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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Cheevieburger Nachoda

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribe turned up to the latest immunity challenge where Jeff gagged them with a(nother) twist. They were split into two groups of five and each group would compete for their own immunity and then vote a person out. Oh and the person that lasts the longest overall would win a reward for their group. After Erika took out immunity over Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer, she noped out of the challenge handing reward and immunity to Xander. The losers ventured back to Ua to strategise with Shan wanting to target Heather and Ricard planning to get rid of Naseer. And after Naseer told Heather that she would definitely be going home, it motivated Ricard to loop Erika and Heather in, with them banding together to eliminate Naseer.

The victors returned to camp and as they joyfully smashed their stew, Xander was thrilled to hold the balance of power in their group given he has immunity, an idol and an extra vote. Evvie meanwhile wasn’t overly nervous since they have a good bond with Deshawn and was formerly very tight with Xander. As such, the duo put their differences aside and decided that targeting Liana would be their best bet for moving forward. Deshawn meanwhile was floating not voting out Evvie to Danny, who obviously quickly shut things down. Danny then approached Liana to lock in the vote for Evvie while Liana was nervous about what exactly Xander would do with the idol knowing that if that happens, it may end up sending her home.

Liana then boldly approached Xander and asked him to join the Evvie vote and even had the nerve to suggest that he should hand over his idol until after tribal council to make her feel comfortable with the plan, which he wisely shut down with a hell fucking no.

Xander and Evvie then caught up with Deshawn and Danny, suggesting that Liana threw their names out there and while Deshawn was all in on aligning with them to get rid of her, Danny still looked well and truly pissed. As such he pulled Xander aside and told him that Evvie is far more threatening than Liana and if they want to work together, he thinks getting rid of them is the better idea first and then they can look at Liana.

As the group arrived at tribal they were gagged to discover Naseer had immediately joined the jury. Danny spoke about how stressful it is given Xander is the only person safe. Xander meanwhile focused on how great the stew was before Deshawn brought things back to the game, pointing out that it is a tough choice given the group is so small and he had wanted to work with the person that he thinks is getting booted. Liana spoke about the calmness of the smaller tribal, though admitted it feels so much more dangerous. Xander admitted that having immunity gave him a little extra power while Evvie admitted that everyone was being particularly cagey back at camp. Including them.

Everyone in the tribe spoke about how they are fairly confident their plan is the one that is going to succeed which made Deshawn point out that means someone is clearly lying in the situation. Evvie then likened tribal council to being on a rollercoaster and how the fun part is surviving the chaos and fighting through your fear about dying, while Deshawn pointed out that is what is about to happen to someone’s game. Which obviously meant it was time to vote, with poor Evvie realising they were the one blindsided from the game.

While it was a bit chaotic getting everything together in Ponderosa, I was thrilled to be there to support my dear friend Evvie. Well, after supporting Naseer because I have a process and like me mid-breakdown, they just need to trust the process. 

I first met Evvie when she started her PHD during one of my many scams while pretending to be a college Professor. I also coached Lori Loughlin’s daughters in rowing, but that is another story for another time. In any event, as it usually does, the college soon realised I have no qualifications to be a professor and I was quickly fired, though Evvie being kind, we kept in touch and soon became the best of friends. As such, I knew the only thing that could cure her post-boot blues were a big, hot Cheevieburger Nachoda.

You know I love burgers and will find anyway to turn a dish into one and well, this little number thankfully turned out delightfully. Salty pickles, creamy cheese and the whack of onion team perfectly with the corn chips and well, just make it and find out how great it is.

Enjoy!

Cheevieburger Nachoda
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil
500g beef mince
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag corn chips
8 slices American cheese
1 small onion, diced
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 cups shredded iceberg, washed and dried
2-4 dill pickles, sliced
2 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp ketchup

Method
Heat a lug of olive in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mince and Worcestershire, breaking it up into largish chunks – I failed at that – with the back of a wooden spoon. Season, reduce heat to low and leave warm.

Place the corn chips in four bowls and heat for a minute or so in the microwave, top with a couple of slices of American Cheese, followed by the mince, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard and ketchup.

Then devour, greedily.


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Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely

Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the three tribes converged with Jeff, not to merge, but to live through a complicated double-episode to get to merge. You see, the tribeless castaways were split into groups, competed in a challenge and exiled Erika who then had the power to flip the results of the challenge meaning she and the losing group were all immune and guaranteed passage to the merge while the former victorious six were to compete in the first immunity challenge of the season. Ricard won immunity which led to bedlam back at camp as Liana and Shan’s super majority planned to get rid of former Yase Evvie. Sadly for them, the plan went awry as Xander passed his idol to Tiffany so that Liana couldn’t steal his idol, which made everyone nervous enough to split the votes between Evvie and Sydney. And while Xander didn’t play his idol, Sydney did play her Shot in the Dark but sadly came up short as she exited the competition.

