down and forced Moana to face off with him. Sadly the badassery was all for nought and while AK worked hard, Moana once again dominated a fire making challenge and sent him out of the game in sixth place.

Given how I fell in love with AK this season, I pulled him in for an epic hug as soon as he got out of the 4WD at the Jury Villa. I apologised for my shadiness his first time playing the game, explaining that I saw a lot of myself in him and it hurt to watch a superfan go out in the way he did. Which I guess, is why his second go was so touching to me. With that, we laughed, we cried and toasted to our newfound friendship with a jug (or two) of Frosé-K.

Being white, gay, in my 30s and basic, I am obviously the perfect kind of person to love frosé. I mean, it is like a rosé slushy – does life get better than that? (The answer is no, no it does not).

Enjoy!

Frosé-K
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
3 cups frozen strawberries
750ml dry rosé wine
2 tbsp raw caster sugar
3 cups ice

Method
Pop the strawberries in a blender and blitz to a pulp. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds – which reminds me of a time I was an apprentice in a kitchen and was made to de-seed strawberries. Spoiler alert, I did such a good job the chef questioned why it was a joke. Also, I hate the feel of strawberry seeds on your tongue, which is why it made total sense to me.

In any event, pop the seedless pulp back in the blender with the rosé, sugar and ice. Blitz again until gorgeously slushy.

Pop into a jug or some glasses and down, gloriously. 


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Duck Risottozryski

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, we witnessed the rise of the previously invisible who orchestrated a blindside of Tegan to break-up the power couple. Sadly for him, she wasn’t eliminated from the game and was instead sent to Exile Beach to await the next boot with them battling out to return to the game. Once again the Contenders lost the challenge, with Benji leading the charge to take out Tegan’s ally Heath and guarantee one of them leaves the game. Sadly for him, Heath played his idol negating all votes but his and sending Anita to Exile where she cleared the air with Tegan and was swiftly beaten at the challenge and sent from the game for good. Upon winning her way back into the game, Tegan was heartbroken to have kicked Anita out of the game though the departing Anita gave her a peptalk to get her revenge, and hot damn, I’d be terrified to have her back at camp if I were Benji.

The Contenders returned to camp where Tegan quickly got to work making everyone feel awkward as hell before letting them simmer in their guilt and getting water with Heath. Back at camp, Paige told the rest of the tribe they needed to own up to things and clear the air with Tegan if they wanted to last. They then all shared the stories that led to Tegan’s boot, with Benji’s lie outed without Tegan even needing to get her hands dirty. Though obvi, Benji wasn’t concerned. Meanwhile back at the well, Tegan filled Heath in on everything she learnt from Anita and told him that they both need to stop playing Mr & Mrs Nice Guy and go for the jugular.

Jonathan arrived on the scene for the immunity challenge where Tegan and Zach assured him that the Contenders hashed everything out and were ready to win, however given the fact we haven’t seen the Champions at all this episode, it isn’t looking likely. Anyway the challenge required sick people to run up a slippery slope to fill buckets full of holes with water and fill up a tube to release a box filled with a ball, which two people will use to complete a wall maze. As is oft the case, Mat got the Champions out to an early lead however Benji closed the gap and got the Contenders out in front. Well, until the Champions stripped down – damn boys and their speedos! Mat, Brian, Steve … swoon! – and overtook the Contenders, giving Jackie and Sam the lead for the maze. After narrowly missing the hole on their first attempt, the Contenders managed to catch up. Well until Zach and Robbie choked and Jackie and Sam secured victory for the Champions. Again.

As Tegan promised, she returned back to camp ready to out all of Benji’s lies and scorch the earth, so to speak until Fenella spoke up and outed the reason why she turned on Tegan. This set her off, saying he was a bullshitter and everyone needed to know who they were playing with. Benji then straight up lied to everyone, saying how he simply pointed out that they were a pair, then trying to say Heath planned to turn on the girls. This then lead to an epic moment where Heath and Tegan went full mum and dad mode, chastising him for lying and pointing out that the bromance are far more dangerous than their pair.

