Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Party Food, Pie, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders were smarting from losing the first immunity challenge and booting out misogynistic Matt, with Robbie leading the way to try and prove themselves against the Champions. While it was another epic fail at reward, Heath lead them to victory in the immunity challenge which sent the Champions into chaos as they prepared for tribal. Russell pulled out his idol, desperately scraped together an alliance and caused so much confusion that he somehow caused a tie between him and Jackie. Sadly for him, Sharn and Moana were not willing to take his crap, called his bluff and sent him from the game with an idol around his neck.

Things were decidedly less dramatic the neck day at the Champions camp, no, no, there was screaming and drama as a huge chicken miraculously wandered into camp. Thankfully it led to some of the best slapstick I’ve seen in years, as Sam madly ran around the camp trying to capture it. It wasn’t calm, but there was comedy and for that, I am grateful. Meanwhile Sharn and Moana – or Shaoana … Moarn – were thrilled to have taken out Russell, calling his bluff and I assume, claiming my heart. The two Queens then went for a walk down the beach and Moana shared about her experiences as a full time carer for her sister Livinia and oh my god I am crying, give her the damn money. She then locked in Sharn as her ride or die and I am all in, like they’re the nude quadruple on the Contenders.

Speaking of which, the Contenders were sitting down to breakfast, remodelling their camp and altogether loving life. Just tragically clothed.

Almost giving me whiplash, we returned to the Champions camp where Damien was trying to overcome his amputations and prove his worth to the team. Meanwhile Jackie’s poker skills were being put to good use, as she speculated felt everyone was turning against her and she needed to wake up and paint the target against her. She then started to target Damien as he has physical limitations, which can be a liability – her words, not mine – while also not wanting to face him at the end, given he is a freakin’ war hero. In any event, given we’ve seen the Contenders for a minute this episode, we can rule them out of attending tribal council this episode. Well done team!

Speaking of challenges, my love Jonathan returned for this week’s reward challenge where the Contenders were delighted to see that Russell was booted at the last tribal. While some of them were sad to have missed out on meeting him, Lydia assured them that they missed nothing. Anywho – the challenge is essentially a penalty shootout for a huge fishing kit and a fish. Basically the Champions got out to an early lead, never really lost it, Shane Gould is adorable, Damien is a saint and Monika scored the winning goal.

The Champions arrived back at camp to discover their fish had not just been cooked, but also slathered in salsa and looking glorious. Speaking of glorious, Damien was thrilled about playing a huge role in their victory and feeling like he was before his accident. While everyone feasted Moana loitered around awkwardly as she is a vegetarian, but didn’t want to ask them to leave her some veggies.

Meanwhile back at Casa de Contenders, the tribe was feeling defeated and hella hungry. Heath wandered off to grab water and discovered a clue hiding in the well, instructing him that a hidden immunity idol would be placed in the lid of the voting urn at the next tribal council should they attend. So now he is keen to throw the next challenge, particularly since Robbie caught him finding said clue and spread the intel to Benji, throwing their alliance into doubt. Speaking of idol clues, the Champions continued to feast on the fish, completely oblivious to the hidden immunity idol at their feet. Given Moana the vegetarian had zero interest in the food, she noticed and stealthy snatched it out from under their noses.

To reiterate, Moana is Queen.

Cutting me off from Moana’s coronation, Jonathan arrived for the next immunity challenge. Well, after the Champions were done gloating about their fish reward and motivating the Contenders even further. The challenge required seven members of the tribe to wheel a giant wheel around with two tribemates on top who were required to fish puzzle pieces along the way. The last two having to solve said puzzle, obvi. The Champions got out to a slight lead, however the Contenders caught up by the first puzzle pieces. By the third stack of puzzle pieces the Contenders pulled away – in no small part thanks to Shane knocking the Champions puzzles off the shelf – handing Tegan and Fenella a massive lead for solving the puzzle. While Jackie and Monika tried their best to make inroads, it was all for nought as the Contenders dominated and snatch victory before they even had a chance to get started.

