Vanitonne Milan

Bread, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World 1, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race vs the World after slaying the ball, Ra’Jah and Icesis admitted they were a little bit surprised that one of them didn’t land a spot in the top, despite how well Victoria and Silky also did. Thankfully there wasn’t time to dwell on things as the top six performed Cameos before Brad announced they would be putting on a little stand-up show. And he and his husband Gary would be on hand to help. Despite everyone slaying their rehearsal, Icesis appeared to be getting inside her head. The next day as the dolls beat the mugs for the show, Icesis continued to struggle before admitting to Ra’Jah that she is straight up exhausted and is struggling with her mentally health. Ultimately stepping out of the competition to look after herself, with the support of all her sisters on the way out the door.

After Icesis exited, the dolls all broke down in tears before Reverend Doctor Silky Nutmeg Ganache led them in a prayer before they re-beat their mugs and well, it was really bloody touching.

Brooke, Brad, Traci and Gary Janetti took their places on the panel as Ra’Jah kicked off the show with all the energy and damn, I love her. While she had some solid jokes, the middle lagged a bit, but thankfully she was able to finish strongly. Vanity’s nerves sadly got the best of her, but bless, she won us back with some knock knock jokes. Rita’s French gag landed as well as it could, but thankfully she knew how to work the crowd and won them back. Sadly for her, as soon as Victoria took the stage she owned the damn show. Her jokes were on point, she was charming and energetic and oh lord, just give her the bloody crown. Oh and Silky was obviously just as good as she tossed her notes into the crowd and went off the cuff and stole the show.

Broken bottle of spices be damned.

On the Plaid Girls Club runway Ra’Jah was perfection as COVID-Ru and Carmen Sandiego’s love child. Vanity was a glorious, non-prolematic Dionne from Clueless, Rita was demented and delightful in a pink vintage number while Victoria was stunning in an oversized purple suit and Silky gave sexy biker girl. The judges felt Ra’Jah’s pacing was a little off throughout the set, though they lived for her glamorous runway. Vanity’s look received universal praise while they felt she got stuck in her head throughout the challenge. Rita was praised for her charm throughout the performance, despite it being a little too long. Oh but they loved the runway. Victoria’s runway was beloved, though the judges loved her performance even more. And while they lived for Silky’s comedy, Brooke felt her runway was basic. Specifically perfect for a meet and greet.

Once again Silky and Victoria landed in the top before Rita was sent to safety, leaving Ra’Jah and Vanity up for elimination. Backstage the girls congratulated Silky and Victoria on their win, while Silky admitted that she is super disappointed to have to eliminate one of her SRV bandmates. Vanity opened up about feeling down, though assured them her fire was still there while Ra’Jah broke down about letting her inner saboteur get to her. Ra’Jah and Silky caught up with Ra’Jah pulling herself together and reminding her that she will bounce back and their Venus and Serena energy can live on. Though Silky did admit she was concerned about the girls thinking she would only save her because she is her sister. Vanity meanwhile told Victoria that she is still focused on taking out the win and wants to take the platform back and elevate black queens in the UK.

Oh and Rita was entertaining herself.

Ra’Jah tapped out and caught up with Victoria, assuring her this is nothing but a moment and she will bounce back. While Victoria admitted she did do better in the challenge. Vanity meanwhile opened up to Silky about how she was shocked to not be the first boot, though she assured her she wants to be a role model for her black sisters and ugh, poor Silky is really struggling with this decision. As soon as Your Daddy Don’t Know by Toronto kicked off, both of the girls gave it their all, but it was Victoria’s filthy performance that won the judges heart and handed herself victory. And more importantly, because Icesis exited the competition already, Brooke rightly suspended All Stars rules and cancelled the elimination.

As. She. Should.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to not have to lose another sister, while Victoria was just giddy to finally have a win. Ra’Jah led the girls in praising Icesis for being an icon and how she ultimately ended up saving them. That obviously led to Victoria having to admit that she had chosen Vanity to go home, though assured her she is thrilled she got saved and hopes it puts a fire under her belly. Silky meanwhile didn’t want to announce who she chose in front of everyone, with Ra’Jah assuring her that she doesn’t need to do anything she doesn’t want and if she chose her, there would be no hard feelings. Luckily for her though Silky too had chosen Vanity, pulling her aside to quietly let her know and assure her that she loves her and is thrilled she is still here.

Which is just classy and ugh, I love Silky.

