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.

 

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Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Drink

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, following Maggie’s outster the top 14 were given Ty-overs to find their signature looks. Which in the case of Coura, was just her look, meaning she got bupkis. Liz continued to act crazy, Coura and Rhiyan were boring and poor Ivana was eliminated at panel by her inner sabotuer.

Back at the house Brendi K and Liberty debriefed about Liz’s offensive comments about Brendi K’s family backstage, while Liz tried to rationalise her behaviour to Christina. Christina, to her credit, told her it wasn’t appropriate, to put her in Brendi K’s shoes and to apologise. To Liz’s credit, she then went and apologised, and while Brendi said there was no ill will between them, there still totally was.

Their almost-apology was cut short by the arrival of the scripts for this week’s screen test challenge, which Tyra rudely announced off-screen after panel. The girls then split up into groups to rehearse, where Rhiyan was already on struggle street.

The next day, the girls arrived at the studio where MVP Stacey McKenzie was waiting to coach them through filming. After being introduced to their director Anthony Hemingway and co-star Kevin Phillips, the girls learnt that the winner would earn a role in their upcoming TV show. Liz and Rhiyan struggled big time, making Khrystyana even more of a breath of fresh air when she arrived and knocked it out of the park. Erin, Brendi K and Sandra highlighted just how thirsty someone can get after being locked away from people, before Coura arrived and made Liz look good. Jeana, Christina and Liberty also struggled, only for Shanice to wrap things up, change up the script and kill the challenge. Sadly for her though, Khrystyana took out the challenge … which thankfully, did not sit well with Shanice.

Back at the house, Liz was starting to breakdown after being called out for her overwhelming personality. Which is fast becoming a thing. Thankfully before it was escalated further, Tyra-mail arrived teasing the girls spooky photoshoot the next day. Thinking it was time for a nighttime montage, I was surprised to find Rhiyan also having a breakdown in the spa talking to Rio and Kyla about her need to lose weight. Rio then won my heart even more, giving her a pep talk and talking about her concern that she has body dysmorphia.

The next day Liz was still in tears after Shanice refused to let her push in front in the showers, which thankfully was cut off again. This time with the girls leaving for their hellish photoshoot at a haunted house. Sandra bumbled her was through the shoot, Khrystyana slayed again, Rhiyan was a bit too dead, Christina brought it like she was Kirsten Dunst, Rio, as always, killed it, and Brendi K and Jeana did well but that is based of five seconds a piece. Shanice tried to bring more of herself to the shoot, Liberty looked well and Erin survived an outfit designed to kill her.

Liz spent her time backstage complaining about being bullied by the girls, before ultimately pulling out a strong performance in front of the camera. On the flipside, Coura struggled. Badly. And she knew it, fearing she would be the next to go.

That night the drama continued after Liz was awoken by the other girls just after midnight. And while she didn’t really ask them in the best way, this is the first time her rage truly was justified. Despite Khrystyana trying to comfort her after Shanice yelled at her, she packed up her things and left for the night.

She reappeared the next day for panel before the other girls, where she was met with Tyra. They then spoke about Liz’s love for the competition however she said that the house wasn’t good for her mental health … and she was quitting the competition.

It was heartbreaking to see her so emotional when my girl Liz found me even further backstage, but after a Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito or ten, everything started to feel better.

 

 

Sweet, spicy and bitter all at once, this mojito can cure everything that ails you. I mean, blueberry, rum and the peach from Call Me By Your Name – which is eaten in canon, FYI – this drink is damned near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 tbsp blueberries
a couple of mint leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
60ml spiced rum
½ a peach, sliced
ice
tonic, to taste
dash of bitters
1 lime, quartered, to garnish

Method
Place blueberries and mint in a cocktail shaker, and muddle with the lime juice.

Add the rum, peach and ice, and shake with vigour.

Pour into a glass, top with tonic, a dash of quitter’s bitters and a wedge of lime … then guzzle down.

 

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Peach Idris Melba

Dessert, Snack

After catching up with a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a couple of days ago – in the form of Az, who I saw in between Rach and Nay, obvi – I decided to reach out to another person that ticked both the superhero and Golden Globe winner boxes … in the form of my dearest friend Idris Elba.

I first met Ids in the mid-90s when he guested on Ab Fab. While I was taken by his talent and beauty, my alcoholism made him a distant memory. Flash forward six years and my dear friend Anna Paquin ‘introduced’ us on the set of Buffalo Soldiers. I had no idea that we had already met, until I started having flashes of memories which culminated in me realising that he is the one that dropped me in to rehab and saved my life.

Upon realising the truth, I ran into his arms and thanked him for believing in me. It was all super heavy and lovely, so I broke up the moment by propositioning him and putting me on a repayment plan.