Benji then ran off to the shore to hide his tears by washing his face before pulling Zach aside to reaffirm they need to put enough doubt in their tribemates mind. While Paige didn’t buy his bullshit a second time, he was confident that he’d be able to convince Shonee and Fenella he never lied. While they looked to be all in with his story, they also seemed genuine when Tegan pulled them aside to clear the air and build their relationship back up. All was forgiven and they were ready to join Tegan in the next vote, though only if they vote out Zach instead of Benji since he is far more dislikable. While Tegan felt uncomfortable not taking Benji out, Shonee shared with us that she needed to keep her options open and felt Zach was more expendable to her game.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to shade their string of losses and Tegan for previously being booted from the game. Tegan admitted that she had been floating through the game prior to her boot, and vowed to fight hard for the rest of the game. Jonathan asked Benji for his opinion, with him once again trying to dance around the truth with very much conviction. Tegan called him out for lying about her targeting the girls to get them to turn on her, saying that Anita told her that Robbie and Benji instigated it despite their denials. Shonee confirmed that it was all true, with Benji attempting to stutter out a defence before being schooled by Tegan like she is the Michelle to his Purple Ben.

Zach tried to jump in and defend Benji, saying Tegan lied and planned to take him out with her pointing out that she never actually spoke to him and he knew that she targeted him since he voted her out. Zach admitted that he was nervous about the upcoming vote, with Tegan pointing out that the boys strengths haven’t really been helping them and the girls are far stronger than he gives them credit for. Zach continued to shrink the target on Benji’s back, saying the girls were letting down the team much to the disgust of all the women on the tribe. You could see them completely shut down as he tried to dig himself out of the hole, with the girls all jumping in to talk why he is useless and failing the tribe and Robbie and Benji looking more and more defeated.

Which was well placed as Heath and the girls joined together … with the help of Benji and Robbie, to take out Zach, despite the fact that Benji completely had his game blown up by the Exile Beach twist. While Zach had been rehabbing his image over the last couple of episodes, he was letting his misogynistic flag fly when he walked into Loser Lodge. Thankfully like a leftie woman, I don’t tolerate white heterosexual male privilege, nor do I take kindly to fragile masculinity. As such, I went to town on him for all his shitty statements throughout his ten episodes on television and proceeding to roll him the tapes of real man Steve Willis, breaking down about his desire to be loved. Real men cry, bitch.

Anyway, I went on such a rage filled tangent that I made Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth II hurricane speech look like a children’s story … so then I whipped him up a delightfully salty Duck Risottozryski to apologise for going so hard when I know that every good show needs a good villain.

 

 

I love Duck Risotto. It is amazing – deliciously gamey, sweet, creamy and packing a punch, it is near perfection. And while some would say his statements about women made him less than deserving of such a beautiful dish, I made him promise to do better in the future.

To quote Melania Trump, when they go low, we go high. She said that, right?

Enjoy!

 

 

Duck Risottozryski
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 duck breasts, skin on
1L vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
3 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
⅔ cup white wine
500g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan, grated
100g Goats Cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat until scorching. Add the duck breasts, skin down and cook for about five minutes, or until super crispy. Flip and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and leave to rest for five ten minutes before slicing into 5mm thick … slices. Keep warm.

Meanwhile place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Finally heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes or so, or until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, or until well coated and starting to lose their colour at the end. Add the wine and stir until it is almost absorbed before adding the stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until each additional has almost absorbed. This will take about fifteen minutes total.

While you’re cooking the rice, place the fatty duck pan back on the heat and cook the mushrooms until browned and glorious. Add the parsley, stir and remove from heat.

When the stock has all been used up, add the lemon juice and zest, thyme, mushrooms and parmesan, and a good whack of salt and pepper before stirring to combine. Crumble over the Goats Cheese and cooked duck, and serve immediately.

Then devour and wash the dishes like Zach would want. Well, if you’re a dislikable, leftie female.

 

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Alan Meatballs

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Poultry, Snack

Ok, so full disclosure – I didn’t really think about category diversity when organising this year’s soiree. For that, I am sorry … but also, not sorry – these people are my friends and you’ll just have to accept that we’ll be spending a lot of time discussing the screenwriting categories.

Adding to my flock of seagullsscreenwriters is my dear friend, Best OG Screenplay winner and – of course – ex-lover Alan Ball.

I first met Al whilst working on Cybill – him writing, me as part of Chrissie B’s entourage – and our attraction was instantaneous. After a torrid affair, I broke things off assuming he would amount to nothing – I don’t admit it often but I was wrong. He was obviously heartbroken and injected his pain into a little known screenplay called American Beauty.

Yes, you’re welcome – I inspired the classic film.

After seeing that I was wrong I tried to grovel my way back into his heart – well I don’t know if I grovelled but I definitely recall being on my knees – and the Oscars. While he sadly declined my offer to rekindle our romance and we’ve helped each other creatively ever since.

Fun fact: I’m the one who inspired him to cast Skarsy in True Blood. Again, you’re welcome.

Now for the most important part of the event – oh, after catching up with my dear friend obvs – Al agreed that Manchester by the Sea will take out Best OG and Moonlight will take out Best Adapted Screenplay … though Lion and Arrival are worthy challengers.

