MKR…week 2…besties in Adelaide

This week we start with the BFFs from Adelaide cooking.  Oh bless them they start with breakfast and coffee at a café, as you do when you’re cooking for Pete and Manu.  Then they finally hit the shops and run in Coles…do you expect anything less?  Thankfully they have flat shoes on for their running.  Pete and Manu are loving the sound of main course and comment that the pastry needs to be home-made.  Amazingly they bought everything from Coles…no racing around a million shops like some of the other contestants.

They’ve called their restaurant Big Love Grub and it’s meant to be all homely, the clock ticks to three hours and they’re still decorating.  Then they start stressing about their sign which they’ve spent hours doing and BFF1 run to the garage for tool while trying not to have a teary…oh bless her.

They finally hit the kitchen with two hours and eight minutes to go…oh dear!  They start on the ice-cream and the pastry.  Thankfully there’s no condensed milk anywhere to be seen.  BFF2 bless her is making puff pastry…darling Manu is going to love you something shocking if it works well.  Down to an hour to go.  BFF1 is all worried about the rum and raisin ice-cream…it’s simple honey…ice-cream with run and raisins in it…don’t stress about it.  But bless her when she gets the food processor out to cut up the zucchini and leek, you’re talking my language there sister.

The others are strolling down the street and Brother Dear and Sister Dear predict it will be homely cooking, gold star to both of you.  The doorbell rings and they’re stressing out, but they put on a smily, squealy face…oh lord I can’t deal with squealing.  The Cougar is praying for the smell of burnt food, honey you need to back up a little, just because your cooking wasn’t great.

Oh no…Mr and Mrs Fussy aren’t keen on the name of the restaurant, especially the word grub.  But bless them they’ve got presents for everyone and most people are super excited about the slippers they get, especially son who got a pair of flamingo print slippers.  Mrs Fussy isn’t happy that Mr Fussy that slippers that say I’m the boss because of course she is.

Back at the table they’re all writing poet as they were also given a notepad and there’s pencils on the table.  The BFFs get onto the entrée before Pete and Manu arrive and oh my goodness there’s no squeals, it’s amazing!!  But they make BFF2 realise just how short she is when she’s standing next to them…oh honey you’re just so cute.  Everyone’s loving the menu…but Cougar thinks it won’t beat her menu.  Mrs Fussy’s already got the facial expressions going on, especially about the pickled beetroot…gee honey just take a chill pill already.

Entrée – lamb backstrap with pickled beetroot and chive crème fraiche.  The plating looks very pretty, well at least I think it looks pretty.  Mom and son think it looks like restaurant quality food, Cougar is underwhelmed by it.  Pete has a smile on his face and was expecting it to be fun, joyous and full of flavour, but didn’t get that, he wanted seasoning.  Manu says they concentrated on how it looked instead of how it tasted, but liked bits of it.  The Police loved it, as did Son but he wanted more on the plate, mum liked it but it was under seasoned and poor Mrs Fussy thought it tasted too plain.  Cougar thought there wasn’t enough of everything…oh honey, you’re getting a tad fussy now that you’ve cooked.

Main – chicken, leek and zucchini pie with minted mushy peas.  Back in the kitchen the BFFs are busy shelling the hugest pile of peas and think that BFF2 will have children before they finish shelling them.  Son’s super excited about having a pie.  Mrs Fussy on the other hand doesn’t buy pies or order pies, well she’ll be in for a surprise.  They’re doing the peas and tasting the run and raisin mixture when Manu strolls in and he’s surprised they’re doing the peas, while not a single thing is cooking.  Oh look BFF2 starts on the pastry again.  Mind you I just spied frozen peas on the bench…ummmm why have fresh peas when you’ve got frozen ones.  Oh dear BFF2 has no realised there’s no enough pastry to make whole pies…oh dear.

Then we get the preview of tomorrow with Mum and Son cooking and it looks rather emotional and teary.  Then the preview of Mrs Fussy setting off the smoke alarm after opening the oven.

Back in the kitchen the BFFs decide on a ramekin pie and BFF1 is still stressing slightly, then they realise there’s not enough filling to make a small pie for themselves as a tester…oh well…they scoop a little bit of filling out of each pie for their one.  They get carrots out and make sure there’s no grit or hair on them and check their little pie, but the top has fallen down into it…thankfully it was the only one in the oven.  Now BFF1 is starting to feel better about the pie.  The others are hungry as it’s been 1½ hours since entrée and they’re channelling a big serve for them.  The BFFs have now realised it’s been a long wait…we’re up to 2 hours since entrée.  Poor Sister Dear is starting to go mad, even Mrs Fussy is wanting food to keep her energy up.  Then they overcook the carrots and think they’re possess by the devil as the heat is going all over the place under the saucepan.

Finally they start plating…the ramekin pie goes on the plate with a pile of mushy peas on top and no carrots as they were too mushy.  The police are happy by the size of the pie.  Mrs Fussy isn’t impressed that Pete and Manu had really puffy pastry and her’s wasn’t overly puffy and Mr Fussy’s had sunk.  Manu was excited by the look of the pie, but wasn’t as impressed by how it tasted as it was all cut so small and he wanted chunks and he wanted perfection after waiting two hours.  Pete says the peas were over seasoned, plus the filling tasted of white wine…could have guessed that a while ago.  The BFFs go back into the kitchen and channel Taylor Swift to shake off their stress with a little bit of dancing…bless them.  Son thinks the pie’s not as good as his mum’s pie.

Dessert – grandma’s gingerbread with rum and raisin ice-cream.  Onto making the gingerbread, which is the only dessert recipe that BFF2 can cook.  Back at the table Mrs Fussy states that her and Mr Fussy’s jobs are the most stressful of anyone at the table…um you know there are two police officers sitting there near you don’t you???