While this made him wonder whether I’d replaced one addiction with another, I explained that my genuine thanks terrified me and was simply acting out. He bought it, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

It was so delightful to spend the afternoon with him, discussing where we want 2018 to take us – Ids gets me getting deep – before we buckled in to run the odds of the remaining TV categories. Obviously we both agree that it goes without saying that my part-time love Skarsy is a lock for Supporting Actor and Big Little Lies will take out Best Miniseries and The Handmaid’s Tale will take Best Drama. That is where our opinions started to differ – he thinks Ewan will win Best Actor in a Miniseries, while I think Kyle MacLachlan will be a spoil. He thinks Kevin Bacon will win Best Actor in a Comedy while I feel this is definitely my boy Aziz’s year, while Ids thinks Sterling K. Brown will take out Drama while I think Freddie Highmore will be a surprise.

Such an exhausting catch-up, both emotionally and mentally – predicting how the HFPA will vote is hard you guys – calls for something to sweeten the deal. And there is nothing sweeter than my Peach Idris Melba.

 

 

Summer is the time for stone fruits AND peaches resemble butts, so I knew there was no better way to honour my friend. Plus – sweet peaches and creamy ice-cream slathered with tart raspberry coulis and dusted with toasted almond flakes. Name something that sounds bad?

I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Peach Idris Melba
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 cups water
3 ½ cups raw caster sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
8 peaches, halved and seeded
½ cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted
Raspberry Coulis, to serve
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Combine the water, sugar,vanilla and lemon juice over low heat until the sugar dissolves, Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Reduce heat to low and submerge the peach halves and poach for a few minutes, or until tender yet retaining their shape.


When the peaches are ready to go, which I assume is being ‘melba’d,’ transfer to a bowl and chill for about ten minutes.

To serve, place a few heaps on ice cream in a bowl with the peaches before topping with Raspberry Coulis and sprinkling with almond flakes … before devouring.

 

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Peaches Cobbler

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Sweets

As you should be aware by now, I’ve known most of my celebrity friends for a long, long time and am – not meaning to blow my own trumpet – the reason that 99% of them are even famous/successful.

My dear Merrill aka Peaches, however, is the exception.

You see, I only met Peaches in 2007 when she was playing Big Day Out. Picture it, Gold Coast, 2007 – which I literally just told you. A young, sexy ingenue was killing it on the d-floor of the Boiler Room to Shake Your Tits before collapsing to the ground due from sheer exhaustion from their dance majesty.

That young ingenue, was me.

Peaches quickly sprung into action, I assume due to her pre-fame teaching days, diving of the stage, taking me in her arms and pouring water over my head to wake me up. Side note, that inspired me to travel back in time and write slash choreograph the hit movie Flashdance.

Cutting the set short, Peaches took me backstage to recuperate and we quickly bonded over our mutual love of filthy song lyrics. The following nine years are arguably the best years of my life, as I got to experience the joy of forming such a beautiful friendship.

We both been super busy lately, what with her doing herself, appearing on the (finally) Emmy winning program Orphan Black and releasing a new album and with me, well, being busy, ok, so haven’t been able to see much of each other recently. This almost-milestone date, truly is an absolute blessing.

Now I know that this is only technically my 249th documented catch-up, but I’m just going to pretend this is my moment due to the inconsistent scheduling of Australian Survivor causing problems. Plus, I agreed to catch-up with Peaches when I thought she was going to be the magical 250th visitor, so I needed to treat the occasion like it was.

Plus, Peaches Cobbler is the ultimate party food, so why deny it?

 

peaches-cobbler-1

 

Sweet, rustic and deceptively decadent – the sweet peaches, work beautifully  with the earthy walnuts and the pillowy dough to fill your stomach, and heart, with unending joy.

Plus, you can slather it in ice cream. What is not to love – fruity nuts, dripping in a sweet, white liquid? Enjoy!

 

peaches-cobbler-2

 

Peaches Cobbler
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
2 cups raw caster sugar, divided
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g walnuts nuts
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g muscovado sugar
pinch of sea salt
125g unsalted butter, chilled
vanilla ice cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the sliced peaches, sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir through the vanilla paste and get cobblin’.

Blitz the walnuts in a food processor for a couple of seconds. Now you can either add all the other ingredients and blitz until the mixture resembles wet sand. Obviously I prefer the hand approach, if you do to decant the roughly blitzed walnuts to a bowl and combine with the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Chop the butter into small cubes, add the bowl and rub through the mix … until it resembles wet sand.

Now for the fun – add the peaches and liquid into a small baking dish, grab large balls of the dough and haphazardly place around the top to almost seal it.

Place it in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden, crisp and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately, generously topped with ice cream. It may not look best that way, but it certainly makes it taste good.

 

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