Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Yup, I attempted to conquer my growing aversion to lines and crowds by joining the herd awaiting their Iphone 4 preorders. Never imagined I would be waiting in said line with said crowd for EIGHT hours! Naturally, I was much more inclined to have my new phone shipped, but due to the colossal AT&T fail on order day, pick-up was the only option that worked. And you know how it goes! Once you've already wasted two or three hours waiting, you feel like giving up is the worst possible thing to do. Thus, I persevered. For EIGHT hours. Am now so tired that I might fall asleep sitting up.
At least I've got the phone.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
One can only imagine my horror when, on my daily perusal of EW.com, I saw the feature entitled: Top Chef: Where are they now? At first, I was confused. Hmm, I thought to myself. Why would the writers randomly feature Top Chef? Unless…GOOD LORD! I’ve completely forgotten about the seventh season! In the blink of an eye, I landed on Bravo’s website, and heaved a huge sigh of relief. I had not, after all, completely missed the premiere. Top Chef: DC , otherwise known as “Top Chef, Season 7: Hail to the Chef” aired last night, complete with fanfare, political references, and lots of red, white and blue. Predictably, the new season features the three trademarks of Top Chef: ego, insecurity, ego.
Opening Thoughts: Ouch. Gladware is no longer providing the prize. Instead, Dial Nutriskin will take over product placement duties. What on EARTH? Please tell me there won’t be lots of episodes focusing on what products the chef use to wash their hands or, heaven forbid, an actual challenge based around incorporating the essential oils in Dial Nutriskin into some sort of exotic dish.
Tiffany-seafood from Texas
Tracey-from Georgia, definitely eats what she prepares (I consider this a GOOD thing!)
Kenny-super confident, cooked his first egg at the age of three
Alex-Russian with funny glasses, seems nice though. Pleasantly humble.
Kelly-hot new chef from Colorado, Amy Ryan lookalike
Lynne-chef instructor? What? This will not go over well. However, I give Lynne points for immediately calling out the stereotypical tattoos and “crazy hair” of most chefs these days. At least the chefs that are picked for this show.
Kevin-chef at Rat’s in Hamilton, NJ. Cute.
Jacqueline-caterer from Brooklyn. Warning bells! Home cooks and caterers do not do well on this show!
Timothy-his wife passed away recently, so he's very inspired to win.
Angelo-painfully arrogant. Mr. Michelin. Timothy calls him out right away.
John-Crazy, CRAZY hair. I find it alarming, in fact. Would not want him preparing my food
Here come Padma and Tom! I'm full of warm and fuzzy feelings! For the life of me, I don’t know why the chefs thought it would be cool to totally dive into those hors d’oerves. For all they knew, their first quickfire would have been to prepare something out of the leftovers, a la Top Chef Miami.
My favorite! The mise en place relay! Points deducted, however, for repeating it as a first episode challenge. It’s a nice one to do midseason.
1st leg-peel 10 potatoes
2nd leg-brunoise (finely dice) 10 cups of onions.
3rd leg-break down 4 chickens.
4th leg-remaining 4 chefs will use the ingredients to make a dish
Points also deducted for what was sure to be a hapless attempt at discovering anyone who can rival Hung when it comes to breaking down chicken. If it’s not Hung, no one wants to see that!
I don’t even want to address the high stakes element of the challenge. We are not in Vegas anymore, Bravo!
As it turns out, Kenny is FIERCE. He tears through his potatoes in approximately two minutes. The five losing chefs from the first round are moved to the side, where they longingly gaze at the pile of onions that Kenny is now racing through. Angelo realizes that he’s a serious competitor and tries in vain to out-brunoise him. A few more chefs are eliminated, and round 3 begins. After sharing his 30 second method for breaking down a chicken, Kenny handily comes in first, again. I’m liking him, a lot. He’s a slow talker, quiet and confident but not exceedingly obnoxious like Angelo.
Not much occurs at the new digs, except Arnold dividing up the snorers and non-snores, and Crazyhippiehair John writing in his journal about his poor challenge performance. Literally. “Dear Journal, Today was the quickfire.” I could read every word!
Back at the Top Chef Kitchen, located in the Hilton, Arnold freaks out because he’s never seen a Cuisinart before at his “mom and pop” restaurant in Nashville. Interestingly, he IS familiar with orchids, which he brings to decorate his station. I’m pretty sure they had nothing to with the myint julep kaffir lime cake that he served at the challenge (No, I did not spell "mint" wrong-that just happens to be Arnold's last name).