Back at the table they’re all discussing how their dessert will be presented…but it’s not traditional gingerbread, it’s gingerbread cake.  With ice-cream that is kind of like soft serve…oh dear.  I think the Cougar will be ready to start clapping when she sees this dish.  Brother Dear says it is quaint.  Mrs Fussy thinks it looks like a very plain tea cake.  Pete is glad they did the gingerbread as a cake instead of a biscuit, but expected more ginger flavour in it.  Manu can’t taste the rum in the ice-cream…oh dear…BFF2 has to sit on the kitchen floor, poor love.  Brother Dear and Sister Dear love how soft the gingerbread is, the Cub meanwhile is “devo” that there’s no rum in the ice-cream.  The police think the ice-cream will pass a breathalyser test…god I love them.  Mrs Fussy is completely underwhelmed.


Gianni and Zana – 5

Anna and Jordan – 6

Mitch and Laura – 7

Cheryl and Matt – 4

Monique and Sarah – 4

They score 26/50 from the other teams.

Entrée – Pete scored them 6 and Manu scored them 7.

Main – Pete scored them 5 and Manu scored them 5.

Dessert – Manu scored them 5 and Pete scored them 5.

They got a total score of 59/110 meaning they beat Cougar and Cub, which is enough for them.  Next we’re off to Perth for Mum and Son.


MKR…The Cougar and her cub cook

So tonight we’re off to visit the Cougar and her cub for their instant restaurant.  Oh bless we start with Cougar in her fluffy dressing gown and the Cub still in bed.  Oh heck then we got into the kitchen and her dressing gown is open…talk about displaying a lot of cleavage!!

They hit the shops and bless them they love holding hands in the shops and then there’s a few sneaky pecks in Coles because chicken Caesar salad was the first thing the Cub ever cooked for the Cougar.  Now the Cougar tells us that the dessert was created to seduce men…oh heck, watch out all the males at the instant restaurant tonight.

They get home with just under three hours to go and no restaurant ready, mind you it’s called The Odd Couple, apparently because they’re weird, strange and funny and it’s a mix of the 60’s and 80’s…their decades of birth.  I’m not sure about the slinkies being stuck on the ceiling of the whoopy cushions on some of the chairs.  They start cooking with less than two hours to go…get a move on already.

Cougar starts making the ice-cream with her different and unusual list of ingredients…I so want to channel Kath and Kim voices right now.

Onto the chicken Caesar and marinated croutons, which is apparently the twist…righty-o, whatever you think guys.  The others arrive and Mr Fussy is scared, but the BFF’s are loving it, as is Sister Dear.  Brother Dear sees a Space Invaders game and wants to play it.  Then BFF 1 sits on the whoopy cushion and thankfully she gets a laugh out of it.  Son loves how much Cougar embraces being a cougar…oh bless him he’s too cute!!

Back in the kitchen the bacon’s all over the joint, some crispy, some soft…and both Cougar and Cub are happy with it because people will have choice.  No they won’t, they don’t get to pick which bacon they put on their plate.  Back at the table they’re talking about sexy codenames for each other and sexy winks…oh dear Cougar is running off on them.  Mrs Fussy can’t wink…oh honey I’m hearing you, neither can I.

Manu and Pete arrive and Manu’s gone a purplish velvet style suit with a bright pink tie, very fetching and matches Cougar’s dress perfectly.  The menu is printed on a record, oh bless them it looks rather good and fitting for the theme.  But then Cougar gives the story behind each dish, and amazingly everyone seems okay with that.

Back to the Caesar salad and time to get the chicken cooking.  Cub cooks it and thinks it’s cooked, but then Cougar cuts it in a different way and it’s still raw and she takes over, then toddles over in her white boots for a kiss.  Oh dear Mrs Fussy hasn’t ever had a Caesar salad as she’s never ordered one out before and lord let’s pray for individually washed lettuce leaves, or she’ll be having a moment.  Then the eggs are done and it’s time to plate and I didn’t see any washing of the lettuce and then they want to make the dishes look odd, so they’re none that are the same.  Mind you it’s that huge it looks bigger than a main course!!!  Hope they’re hungry.

Entrée – chicken Caesar salad.  Mr and Mrs Fussy weren’t happy with the presentation or the mountains of lettuce…I’m seeing that she won’t be overly happy.  Oh dear, Pete says he didn’t get any of the love or passion that Cougar described and then he doesn’t like the Caesar dressing or the bacon, or the croutons, or the chicken, or the lack of anchovies and he wouldn’t go back if he was served it at a restaurant…oh poor Cougar and Cub.  Manu wants more and he isn’t in love with Matt after eating the salad.  Mrs Fussy couldn’t touch the lettuce, bless her, oh no actually she couldn’t touch much of the dish at all.  Sister Dear meanwhile loved it, then Mrs Fussy goes on about her lettuce phobia to the rest of the table and there’s another weird face going on…honey you better pray to Mother Nature that the wind doesn’t change anytime soon!!!

Main – grilled swordfish with pea puree and tarragon sauce.  Back at the table the Police are singing Cher, while Cougar is making her tarragon sauce.  Then the carrots go in the over, not peeled…and yes I spied hairs on them.  Oh no, Mrs Fussy is going to really go off!!  Back at the table Mrs Fussy says a teacher in high school told her she would be a dictator, bless BFF 2 who asked which one from history she would be and she says she would be better than all of them…oh save me now!  Plating time…pea puree, fish, sauce, tarragon, carrots and it looks rather pretty.  Except it looks smaller than the salad serving did.

Now the preview for the next episode with the BFF’s and a warning that Mrs Fussy will be a harsher critic than Pete and Manu…oh I can’t wait until Sunday.  Oh deary, deary, deary Manu says the fish is so overcooked it’s like tinned tuna, and that’s just the start of it.  Pete had fish that was cooked perfectly though.  As for the pea puree well it wasn’t seasoned and Pete, bless him, couldn’t taste tarragon in the sauce.  Oh no, now Mrs Fussy has noticed the hair on her carrot, Mr Fussy meanwhile thinks it’s pretty funny.  BFF 2 mind you had a bit of sand on her carrot.  The Police had powdered fish…oh dear.