Jackie immediately started to panic back at camp, bursting into tears and apologising for choking at the challenge which successfully garnered sympathy from the tribe. She then went for a walk with Monika and decide to flip the game on Damien, in the hope of ‘keeping the tribe strong’. She then approached Moana to try and get her on board, which tragically fell short as Moana sees her as lady Russell and desperately wants her and her crocodile tears out of the game. Moana approached Steve W and Mat to rally troops against Jackie instead, which they were both keen for leaving them to split up and pull in more numbers. Sharn then went to rally troops to take out Damien, pulling in Lydia … before going to Moana and agreeing to take out Jackie as they headed out to tribal council leaving me ridiculously confused.

At tribal Jonathan started by throwing some shade about their loss, with Mat trying to dance around the specifics of why exactly they lost. Jackie tried to garner some more sympathy for losing the challenge, before Damien spoke about the risks associated with the epic spotlight on him whether he performs well or not. Brian appeared to talk in sports metaphors, Steve W completely owned my heart by straight up blaming Jackie for the loss before Mat piled on and tried to convince everyone to keep Damien. Sam spoke about the importance of making alliances to save yourself when you have a run of bad luck, leading to Steve W feeling frustrated by the fact that Russell has rubbed off on them … before admitting he had made alliances. Lydia admitted she planned to vote off a weaker player while Moana evaded the question saying she wants to win challenges but also needs to think about the game.

With that confusing back and forth, the tribe went off to vote, Moana managed to snatch the idol without anyone noticing and poor Damien found himself becoming the third boot for being a liability … despite as Steve W put it, him having no legs because he was blown up helping people in Afghanistan. Speaking of which, that is actually where I first met my dear mate Damo. You see after getting kicked out the USO shows for being too lewd, I decided to try my luck performing tamer routines for the Aussie Army and became quite popular for a brief period.

After his accident, I would visit him daily and sing to him to try and make him feel better. While the doctors banned me from the hospital and got me deported for what they described as cruel and unusual punishment – bitch, I can hit more notes than Mariah you’ve got no idea – Damo knew I was just trying to help and we became the best of friends. That is why I knew my Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts would be the perfect way to cure his post boot pain.

 

 

Does the name roll of your tongue? Not really. Should I have gone with Caramelisedamien? Probably. But given how delicious these taste, I think you should cut me a break. The sweet onion melts in your mouth and dances with the earthiness of the cheese and the flaky gloriousness of the pastry.

Just trust me, they’re perfect. And hella moreish.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 onions, sliced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp ground chilli
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
150g goat’s cheese, crumbled
lemon thyme, to garnish

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for fifteen minutes or until soft.

Add the sugar, balsamic, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes or until rich and sticky. Allow to cool for ten minutes or so.

Meanwhile cut each slice of puff pastry into nine equal squares and place on lined baking sheets. Top each with a dollop of onions, crumble over the goat’s cheese and transfer to the over to bake for fifteen minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Devour, immediately scattered with thyme leaves.

 

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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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Neneeish Leakes Tart

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Someone call Olivia Pope y’all, because I’ve got a scandal on my hands! Now I don’t mean to take away from my friendship with NeNe – because let’s be honest, I was balls deep on a back catalogue of leeks recipe awaiting her arrival to this patch of cyberspace – but a damned celebrity has taken issue with how I documented our catch-up.

Disrespectful and offensive. Two words that I have never had thrown my way, callously thrown in a jealous rage for showing an untouched photo of post meal euphoria? Nope. No. Hells no, not today satan. I don’t want to name names because I am mature and kind, by Mannie Bonox can go eat a bag of rotten dicks.

Restraining order or not, I called my fave smear artists and decided to exact my ultimate revenge … by doing an even better version of her recipe with a far better celebrity who is way more fun, far more entertaining and actually delightful. Even better, she doesn’t count herself as an Oscar winner for simply riding the LOTR train when it swept the pool like a loser. Let’s be honest, it should have gone to Eug and Cath’s song from A Mighty Wind.

Anyway … this isn’t about the <redacted stupid bitch that didn’t like mock-cream on her face>, it is about the absolute divine friend of mine, with the juiciest peach known to man – my girl NeNe Leakes!

I first met Neens through my dear friend Bey whilst they were filming The Fighting Temptations. While her scenes were cut from the film, she was an absolute laugh riot … and I realised that I want to live a colourful life, rather than a beige one. Because Neens is probably the most exciting person I know.

