Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My day has come!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wedding #1

Sunday, June 27, 2010

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What I did today

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

"That skin was becoming chewy, and not pleasing to the mouth."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One can only imagine my horror when, on my daily perusal of, 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.

First Impressions:

Tiffany-seafood from Texas
Stephen-baby twins
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.

Angelo, Kenny, Timothy, and Kevin move on to the final round, and quickly start preparing their dishes. Angelo’s curried onion jam and potato noodles prove triumphant over Kevin’s too-salty broth and Timothy’s too-creamy sauce, but barely beat Kenny’s beautifully flavored two-ways Moroccan-spiced chicken. By this time, I already knew how Angelo might respond: by planning to be the first cheftestant to win every single challenge.


Before the chefs head out to their posh DC townhouse, Padma lets them in on the details of the elimination challenge. They will be required to create a dish that reflects where they’re from. They’ll be serving their dishes at a large cocktail party full of “Washingtonians.” Each of the top four chefs from the quickfire will participate in a schoolyard pick ‘em in order to choose the chefs they’ll be cooking against. As is usual in early Top Chef challenges, the chefs compete in teams, resulting in four potential winners and four potential losers for the judges to choose from.

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!

The mad rush to Whole Foods was next. It’s a protein panic, of course.

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.

Especially voluptuous new mom Padma,“luscious” Gail Simmons (really, Padma? Is that the best word you could come up with to describe the always lovely Gail?) and Tom are rather underwhelmed by most of the dishes. I questioned some of the choices the chefs made, considering their task. Are waffles and Camembert truly a New York dish? Deep-fried ribeye is from O-hio? Baked beans might be Boston, but on Top Chef? Arctic char and bacon foam are native to Connecticut? Kenny’s cinnamon-coffee rubbed trout, black bean mole, and goat cheese polenta was the one winning dish that really stood out to me, and at least he used a river fish, which is somewhat Colorado-like.

Side note: The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman Andy Baldwin was present, and declared he wouldn’t serve the food to his kids. What kids would those be, Andy? You mean you actually found love OUTSIDE of a shameless television show?

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.

Stephen, Jacqueline, Timothy, and Crazyhippiehair found themselves on the chopping block. Stephen was dinged for the deep-fried and overdone meat. Timothy was taken down a notch or two, and my beloved Tom rather callously rubbed it in that he was the only winning chef from the quickfire not to have the best dish in the elimination challenge. Not surprisingly, Jacqueline was chastised for her coarse lowfat mousse, and committed a cardinal Top Chef sin by admitting reliance on a recipe. Crazyhippiehair’s maple dessert lacked maple. And was just all around bad, judging from the looks on the judge’s faces as they choked that pile of sweetness atop storebought puff pastry down. He was a shoo-in for elimination. It’s a good thing. No one wants to find a piece of that hair in their food.

Though there appear to be a few likable types present, I must admit that I'm not sure of the caliber of these chefs. They're going to have to step it up. I am really not keen on watching Angelo win challenge after challenge.

So far, Team Kenny.

Can. Not. Take. This.

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


Sunday, June 13, 2010

I cannot wait to share what I've made with my bounty.

Friday, June 11, 2010

walnut crusted wild salmon & edamame mash

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.

"Maybe rush a little bit."

I saw this, and then I fainted. And for the record, Eclipse Edward >>>Twilight and New Moon Edward.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Clearly, Salma is not an amateur herpetologist like me.

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

awkward, adorable, awesome

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.