Dessert – chocolate seduction pudding with poached pears and cinnamon ice-cream.  Oh dear lord the dessert looks shocking in the pot, I’m not feeling any seduction so far.  Back at the table we learn that Mum was once a pageant girl in Miss Malta, oh bless her, I quite like her.  In the kitchen Cougar and Cub think the ice-cream and the pear are perfect…well that hasn’t helped them in the other courses.  They’re trying to plate and it’s looking like a disaster with caramel getting all over the glasses.  They put the chocolate caramel thing, then pear, then ice-cream, then a raspberry and I’m not sure other than the glasses look all smudgy and dirty and Mrs Fussy is honestly about to die, the poor thing is sweating over it.  Manu asks about the pudding recipe and he’s confused about the lack of chocolate, of course that happened because there’s no chocolate in it, there’s cacao powder.  Pete can’t find anything he likes…and the ice-cream isn’t an ice-cream and bless him it hasn’t melted.  Then Manu asks about the ice-cream recipe…bless the BFFs as they want to curl up and hide they feel for Cougar and Cub.  Even Mum isn’t liking the dessert, she wants chocolate.  The police want ice-cream.  Bless them the BFFs are not seduced, but feel like they’re eating Christmas pudding.  Mrs Fussy decides to be “dead set honest” and she’s overly frustrated…deal with it.


Mitch and Laura – 4

Anna and Jordan – 3

Rosie and Paige – 3

Monique and Sarah – 4

Gianni and Zana – 3

They scored 17/50 from the other contestants.

Entrée – Manu scored them 4 and Pete scored them 3.

Main – Pete scored them 3 and Manu scored them 2.

Dessert – Manu scored them 1 and Pete scored them 1…oh poor things BFF 2 is having a teary for them.

They have a total score of 31/110 and then Pete asks how they’re feeling.  Ummmm I don’t even need to hear their response to know how they’re feeling.

MKR is back!!!

Well boys and girls after what seems like months and months of ads for the new season of MKR it is finally back tonight!!!  Mind you there has been the usual games of showing contestants from the 2nd teams on all the ads and not the 1st teams so much and I can’t wait to see who the new judge is.

Plus it’s on at the same time as I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!!  Then Farmer Wants A Wife starts tonight, thankfully I’m not overly keen on Australia’s Got Talent…so I’m watching MKR on the nights I’m home and recording it if I won’t be home or if I’m out at dinner.  Recording Farmer tonight, in case it starts before MKR ends and I caught up on I’m a Celeb from last night on the Apple TV this morning through the Ten Play app…because of course the Australian Open final was on and my new mate Novak won (more on him in a catch up post…)  Plus of course while I was in Melbourne on holidays I managed to catch the start of the newest season of The Bachelor US and I’ve had to watch it online since I got home…damn country life where you don’t get all the new Australian free to air tv channels, but ohhhh it is interesting!!

Oh dear we start the series with a quick flick of random bits that we’re going to see through the season, oh lord I’ve seen how many ads now.  I don’t need to see this, get on with the show properly, I want cooking and contestants!!  Plus the dramatic music is a killer!!

Thank you for welcoming the teams Manu, not introduce us to them please.  No, then we hear the prizes, $250,000…yes we know that.  Come on already!!

Finally Manu says we’re off to Sydney to Monique and Sarah’s place…and straight out we hear they’re police.  We’re off to Yellow Rock and we’re told again that they’re police officers.  Oh bless them they’re starting the day with coffee and pastries and of course one donut to share…so far I’m liking them.  Oh look, yet again we’re told they’re police, one works with youth and the other with domestic violence.  One is a mother of four and the other has a husband and her baby is her pug, oh bless her.  Honestly I’m not sure which is which yet.

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Oh look we’re off to the shops…thankfully they have the list ready.  Pete and Manu meanwhile are checking out the menu and they think it looks nice, but quite simple.  Oh dear, after the fruit and vegie shop and the fish shop they get to Coles and realise part of the shopping list has broken off and they’re stressing out!!!  Oh darlings settle…you wouldn’t believe it, the missing bit is on the floor at the entry to Coles.  Holy heck they took over 3½ hours to do their shopping!!!

Time to set up the restaurant and they’re theming it up with a police theme and it’s called Crime and Nourishment…oh dear lord!!!!  It comes complete with police motorbikes and police flashing lights.  Save me now!!

Preparation time…yay…they’re making their own pastry!  Plus the chips are cut to the same size, bless them.  But the pastry is stressing them out as it’s sinking a bit in the oven, and a few get chucked in the bin.

So they go to get dressed and the others all stroll down the road.  First impressions are rather interesting to say the least, especially Little Miss Fussy who goes to restaurants of a high standard and great décor.  The doorbell rings and the two police squeal, oh save me, I can’t deal with the squealing.  Oh dear Little Miss Fussy was expecting bogans behind the door, all because we’re in the mountains as she puts it.  Then of course they get a bit excited about the police theme, but they can’t all tell if they’re police or not…thankfully it is cleared up for them straight away before they go back to the kitchen and Little Miss Fussy isn’t enjoying the police themed décor, no of course he isn’t.  Back in the kitchen the poor girls are falling behind already, while the guests are serving their own drinks.  Oh dear now they’re fantasising about Manu, Monique tells us her heart belongs to her husband, but her sauce belongs to Manu and she’s all giggly, bless her!

Onto the couples…and I’m not great with names, so they won’t get called it often, just telling you now.  So we have Gianna and Zara…otherwise known as Little Miss Fussy, oh and they’re husband and wife who are lawyers who think $250,000 isn’t a lot for them as they’re lawyers who earn a lot.  He’s Italian and she’s from Montenegro.  (I have to change her name now…I mean she is married after all!)