Aaaaaaaaannnnyyyway, Neens was thrilled to drop by a catch-up, make-up for my turd ex-friends slight and celebrate the fact that for a decade, she has been one of the four queens of the Real Housewives … with Lisa, and two v. obvs others. To her, having a Neneenish Leakes Tart wasn’t a second place, it was a chance to reclaim the recipe from a buzzkillington for a friend that she loves. And that is why NeNe Leakes is the greatest person to ever grace the planet ever.

 

 

As I tried to mention the first damn time I tried this recipe, I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

 

 

Neneeish Leakes Tart
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
2 cups icing sugar
½ cup condensed milk
⅓ cup butter, at room temperature
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

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%^neenish Tart #$!(*&

Baking, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After a long, busy week celebrating the Grammys with this year’s Grammy Gold, Goldenade, and spending time with my dear friends Whits, Burt, Tom, Madge and Jim, we’ve finally reached the end of the road. And there is no one I’d rather mark the grand finale with, than the divine [redacted].

I was meant to have [redacted] over for last year’s Grammy Gold celebrations but ran out of time, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to make it up to her this year.

I’ve known [redacted] since the late ‘70s, when she and [redacted] were part of [redacted]. After breaking backstage at a concert, I convinced them that they were carrying the others and to leave the band if they wanted to achieve greatness. Cut to a few years later and the [redacted] were a success and they released the hit song [redacted] … which was coincidentally written about me.

As always, you’re welcome. For that, and encouraging her to release a [redacted].

Anyway, we’ve got a lot to cover today so I’m going to jump straight into the odds, lest you miss your bookies. I think Best New Artist will go to Khalid – [redacted], obvs thinks it will go to Alessia Cara. We agree that song of the year will go to Despacito, despite the fact it should have been released the way I wrote it … as a celebration of the great Jennifer Esposito. Album of the Year we’re tipping for Lorde and Record of the Year will go to Childish Gambino, even though it is likely Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar Odom’s to lose. Donald Glover is just my zaddy.

With all that out of the way, and us well and truly caught up on each other’s lives there was only one thing left to do. And that, obvi, was to smash some [redacted]nenish Tart [redacted].

Now I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

[redacted]neenish Tart [redacted]
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed plus cup at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
½ cup condensed milk
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and 50g icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

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Prune Whitfield Tart

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Baking, Dessert, Pie, Sweets

I am absolutely exhausted after realising that our date with Jules as part of our Ab Fab celebrations yesterday coincided with our 500TH FREAKING RECIPE (and Australia doing me proud and voting for love to win). I mean, 500 recipes and no one has offered me a cookbook deal yet?! In any event, the ravages of time are starting to hit me so I decided to get my ol’ girl Dame June Whitfield over for a calm, celebratory occasion.

Oh how I fucking – sorry, forking – love Juney Whits.

I’ve been friends with June for the longest time after quickly becoming best friends on the set of my show, The Benny Hill Show. Did I ever mention my full name is actually Benjamin James Woodley Judd Hill? No? Well soz.

In any event, June and I became the fastest of friends and I’ve supported her all our lives. I mean, from the questionable Carry On films, to the magic of Miss Marple on the gramophone, to the glorious episode of my hit show slash passion project Sooty and of course, Ab Fab, I’ve been by her side to guide and support her. No matter what.

Give the fact travelling is starting to impact as both due to our advanced years, June and I haven’t been able to see as much of each other as I’d like. Thankfully the extended absence we’ve shared has only made the date more meaningful. As did my bowel friendly Prune Whitfield Tart.

 

 

While prunes have some bad, elderly connotations … this tart is actually quite delicious. Super sweet, super rich AND it keeps you super regular. What more could you want?

Enjoy!

 

 

Prune Whitfield Tart
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
3 cups stoned prunes
250g unsalted butter, cubed
250g raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
500g flour
½ tsp baking powder
juice of a lemon
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp almond extract

Method
Place the prunes in a bowl and soak in water overnight.