The next day the top five compared track records with Victoria and Silky realising they are neck and neck, while Rita was hoping for another win to bookend her run. Given people only really care about the start and end, so the rest – aka the ones Silky and Victoria took out – don’t really matter. Traci dropped by to loop the girls in on the next Maxi Challenge, filming a trailer for the blockbuster new movie Spy Queens. And since Victoria won the last lip sync, she had all the power to cast the roles. The dolls sat down to read through the scripts with Rita getting the house mother, while Silky and Vanity fought for the lip sync assassin. But given Silky suggested getting tapped out with a skinny stunt double would be funny, she totally won the battle. Victoria took the shade assassin, Vanity got the look queen while Ra’Jah got the body-ody-ody.

They immediately did a read through of the script with Victoria and Silky delighted to get another kiss, while Vanity, Ra’Jah and Rita kikied about how they can knock their rolls out of the park. Rita tried to remind them that whether they have the most lines or the fewest, they are always on the stage and as such, need to serve it all. Ra’Jah on the other hand was just hoping to redeem herself in an acting challenge. Victoria and Silky meanwhile were busy bonding over their passion for acting – get Silky on Grey’s Anatomy as she deserves – and the way they have experienced stigma due to their weight, though thankfully have learnt to love themselves.

The dolls joined Traci on set where Victoria and Rita were perfection from start to finish, while Ra’Jah powered through flubbing her lines while Silky was just charming as hell, whether she was a character or not! While Vanity was on struggle street as she got more and more in her head.

Elimination Day arrived with the Ra’Jah feeling like she got redemption, while Rita admitted she forgot it was a competition as she was just living her best life. On the flipside, Vanity felt like she was far and away the worst, while Silky admitted she was just vibing. Talk turned to their love lives, with Victoria opening up about how grateful she is for her girlfriend while Ra’Jah admitted that duality between Benji and Ra’Jah makes it hard to find love. Vanity meanwhile admitted her husband wasn’t thrilled about drag at first but now had become her biggest supporter. And costume maker. While Ra’Jah and Rita sweetly praised their sisters as being their new support systems.

Brooke, Traci and Brad were joined on the panel by Joe Zee as the dolls stomped the Y2Gay Runway. Rita opened the show as a glorious pink and green hourglass. Vanity meanwhile was stunning in black with highlighter yellow hair, Victoria destroyed – the set, literally – as the millennium bug, while Silky gave sickening drag Oblina from Aaahh! Real Monsters while Ra’Jah was perfect in a bronze and orange sexy Teletubby look. When it came to the trailer, Victoria and Rita were far and away the best while Ra’Jah camped it up and Silky and Vanity kind of faded into the background, somehow. (Maybe the writing).

The judges lived for everything Rita served this week, from committing to the character to giving a creative, playful look. Vanity’s look was praised for giving all the references, despite not giving Club Kid. Oh and she was read for getting lost in the performance. Victoria was universally beloved for her performance and the look, despite breaking the set, before Silky was read for being hit and miss in the performance, though received universal praise for her runway, despite it being a bit crafty. Ra’Jah meanwhile got her redemption in the performance, receiving universal praise for always being in the moment while everyone loved her look, despite it confusing Brad. Victoria and Rita obviously landed in the top two while Ra’Jah was deemed safe, leaving Vanity and Silky in danger of going home.

Backstage Ra’Jah was gutted that her fellow girl groupers were in the bottom, though praised Rita for manifesting a spot in the top. Victoria was proud of getting her third win, which triggered Silky, who felt she didn’t deserve to be in the bottom. Vanity meanwhile started to break down, talking about how she saw each of her sisters knocking it out of the park as she faded. Everyone stopped her in her tracks, reminding her that she too is an icon and as such, needs to put some respect on her own name.

Silky and Rita were first to catch up, with Silky reiterating she feels like she doesn’t deserve a place in the bottom and isn’t ready to go home, particularly since she has slayed the competition. While Rita assured her they have an alliance, she admitted to us that getting rid of Silky would give her a better shot at the crown. Vanity meanwhile assured Victoria that she just wants to slay another week, while Ra’Jah kikied with herself. When Rita and Vanity caught up, the latter reminded her that Silky has competed three times while this is her second and as such, she wants the chance to fight for the crown and go home and let the girls know Rita is the reason she made it to the end. Silky meanwhile assured Victoria that she just is not ready to go and wants the honour of competing against her next week.