And then the remaining castaways officially merged to form the Viakana tribe.

Back at camp Xander and Evvie were thrilled by how expertly they got Liana to burn her advantage and save themselves. He was less thrilled about the fact Evvie had shared the information about his idol with Deshawn on their little adventure, making him question whether he can trust Evvie and Tiffany moving forward. Evvie meanwhile was heartbroken to have lost their relationship with Liana, given she was the one they vibed with best on OG Yase.

The next morning Evvie caught up with Deshawn as the first step of their apology tour, assuring him that there are no hard feelings between them. When they made it to Shan, she admitted that she thought Yase were a tight knit group so was shocked by how quickly Liana flipped on them. Tiffany and Liana meanwhile were catching up while Xander assured Shan that he and Liana have no connection moving forward while Evvie too was scrambling to try and make new bonds. Deshawn, Erika and Heather meanwhile went for a walk to get water with Deshawn assuring them that he isn’t buying the Yase trio apology and bonding tour and as such, he is ready to push them out of the game one after the other, after the other.

Jeffrey returned for the first post-merge reward challenge where they were promptly divided into two teams to compete. Oh and since the numbers were uneven, one person got to sit out on a bench where Jiffy had hidden an advantage. But back to the challenge, where each group would leap from a ramp before diving to retrieve puzzle pieces. They then load the pieces into a boat, row them to a pontoon and then solve the puzzle. While Erika drew the odd rock to sit out, Xander took pity on her, offering to trade out with her and forgo his chance at a sweet grilled cheese reward. Oh and he didn’t even find the poorly hidden advantage, which given he is a super fan, I find disappointing.

But anyway, the yellow team got out to an early lead thanks to Liana and Shan however it quickly was blown by poor Heather slowing things down. Proving that she only gets airtime when she is bombing a challenge. Both tribes, sorry groups, were neck and neck as they made their way to the puzzle deck and then, given Evvie had practiced the exact puzzle at home, they solved it in a matter of minutes and won reward for them, Erika, Ricard, Danny and Deshawn.

Back at camp Erika was positively giddy to see their bountiful feast and quickly packed up to eat it away from the jealous eyes of the losers. Who coincidentally all lost but a week before. Tiffany was angry, Shan and Liana were crying while Xander tried to make sure they were all ok. Making an extremely quick turn around, Shan dried her tears and was feeling galvanised in the game, focused on the fact she is here to win rather than eat toasties. Shan took a plan to Liana and Naseer before roping in Xander, who admitted that he likes missing out on winning rewards because being left with the losers, they are normally emotional and open to flipping.

Not upset by the loss was Naseer who was staying positive because he just didn’t want to ruin his day. Instead he collected a bounty of papaya and cheered up his group. That is until the winners returned and Ricard tried a piece of papaya, leading to Shan flipping out on him for daring to eat food that was meant for the losing group. And while I would be just as angry as Shan, it was a bit OTT. And well, Ricard just wasn’t very bright when he could have waited until nobody was looking to avoid pissing people off.

The tribe reconvened with Jeff for the immunity challenge where everyone would have to balance on their tippy toes to hold a block between their head and a beam above them. But to make things interesting, Jeff told them that they could sit out for a single portion of rice or they could negotiate a number of sit outs for Jeff to give them three-days worth of rice for the tribe. After settling on five people, Shan and Naseer were willing to give up their shot until nobody joined them. With that Xander asked Jeff to bring it down to four, assuring the group that he would sit out if just one other person joined him which was enough to get Ricard to step out.

As the four sit-outs joined the bench the rest of the tribe stepped up to their frame with Deshawn, Erika and Tiffany all dropping within seconds, begging the question, why didn’t they just offer to begin with. Danny soon followed, leaving Liana, Heather and Evvie to battle it out for victory. Just like that, I jinxed Liana and after three minutes, only two remained. Wait, no, make that after just four minutes, Evvie took out a much needed immunity victory.