Cut to the next day and combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a food processor, and blitz until the butter is completely soaked. Add the flour and blitz until wet breadcrumbs are formed. Add the eggs and baking powder and blitz until just combined. Remove, shape into a disc, wrap in cling and place in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

While the dough is getting chill, place the prunes in a large saucepan with the muscovado sugar, lemon juice and almond essence and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the water is reduced. Blitz using a stick blender and leave to cool slightly.

Split the dough 2:1 and roll the 2 part out until 3mm thick and layer into a pie dish and transfer to the fridge to chill while you prep the lattice. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into 2cm thick strips.

Fill the dish with the prune filling before gently forming a lattice – use the Fiona Apple method – on the top of the pie. Crimp the edges to seal and transfer to the oven to bake for  1 hour and 20 minutes or until brown and crisp.

Allow to cool, dust with icing sugar and devour, greedily.

 

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Taratin Reid

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Sweets

While I am ok at admitting when I’m in the wrong, it is rare for me to admit when I completely got a situation wrong. Like the situation that led to my dogged pursuit of destroying Tara Reid in the media for the last two years.

You see, Tara was trying to protect me. From myself and Hoff, knowing that he and I have long enjoyed a dear friendship and she didn’t want our relationship to flow from the screen to off, and end in Hoff’s third divorce and the end of a beautiful friendship.

Sure – it was a little presumptuous of her but there was a 99% chance of that entire scenario playing out, so there was nothing I could do but breakdown in tears, hold her and be thankful that I have such a dear friend that knows me so well and wants to protect me from myself.

Tara Reid, realistically, should become the first living person to be canonised.

As you know, I got Tara her big break in The Big Lebowski through my boy Philly Sey after me became firm friends during her brief appearance on Days of Our Lives (I was dating Drake Hogestyn at the time). While we were close after Days, our friendship truly blossomed after Lebowski and she dedicated her life to paying me  back for my kindness.

In a plot twist, that devotion is what made her block my Sharknado 3 casting despite knowing it would risk our friendship. See, she is a damn saint.

After putting an end to the feud and apologising profusely for all the horrible things I said about her in the media, things went straight back to normal and we laughed while filling each other in on what was going on in our lives over a Taratin Reid.

 

 

Sweet, rustic and altogether homely, this is the perfect dish to sweeten the deal of an apology … and nourish the rekindling of a beautiful, beautiful friendship.

Enjoy!

 

 

Taratin Reid
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs
6 apples, peeled, halved and cored
1 lemon, juiced
50g raw caster sugar
50g muscovado sugar
200g butter, at room temperature

Method
Combine the flour, caster sugar and salt in a food processor with the unsalted butter and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until just coming together. Remove from the processor, shape into a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in cling and place in the fridge for half an hour.

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 180°C. While preparing the apples, add them to the lemon juice to stop them from going brown.

Heat a medium, ovenproof  frying pan over low heat and melt the sugars with three tablespoons of water, stirring until melted. Increase the heat and allow to caramelise, without stirring, until it forms a honey colour. Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add the apples to the pan, curved side down until they are tightly packed. Place in the oven and bake for half an hour. While baking, roll out the dough to the size of the pan and place in the fridge to chill until the apples are done.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool slightly before placing the dough on top, tucking the edges into the pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Remove the pan again and allow to cool completely before gently turning the tart out of the pan onto a plate. Serve and devour immediately, with or without ice cream.

 

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Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts

Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand Barb continued to dominate from the comfort of the hammock, whipping up the troops to blindside Sala … who was tragically felled by Mike in a memory challenge.

Back at camp the tribe were speaking about Mike’s redemption dominance before Shannon randomly broke down in tears over being branded the villain. Hey – ask Abi-Maria, they have more fun, so suck it up … or you’re dead to me? She then gave a very raw confessional about being someone that needs people to like her, which is super relatable and has softened me up a little bit.

Given that she is a genuinely nice person, Shay took Shannon for a walk to make sure she is ok. Sadly for Shay, no one was buying that it was genuine, laughing about her scrambling from the comfort of the shelter. That being said, she would totally use Shannon as a number if she were so inclined … and you just know she’d love an opportunity to flip once again.

Not wanting to be left out of the action, Avi pulled Nate aside to see how long the plan had been brewing and where they stood. This set Nate’s tears off, as he cried about missing Sala and still feeling guilty. Fucking hell, I’ll root for you too Nate. Damn, is it only Shay I’m not rooting for at the moment? I mean, Jak is annoying … but he wears a loincloth which is a plus.