After Rita and Victoria selected their lipsticks they ventured to the mainstage and as soon as Estelle’s Freak kicked off both the dolls went off, Rita leaning into camp comedy while Victoria was silly and street. Ultimately though it was Rita that took out victory with her sticking to her word and sending Vanity from the competition. Though not before telling Silky to go snatch the crown for her.

Backstage I pulled Vanity in for a massive hug and immediately continued on her sisters work, reminding her that she already is an icon and should never doubt herself. She is a killer performer, she is charming, can turn a look and even better, she is super sweet. Obviously she was grateful for my kind words, but I think the thing she was most grateful for, however, was the big fat (festive) Vanitonne Milan awaiting her.

Like many random things growing up, I decided that panettone was disgusting and never tried it. Until my husband came along and would smash multiple each Christmas, eventually enticing me to try it. And well, it was a glorious day. Sweet, spiced and gloriously fluffy, this is the perfect way to dull post boot pain or more importantly, get into the festive spirit.

Enjoy!

Vanitonne Milan
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
¼ cup warm milk
7g dried yeast
150g raw caster sugar
250g butter, softened
5 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
550g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp kosher salt
80g raisins
80g sultanas
3 tbsp rum
100g candied lemon and orange peel, roughly chopped

Method
Pop the warm milk in a bowl with the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar and leave to get all foamy and glorious.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the remaining sugar, butter, vanilla and almond extract on medium speed until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low and add the zests, followed by the eggs one at a time, adding the next only when the last one is fully incorporated.

In another bowl, combine the flour and salt and make a well in the centre. While stirring, slowly pour the milk and yeast mixture, followed by the buttery eggs, until a soft dough forms. Return to the stand mixer and using a dough hook, knead on medium speed for 5 minutes or until it has all come together, adding more flour if it is too sticky. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to chill overnight.

Pop the raisins, sultanas and rum in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until the fruit is plump and juicy.

Grease and line a deep 20cm deep cake tin. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes, slowly working in the candied peel and rum-soaked fruit until it is all together. Transfer to the prepared tin, wrapping baking paper around the outside to help keep the height as it rises. Cover with cling and leave to prove for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size while you preheat the oven to 160C.

Remove the cling and pop the panettone in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until golden, puffed and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Before devouring, dusted in icing sugar.


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Astdinner Mandrollas

Baking, Bread, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens sang for their lives in Rats! the Rusical. As is becoming tradition, Ginny was bonkers, while week one’s victor Asttina was flat, Tia was hilarious and Veronica emerged as a star. Cherry’s nerves got the better of her while Lawrence was able to power through her’s. Ultimately Veronica took out a very, very well deserved win – that runway, swoon – before Cherry and Tayce battled in the most unexpected lip sync to Memory. And oh God, did they serve emotion. While they both had me covered in goosebumps, one of them had to go as Cherry exited the competition.

The queens ventured backstage, praising Cherry and the emotion of the lip sync, which was so emotive Tayce vowed to never lip sync again. And to not go anywhere. Sister and A’Whora got the group talking on the overwhelming emotions of the day, with A’Whora softening and talking about how you never know what someone else is struggling with and how it is starting to throw her. Tia meanwhile was just thrilled to be whittling down the girls and making it one step further. Finally the queens praised Veronica on slaying the challenge, with her admitting that she is glad she spoke up because if she didn’t, she may have been the one going home. Meanwhile Ellie shared that she now has her eyes on Veronica and vowed to take her out.

We then got a montage of Ellie, Lawrence and Tayce talking about how this will be their week, begging the question, are they our top or bottom three tonight?

The queens returned to the Werk Room the next day, congratulating themselves on making the top ten before they were quickly interrupted by Ru for this week’s mini challenge to go as low as possible. In a quick drag carnivale, limbo battle to the sounds of Jodie Harsh. Soooo, there was not much actual limbo going on, particularly for Ginny who just walked right under it. But then Ru started to lower the bar and while Lawrence was hilarious, Ellie showed full bush, Tia was demented and Bimini looked like a showgirl, Asttina could actually limbo. Until she couldn’t, handing joint victory to Tayce and Veronica.

Despite normally being granted some sort of power, everyone was a winner in the end as Ru told the queens to pair up with their best judy for the next Maxi Challenge. Sister Sister and Ginny Lemon got together, Veronica went with Tia, Tayce and A’Whora continued their blossoming romance, Asttina and Bimini aligned while the Scots, Lawrence and Ellie, banded together. They then learnt that they would be competing against their partner, to design the best outfit out of matching coloured boxes. Oh and then we learnt that Veronica and Tayce did win an advantage, that being the power to divide the colours amongst the queens. Against Michelle’s preference, Veronica snatched green, Tayce gave herself and A’Whora black, Veronica gave pink to Ginny and Sister while Tayce gave blue to Asttina and Bimini, leaving gold for Lawrence and Ellie.