Back at camp Evvie was overjoyed to have spoiled everyone’s plan to get rid of her, which meant that Liana was ready to pivot to force Xander to burn his idol and for the group to boot Tiffany instead. Shan, Naseer, Danny and Ricard caught up to lock in a split vote between Tiffany and Xander. Well, until Danny and Shan caught up with the former suggesting that they should instead split the vote between Tiffany and Naseer to blindside him before he realises he is on the bottom of their alliance. They were joined by Deshawn who quickly grew frustrated with Shan’s bossy demands, pushing instead to get rid of Xander first because he is more threatening. And, you know, Naseer is a good provider and completely non-threatening.

After the duo hashed out their differences, Shan looped in Erika and Ricard before Xander joined them and was fed the lie that the plan was to split between Naseer and Tiffany. Well until Shan looped in Naseer, who was annoyed to have his name out there and as such, Shan found Xander and told him that instead, they are now going to get rid of Heather. When Shan caught up with Erika and Heather to tell them the plan, Queen Heather emerged and flipped out on Shan for putting her name out there giving she is screwed should there be an idol-palooza.

Oh and Tiffany was just wandering around to anyone and everyone to find a friend.

At tribal council Shan shared that she stepped out of the challenge because she just wanted everyone to be able to eat. Xander agreed that he wanted to ensure people that are struggling without food got to enjoy something – a genius reminder that some are starving and a few people are banking up the rewards – while Naseer just wanted everyone to be happy rather than safe. Heather and Tiffany both admitted that they didn’t step down because they feel like they could be on the block tonight. Danny meanwhile was feeling like the divisions weren’t clearcut and given how wild things played out at the last tribal council, he is ready to explode with nerves.

Then Shan said that she was just waiting for a comment to drop before everyone went nuts with paranoia. Evvie admitted that they have not been approached by anyone ahead of tribal council, while Danny said that he isn’t buying that they are feeling defeated given the Yases made a huge theatrical play about loyalty at the last tribal council before running around camp the next day swearing they were out to get one another. While Evvie argued that they were left to die by Xander and Tiffany at the last tribal council, I don’t think it was enough to convince Danny they were actually against each other.

Erika admitted that things are still new for the merged tribe and as such, even when plans are set, there is uncertainty right up until the torch is snuffed. Just as Jeff was sending everyone off to vote, Heather jumped up and started whispering to anyone and everyone to push the vote on Naseer while Ricard continued to tell Xander he should play his idol. When Shan learnt that Heather was planning to flip the vote to Naseer, she instead told everyone they should band together to get rid of Heather instead. While everyone else was on board with that plan, Deshawn wasn’t happy and then was patronised by Shan while Ricard just opted to beg Xander to burn his idol.

With this week’s annoying whispers out of the way, the tribe voted and despite all the chaos and showboating of tribal council, Tiffany – the original target – found herself exiting the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa. And boy did my heart break.

As Tiffany arrived at Ponderosa, I started to sob until she pulled me in for a hug and assured me that everything will be ok. That set me off on an epic rant, as it reminded me that actually, not everything will be ok because the intended Queen of the Season has had to settle for ruling Ponderosa. I mean, sure, that is one of the best places to land but given how iconic and entertaining Tiffany has been thus far, I wanted better for her. Instead, she got rewarded with a delicious Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely.

I have a passion for any food that you can add fries into, so a yiro that includes both regular fries and halloumi fries is perfection. The salty cheese, the spicy falafel and the creamy raita go perfectly to turn a day around. And make you feel like a winner.

Enjoy!

Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1-2 cups Jack Falafelee
4 fresh Pita Andre Breads
½ cup Greek yoghurt
125g Greek feta cheese, crumbled
1 Lebanese cucumber, deseeded, grated and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
juice and zest of a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g halloumi, cut into batons
2 tomatoes, roughly diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 baby cos, leaves torn and washed

Method
Start by prepping the fries, falafel and pita breads as per Jud, Jack and Peter’s recipes. Or, you know, get the store bought ones prepped.

Combine the yoghurt, feta, cucumber, garlic and lemon juice and zest. Season to taste, cover and pop in the fridge to chill.

Next heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and once hot, fry the halloumi for a few minutes each side until crisp and golden on each side.

To make your yiro, smear some tzatziki on your pita, top with some chips, halloumi, tomato, onion and parsley, followed by some falafel and another slather of tzatziki.

Wrap tightly and devour, like the Queen of Ponderosa.


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David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Survivor, Survivor 41, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Jeffrey was inspired by Sasha Velour by way of my girl Whitney, getting so emotional as he welcomed us back to the majestic islands of Fiji for the OG Survivor. Oh but while it is the 41st season, he warned us all to be ready – not because the winners are coming for you – as the game has evolved while in lockdown and is shorter but more dangerous than ever. The first change being that only one tribe won the first immunity challenge, with Yase and Ua attending back-to-back tribal councils with Abraham and Sara becoming the first and second boots of the new era.

