Rio Summers Fruit Tart

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Baking, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls created avatars in the ANTM mobile game leading to Jeana being pissed about her lack of personality. Feeling the pressure, she then dived into Shanice and Khrystyana’s shoot, or so they thought, leading to some drama before Director X cleared things up at panel. Sadly it wasn’t enough to save her, with Khrystyana taking out best photo again and Jeana booted from the competition.

The top four returned to the house to celebrate Khrystyana’s 600th first call out, and for Kyla and Shanice, the demise of Jeana. Rio then shared a beautiful note that Jeana left her following her departure, though was thankful she was gone as her odds just got better. Khrystyana offered to have her join them in the other bedroom, though she didn’t want to give up her big bed and while I get it, ugh Rio. Tyra Mail arrived and warned the girls that it was throwback week and they’d have to recreate a past challenge, leading to a shit tonne of speculation and Rio and Shanice sharing their pride about how far they’ve come.

The next day the girls joined Ashley, Drew and Law to learn that they would be recreating the cycle 16 bubble runway of death. Stacey McKenzie returned to help the girls through the challenge before they dropped the bombshell that the eliminated queens – no quitters – would be returning to compete for a place in the new top four. The girls all reconnected, well except for Jeana and Rio as the latter was feeling frosty about her potential return, particularly if it is at the cost of her place. Law then told the girls that only the four best eliminated queens would temporarily move back into the house and compete to return after the shoot.

Rio struggled in the ball according to Jeana, though she did kill it so maybe she is an authority. All of the other girls seemed to struggle, even Queen Khrystyana, except for Christina, Kyla, Erin and Liberty. Erin took out victory in the challenge and was given a ticket back into the house, along with Liberty, Christina and Jeana much to the chagrin of Rio. Lol.

The potential returnees were feeling unloved back at the house, with Jeana really hurt by Rio icing her out as it triggered her memories of being bullied and isolated in school. Christina joined the OG top four from Rio mid-rant, before she vowed to raise hell if she is the one to be eliminated. Rio then took her rage next level, moving out of her beloved big bed and into the room with her fellow never-eliminees behind Jeana’s back. Seriously, Rio is losing it and it is scary but also glorious.

The models then arrived to recreate tarantula shoot from Cycle 3, posing with Eva who won that cycle and shot by former judge, all around babe and noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker. The final four were paired with one of the potential returnees, Erin with Khrystyana, Liberty and Kyla, and obviously the drama pairs of Christina and Shanice – who felt safer with the tarantula – and Rio and Jeana. Liberty didn’t love the spider, though loved the experience with Nige. Erin was terrified and Khrystyana was annoyed that that made her have to suffer through more time with the spider. Erin then pulled out all stops and posed with the spider on her face. Eva pulled Jeana aside to talk her through the shoot, pissing off Rio who felt the entire thing was fake. Jeana then went on to dominate the shoot while Rio couldn’t get out of her head and looked weak as hell. Shanice then struggled the entire shoot while Christina completely dominated.

The girls arrived at panel where Tyra warned them all that Eva looked fierce in all the photos and they had better hope they brought it. Christina and Shanice were up first with Christina’s photo receiving universal praise and Shanice getting read for filth, though she admitted she hated the entire thing and wasn’t surprised. Rio and Jeana were up next with Jeana praised for owning the shoot and coming back to slay, while they felt Rio was lost and just floating through the competition. Liberty was praised for looking rich, while was no competition for Kyla whose photo was gorgeous. Khrystyana had a rare stumble and while Erin’s photo looked terrible, she was praised for owning the runway.

Kyla received best photo – though it kind of felt like it was by default – followed by Khrystyana, leaving Shanice, who has grown throughout the competition, and Rio, who has plateaued. As such Shanice was given a reprieve, despite the weaker photo and poor Rio was eliminated from the competition. With that Tyra turned her attention to the eliminated girls, with Jeana earning her place back in the competition much to rage of Shanice, Kyla and Khrystyana.

Now like Jeana last week, I know I’ve been harsh on Rio and while I did scream at her and let her know just how disappointed I was by her attitude, this week kind of showed just how much the competition had gotten to them both. While Jeana had the chance to reflect after her brief elimination, Rio couldn’t process losing and highlighted how desperate she was for the title. She cried, I held her tight – did I mention I was conducting clinical trials in the hospital she received treatment at and motivated her to take up modelling? Because I did – and sweetened the deal of her loss with a big fat slice of Rio Summers Fruit Tart.