Given my love of Alan and (his) balls, there was no way I was going to whip up anything other than my Alan Meatballs.

 

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You know I love balls as much as Jenna Maroney but these minimally altered lil’ Meatball Shop numbers are as pure perfection as Skarsky (obvi NSFW). Big, thick and juicy, they are everything you want in and around your mouth and are absolutely exploding with flavour.

Enjoy!

 

alan-meatballs-2

 

Alan Meatballs
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good lug of olive oil
500g chicken mince
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
30ml white wine
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp ground chilli
a generous whack of freshly ground black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Combine all the ingredients – excluding the olive oil – in a large bowl and scrunch together in your hands.

Roll the mixture into a golf ball size, packing firmly as you go. You will need to wet your hands frequently as you go to smooth out the edges. Place on the sheet and repeat until done – you should end up with a dozen balls.

Place into the oven and bake for twenty, or until firm and crisp. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving with your favourite salad or as sliders … and devouring.

 

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Zendgria

Drink

As you know – well should, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it … I got Susan Lucci inducted too – I am a Disney Legend and as part of that honour, I am required to mentor young Disney stars.

I don’t if that is a blanket rule for the legends but Walt asked me on his deathbed, so I kind of feel obliged.

After releasing dear Miley Cyrus into the wild, I was lost trying to find a replacement until Zendaya came along. As soon as I laid eyes on Z, I knew she would become my new mentee as she is the only person that possessed even half of my talent.

That isn’t a dig, it’s just that I’m amazing.

Anyway my tutelage has led to Z’s career blossoming from Disney starlet, to DWTS runner-up and more importantly a starring role in the upcoming Spider-Man movie.

While I would normally relish the opportunity to destroy someone reaching my dream – Spider-Man can shoot his web on me any day – Z is just such a sweet girl, that it makes me happy to see her succeed.

Plus, she owes 99% of it to me.

Like there is a rule to not wear white after Labour Day, I have a rule to not be sober after Halloween. Now before you get all grumpy, yes Zendaya is under 21 but she was visiting Australia so she can participate in my post-Halloween drinkstravaganza.

Particularly when it doubled as a meeting to finalise the signature cocktail for her 21st next year which we decided will be a Zendgria.

 

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We wanted something that adequately highlighted the fruity influence I’ve had on her life but also had a depth and a richness, like her many talents.

Our decision really was a no brainer – enjoy!

 

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Zendgria
Serves: 6. Lol – nope, 1.

Ingredients
2 apples
2 oranges
1 lemon
750ml red wine aka a bottle
½ cup brandy
¼ cup cointreau
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups soda water, chilled

Method
Core and dice the apples, and add them to a large pitcher.

Slice the oranges and lemon, and add them to the pitcher.

Pour the wine, brandy and cointreau into the pitcher, sprinkle in the caster sugar and cinnamon. Stir, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, add soda water, give and quick stir and down. Greedily.

 

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Alanis Morecchiette

Main, Pasta

First connecting with Alanis in the early 90s truly was like winning the lottery, thankfully sans dying the next day.

It should really come as no surprise that I’m a dear friend of Dave Coulier – who I really should see sometime soon – after the extended period of time Annelie and I spent on the set of Full House.

Dave was dating Alanis at the time and introduced us to her, knowing that our musical ability would be a real help to her then fledgeling career. While they broke up soon after, we continued to work with Alanis and birthed her opus, Jagged Little Pill.

Fun fact, we even co-wrote You Oughta Know about Dave.

While there was a period of ugliness after she started dating the man who should have rightfully been mine, Ryan Reynolds, we found our way back together after they ended their engagement and have been close ever since. And before you even try to speculate, the police have never been able to prove I was involved in the stalking and threats that lead to their break-up.

Aside from helping me celebrate the milestone, Alanis wanted to drop by as she needed to reconnect with her muse – me – to help produce her next album. While I have been really busy, I knew that taking the time to reconnect was all that we would need to start the journey to create more beautiful music together.

The Alanis Morecchiette also provided a whole lot of inspiration, obviously.

 

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Despite orecchiette making me feel like I’m sitting down to a meal with Mike Tyson or Van Gogh, there is a certain something about the texture of these babies that elevate them from a conchiglie. Obviously this is me being crazy, maybe it is the sauce – the spiced sausage, chilli, mustard, peppers and basil cut through the creamy wine sauce to give you a comforting meal that packs a punch.

Enjoy!