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Rosie and Paige…are best friends from Adelaide.  One’s married with two kids and the other has a dog…or so they tell us, we don’t learn too much about them.

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Mitch and Laura…brother and sister from Victoria, he’s 20 and she’s 18 and they’re both at uni and she’s studying four languages.  They’re into sustainable eating and love the nose to tail style of eating…well they’ll have an interesting menu!

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Matt and Cheryl…from Brisbane and a few are confused about their relationship and a few think they’re mother and son.  Oh, but no, then we hear they’re dating.  She’s 50 and he’s 26 and she tells us that she’s maybe a cougar…just maybe honey???  Oh then in the clip she tells us she is a cougar and that the first time he cooked for her he got lucky…ummmmm too much information!!  Then we hear that after they started dating she became best friends with his mum.

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Anna and Jordan…mother and son.  She owns a post office and he’s a twin and they’re from WA.  She’s got four sons and he’s definitely very self-confident for want of a better term.  They literally have the hugest dining table in their house, which we see a few times during their video package.

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Pete and Manu pull up at the house all excited…prepare for more screaming and squealing…yep I was right and Monique’s ready to have a hot flush, she’s that excited!  Oh wait there’s more squealing to come when Pete and Manu get to the table.  Got to love that Crazy in Love is the music chosen for when Pete and Manu walk down to the table and dear little Laura is freaking out and in hysterics, complete with tears as Manu is sitting next to her, then he talks to her and she’s more hysterical…oh young people!

Menu time…oh they’ve used invisible ink for them…I love it, I’m guessing Mrs Fussy won’t be so excited.  Well the Cougar wasn’t expecting such a refined menu and the Cub (as it tells me on the screen every so often) expected donuts and Mrs Fussy isn’t overly impressed, she’s expecting it to be perfect as a tart isn’t an entrée.

Entrée – caramelised onion, roasted beetroot and goats’ cheese tart…oh course Pete is hoping they make their own pastry…based on past seasons they better, but it sounds delicious!!  Plating time…they’re using a wooden board with balsamic glaze squiggled over it.  In goes the onion, the beetroot, rocket, goats’ cheese and a bit of cherry tomato.  It looks okay if you ask me.  The BFFs think it looks really pretty and Mr and Mrs Fussy aren’t happy about the lack of goats’ cheese.  Just as Manu goes to talk we head to an ad break.  No surprises there.  Finally Manu talks, he thinks the ingredients worked well together and the presentation was gorgeous, he even said the pastry was beautiful, but it was hard to eat because the base was falling apart, but he’s very happy with it.  Pete thinks there’s a few faults, he would have tossed the beetroot in the glaze and the goats’ cheese was lost with all the rocket and the slightly bland beetroot but he’s happy to be sitting at their table.  Finally we get a bon appetite from Manu.  Strangely enough they’re all concerned about the goats’ cheese, while Mrs Fussy pulls it all apart and really doesn’t like the beetroot, let’s hope the wind doesn’t change with the face she made and bless her it didn’t suit her palate…she doesn’t like to waste calories on not great food…oh honey, honey, honey.

Main – crispy skin salmon with thrice cooked chips and lemon and dill sauce…this menu is sounding better by the second.  Onto cooking the salmon and the four frypans they’ve got on the hotplates.  Oh dear Monique’s got skin issues to start with, but manages.  Then she gets onto the chips, once the salmon are all cooked.  Son and Cub meanwhile are drooling over the thought of chips, whilst Mrs Fussy is stressing over a split sauce and non-challenging salmon.  Thankfully Manu asks her who the boss in the kitchen is and bless her the response is “Well who do you think Manu?”  Ummmm, let me think for a millisecond!

Crispy Skinned Salmon with Thrice Cooked Chips and Lemon & Dill Sauce

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The girls are cooking the chips and Manu strolls in and Monique is talking ten to the million about what she’s done to make the chips and Manu asks if it will be worth it, but Monique is like a giggly school girl, oh honey focus!!!  She’s a giggly, teary mess, focus on the chips already darling!!

Then we get a preview of tomorrow night before an ad break and it’s brother and sister cooking and it looks like Mrs Fussy won’t be enjoying it…ummmmm what are the odds?

Right back to the main.  The plate has sauce, then asparagus, then fish, then the chips are on top of the salmon and they decide on six chips per plate, but then they only give three…what the????  I would be complaining about the lack of chips!!!  The cougar is okay with the lack of chips and the massive piece of salmon though, the poor cub is not happy!  Well the skin is crispy when Pete and Manu cut it, but honestly 3 chips?????  Manu comments they need a boss in the kitchen as he didn’t see that.  Oh dear he’s not overly keen on the sauce as it’s not balanced.  Plus he’s not keen on the chips, even Pete comments on the dodgy ratio of massive fish and severe lack of chips.  Seems like everyone likes the salmon, son’s inhaling it as he thinks it’s perfection on a plate…and you wonder why there’s not many chips.  Mrs Fussy is hating the chips as they’re soggy, but Mr Fussy wants her chips, she says she’s known for her chips…oh honey I want to see you cook!

Dessert – sticky fig and date pudding with white chocolate and coconut rum sauce.  Onto cooking dessert, the pudding is in the oven and they’re making the sauce and the others are all in hysteric as the table.  Oh dear, they’re experimenting with the police year and the Cougar gets excited with Son puts on a police hat.  The BFFs are loving it, then Cub turns on the sirens on the motorbike, oh dear…it’s rather noisy and Mrs Fussy is just making a strange face.  Playing time…butterscotch sauce on the plate, then drops of white chocolate sauce, then there’s a bit of prettiness, on goes the pudding with the figs on top and out we go.  It looks rather pretty.  Mum loves the presentation, as does Cougar and Sister.  Holy heck Manu says there’s too much sauce!!!  What the???  Pete says the sauce is too sweet.  Oh dear Mrs Fussy’s face screws up again…good thing the wind hasn’t changed.  Mr Fussy thinks he can do better.