 

 

Sweet, fresh and a little bit tart, this is the perfect reflection of her narrative arc on the show. From beloved to reviled, she brought it every week and TBH, this is the kind of tart you’ll want to devour every damn week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rio Summers Fruit Tart
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
150g cold unsalted butter, plus 115g at room temperature
250g flour
50g icing sugar
salt, to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
milk, optional (dependent on size of the egg, really)
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp spiced rum
¼ tsp almond extract
1 cup almond meal
3 peaches, sliced
1 cup blueberries

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

To make the pastry, cut the cold butter into cubes and blitz in a food processor with the flour, icing sugar, a pinch of salt and vanilla. When resembling wet sand, add the egg and blitz until it just comes together to form a dough. You may need to add some milk if the egg is small, but you should be ok. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling and rest in the fridge for an hour.

Sprinkle some flour in a bench and roll the dough until it is roughly 3mm thick and press it into a 25cm loose bottom – yum – tart case. Trim off an any excess dough and return to the fridge for half an hour or so. When you’re ready, line with baking paper and fill with baking weights. Transfer to the oven and blind bake for ten minutes. Remove the baking weights and cook  for a further ten minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through.

Leave the oven on while you beat the remaining butter and sugar in a stand mixer until it is so light it looks to be pulsating. Add the remaining two eggs, one at a time, followed by the rum and almond extract before removing from the stand mixer and folding through the almond meal. Smear into the tart case and smooth the top.

Press the peaches into the frangipane in any fashion you find aesthetically on point for you – dick and balls would look hella artistic, for instance – before pressing the blueberries around the gaps. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, our until the tart is golden and puffed and the blueberries are blistering.

Devour immediately with some ice cream. Sad model friend optional.

 

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.

Egg Yoko Raviono

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Main, Pasta

After a busy and ritualistically labour intensive week catching up with Megs, Shirley, Gabs and Alan, I’ve finally arrived at the crescendo with my hero Yoko Ono.

While most people incorrectly attribute her with breaking up The Beatles – instead of male egos etc. – she is a talented artist, singer, songwriter and general multi-hyphenate, and I hate the hate she so often gets.

Plus – as a peace activist, we need more people like her in the world.

I gave her a call last week to see if she was up for the honour, and while she was confused about what a Meggstravaganza was – or even Meg, for that matter – I had her at shamanic ritual. We obviously met through John, but fast became friends in our own rite with me becoming her de facto muse.

After a quick stint reconnecting and catching-up about our current artistic endeavours – FYI, Bed-In Brisbane is likely to happen soon, we threw on the ritualistic robe for the last time this year and got to work sacrificing my Egg Yoko Raviono.

 

 

Using the still fresh Alan Pastarkin, this egg yolk raviolo is near perfection. Melting cheese and delicately cooked yolk, ensconced in perfect pasta … with burnt butter, sage and prosciutto? I’m in heaven, as you will be after you make it. Plus – it looks difficult but is super easy, so what is there to lose?

Enjoy!

 

 

Egg Yoko Raviono
Serves: 4

Ingredients
1 batch of Alan Pastarkin
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
8 eggs, separated
6 slices of pancetta, cut into strips
150g unsalted butter
sage leaves, to taste

Method
Combine the ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Lay out your sheets of pasta – they should look like long, thin lasagne – and cut them into large, even squares.

Divide the cheese mixture between 8 pieces of pasta, forming into a neat mound in the centre. Top with an egg yolk and cover with a remaining piece of pasta, push out any excess air and sealing to close. Transfer to a piece of baking paper.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and heat a frying pan over medium heat. In the frying pan, cook the pancetta until crisp and delicious. Add the butter and – I advise – a shit tonne of sage leaves, and cook until crisp and fragrant.

When the water is rollicking, add the ravioli and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they float and the cheese is melted but the yolk is still runny.

Serve immediately, drowned in butter, pancetta and sage and devour. Giddily.

 

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.

Alan Pastarkin

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Pasta

After kicking things off with Megs, a drop-in from the delightful Shirley Bassey and catching up with Gabourey Sidibe yesterday, I’m thrilled to arrive at my favourite day of the Meggstravaganza – seeing a shockingly still living legend. And no tea no shade … but there is no one more worthy of the honour than my dear Alan Arkin.

While we didn’t meet until relatively late in his career, we’ve grown to become the best of friends. Making it so exciting every time I realise he isn’t close to death.

I first met Al on the set of Edward Scissorhands through my gal-pal Winona, but we didn’t solidify our relationship until the best-friend party that became Glengarry Glen Ross with Jack, Al Pac and Alec Baldy. After that, I was hooked and I made it my duty to become his muse.

My crowning achievement, obviously, was convincing him to join Little Miss Sunshine and finally snagging him an Oscar.

He was thrilled to drop by and see me again, particularly when it came with a side order of helping a fellow thespian make a good comeback. I ran straight into his arms as soon as I saw him at the arrivals gate and don’t think I let go until it was time to pop on our Meggstravaganza robes and make some Alan Pastarkin.