Wanting to keep things moving quickly, the tribe was summoned to a one of my favourite immunity challenges – the nighttime cultural story and quiz challenge! I mean sure, it isn’t the most exciting thing to write about, but the mood lighting and fires just get me feeling lit … which I think I’m using correctly. In any event, Tom made quick work of the challenge and after Matt took an excessively lengthy time verifying the discs were gold, took out immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tom, though really didn’t seem genuine. I assume concerned about Matt’s battle with colour-blindness?

The next day, Shannon, Avi, Shay and Nate played cards which made Barb thrilled since she was keen for a bit of down time, evidently desperate to finish off the book she’s been reading so far. With the queen away, Nate and Avi decided now was the best time to target Jak to continue weakening Mike’s numbers … and to get some peace and quiet.

Back at the camp, Jak was blissfully unaware that he was the next target and as such, locked in the chance to wear his loincloth to tribal, which TBH would be a hilarious way to go. Avi then decided it was important to pretend that he was expecting to go, to lull them into a false sense of security and I assume, to keep plan loincloth on track.

Given that Barb was taking a break from the hammock and people, Avi started to get nervous that maybe he wasn’t as safe as he thought. On the flipside, Barb was feeling hella confident and spoke about how predictable it was with everyone rolling over and following her plans. Jak then decided to follow her around like a puppy, spooking the shit out of Shay, Shannon and Avi before tribal.

Jak slipped out of his clothes and into something more comfortable, heading off to tribal like a low-rent George of the Jungle making he wish that Lee had been inspired to go with this ensemble instead. He then butchered pronouncing Nicaragua and I stopped feeling oddly aroused.

Matt then set Avi up to win over the jury, talking about how hurt he was by Sala’s boot. Nate then gave a completely non-committal statement, Barb spoke about how it was a necessary evil to take out Sala. Avi said he felt shitty about the game requiring people to turn on the kindest, which Barb brushed aside as naive as they headed off to vote.

At the sight of his first vote, Jak started to shit himself – thankfully not literally. The votes continued to roll in as he found himself booted from the game, with his booty on display but that wasn’t all, he also had a very cheeky grin.

Mike was thrilled to see Jak arrive, but I don’t know if that was because he was happy to see his friend … or caught a case of my confusing thirst? Laying on the praise, the tribe returned from tribal to talk about Jak’s ability to be laughed at.

The next day Shay and Avi talked about how screwed they are and threw some shade at Barb, talking about how she was a threat as a goat because everyone wants to go with the end with her and she is controlling the game but not aware of what is going on. Confused? Same because from where I’m sitting, Barb is killing it and is the most deserving of taking out the crown. Shannon on the other hand was mildly more aware, talking about Barb’s threat level while talking to Nate about taking either Barb or Tom out, should either miss out on immunity.

Speaking of which, Matty boy returned for the latest immunity challenge which involved scaling some hard poles to collect sacks which you then had to toss into boxes. Just pause to think about how much smut my dear Probsty could add to this event. Shay got out to an early lead, quickly followed by Shannon and Avi … but when it came time to tossing sacks, the boys really shon. Challenge beast Tom took the lead, with Shannon, Nate and Avi close behind. Tom’s sack-handling shone supreme, landing him his third immunity in a row.

Everyone but Tom was feeling extremely nervous and as such, got to work scrambling. Completely shocking me, Tom decided his best move would be to align with Avi and his island nemesis Shay. Barb was gunning for Shay, while Shay, Tom, Shannon and Avi were targeting Barb. Shannon told Shay that neither she nor Tom wanted to sit next to Avi at the end, while Avi and Tom continued their reconnection with the latter suggesting that getting rid of Shannon is the best move. Nate however felt nervous about Tom’s newfound power and was concerned about keeping Shay in the game.

The boys then approached Barb to float the idea of getting rid of Shannon and while she thought Shay is the better idea, she was more than happy to get rid of Shannon if it means she can stay another day. Shannon on the other hand was just desperately trying to sell herself and her trust worthiness to stay in the game. Shay was feeling nervous for Shannon before hell froze over and she and Tom buried the hatchet and agreed to work together to further their games. Shay then took it one step further and agreed that going to the end with Avi is a losing decision, giving Tom the ammo he needs for when he wants to dig up the aforementioned hatchet.