Sticky Fig & Date Pudding with White Chocolate & Coconut Rum Sauce

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Oh no…Famer Wants a Wife starts when I flick over during the ad break.  No surprises there, oh well I’ll catch up on it later…back to MKR.


Mitch and Laura…6

Rosie and Paige…6

Anna and Jordan…6

Matt and Cheryl…6

Gianna and Zara…6

So they get 30/50 from the other contestants and they’re happy with it.

Entrée – Pete gives them 7 and Manu gives them 7 as well.

Main – Manu gives them 5 and Pete gives them 6.

Dessert – Pete gives them 6 and Manu gives them 7.

They get a total score of 68/110.

Now as much as I want to turn straight to Farmer Wants a Wife…I’m kind of hungry and feel the need for dessert first…so it can wait a bit longer.


The Hotplate…grand final

Nothing like a bit of dramatic music to start the show, with a red carpet entry for the two teams that are competing in the grand final.

Then a bit of a recap of all the teams and the competition so far.  Finally we hear they have 4 hours to cook the 4 courses and they’ll be judged only by Tom, Scott and Guillaume with scores out of 10.

Vanessa goes on to say that they want to win for their son, which is all good until Marie gets all teary and says she wants to win because she’s pregnant with a little girl and Vanessa all worried about Marie now and tells her to take it easy.

Emi and Marie are doing a crab chawanmushi appetiser, which is a Japanese egg custard, and a smoked eel teriyaki for entrée, for main they’re doing duck breast with kombu broth and a Bird’s nest matcha mess dish for dessert, a take on Eton mess.

Aron and Vanessa are doing smoked salmon mousse with dill for appetiser, prawn ravioli with shellfish cream and butter poached marron for entree, venison with sweetbreads for main and caramel parfait with peanut dacquoise for dessert.

The other contestants arrive all frocked up and yes Tania is wearing leopard print and then Marie tells them she’s pregnant and Phillippe asks Vanessa if she has any news and she tells him her and Aron might start practising after tonight.

They start cooking and Vanessa is struggling to use the machines and isn’t sure what she’s doing because she can’t find anything…strangely enough the butter would be in the fridge hon.  You shouldn’t need to ask your husband where it is.  Then she gets on his back because he’s taking too long, bless him for telling her that it’s her fault because he’s having to help her.

Marie gets the chawanmushi on and halfway through the cooking time they’re not set at all and doesn’t want to tell Marie, but of course Marie notices that Emi’s panicking and tries to get her to settle down and then they start talking in Japanese, thank God for subtitles!!  Then she realises she didn’t put enough eggs, there’s 30 minutes to go, get a new mixture on honey, they cook for 20 minutes, make a decision and make it now!!  Batch number 2 gets into the steamer and they’re panicking about cooking 10 at once instead of the normal 6, oh well time is of the essence.

Aron and Vanessa make a green chive oil and then get onto some fried potato bits to use as garnish.  10 minutes to go and amazingly Emi’s chawanmushi is setting.  Aron and Vanessa get on with the plating, they cut out a pretty circle of salmon mousse and then start fluffing about.  Emi and Marie top the chawanmushi with spanner crab, roe, white seaweed and some stock, then they realise they haven’t added shallots on them.

Time is up then Emi and Marie’s husbands walk through the door, followed by Aron’s mum and sister.  They run over and hug, hug, kiss, kiss and then race back to serve the food to the three judges that are sitting in their own private little room away from the others.  I think Christina’s palate was overly confused by the chawanmushi because of the crab being in the egg custard.  Tom rattles off a lot of adjectives about how great the chawanmushi is, Guillaume says how perfectly cooked it was and they set the bar high for the next dish and Scott loves it.  Phillippe enjoys the salmon mousse, Conrad thinks it is elegant, but says the chawanmushi was exquisite and is sitting on the fence.  Scott thought the mousse was fantastic, Guillaume wanted some more smokiness in the mousse and wanted his palate excited…I think he was channelling Christina.

Aron and Vanessa start on the entrée, with Aron working on a shellfish cream and poor Vanessa struggles to get the Thermomix going.  Then Aron goes on about having an Italian heritage and gets onto making a pasta which Christina and Tania love no end.  Christina is struggling that Emi and Marie are using foods that aren’t familiar with her palate, oh honey suck it up and move on.  Then she stresses because they’ve bought pre-smoked eel and they’re adding more smokiness to it.

The judges are talking about the entrees and Scott’s worried that Aron and Vanessa are using too much seafood in their dish.  Then he starts on preparing the marron and Vanessa bless her says that marron rhymes with Aron and then freaks about the poop chute while he’s pulling it out and asks what it is.  The judges talk about Emi and Marie’s entrée and wonder if it will be done over charcoal on the special grill.  Oh yes, Marie has her white charcoal and then puts the eel over the coals and next thing you know there is smoke going everywhere!!!  With a minute to go they’re plating madly and Aron is straining the shellfish cream over each plate.  Marie is sounding like a broken record repeating everything, which makes Emi notice how stressed Marie is, honestly each line is said over and over and over and over and over and over again.

They take the dishes to the judges and Marie’s not feeling confident after seeing the dish that Aron and Vanessa cooked.  Liam’s comment on Aron and Vanessa’s dish is “this selfish queen loves the shellfish queen” and Phillippe compares it to a first kiss.  Guillaume says that Aron showed technique and knowledge with how well the marron was cooked, but he wanted bread to scrape up the sauce.  Scott goes on about Aron’s “noona”…mate it’s nonna, not noona…but anyway.  The judges taste Emi and Marie’s dish and the music goes up and up.  Then we see the husbands who are over excited.  Christina thinks it’s too dry, Lozz liked the eel and now Liam is being the fence-sitter for the first time and isn’t happy about it.  Scott loved the salad and thought it cut through the eel, but his eel was overcook and a touch dry for him…only a few mere seconds though, but honestly how can you tell it’s a few seconds dry.  Tom says that the eel was great, but the ravioli was perfection.