 

 

Making pasta at home is probably the easiest thing you’ve been too terrified to try. And let me promise you, it is so worth the effort. Which is minimal. Light, delicate and fresh – it is perfect for any and all occasions.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Pastarkin
Serves: 1-.

Ingredients
400g 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs
salt, to taste
*So yeah, basically to make pasta 1 egg to 100g of flour, ok?

Method
Chuck the flour and eggs into a food processor with a pinch of salt, and blitz until a dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Form into a disc, wrap with cling and leave to rest for an hour. Oh, at room temp, FYI.

When you’re ready, cut the dough into four and working one at a time, feed it through a pasta roller, working from the thickest to thinnest, dusting with flour as you go. Fold in half and the half again, then feed through the shortest end at the widest setting and work to your desired thickness.

Once it is at your desired consistency, cut to shape – if required – and cook immediately. Or devour raw like us. Though don’t, because of food poisoning.

 

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.

Gaberry Soufflibe

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After a hint of Megs and a dash of Shirls, we’ve arrived at the televisual stardom section of my egg-based ritual. And based on her successful post-Precious TV career with The Big C, American Horror Story: Coven through Hotel and Empire, my girl Gabs Sidible was the only person worthy of joining me for day three of this year’s Easter Meggstravaganza.

I’ve known Gabs for years after meeting on the set of Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. I was there visiting my part-time lover Lenny Kravtiz and was immediately drawn in by her performance and vowed to make her a star, and get her an Oscar. While she was robbed by my frenemy Sandra Bullock – she should have been robbed by Meryl instead – she never held my inability to bring Bullsy down against me.

Given how busy I’ve been being Miley and the sort, and she is still hard at work on Empire, Gabs and I haven’t had the chance to catch-up in a while. And let me tell you, it was such a treat to see her again.

She was not only so excited to see me again and reconnect, but also help bring Megs the renewed fame she deserves. We laughed, we hugged, we plotted my way into American Horror Story and finally put on our ritualistic robes and devoured a Gaberry Soufflibe.

 

 

Don’t let the terrible photos scare you – the air conditioning really did a number on them – these babies are damned near perfection. Light, sweet and full of berrylicious tang, it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Or off, TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gaberry Soufflibe
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup raw caster sugar
100g blueberries
100g raspberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornflour
2 egg whites
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the ¼ cup of sugar, berries, vanilla and cornflour in a saucepan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for five minutes or so, or until broken down and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to rock and or roll, place the remaining sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold through the berry mixture and pour into 6 small ramekins, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or until risen (like Megs’ career, yo).

Dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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.

Shirlied Bassey Eggs

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Baking, Breakfast

With day one of the Meggstravaganza done and dusted – and me feeling hella dusty from one too many nogs – we’ve arrived at one of my favourite days of the ritual, where I need to bring forth a struggling musician. Now I know my selection of Shirley Bassey is controversial, since she is a ma’ fuckin’ icon who sang three of the best Bond themes, she is 81 and that is exhausting.

And when I’m exhausted, I struggle. So it works.

Plus, having actual struggling musicians show up hasn’t done much for the ritual, so maybe I need to be more creative with the classifications. You know?

While we didn’t connect until the ‘70s – I was checking in on my friend Nat’s kid sister on the set of Diamond Are Forever – we became the fastest of friends and I became her ferocious managent. So ferocious I went on to inspire the character of Ari Gold.

I know I’m digressing, but fun fact, I invented the slur Wein-fuck about the horrid Harvey.

In retrospect Horrid Harvey would also have worked.

Anyway, after catching up with Shirls and making sure she was happy and making good choices, we pulled the ceremonial cloaks out of the closet – I can’t believe I hadn’t mentioned them until yesterday – and got to work whipping up an eggceptional Shirlied Bassey Eggs.

 

 

Creamy, gooey and side note, title of my sex tape – these babies are so simple yet so good. A little rich, a little bit fresh – well not real – and altogether delicious, get this in your breakfast rotation. Without it, I feel you’ll never experience real joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shirlied Bassey Eggs
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
unsalted butter, for greasin’
2-4 (thin) slices smoked leg ham
4 eggs
¼ cup double cream
salt and pepper, to taste
100g Swiss cheese, grated
chives, sliced, to garnish

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Grease two ramekins with butter before pressing the ham into the base of each and up the side. Crack 2 eggs into each, place on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the white are just starting to colour.

Remove from the oven, drizzle the cream amongst the two, season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and top with the Swiss cheese. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or so, or until the whites are set and the yolks still gooey.

Serve with toast and devour immediately.

 

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.