 

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Alanis Morecchiette
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g orecchiette
600g spiced Italian sausages, meat removed from casings into small meatballs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¾ cup white wine
3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp chilli flakes
¾ cup double cream
1 cup basil, thinly sliced
zest of one lemon
¼ cup shaved parmesan

Method
Cook the paste in a large pot of salted water, as per packet instructions.

Heat a large pan over medium heat and fry the sausage, stirring, until browned, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add the wine and simmer for a couple of minutes, deglazing the pan. Add the mustard, chilli and cream, reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the basil, zest, parmesan and orecchiette. Serve, slathered in further parmesan and some additional basil.

Devour.

 

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Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor – yes, I have to stipulate that now – Vavau neared extinction after the tribes absorbed resulting in major casualties in sweet, angel Craig and Aganoan goddess Phoebe.

We opened up right on schedule with the melancholic Vavau tribe, now down to three comparing their level of skeletal-ness. I literally can not pick a winner of this competition though.

Thankfully the tribes convened for what they thought was their next challenge where the Vavauns were surprised to discover they’ve been saved from themselves as the tribes actually merged and were treated to the Survivor Auction.

Conner walked away with the first two items, blowing all his money in the process, Sam bought some mediocre looking nachos, Brooke got a very cheap bath – why did no one bid against her? – while Lee got the ultimate prize – an advantage – for only $80, before Nick paid $440 for a covered item … which also turned out to be an advantage in the game.

The tribe arrived at their new camp, the former Vavau tribe, which made the old Saanapuans wistful for their days of opulence over at their camp. Instead they were stuck in the Survivor slums which Kristie and Phoebe attempted to burn to the ground but a week ago.

They immediately got to work scrambling as one tribe, with Flick leading the charge against Conner while Sue rallied the counter alliance to topple Saanapu. I’m not sure who should tell them the immunity challenge hadn’t even occurred yet?

Lee then disappeared to the well to discover his advantage, which is to block someone voting at tribal council.

Nick then disappeared to the well, at a different time, where he discovered he paid $360 more than Lee for an idol clue rather than a guaranteed advantage. Thankfully he found the idol … however sadly it was just after being sprung by Lee who is now wary of him.

The dominant alliance then found a pink piece of cloth and decided friendship bracelets were the best way to highlight the pecking order before they arrived at their first individual immunity challenge.

Sadly I was not competing as I would have dominated, I’ve never met someone that grips a pole quite like me!

After what seemed like an eternity, the poles got wet and slippery – according to JoJo, I didn’t actually see rain and think he was just feeling inspired by Probsty – before Kylie’s memory lapsed and Brooke took out immunity.

We returned to camp for the actual scrambling where we were reintroduced to Flick who seems to struggle with pronunciation before Nick got to work over-explaining a vote split, Sam worked his way into my good books by trying to turn it on Nick and Sue got to work dominating with a plan to screw Nick’s split vote.

The tribe – oh did I mention they called themselves Fia Fia? They did – arrived at tribal with me quite confused as to what would happen. Flick was confident, Nick was quietly confident and Conner was trying his best to throw the target on to someone else.

Anyone.

JoJo then opted to call out the friendship bracelets and attempted to throw them all under the bus as we headed into the vote, however poor Conner ran out of luck and found himself voted out.

While I’m sad that Sue’s plan didn’t come to fruition just for Nick’s tantrum alone, Conner was a legitimate threat and made sense however telling him how much of a scrappy underdog he was, isn’t what he wanted to hear as he stepped out of the game.

I’ve recently been teaching law in Canberra which is where I connected with Conner – seriously, why universities continue to hire me is beyond puzzling. As you can tell from the game, Conner is perceptive and could pick up on the fact I was not a qualified lawyer or professor. Despite this, his kind heart got in the way and we started a friendship despite his better judgement.

Thankfully for him though, that friendship meant I knew exactly what he needed as he exited the game – his favourite, my Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune.

 

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Hearty, warm, spicy and soothing – this dish is the epitome of comfort food while also packing a punch. Delicate saffron, a kick of cumin and the tart olives? Enjoy!

 

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Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup white wine, or as much as your drinking allows
pinch of saffron threads
6 chicken thighs fillets, diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
1 ½ cups short-grain rice
3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 cup pitted green olives, rinsed and drained
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, drained and roughly chopped
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the wine and saffron in a bowl and allow to steep.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook until browned.

Reduce the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes and paste and cook stirring for a minute. Add the wine/saffron and bay leaves and cook until reduced slightly, about five-ten minutes.

Stir in the rice and stock, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking for about half an hour stirring occasionally. Or until the liquid has all absorbed.

Remove from the heat, stir through the olives and capsicum and leave to stand for about ten minutes.

Then serve and devour.

 

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