They get onto main and poor Nols cops the wrath of the conversation as Aron and Vanessa are cooking venison rare and sweetbreads…in other words Bambi and offal…but he’s not worried about Nols.  Marie gets the duck onto the coals to grill it and says when once she starts she won’t be able to talk for a while…well that’s a bonus right now.  Then there’s smoke everywhere and Aron and Vanessa can’t even see Emi and Marie on the other side of the kitchen.  Finally they’re into the oven so the smoke settles down.  Then Aron gets onto cooking the venison and he says he’s never cooked it before…honestly why not practise before.  Emi and Marie add Japanese artichoke to their pan of vegies, but they say it looks like witchetty grubs, and they say it won’t be to Christina’s palate.  Then they add some lichen which can only picked off a cliff once a year and only grow a millimetre a year.  Aron’s trying to cook sweetbreads and oil goes everywhere, onto his face and all over Vanessa.  Then bless her she keeps saying they’re cooking veal, he keeps saying venison, but she’s too stressed to remember that it’s venison.  Marie’s cutting the duck, but her hand seizes up, she had arthritis in it and it’s making it almost impossible to cut the duck.  Vanessa’s too busy yelling at Aron to hurry up with a few minutes to go and she’s left to plating while he’s got 6 pans on the go.  She asks if it looks okay on the plate and he doesn’t even look over, she thinks it’s like when she asks him how she looks, well honey you should be used to it.

Time is up and Aron’s worried about how Emi and Marie’s dish looks.  Emi and Marie take their dish in and they feel super-confident and pleased with how they did.  Naturally enough there’s some Japanese music playing while the judges pour their broth and try their duck.  Emi and Marie’s husbands love the dish.  Nols loves the dish and Conrad is completely in awe.  As for Liam he’s lost for words, but can’t stop talking, “there’s a traffic jam of superlatives in my mouth and I can’t stop choking” and that’s just about the broth.  Scott thinks the duck was cooked perfectly, Guillaume loved the vegetables.  Tom says the first taste of the broth was too salty, then it took over his mouth and changed and it rendered his speechless, which Scott says it didn’t…he’s as speechless as Liam was.  They all try the venison and Aron’s mother comments that Vanessa has stepped up and Nols is looking for a bit of cooked venison, but her palate isn’t coping.  Scott says the venison was cooked to perfection, Guillaume said the sweetbread was missing the wow factor.

The teams get on to making dessert.  Marie gets onto making a yuzu curd for it.  As for Aron and Vanessa they’ve got it all made because Vanessa worked on it earlier, so they have to plate it up.  But then they can’t work out how to cut the parfait or the dacquoise.  Vanessa just wants Aron to hurry up and tells him to shut up…gee honey take a breath already.  Emi puts dragon fruit jam on the plate, the cream, then yuzu curd, then strawberries, then they put matcha powder and Marie keeps telling Emi to not put too much on there.  Aron decides to put chocolate on top of the dessert, he melted it and put it on acetate, but it keeps breaking while he’s getting it off after cutting it in circles, so he decides to shave it and now thinks it looks incredible and sexy…umm I like chocolate but don’t think it looks sexy on anything.

Time is up and they’re all relieved, especially Vanessa.  Emi and Marie take their dessert to the judges and are worried that their dessert is rather simple.  Aron and Vanessa take their dessert in and think it is the best dish they’ve cooked so far.  Emi and Marie’s dish is tasted first and Nols loves it and goes on about the lemon curd, Liam thinks it is elegant and loves a hot mess…oh bless him.  Tom loves the think wafers of meringue and Scott thinks it is miles ahead of some of the other desserts Emi and Marie have done, but didn’t get the jam, Guillaume wanted to see more risk.  Aron and Vanessa’s dessert is tried and personally I don’t think it looks sexy at all.  Phillippe liked the parfait, but says he won’t talk about the dacquoise after saying it’s sticky…oh Phillippe.  Christina thinks it’s like a deconstructed snickers bar and is set to inhale it.  Tom says it was on the brink of being totally sweet, Guillaume liked the dacquoise.

Scoring time…just get on with it, the show’s already been going for nearly 2 hours…but no, they start with talking about all of the dishes to the two teams first and Tom nearly gives Marie a heart attack straight up, she’s pregnant mate, settle back on the heart attack moments for her.  They speak for almost ten minutes and then go to an ad break…just give us the scores already, I’m over waiting.

After what seems like the longest ad break in history we get back to the show.  Aron and Vanessa get 7/10 from Guillaume, they get 8/10 from Tom and 9/10 from Scott giving them 24/30 and bless her Marie is the first to say well done to them.

Emi and Marie get 9/10 from Tom, they get 8/10 from Guillaume putting them on 17…they need an 8 or more to win.  They get 9/10 from Scott and win on 26/30!!!  Thank goodness for that!!!

The Hotplate…second grand finalist decided.

Lozz and Nols are cooking tonight, and it will either be them or Aron and Vanessa into the grand final against Emi and Marie.

Nols is a tad over-excited, hugging Lozz and hugging the apprentice when they walk into the kitchen.  They’re doing poached rhubarb and an ice-cream for one dessert and Nols starts by whinging straight up about being over, for goodness sake honey, you’ve only been working for a couple of minutes.  Then she starts sooking over never being said by the others as a team that might win…no offence honey, but your food needs to be amazing for you to win!!

The other dessert is a crème de menthe tart with Chambord granita and I’m wondering why it’s got a heap of marshmallows in it…ummmmm okay I believe it for now, mind you they’re two big tarts.