We checked in with Ua the next day where the tribe was still recovering from tribal council. Brad was paranoid about how quickly JD switched things up and as such, worried he could no longer trust him. And then when he spotted JD and Ricard heading off to get water together, he obviously ran along the beach to beat them to the well and eavesdrop. After hearing them innocently speak about him for a bit, he darted back to camp where Shan was now more concerned by Brad as an ally rather than worried by JD now being calm. Shan took that information back to Ricard, with him admitting that he said nothing bad and assuring her it was all good. Oh and that Brad needs to be the next to go.

Meanwhile at Luvu, Deshawn was growing tired as he desperately continued to try and start fire for the tribe. Eventually the iconic Naseer got sick of watching on, jumped in and got the fire started in no time at all. Immediately making the tribe love him, given they would probably die without him according to Sydney, the de facto proxy for the audience. Oh and we also learnt that grew up without electricity or running water in Sri Lanka but he was always happy and damn, I couldn’t love him more at this point.

We finally checked in on Yase where Tiffany was absolutely exhausted, sharing that she would give anything for even a cup of rice. Back at camp, Xander was busy trying to finish the shelter before he pointed out that Voce had been gone a long time to Liana. With that, they suggested they split up to try and find him, with Xander putting this time to use finding the ‘Beware’ advantage, which told him to accept the risks and do everything it says, or put it back and leave it for someone else. Obviously he took the risk and learnt that he had found one third of an idol which will only gain power if the same idol is found at both of the other camps. To activate it, he simply needs to say a weird phrase and wait for the other two to say theirs at the same immunity challenge and voila, they all get idols. Sadly for him, he won’t have a vote for the rest of the game unless the other two idols are found.

Knowing it is fairly dangerous, he pulled his closest allies Evvie and Voce aside to fill them in, with Voce nervous about now being down a vote. While Evvie was more concerned about Xander’s growing power and not wanting to go to the end with men and then have their game disregarded which always seems to happen on Survivor. With that, Evvie took that information back to their true allies, Tiffany and Liana, and damn Xander, you in danger girl.

The tribes joined up with Jeffrey over the ocean for the immunity challenge where someone would dive in and retrieve a key before bringing it back to two others who would race over a series of obstacles and then swim to the end where the other two people will unlock puzzle pieces, which they obviously use to solve. Oh and in addition to immunity for the first two tribes to finish, they will also get either a massive bundle of fishing gear or just enough fishing gear. 

Xander got Yase out to an early lead, though couldn’t retrieve his key on the first go giving Sydney time to take the lead for Luvu. Danny meanwhile made quick work of the obstacles for Luvu while Brad and Tiffany struggled on the balance beam. Eventually Brad made it to the end while Naseer continued to power Luvu ahead while Shan joined him in lapping Tiffany. While poor Liana waited for her turn on the obstacles for Yase, Luvu and Ua quickly worked through the puzzle before Tiffany finally made it to the end. Sadly for Yase, however, Liana couldn’t overcome the disadvantage as Erika powered through another puzzle and took out victory for Luvu while Ua took out second place, sending Yase back to tribal council.

As winners of the challenge, Luvu were given the power to send someone from Yase for a special journey, quickly sending Evvie before they learnt they could send someone from either of the remaining tribes, with Deshawn quickly volunteering to go.

Back at camp, Tiffany quickly apologised for costing the tribe so much time in the challenge though she was quietly confident that she would still be safe at tribal council, given she and the girls were planning on getting rid of Xander. Speaking of Xander, he and Voce were worried about the girls sticking together and saving Tiffany given there are no guarantees a swap will save the tribe from themselves. Knowing they were mildly screwed, Voce approached Liana to see if she would be willing to get rid of Tiffany with her quickly agreeing that after the challenge it makes sense. Sadly for him however, Liana took the information back to Tiffany and while she assured her she was safe, she was still nervous Tiffany would do something stupid and screw it up for them.

Meanwhile Evvie and Deshawn arrived on the same island as last week and they quickly bonded as they ventured to the top. Knowing Yase will be at a disadvantage come merge, Evvie got to work charming Deshawn so that they would have an ally moving forward. They then shared that there is no way they can risk their vote with tribal council coming up and as such, he can safely take the extra vote and know that they won’t screw him over if they work together moving forward.  We then learnt a bit more about Deshawn, who worked hard to overcome all obstacles to become a doctor before pivoting back to Evvie’s charm offensive. They started by explaining that they plan to boot Xander over Tiffany at the upcoming tribal council before explaining in detail how the idols work this season.