Which he did, moments later … leaving me hella confused as the tribe rolled into tribal. Even more confused by Professor Sala’s look in the jury. It may shock you to know that I find his loo ba-ba-bangin’.

Tom told Matt how much he’s needed to win these immunities, Shannon spoke about changing her gameplay and being concerned that it would be her undoing. Nate then spoke about the Sala blindside also having a profound impact on the game. Shannon made up for her early flubs, pointing out how little chance she has of winning considering the boys all hate her, which Shay agreed with … making the target on her back just a little bit bigger than Shannon’s. Thankfully for Shay, it didn’t cost her the game as Shannon found herself going to redemption island for an extremely awkward reunion with the boys.

Despite my and Shannon’s expectations, Mike and Jak were rather welcoming when Shannon arrived at redemption. Though it could have been due to the fact that she was voted out and they were just happy to see her lose. She was still thinking it best to duerme como las delfinas aka sleep with one eye open.

Meanwhile at camp, Tom was quick to confirm that Shay wasn’t blindsided by the Shannon boot before they all spoke about how important it is for Shannon or Jak to get rid of Mike, for everyone’s sake. None more so than Avi, who is in the best position and can’t afford someone back in the game that won’t take him to end / lay down for his victory.

The next day Shannon was thrilled to have not been murdered in her sleep by a vengeful Mike and was thankful that they were getting along. They then talked smack about the people left in the game, particularly Barb and her hammock … the ultimate alliance. Jak then made a pun worthy of this patch of cyberspace, which I’m super impressed by.

Back in the game, Tom, Shay and Avi spoke about Barb appearing flat and just wanting to sit in the hammock with her book … which is literally what she has been doing the entire game. Tom decided to check in with her to see how she was handling the votes in the previous tribal when she decided to drop the bombshell, that she has zero interest in making the final three. Barb, in the screaming words of Tyra, HOW COULD YOU?! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU. I HAVE NEVER YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS BEFORE.

We then found out Shay eats peanut butter and tomato on toast. That is so fucking disgusting that it broke me out of my Tyra-nce.

Nate was feeling homesick and on the outs, so was completely in the dumps. Given he is super kind, he decided to approach Avi and check in and see where he stood with the tribe. Showing a fair bit of skill, Avi quickly told Nate exactly what he needed to hear and gave what genuinely sounded like a solid plan. Shay and Tom continued their reconnection by the fire, talking about how they trust Avi which means they trusted each other … which they immediately contradicted in confessionals.

Back on redemption Jak and Mike were playing mind games … but all I took away from the situation is that Mike’s nips were on point.

In the land of the living, Tom pulled Nate aside to discuss their plans which spooked Shay who dobbed on him to Avi. The boys then had a heart to heart on the beach, where Tom appeared to win Avi over – despite the fact Shay was telling the truth – though Avi was smart enough to suggest all three of them discuss it later, to force it on them. Avi then approached Shay to tell her he trusted Tom and was sick of her stirring the plot, which is either a brilliant move … or an absolutely terrible one. So yeah, literally one of the two options.

Matt finally returned to preside over one of my favourite challenges, where the tribe need to writhe around in mud before wiping the mud off their bodies into a bucket … for an overnight spa reward. The boys got out to a quick start, though the girls seemed to be playing smarter with Barb piling the mud in her hair. Given we can’t see into their buckets and the commentary would be super boring even if I could I’ll cut to the chase, Avi won and elected to take Tom for never winning a reward and Barb … because Shay and Nate need to bond to further Avi’s game.

They returned to camp and washed off the filth of the challenge while Avi and Tom read Shay for filth – boom tish – before agreeing it is important to check in with Barb and make sure they’re on the same page. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Avi approached Nate to make sure he was ok with his decision. Since Nate saw it as the closest decision to indecision, he didn’t seem to mind. Meanwhile Shay approached Tom to apologise for overhearing his plan to get rid of Avi to reconfirm their alliance before they went their ways.