The first entrée is pipis, clams and prawn veloute, well we are at a seafood restaurant.  The other entrée is a poached crayfish salad and Scott wanting to taste salt water, not rinsed crayfish and Nols has to run the cooked crayfish to the ice to cool them.

The mains they are doing are a sesame crusted marlin and a snapper bouillabaisse…well the bouillabaisse may be interesting with Phillippe and Pascal trying it.

The others start to arrive and of course Tania is in a leopard print top again and Liam thinks he’s overdressed, as he always does.  Then with a couple of minutes until their 3 hours is up Lozz realises she hasn’t made the oyster mousse and starts majorly stressing and freaking poor Nols out, honey take a breath already.  Liam comments they’ve got the relaxed dinner, while the others will be majorly stressing and that Aron’s undies will be wound up tighter than Miss Piggy’s spanks…oh snap darling!!

Lozz is trying to be a little bit fancy by making an edible sand with potato, panko crumbs and herbs, as you do when you want to look flash.  Mind you the others are worried about the crayfish salad as it has a “secret sauce”…well that might be interesting, or not…then Lozz decides to add the crayfish roe and Nols is not liking that idea at all.  But amazingly, her palate likes the sauce.  Then they try to cut the crayfish fancier than normal and Nols is struggling as it’s falling apart, but won’t let Lozz take over.

The others are talking and Aron finds out it was Nols that had the poop chute left in the prawn at his restaurant and he mentions the bones he had in the fish at their place last time…god I hope something happens tonight.  Then poor Conrad is in complete shock that neither Christina or Tania know what pipis are…oh dear, save them all.

Lozz and Nols serve entrée and Aron thinks they look really good and is starting to worry, even Conrad thinks it looks amazing and the pipis look elegant…wow I’m impressed that he’s so impressed.  Oh dear, Aron thinks the secret sauce tastes just like thousand island sauce and Marie notices Aron and Vanessa picking the dish to shreds…no surprises there.  Conrad labels his entrée as the entrée of the competition so far and all Christina can say is “Wow, wow, wow.”

Tom loves the seafood in his entrée, he thought the sand was okay.  Scott thought the poached crayfish salad looked amazing and the crayfish was cooked perfectly, but the sauce lacked depth and it needed seasoning.  Then they get told that Conrad thought it was the best entrée so far and both Lozz and Nols are completely shocked.

They get onto main and star steaming the snapper and check on the bouillabaisse broth.  Bless Phillippe for telling us how a bouillabaisse should be, I’m not sure it will be quite like that tonight.  Lozz crumbs the marlin, then cooks it and we find out she’s never cooked it before…oh dear, I see a problem happening.  Plus of course she’s not overly familiar with corn puree either and hope it’s smooth enough…I have to say it looks great on the black plate.  Conrad gets the snapper in bouillabaisse broth because it is literally just fish in the broth, with no mussels on the dish, which of course Lozz realises and she decides to cook them and send them out separately and apologise for forgetting them.  Nols bless her goes to Christina and Conrad and says “we had a disaster in the kitchen and forgot the mussels,” honey you could have said it in a better way.

They take the dishes to the main table and straight up Vanessa comments that the puree is too lump and then Aron says the snapper is dry and Vanessa yet again wants salt, salt, salt and Aron thinks the mussel is raw while he’s eating it…oh I love a bit of drama.  Phillippe liked the snapper, but not the bouillabaisse broth as it needed seasoning.  Then Vanessa goes on about how she’s glad the dishes weren’t perfect, but feels sorry for Lozz because she’s been trying hard…honey, honey, honey I’m confused.

Tom says the snapper looked great and the fish was perfectly cooked, but then says that one of his mussels was totally raw and still had the beard attached…holy heck!!!  Then he compares the bouillabaisse broth to a ladylike damsel in distress as opposed to a dirty rough pirate and of course there was no seasoning…gee very descriptive.  Scott loved how the marlin looked, he wanted a smoother puree, but the marlin was cooked perfectly.

They get onto dessert and Christina talks about her days in the 70’s when she was drinking grasshoppers, then talks about hotpants and somehow  next thing you know Christina is saying that if it is the best dessert of the competition she’ll wear hotpants to the grand final…holy mother of god, say it isn’t so.  Then for some reason Lozz decides to make a deep fried custard as part of the rhubarb and ice-cream dessert.

Dessert goes out to the table and of course Aron’s not keen on it, the quinelle of ganache isn’t perfect and the ganache isn’t smooth enough.  Surprisingly Vanessa enjoyed her dessert, but it wasn’t at the same level as the dessert she made in her mind.  Tom enjoyed the ice-cream and thought the rhubarb was perfectly cooked.  Scott wasn’t keen on the dense whipped ganache, but enjoyed the tart even though he doesn’t like crème de menthe and says it would have been perfect if it was just the tart and granita and not the whipped ganache.

Conrad, Liam, Christina and Tania say goodbye to Lozz and Nols and it’s time for the other teams to score them.  Emi and Marie give them a 6.  Phillippe and Pascal give them a 6 and Aron and Vanessa give them a 6 as well.  So that already gives them 18…but we have to go to the hangar for the final verdict and scores, why they can’t just tell them is beyond me…and of course there’s an ad break first as well.

We’re in the hangar and Lozz and Nols need to beat 71.  They get 8 from the other diners, 18 from the other contestants, putting them on 26.  Tom scores them 21, putting them on 47, they need 25 to get into the grand final.  Scott scores them 21, giving them a total of 68.

So the grand final is Emi and Marie against Aron and Vanessa.  For the grand final they have to cook 4 dishes in 4 hours and the winner gets the $100,000.

The Hotplate…the first grand finalist is decided…

Aron and Vanessa are cooking.  They’re doing a wallaby ragu for entrée with ricotta gnocchi…oh dear Tom’s never had wallaby before…and then poor Vanessa is crumbing something and Aron is taking over and carrying on about how she’s crumbing because she doesn’t have one wet hand and one dry hand and he can’t cope with that.