Evvie returned to camp with their vote intact – you’re welcome for the extra vote, Deshawn – and quickly explained that the rules of the journey were the same as last week. They then went for a walk to the well with the girls, quickly locking in the blindside on Xander before returning to the boys and assuring them that they will join them to get rid of Tiffany. While Evvie was chatting with the boys, Tiffany was suggesting they should get rid of Voce instead, given Xander may play his idol, given she just doesn’t want to believe the situation with the idols. While Evvie calmly tried to explain the situation to her, assuring her that they read the note and it is actually powerless, Tiffany’s paranoia started to get to them, given it will be difficult to navigate around, should they stay aligned with her.

At tribal council Tiffany spoke about how disappointed in herself she was in the challenge, admitting that in the moment, she wanted the world to swallow her up. Xander spoke about how raw and exhausting it is to live the Survivor experience. Voce likened it to being in surgery and implored the tribe to find the wound and save their lives. We then learnt that his drive comes from his hardworking mother. Liana admitted that where the ‘bleeding’ Voce was talking about varies from person to person and as such, they need to find who they trust. This inspired Tiffany to remind them that challenges aren’t the only part of Survivor and as such, they need to vote with loyalty in mind. Evvie spoke about the fact the tribes could switch tomorrow and as such, strength means nothing and that is why the decisions are tough. Xander agreed that there is so much unknown and as such, there could be no switch in which case, strength becomes that much more important.

With that the tribe voted and somehow Liana and Evvie bought into Tiffany’s fear, joining her to send Voce out of the game against all odds. As he wandered into Loser Lodge, I ran into his arms and immediately started crying uncontrollably. I mean, I didn’t want any of the tribe to go, but it was still heartbreaking to lose my dear friend Voce so early. You see, we first met while working together as interns at the hospital that inspired Shonda Rhime’s to write Grey’s Anatomy and became the fastest of friends.

David is kind, wise, calm and most importantly, is a total babe and as such, I was absolutely shook to see him go so soon. But after catching up and splitting a David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake, everything seemed right with the world again.

I feel like I say it a lot, but Milk Bar is the greatest place on earth and every damn recipe is near perfection. Tragically, there isn’t any down under and as such, I need to try my best to recreate their cakes. And well, this one is pretty damn great! Earthy, sweet and oh so moist, this is the perfect way to mark a shocking early boot.

Enjoy!

David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake
Serves: 2 dear friends or 16 normal people.

Ingredients
140g unsalted butter at room temperature
275g raw caster sugar
60g muscovado sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
110g buttermilk
75g grapeseed oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
225g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup butterscotch chips
240g white chocolate
25g light corn syrup, warmed to soften
55g double cream, cold as possible
75g pumpkin puree
60g milk powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
55g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup Dulce de Nick Lachey
⅓ cup milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a quarter sheet pan with baking paper.

Combine the 115g butter , 250g of the caster sugar and the muscovado sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and cream on medium speed for about three minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and return to the mixer on low for a further minute before adding the eggs one at a time, allowing to mix for a further minute between each addition. Scrape down the side, crank to medium and beat for a further few minutes or until delicate and light.

Whisk the buttermilk, oil and vanilla in a jug and with the mixer on its lowest speed, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture in until it is all in and just combined. Scrape down the sides once again and then beat on high for five minutes or until homogeneous and airy.

Combine 185g of flour with the baking baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Fold the mixture through the wet ingredients before returning to the stand mixer on low for a minute or two, or until it is just coming together. Remove and fold through the butterscotch chips.

Pour into the lined sheet pan, smooth out the top and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cake is cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for half an hour before turning out and cooling completely.

Reduce the oven to 120C.

While the cake gets chill, combine 150g of white chocolate and 25g of butter in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melt in 15-second bursts, stirring after each go until velvety and smooth. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz while adding the corn syrup in a steady stream.

Once combined, add the heavy cream as the blender is still going until it comes together. It may look curdled for a bit, but it will come back together. Finally blend in the pumpkin puree, half a teaspoon of salt and the remaining cinnamon. Transfer to a bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to chill for a few hours.

Combine the 40g of the milk powder, the cornstarch and the remaining flour, caster sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands – or a spatula if it is too hot – until it starts to come together into large clumps. Spread them out on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until dry and sandy.