After a brief interlude of journalling, horseriding, feasting, drinking, relaxing and making final three pacts – albeit with Barb going out in fourth – Avi, Tom and Barb returned to the depleted Shay and Nate. They then decided it was a great idea to rub the reward in their faces and talk about how great it was to be clean and well rested.

Putting an end to the gush fest, Mike, Jak and Shannon were brought in for their battle, which the latter two weren’t feeling very confident about. Shannon and Mike spoke about burying the hatchet, which made Avi nervous given the fact Mike has been able use redemption island to win the favour of the jurors on their way out.

The battle is another one of my Survivor favourites, where they each had to hold their arm above their heads tethered to a bucket of water until someone drenches themselves … which generally favours women. As expected, Jak struggled from the get go, while Tom and Shannon looked strong. After 15 minutes that would have been about two on screen which ultimately felt like hours, Shannon dropped out of nowhere sending her out of the game as the ninth boot.

While she was insanely gutted to be wiped out of the competition, she was thrilled that her booby prize was a delicious Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

 

Make no mistake, these babies are small but they pack an absolute punch. The quince and prosciutto are both robust, but work perfectly with a bit of fig and some blue cheese … just to really up the ante of strong flavours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
25g butter
1 onions, finely chopped
100g quince paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
200g prosciutto, sliced
2 figs, thinly sliced
125g hard blue cheese, like Stilton
2 eggs
⅓ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and sweat the onions for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the Quince Paste and vinegar, and stir heat until melted. Season and remove from the heat.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into a muffin pan. Divide the onion mixture evenly amongst them, top generously with some prosciutto, a slither or two of fig and some blue cheese.

Whisk the eggs and cream together and pour amongst the tarts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and set.

Allow to rest for five minutes, before devouring.

 

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Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts

Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

Previously on Survivor, the Millennials and Gen X tribes were no more as the tribes dropped their buffs – in addition, I assume, to Taylor and Figgy’s busy pants dropping schedule – and Jeff threw a third tribe into the mix, much to Michaela’s sassy chagrin. Thankfully the situation didn’t get any worse for our reigning Queen of Fiji with new Vanua heading to tribal council and CeCe continued in the season’s tradition in booting minority female.

We opened back up at new Vanua where the old, olds were proud of themselves for flipping to the youngins … on the one tribe they had numbers on, much to Zeke’s delight.

Meanwhile over at the new Ikabula tribe, Jay started on his winner’s edit in earnest while breaking my heart, searching for the hidden immunity idol to protect his fellow millennials like he would his mum and sister. Oh and when he wins he is buying his mum a house.

Swoon town – I think someone wants to take Kengel’s place in my heart.

Thankfully Michaela arrived on scene impersonating Jack Nicholson in The Shining to catch Jay and Will and add some humour to the scene and save me from feeling genuine emotion.

I assume feeling threatened by Michaela’s killer screen presence, Jiffy Pop arrived for a reward challenge where Figgy commenced digging a hole when seeing CeCe had been booted and her ally saved. Jeff kindly distracted the tribes from her stupidity to show them the array of sweets up for grabs during the blindfolded challenge.

It is hard for a blindfolded challenge to go wrong … for the audience, with toes broken and heads slashed open in the past, but sweet Kengel caressing his junk will go down with my favourite blindfolded challenge moment of all time.

That actually gives me an idea …

Anyway after a massive come from behind victory, Zeke and Michelle secured reward for their tribe and – of course – Queen Michaela took out second place for her Ikabula, before Hannah collapsed … on the sidelines, while not competing in the challenge. But hey, I get panic attacks so I’m not one to judge. Well, shouldn’t be at least.

After watching Figgy cry over missing out on reward, we returned to Vanua to watch them feast on their reward and listen to Zeke commence severing ties with the fellow kids. Over on Ikabula, Hannah walked Sunday through the fun of panic attacks while on Takali, Figgy and Taylor commenced making out – I assume for Figgy to reenact the Halle Berry role in the Monster’s Ball sex scene – and considered bringing their relationship out into the open.

Obviously Jessica and Ken were not shocked. At all. In the slightest.

Thankfully it gave Kengel the opportunity to display some killer sarcasm. Say what you will about it being the lowest form of comedy (fuck you, it is my life blood), this proves Kengel is hot and funny …  so I’m looking into venues for our December wedding.