The duos disappeared to de-drag and prepare, with A’Whora very confident in her skills, given she went to the leading design school in the country. Sister too was feeling confident, given she has fun with her sewing machine. Her partner Ginny however wasn’t as thrilled, given her skills go as far making a pillowcase. As everyone delved into their boxes, the were delighted to discover a bunch of sequinseses, sparkles, pleathers and TBH, this is a very fair challenge. Sister was semi-erect at the thought of going against Coco Chanel’s advice and throwing everything at her outfit until it looks presentable. Ellie meanwhile was worried about how she would narrow down what fabric to use while Lawrence hoped to snag a win by leaning on her costume making experience, since she has been doing it since she was a wee lass of ten.

Tia meanwhile acknowledged that she is that queen that doesn’t know how to sew, while Veronica was quickly sketching up another glorious gown. Tayce too was on struggle street as A’Whora continued to go against her delightful villain instincts, giving her a pep talk and some advice on how to test out her designs.

Ru made his return to chat to the queens, with Ginny and Sister both committing to stick with their brands while Ru tried to get Ginny to step out of her comfort zone and serve sexy. Which she vowed to do, for Ru. Bimini and Asttina on the flipside were planning to serve body, with the latter going anime school girl realness. While Bimini was planning to go as a well dressed stripper. Minus balloons, as Ru advised. Lawrence and Ellie meanwhile were super confident, before talk turned to how little girls are paid in Scotland and the sexual tension between A’Whora and Tayce. So, tackling all the important issues really. Veronica continued to be super happy and confident, while Tia continued to be confident in the fact nobody expects her to look good and as such, can only impress. Despite having zero sewing skills. Finally Ru dropped by the burgeoning lovers, with A’Whora going full fashion while Tayce was sticking to her jacket gown. And questioned whether Lawrence would know sexual tension if it punched her in the face.

After Ru dropped the bomb that there would only be tops and bottoms this week, Veronica started to spiral about potentially sending her bestie home. With Tia telling her to get over it and do what she does best because they will always be friends. And gah, I love them. Not fearing going home, however, was Asttina who was very confident in her anime look and was swanning about the Werk Room and given they keep showing it, I am worried for her safety tonight.

We returned to Sister and Ginny chatting about how happy they are with their box before Ginny opened up about her drag character’s penchant for yellow, given it is the non-binary colour. They then had a beautiful conversation about Ginny’s journey to knowing and loving herself, and ugh, I wish Ginny saw what everyone else sees in her. Bimini dropped by to make sure she was ok, bonding over their experience of being non-binary, allowing Ginny to share more about their difficult upbringing and Bimini giving her a much needed pep talk and a big old bom-boulash-hug.

As everyone else continued to work on their outfits, to varying levels of success, Tayce made a sleeve. Until she realised she hadn’t, given there were no openings. Thankfully A’Whora continued her Miss Congeniality campaign and stepped in to save the day. Veronica meanwhile was powering ahead before getting distracted by Tia who completely scrapped her plans and decided to start again with a completely new concept. Which is a bit eeeek for my liking.

Elimination Day rolled around with Asttina still feeling super confident, given some of the other girls’ looks were a total mess. She then decided her look was pretty perfect and as such, was just going to stop there while Bimini suggested that maybe she should embellish it. Sister Sister meanwhile was helping Ginny sex it up with some padding as A’Whora shared that she was overwhelmed by the pressure given she was blacklisted from the design industry because she is a drag queen. Tayce on the flipside was living for her pinned together garment, given she found a loophole to the challenge.

Oh and Tia, well, um, she is just ready to lip sync as she knows it is coming.

On the mainstage, Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by the gorgeous Jourdan Dunn before the duos got to work. Tayce completely sold her architectural Malificent number but proved no match for A’Whora’s head to toe puffy delight. Ginny was hilariously glam as a suburban sexpot while Sister slayed in a tonal ruched number. Veronica was well put together though got lucky to be facing off against Tia, who looked far better than she gave herself credit for. Asttina looked good, albeit very basic while Bimini was stunning in a full fashion moment, serving a tonne of arse. Ellie was glorious in gold while Lawrence stunned in a dramatic gown.