Melt the remaining white chocolate and leave to cool slightly.

Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and toss with the remaining milk powder and white chocolate for five minutes or until the clumps firm with the chocolate. Transfer to a baking sheet to set completely.

To assemble, cut the sheet cake into two 20cm circles and leave to the side. Using a 20cm cake ring lined with acetate, press the remaining cake crumbs into the base and soak with a third of the milk. Top with a third of the ganache, some crumbs followed by half of the dulce de leche.

Top with one of the discs of cake and repeat the process with the milk, ganache, crumb and ganache. Top with the remaining disc of cake, follow with the remaining milk and ganache before decorating with the remaining crumbs.

Cover, transfer to the freezer to set for a couple of hours.

When ready to eat, remove from the fridge, take out of the ring and acetate and leave to come to temperature for half an hour or so before devouring, joyously.


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Cheddar, Erickle & Abraham Toastie

Lunch, Main, Sandwich, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor we experienced the ultimate – not the best, that is still Micronesia or Heroes vs. Villains – battle with 20 former winners taking to the island to become the champion of champions. Or to Tony, the King to Sandra’s Queen. Then, well, Rona happened and the show was off air for a year and a half and well, let’s just say, it is a relief that Jeffrey L. Probst is back on the screen.

More specifically, back on the screen to welcome us back and share how much he missed us all. No prizes for guessing who was standing directly behind the camera when he delivered that monologue! (It was me, FYI). Anyway, after pointing out a new beware advantage we learnt that the shorter game came with smaller tribes, no food and a lot of risks to make the game even more dangerous.

With that, the three new tribes jetted their way through the ocean where we met Evvie from the Yase tribe, who was thrilled to kick off the new phase of the show. Danny meanwhile binged the show in lockdown and was ready to put his NFL past to work on the Luvu tribe. And well, Heather is my early fave, given she is an older woman and hella charming. JD meanwhile rubbed me the wrong way, given he is young and I am aging. As a frontline worker Voce was just glad to be away from the hospital, Shan was ready to give Pastors a bad name – I think – Sara was just glad to not be stuck in 2020, Deshawn was ready to leave isolation, Erica felt ready to be uncaged and Xander looks like he is going to be a wild twink. And that is a compliment. Think Shawn Mendes playing Survivor rather than being dopey and sweet?

Poor Heather was dropped as my favourite to make way for the iconic Genie, who is perfection personified. Hippy, happy and just so damn charming (I still love you too Heather). She was joined by 17 others on a ship in the middle of the ocean where Jeff officially welcomed them to the new season, with Abraham talking about how ecstatic he is to just not have to wear a mask. Erica meanwhile was grateful she wasn’t dropped from the cast due to the delay, while Naseer won my heart talking about learning English from watching Survivor when he came to America. I mean, what?! He is adorable. Heather spoke about watching the show from the start with her boyfriend, who became her husband AND now with their children. They are all just. So. Sweet.

Jeff then challenged everyone to grow and evolve and have difficult conversations, which led to him questioning his use of the phrase ‘come on in guys’. And after queer, female, icon Evvie told Jeffrey she was ok with, everyone agreed and the game was afoot. We learnt that the blue tribe would go by Luvu, the yellow tribe would be Yase while the green tribe is Ua. Jeffrey then put them to their paces in the first challenge where they would scavenge the boat for six oars for their boat before climbing in and paddling around a buoy to retrieve a key with the first ones to finish getting some meager supplies, while the rest would have nothing. While Luvu got out to an early lead, Ua was hot on their tail as Yase wandered aimlessly around the ship. Ua meanwhile dominated the rowing, pulling away and secured victory as Jeff read Yase for filth for their dodge performance.

Oh and we learnt that Luvu were so shit at paddling because they didn’t unclip the anchor which is hilarious and iconic and I love them.

We first followed Ua back to camp where we met Sara, who shared that her grandmother tragically passed away from COVID and she is out on the island for her, given she is a fellow Survivor fan. She was joined on the tribe with Queen Genie, rancher Brad – who is adorable and sweet – Ricard, JD and Shan. We learnt that Brad also lost his father a week before flying out for the game and ugh, this is going to be super rough if everyone has suffered COVID losses. On the more upbeat end of the spectrum, JD quickly put their flint to use and made fire for the camp and ugh, their joy was so pure.