Then they start on a pea foam, which concerns Tom no end and Scott’s stressing about pork jowl…whatever the heck that is…oh we learn that it’s pork cheek and of course Aron’s never cooked with it before, honestly mate haven’t you heard of don’t try something new when you’re cooking for guests????

For dessert they’re doing poached pears and a chocolate mousse and Vanessa goes on about her natural cooking ability before pouring cream all over the bench and then asking if a teaspoon is smaller than a tablespoon…oh hell!!!  Then she tries to double 1&3/4…and struggles but somehow she came top of the state in maths, I kid you not!!!

The other dessert is a raspberry crème brulee tart, the tart shells look, but I can’t say the same about the raspberry that she’s putting into it, then she attempts to put the crème brulee in there.  Aron’s peeling prawns for the other entrée and poor Vanessa’s not going anywhere near them, bless her.

The other contestants arrive and god love her Tania’s in a leopard skin frock, oh honey how I love you in a good leopard skin frock.  Then Phillippe is a real gentlemen and pulls out the seat for one of the ladies…oh darling you are too sweet.  Christina tells Conrad and Liam to hurry up to the VIP naughty table, of course Conrad isn’t having that…he’s calling it the VIP table…are we surprised??? No of course not!!!  But Liam is impressed with the pretentious feeling in the restaurant, it’s his kind of air…oh honey.

God love Nols when Aron says they’re serving wallaby…she looks worried, I’m more worried about Christina’s palate when it comes to that, I’m thinking she won’t have that…strangely enough Nols orders the prawns instead of the wallaby and Christina and Tania hope it’s not wallaby on the menu and Liam tells Christina there’s no wallaby on the coat of arms, so there’s no excuse for her not to eat it.  Turns out 16 people ordered the wallaby and 14 ordered the prawns.  Lozz still thinks that her entrees will be better…darling I can’t wait to see you cook next.  Scott makes the fatal mistake of asking Lozz how much planning she’s put into this round and she turns on the waterworks and says how stressed she is and tired she is, oh honey, we’re not falling for that!!

Entrée goes out and they look spectacular, even Liam is impressed!!!  It’s all seeming good until Tom pulls something out of his mouth and we go to an ad break…damn!!!  Turns out it was a little bone…oh no.  Phillippe and Pascal both love the gnocchi.  Christina loves the prawns and then Lozz has a poop chute in her prawn!!!!!!  Tom says the gnocchi was almost prefect, then he says about the bone and says he still doesn’t know what wallaby tastes like.  Scott asks about the broth for the prawns and it’s based on chicken stock, Scott wanted more bollocks in it, then Scott mentions the poop chute in someone else’s prawns and poor Aron is devastated, well of course he should be.

While they’re waiting Christina and Tania are discussing Liam’s outfit and the poor bugger wishes he was deaf.  Meanwhile in the kitchen everything seems to be going well…until the pea foam is put on the plate, it looks good for a minute or so then starts to collapse.

Mains get taken out…and Marie thinks the dish she’s gotten looks a lot like hers, right down to the dark plate.  But all the people eating the pork aren’t overly keen on it…too much fat, not enough meat.  Scott asks how often they’ve cooked pork jowl and Aron’s stressing when he says he’s never cooked it before, then Scott goes into a story about how it took him 12 months to learn how to cook it, Aron’s stressing more and more and wants to hide under a chair…but of course there’s an ad break.  But then Scott tells Aron that it was sensational and that it’s not to everyone’s palate…oh where is Christina???  Then Scott tells Aron that he did push himself and should be proud of himself.  Tom on the other side wasn’t expecting the herb crust how it was, but it just about paid off and he loved the fried fetta and asked about the foam and wonders if it was a pure foam and thankfully he doesn’t like pure foam.

For dessert they’re hollowing the pears, crusting them with hazelnuts and then filling them with the mousse…mmmm yum, yes thanks I’ll have one of them.  Then Aron’s starting melting the sugar on the brulee tart and of course Phillippe’s been making crème brulee forever and a day, but of course Pascal is wanting warm custard in the tart and not cold custard.  I think they look great, but Liam’s not liking how excited Vanessa looks, his words are “she looks as excited as I do when I find one sock in the washing machine”…I never would have guessed he did his own shopping.  Nols thinks the pear dessert is perfect and most of them think the fennel biscotti brings the dish together and Pascal is ready to hug and spoon the crème brulee…oh this is going to a whole new level of weirdness.

Scott tells them that every element of the pear dessert was spectacular and Vanessa’s in shock and almost teary…oh bless her.  But of course he wanted more crème anglaise.  Tom says that the crème brulee tart was the best dessert that he’s eaten in the competition and Scott asks if Vanessa is the secret weapon!!!

Scoring time…so far Emi and Marie are on 79, Phillippe and Pascal are on 63.  They scored an average of 8/10 from the other diners and they got 20/30 from the other teams, so they’re on 28 so far.  Tom scores them 22/30, so they’re on 50…they get 21/30 from Scott giving them 71.

Emi and Marie are through to the grand final!!!  Whilst Phillippe and Pascal are out of the competition…oh how I will miss Phillippe’s cooking!

Next up is Lozz and Nols and it is either them or Aron and Vanessa into the grand final!!! Bring it on!!!

Cauliflower pizza

I tried cauliflower pizza base for the 1st time…the base is cauliflower blitzed up then cooked and fully drained and mixed with an egg, baked on baking paper for 30mins in 230 degrees Celsius oven. Then topped with 2tbs of tomato pasta sauce, 2 slices of chopped ham, 1/2c of spinach, 1 chopped mushroom and 25g of grated tasty cheese. I needed to cook it slightly longer to make the base a bit crispier but I enjoyed it and only managed half of it.


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