Almost as if Jeff knew someone else was making a claim for my heart, he returned for an immunity involving my favourite item – BALLS! Despite a decided lack of ball puns, Michaela saved the challenge by once again unleashing the – to quote Alyssa EdwardsBEAST and singlehandedly won immunity for Ikabula by barking orders at Hannah and ensuring she wasn’t a hindrance.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she then commenced barking orders to Michelle and Zeke, coaching Vanua to victory and sending Takali to tribal council to boot another Gen Xer.

Sadly for her, Adam decided to flip from the bottom joining Ken and Jessica to break-up the lovebirds and vote out Figgy. Thankfully despite the fact it was pretty obvious she was going home, Jeff added some fun to tribal by offering to marry them, then and there. Again sadly, that didn’t happen.

While Figgy was obviously disappointed to find herself booted pre-merge – I mean, will TayTay dump her for it?! – I was quickly able to turn my friends’ frown upside-down (we met while working in radio in Nashville) and dry those tears with a batch of delicious mini Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

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Like the Figster, these babies are a little bit sweet, puff and wild, and quite tarty – but isn’t that why we love her, and them?

Enjoy!

 

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Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
¼ – ½ cup fig jam
250g prosciutto, roughly sliced
400g goat’s cheese, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place each sheet of puff pastry on a lined baking sheet – they can share, if they fit. Slather each generously with fig jam, top with prosciutto and crumble over the goat’s cheese.

Chuck them in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Devour as you cry over the horrific separation of figtayls. Oh-oh.

 

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Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted

I am almost overwhelmed when it comes to talking about my beautiful, breathtaking and languid friendship with the gorgeous Ang Lee. He has brought me so much joy over the years – adapting books I love, casting men I love and having them flash their buns, which I love.

Ang Lee is both a pimp for my love of celluloid flesh and a saint, which is a stunning combination.

I first connected with the celebrated director while attending the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School where his father, our principal, made him act as my mentor to curb my shameful, wayward behaviour.

Ang was such a kind, gentle soul and I desperately wanted to avoid disappointing him, however me being me, I rubbed off on him and he failed his final exams and couldn’t progress to being a professor. Thankfully it led him to eventually being a director so, in a roundabout way, I am responsible for his lush films and lauded career.

You’re welcome.

We lost contact after his mandatory military service however reconnected through Em Thomp – my closest boozing bud – while he was making Sense and Sensibility and I became his most trusted advisor, leading to Bana buns in Hulk and Brokeback Mountain.

While it was very hard to be overlooked for the role of Ennis opposite J-Gyll, Ang was kind enough to introduce us on set – he hired me as the resident flannel expert – and we enjoyed a torrid love affair that I ran to the paps about, thus starting all of the Jake gay rumours.

No one was better to discuss this year’s Best Director crop than the two-time winner, so I whipped up my Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts to fuel our moving discussion about the possibility of our dear friend George Miller finally getting recognised for his work after such a majestically eclectic filmography.

Dark horse pick goes to Adam McKay. I mean, he was robbed for the Anchorman movies.

 

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While asparagus pee is both a blessing (I’m special) and a curse (it is rank), these tarts are well worth it. The sweetness of the leek with the sharp goat’s cheese and earthy asparagus create a delicate little tart that packs as much of a punch as one of Ang’s films.

Enjoy!

 

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Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts
Makes: 18.

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
2 leeks, finely sliced
1 bunch asparagus
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml cream
150g goat’s cheese

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Melt butter over low heat and saute the leeks until soft, and place into a large mixing bowl.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut into 5cm pieces and fry for two minutes on high heat in the same pan, until bright and just cooked. Add asparagus to the leeks and allow to cool.

Once cooled, add in the eggs and cream, season and stir to combine.

Place the puff pastry on a clean surface and cut both into a 3×3 grid, so that each sheet make nine squares. Roughly press each square of pastry into a muffin tin, to create a rustic looking case – I am too lazy to worry about it looking “nice,” as is Ang.

Pour the vegetable/custard mixture even amongst the 18 cases and crumble the goats cheese on top.

Whack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for about 20 minutes before inhaling.

Devour in a poignant fashion.

 

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