The Yase tribe meanwhile were embarrassed to have bombed the challenge, though were glad to be together. In their shame. Yase was made up of Liana, Tiffany, Xander, Voce, Abraham and Queen Evvie, who discovered a challenge set up for them on the beach. They had the option to do a brain teaser counting triangles or two of them could gather enough water to fill two buckets and if they failed whichever one they chose, they wouldn’t get any supplies until after the first tribal council.  Voce obviously thought it was a horrible idea to do the bucket challenge, which he and Xander were forced to do while the rest of the tribe got to work setting up camp and searching for idols.

Over on Luvu they too opted for the bucket challenge, leaving Danny and Deshawn to get it done. Before immediately snapping bambo and losing their first buckets of water. Meanwhile at Ua, Queen Genie was opening up about her wife and the support she has always had from her traditional family and ugh, why am I crying so much? Ricard meanwhile was opening up to Sara about his husband and how they met just before he was due to foster a child. But given her husband is a total babe, he was smitten, they quickly got married and had a baby. But now he is guilty about leaving his pregnant husband at home with a toddler that doesn’t understand where he went and when he is coming back.

Back at Luvu, the guys quickly gave up on the bucket challenge and instead were hunting for an idol. Sadly for them, however, Naseer went to make sure they were ok and spotted them, making him backpedal on his plan to not talk strategy until the challenge was done, pulling in the rest of the tribe for a final four.

Over at Yase the boys were struggling with the challenge, though powering along as best they could. Meanwhile Evvie and Liana were catching up, suggesting that the boys would be bonded by the challenge and as such, they should form a duo and side with them. Liana then caught up with Abraham and instead of a generic getting to know you conversation, Abraham opted to shade Tiff for diving off the boat in the opening challenge and paint a target on her back. Sadly for him, Liana pulled her aside and filled her in on everything before we learnt that she had a preemptive mastectomy which ultimately discovered that she had early-stage cancer. Which is just honestly so mind blowing to think about.

We returned to Ua where JD was trying to lay low and not talk strategy in the hope of hiding his superfan status. Obviously that didn’t go unnoticed though as Ricard, Sara and Shan caught up by the well to talk about how hard he is trying to charm everyone and as such, they suggested they should get rid of him ASAP. Well, maybe not Shan, given she was actively forming a ride or die alliance with every single member of the tribe.

Deshawn and Danny meanwhile had given up on the hunt for their idols and returned to working on the challenge while Xander and Voce trudged away on their beach and honestly, all I know is that my basement is flooded. As were all the barrels, as both tribes secured themselves supplies. As soon as it was done, Sydney pulled Deshawn and Danny aside to fill them in on Naseer dobbing them in and DON’T DO THIS TO SWEET NASEER!?

The next day Sydney was living her best life at camp before a boat arrived requesting one person jump on with absolutely zero information. Imagine if someone just stumbled upon camp and suggested this and they went with it? Chilling. Anyway, obviously nobody wanted the target that volunteering would bring, leading to Danny throwing his hand up to avoid them debating all day. Meanwhile Xander gladly took the nomination over at Yase given everyone felt he was least likely to lie to them, leaving the duo to battle or join JD from Ua, thanks to him picking a white rock.

With that, the trio joined together on a new island where they learnt they would take a nice stroll up to the top of a mountain and well, this is a movie I could watch all night. On the way up, we learnt that JD was bullied growing up and that he has worked hard to change his image, inspired by Survivor icons Ozzy and Woo. At the top of the island we learnt that the trio would tragically split up to make a private decision before returning home. Wisely, Danny suggested they come up with a consensus decision so their stories are the same. Sadly for him, the challenge was simply to choose whether to risk or protect their votes. If everyone selected protect, nothing changes. If everyone selected risk, they all lose their vote at the next tribal council. And if it is split, the people that selected risk people would get an extra vote.

Before we could learn anything, we followed Danny back to camp where he quickly filled the tribe in on the truth and surprisingly, everyone believed him. Xander too opted with the truth route, pointing out he went for the extra vote so that come swap or merge, the tribe now have something in their pocket to get ahead. JD meanwhile sat his tribe down for a very in depth story time and while he almost told the entire truth – minus his choice – he gave so much information that they felt they couldn’t trust him.

The tribes reconvened with Jeff for the first challenge of the season where Ricard gagged everyone by announcing that he had more time to process Jeff questioning ‘come on in, guys’ and requested he drop ‘guys’ which makes so much sense given his family, so don’t even try giving him hate internet. Before getting to the challenge, Jeff announced the new ‘Shot in the Dark’ twist where they would each get a die that they can play once throughout the game at tribal council when it came time to vote, where they can forfeit their vote for a one-in-six shot at a piece of parchment deeming them safe.