Ultimately A’Whora, Sister Sister, Veronica, Bimini and Lawrence were the winners of each duo, though I’d argue Ellie easily could have won. Which is exactly what her partner did, claiming her first victory of the season. And a glorious RuPeter badge. With that the tops left – a sentence I always hate writing – leaving the bottoms to be critiqued, with the judges praising Tayce for looking stunning and essentially said, she is only here because someone from each pair had to be.They lived for Ginny’s sexpot persona and her ability to put herself into the look, despite the details kind of lacking. Ginny then shared that she struggles with all the compliments she is receiving in the competition, given she has always been made to feel worthless and urgh, I just want to hug her.

Tia meanwhile got to work charming the judges, knowing that is the only way she can save herself. Michelle praised her for having a perfectly beat face before Ru and Jourdan suggested she should be a model, leading to her breaking down about not feeling beautiful like Tayce. Asttina was read for being basic and mixing her influences, with the judges unsure what the point of her outfit is. She too started to break down after Ru suggested she is better than that outfit, sharing that she joined the competition to challenge herself and she hates letting them down. And Ellie? Well the judges thought she was stunning and only landed here because some had to.

Backstage the winners praised Lawrence on her first victory, while Lawrence admitted that she was shocked to win against someone as talented as A’Whora. A’Whora then started to get down on herself, with Veronica suggesting that she could have won if she didn’t focus on pulling together Tayce’s look for her too. Veronica continued to be shady, asking who they think will land in the bottom with the queens all agreeing Tia. And A’Whora going one step further and full-blown willing her out of the competition, given she is bored of her and is sick of sickening people leaving over her.

This irked Veronica who yelled at her for being mean about Tia and saying that she is sickening and deserves to be here. Right on cue, the bottoms arrived with Tia in tears over continuing to get in her own way in the competition. She then shared that she feels like people are just waiting for her to go home. Bimini encouraged her to keep going and get out of her head before talk turned to Ginny’s sexy look, which some girls loved and Tayce hated. Asttina was disappointed to have missed the mark, though vowed to turn it out if she lands in the bottom two. Filling Tia with even more fear.

The queens returned to the mainstage with Tayce and Ellie quickly joining the tops in safety before Ginny was saved by her willingness to take a risk but stay on brand (and deliver some design, in the design challenge). Leaving Asttina to put her money where her mouth is with a terrified Tia to Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now. And oh girl, did they fight. Asttina literally kicked things off, flipping around the stage and selling the song while Tia lent into her comedy skills, having the judges in stitches from start to finish. They then finished with a bit of a duet and ugh, I don’t want either of them to go. But sadly someone has to, as Ru gagged everyone, saving Tia and sending Asttina from the competition as she praised Tia on slaying the performance as the queens and Jourdan all sobbed.

Backstage Asttina was well and truly heartbroken to have been eliminated from the competition, though was grateful she at least had a moment to shine in week one. Controversial jackets be damned. With that we laughed and hugged each other – something we’d soon be questioning as the pandemic started to spread – as we toasted her success the only way I know how. By filling my gob with pillowy buns, in the form of some Astdinner Mandrollas.

Dinner rolls are arguably the only reason to venture to a large scale event or a buffet. Soft, fluffy bread covered in a delicately golden crust, these baby rolls are the perfect size for tricking your brain into the fact you’ve eaten less than you have. While also acting as a perfect butter receptacle.

Enjoy!

Astdinner Mandrollas

Serves: 2 dear, zaddy friends.

Ingredients
1 cup milk, warmed to about 42C.
7g dried yeast
2 tbsp raw caster sugar, divided
1 large egg
60g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and left to soften at room temp
1 tsp kosher salt
400g bread flour

Method
To prepare the dough, whisk the milk, yeast and half the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and leave to get frothy for about five minutes. Using the dough hook attachment, mix in the remaining sugar, egg, butter, salt and half the flour by hand. Pop the hook into the mixer and beat on medium until it comes together in a ball. If it is too wet, add more flour ¼ of a cup at a time until you have a soft, easy to manage dough. Not too sticky, not too dry and well, I know you can find the right balance for you.

Once the consistency is right, need for a further couple of minutes before transferring to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling and leave to prove for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size.

Punch back the dough and divide into 16 portions. Shape into dinner rolls formation and pop on a lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for additional rising. Once done, cover with cling and leave for said rise for a further hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Once proved, pop the rolls in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and puffed. Then serve still warmed, slathered in glorious butter.


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