Megg Nog Ryan

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Drink

Now in it’s 14th year – and the fourth one that is being documented on this anthropological patch of cyberspace – Megs and I assumed the ceremonial cloaks and get straight down to whipping up an eggy sacrifice to give her career new life.

We were both so hopeful that last year was going to be her year after her directorial debut Ithaca, but it didn’t register a blip on the Oscars radar and no offers rolled in despite another potential employment stream.

“Ben, bless you! We don’t need to keep going until the shaman’s ritual limit of 15. I’m happy with where and I, and knowing how fiercely you love me is more than enough to keep me going.

“You’re my prize Ben. You’re my A-list.”

Like, of course I am, duh … but seriously, how sweet is Megsy? That is why I’ve persevered to get her back on top like Tyra. Not to be confused with the other (shit) Tyra.

Anyway, we donned our ceremonial cloaks, headed to the kitchen, chanting the incantation and kicked things off with a boozey, chill Megg Nog Ryan.

 

 

While I will agree that Egg Nog is a festive drink, I would argue that there is nothing more festive or important than the Meggstravaganza. Spiced and potent, there is no better way to summon the spirits of the Hollywood Gods … and dull the pain of Monday.

Enjoy!

 

 

Megg Nog Ryan
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 eggs, separated
⅓ cup raw caster sugar, plus an extra tablespoon
2 cups milk
1 cup double cream
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup bourbon

Method
Beat the egg yolks in a stand mixer with the ⅓ cup sugar until completely dissolved and glossy. Set aside.

Meanwhile combine the milk, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk half a cup of the mixture into the sugary yolk. Once combined and free of curdling, slowly whisk back into the warm, milky mixture and cook over low heat until the mixture reaches 70C. Remove from heat, whisk in the bourbon, cover and transfer to the fridge to chill.

When you’re ready to serve, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold through the yolk mixture until well combined. Transfer to glasses, sprinkle with some extra nutmeg and down. Until everything feels groovy. Because I’m now in The Brady Bunch, it seems.

 

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.

City of Eggles

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I was pretty whiny about last year’s Meggstravaganza and while my dear friend MegsMegs, Megs – would never say it, I feel like my attitude tarnished the annual egg based ritual and stopped it from working.

While it is an exhausting, laborious process, I love Megs and I would do anything to see her succeed. And that is what I need to remind myself.

Plus, she reminded me that the ancient shaman we consulted said we could only give it 15 attempts, lest we want to have the ritual completely backfire. That means this is our second last attempt and I need to make it count.

With that, buckle up as I assemble Megs, a struggling musician, a successful TV star, a shockingly still living legend and a hero, to complete the ritual and save our world.

Because at the risk of sounding like a broken record, a world without Meg headlining a movie is a world in need of fixing.

Welcome to the 14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza – City of Meggles!

Image source: Screencap from The Craft.

 

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.

Marcia Hot Cross Buns

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Sweets

With Easter just around the corner, I started thinking about all the wonderful back-from-the-dead – or brink of – performances to ever grace the small screen and it reminded me how long it had been since I caught up with my dear friend Marcia Cross.

While much has been made about it in the media, I was not not the inspiration for the role of Kimberly Shaw in Melrose Place. I was just brought in to coach Marcia to peak craziness. We worked together day and night for months, and that close working relationship quickly developed into a deep and beautiful friendship that no questionable casting choices – I see you Quantico – will ever destroy.

Marcia and I are such wonderful friends, but since we’re both so successful and busy it makes it hard to maintain the day-to-day aspects of friendship, so it was such a treat to make the time to hang out and toast to the future.

Despite the fact she only has Quantico keeping her busy compared to the multiple pies I have my hands in. Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, easter is the time for miracles etc. so Marsh and I made it work, plotted a return to the A-list – for both of us – and devoured in a shit tonne of Marcia Hot Cross Buns, as is the style of the season.

 

 

Spicy, soft and packing a punch – not to measure a shit tonne of delicious fruits – these make the perfection that is Hot Cross Buns even better.

Not convinced? Make them for yourself … and enjoy!

 

 

Marcia Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
14g dried yeast
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
¼ cup muscovado sugar
4 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for crossin’
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup sultanas
½ cup raisins
1 cup craisins
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder

Method
Combine the yeast, milk and muscovado sugar in a jug and set aside in a warm, dry place until it is foamy and glorious.

Meanwhile combine the flour, spices and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub through the butter with your fingertips until it resembles dirty sand. Add the fruits, eggs and foamy yeast mixture, and knead in a stand mixer for five to ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Knock the dough back, shape into 12 balls and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving 5cm apart. Cover with some cling and allow to prove for another half an hour.

Combine the extra flour with the baking powder and ¼ cup of water. Spoon crosses over the buns and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 150°C, rotate the pan and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving, slathered in a shit tonne of butter.

 

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.