But enough about the twist, in the immunity challenge they obviously need to traverse a bunch of obstacles to retrieve puzzle pieces, push said puzzle pieces up and down additional obstacles before ascending a tower and solving said puzzle. Oh and the two tribes that lose will both be going to tribal council AND losing their flints until the next immunity challenge. All tribes were neck and neck before Ua took the slightest lead and Luvu dropped one of their bags, costing them valuable time and leaving them to languish at the back of the pack. Ua were first to start working on their puzzle, quickly joined by Yase while Luvu desperately tried to close the gap. Which they did, whipping through the puzzle and snatching immunity for their tribe.

Back at Yase, Evvie broke down in tears over losing the puzzle for the tribe, knowing it may paint a target on her back. Thankfully for her, Liana and Tiffany were more focused on getting rid of Abraham given he was so quick to target Tiffany on the first day. Meanwhile Abraham was trying to rally the boys to join him in getting rid of Tiff as the weakest. They then took the information to Evvie and while she sounded on board, she knew it was a bad idea for her game. As such, she pulled Voce and Xander aside to point out Abraham is more of a liability, I assume in the broadest sense of the word. She took the information back to Tiffany and while the latter’s gut told her that she would be safe at tribal, she knew not to be complacent and as such went hunting for an idol. Tragically not spotting it when it was right in front of her.

At tribal council the tribe dipped their torches in the fire before Tiffany praised the tribe for being so harmonious and loving. Abraham meanwhile turned things to strategy, suggesting the vote needs to focus on strength, given the tribe is so small. Tiffany spoke about how great Abraham is at talking without actually saying anything at all which led to him highlighting his strength again for good measure. Evvie meanwhile suggested it was a different game, but agreed that strength is still important while Voce crunched the numbers and suggested the ‘Shot in the Dark’ twist isn’t really that scary. Because, you know, maths.

Liana spoke about how nerve wracking the twist is for those that don’t roll their dice, while Xander just wanted the tribe to come together and prove themselves as assets slash challenge threats. Which Evvie reminded them is important for setting up their end game. With that the tribe voted, Xander stealthily pocket his extra vote and poor Abraham found himself becoming the first boot of the new era.

As someone that has posed as a cyber security analyst, you know I am a former best friend of Abraham’s. Who, for the record, I call by her legal name Eric. Anyway, as I spotted him in Loser Lodge, I ran into his arms and gave him a massive hug, knowing how painful it would feel to go home so soon after such a long wait. Then I learnt that by going home, the pre-juror’s were truly going home. Effective immediately and as such, I reminded him he is a sweet, charming guy, handed him a Cheddar, Erickle & Abraham Toastie and bid him adieu. 

There are so many jokes I could make about how much I love the pickle, hiding said pickles etc. but at the end of the day, those tart little numbers are something I just don’t joke around about. I mean, pop them on a toastie and you take it to the next level.

Enjoy!

Cheddar, Erickle & Abraham Toastie
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices sourdough 
2 tbsp Shayonnaise Swain
6-8 slices English leg ham
1 cup vintage cheddar, as sharp as you can find, grated
2 dill pickles, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
butter, for spreadin’

Method
Lay out your bread on a chopping board and spread each with the mayo.

Top two slices with a quarter of the cheese each, followed by the ham, the pickle and the rest of the cheese. Season with a little salt and a good whack of pepper and top with the other slices of bread, mayo side down.

Spread a little butter on the top slices of bread and get a large skillet on the hob over medium heat. Once hot, place the sandies butter side down and cook for five-ten minutes, or until golden and crisp. Smear some butter on the top slices and flip over to cook for a further five-ten minutes. By which time that side should be crispy and the cheese, gooey and glorious.

Serve piping hot and devour.


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It’s a new dawn – but is it FFGC Sierra or Thomas?

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

After the world’s longest off season, which TBH, could easily be a phrase used to describe the pandemic, Survivor is back. And while we all feel like survivors just for getting through the day at this point – looking at you Melbourne, with your lockdown/earthquake combo yesterday – having dear Jiffy Pop back on the screen will perk us up collectively.

While the thankfully themeless Survivor 41 is a shorter season due to Ms Rona, Survivor is Survivor and we’ve been promised a new dawn. Which makes me shiver with anticipation, rather than concern.

So once again, buckle in, sit back and get ready for the madness of our coverage as I join the castaways post-boot to offer culinary comfort and casual chastising.

Who will be the first to go? Well watch the show and then check back here next Wednesday!

Image source: CBS.


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 and Tumblr.