A few alarming things occur, as usual. Alex decides to make a “deconstructed” borscht. It would appear that an alarmingly high percentage of cheftestants actually don’t understand the concept of deconstruction. Jacqueline decides to “go light” with her pate liver MOUSSE. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure mousse isn’t a diet dish. Crazyhippiehair John decides to make a dessert. On the very first episode. The ominous feeling grows when he burns his first round of macadamia nuts.
At the event, we are introduced to the newest judge, the extremely charming, affable, Eric Ripert. Love him so much. He has had an illustrious career and is highly respected in the culinary world, yet still comes across as a genuinely nice person. Even if he is served “grainy” chicken liver pate, as is the case with Jacqueline the caterer’s ill-fated dish.
Kevin, Alex, Kenny, and Angelo proved to have the most palatable dishes, though it seemed fairly obvious that the judges had a clear favorite in Angelo. He claims that everything he does from now on “will be outstanding.” Oh yay. I’m SO looking forward to a season with him.
So far, Team Kenny.
You may think it's indefensible that I have not just one, but THREE clips on my opening page. I cannot help it that I'm being pummeled by movie coverage! The teensiest bit of leeway might be owed to me considering that a)the book is my fave of the four, b)the dialogue in this clip is word-for-romantic-word from said book, and c)that's Band of Horses playing in the background!
Back to work of a more productive nature.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
I know I'm always raving about the loveliness that is Smitten Kitchen and insisting that you head immediately to Orangette, and for perfectly good reason. They are two complete and utter pearls in the vast and overwhelming sea of food blogs, reliable, exceptional, and boasting intelligent, witty writers to boot. Even though I have a substantial list of food blogs on my sidebar, I typically spend most of my time at those two.
I must emphatically state, however, that ALL of those food blogs are wonderful. I should really be scouring them regularly for ideas, rather than waiting for something exceptional to jump out at me in the daily or weekly heading. That, fortunately, is what happened with this particular dish.
My love for any sort of "crusted" protein is well-documented, especially when it comes to fish, so Sara, of Sprouted Kitchen, easily snagged my attention immediately with a recipe entitled "walnut crusted wild salmon." Be still my heart! I found her photography to be absolutely stunning, clean and beautiful, showcasing individual components of her recipes perfectly.
This was the first recipe I tried from Sprouted Kitchen, but I will be sure to return for more. It is unequivocally one of the BEST salmon dishes I have ever TASTED, much less made for myself. It was super easy, with just a few ingredients, which, by the way, make you feel totally virtuous-whole wheat flour, egg whites, heart-healthy walnuts... The edamame mash is to die for, mostly because of the inclusion of sesame oil (if you don't have a bottle, GET ONE-it's a delicious!), and goes perfectly with the salmon. If I had to come up with a perfect phrase to describe the dish? Heavenly and delicate. It's actually kind of a showstopper.
I'm not entirely sure of the best way to navigate food blogging when referencing recipes from blogs instead of cookbooks, so I'm just going to include Sara's link. This way you'll be FORCED to go to her blog, which you'll only thank yourself for.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
This video has been making the rounds for the past two days, understandably. It's one of the most hilarious things you've ever seen. I've already watched it 10-15 times.
Monday, June 7, 2010
So the MTV Movie Awards, my fave, were on last night. For the record, I've always loved 'em, as most people who enjoy movies of all sorts do. It has not a single thing in the world to do with my unhealthily lingering Twilight addiction. Admit it-it's loads of fun watching clever skits, funny riffs on popular movies of the year, and cool awards like "Best Villain", "Best Kiss", and my personal new fave, "Best Scared as S*** Moment" (Hey, we all know I love a good scary movie). Even if said skits are sometimes lame.
Predictably, the Twilight crew handily breezed through the show, collecting every award possible. And no, I did NOT vote for them. I have not stooped to that level, people! I'm not that kind of fan! My SH was a total gem for sitting through the awards with me, a real prince. He even laughed a bit-which he SHOULD have-at Tom Cruise's hilarious return as lewd Les Grossman. Of course, I'm sure he was laughing inwardly at my pathetic when the Eclipse clip finally aired.
Still. So. Excited.