Thursday, February 22, 2007

My newfound love for Anthony Bourdain

And Rachael Ray still sucks. (No offense, I know some of you are fans... so maybe stop reading after this line.)

So I have been buying these books written by real chefs (and/or writers) such as Michael Ruhlman and Anthony Bourdain. I've seen a few episodes of Anthony's shows in the past and found them quite entertaining (oh why is he not on Food Network? Can't they play reruns? And on another tanget - I miss the Iron Chef Japan reruns). Both of their books are extremely interesting although I have only read the first few chapters. Anyway, I stumbled upon this blog:

Rachael Ray Sux

Then I somehow got linked to Michael Rulman's blog!!! (Yes, I am sure I am way behind on what is really on the net these days).

And check out this hilarious article that Bourdain writes about the failing quality of the Food Network.

A HA!!! I am not the only one who notices Giada's big head! I'm sure everyone notices her big boobs.

First of all, I have to say that I live off the Food Network. I wake up with it on and go to sleep with it on as well as leave it on as background noise. I think Rachael Ray really does suck but I am not so passionately against her like those bloggers although it is pretty funny to read the posts. I just don't see how someone that keeps saying she is not a cook/chef gets a cooking show. And her voice makes me cringe. I really can't stand overly fake/perky people. *Shudders* It was funny because one day my mom came over and the TV was on. Rachael's voice/show came on and within 5 minutes (or maybe a few seconds), my mom was like "eww who is that?" LOL. But I guess she is good TV if you like to make chop suey out of random herbs, PAAAASta, CHORE-CHU-CHUR-EE-ZO ("Or however you say it" - Rachael Ray), throw it in a casserole dish with some mashed up Lay's potatoes chips, then baked with mozzarella cheese on top. God forbid when I cannot pronounce the food I am cooking. Slap and correct me if I ever do! Hee hee. =)

Emeril is boring simply because his show and his cooking don't impress me. His high-pitched screeching can get a little annoying - but hey, I am always down to try a celebrity chef's restaurant! No hating there. =)

I actually like Giada. She's cute, fun to look at, and fun to see her simple but tasty looking Italian recipes while she repeats "just like that... isn't that pretty?" Can someone tell me what kind of bra she wears? Because I want it.

I like watching Bobby Flay's grilling show - he's got some interesting recipes that I have tried and enjoyed. I also think it's funny how he always has to eat his food before he is even done cooking the meal. I've heard he is a douchebag in real life but whatever. The man can cook - Raf tried his restaurant and said it was fantabulous (Mesa Grill) so I am down to try his shiet!

Sandra Lee - hot desperate housewife but for the love of GOD/BUDDHA/ALLAH, her shit is NASTYYYYYYYYYYY! But she's hot so I can understand why the Food Network keeps her on for ratings.

Paula Dean - Get her ass off the network. PERIOD. Her voice and laugh is 10000x worse than Rachael and it's disgusting how she shoves food down her throat like Homer Simpson with donuts. And she really made us Americans look bad when she went to Europe!

Alton Brown - educational! Quirky and funny to watch. He's got a good sense of humor - his new reality show is pretty neat.

Mario Batali - he comes off as a douchebag (can't you see him just getting angry and condescending?) but the dood can cook and he knows his shit whether it's about the history of the food, ingredients, technique, etc.

Barefoot Contessa - Can you say Kathy Bates from Misery? She's got an evil laugh. She doesn't have much personality so it makes her food seem boring when she is cooking it.

Nigella Feasts - I'm sorry but I am having trouble watching a British cooking show simply because English food really is no good, unless it's Indian. I just remember watching an episode where she said she was the queen of frozen peas... Oh those "ubiquitous overcooked frozen peas" (that was found from a travel book!) found all over GB *shudders* Raf and I have had a taste of it.

BUT long gone are the days of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Lydia's Kitchen, and Cooking Secrets from the CIA in which I grew up watching since the tender age of 5. *YAY PBS!*

Anyway! Bourdain's style of speaking and writing is entertaining and hilarious. I do see eye-to-eye with him on his perspectives. Have any of you seen him as a judge on Top Chef? He'll just be like "this sucks!" LOL.

Okay, that's enough for me!

February 08, 2007
Guest Blogging: A Bourdain Throwdown
By Anthony Bourdain

I actually WATCH Food Network now and again, more often than not drawn in by the progressive horrors on screen. I find myself riveted by its awfulness, like watching a multi-car accident in slow motion. Mesmerized at the ascent of the Ready-Made bobblehead personalities, and the not-so-subtle shunting aside of the Old School chefs, I find myself de-constructing the not-terrible shows, imagining behind the scenes struggles and frustrations, and obsessing unhealthily on the Truly Awful ones. Screaming out loud at Sandra Lee in disbelief as she massacres another dish, then sits grinning, her face stretched into a terrifying rictus of faux cheer for the final triumphant presentation. I mourn for Mario..and Alton...Bobby and yes--even Emeril, nobly holding the fort while the TV empire he helped build crumbles like undercooked Bundt cake into a goo of Cheez Wiz around him.

Some thoughts on the Newer, Younger, More Male-Oriented, More Dumb-Ass Food Network:

ALTON BROWN: How did Alton slip inside the wire--and stay there all these years? He must have something on them. He’s smart. You actually learn something from his commentary. And I’ll admit it: I watch and enjoy Iron Chef America-in all its cheesy glory. Absolutely SHOCKED and thrilled when guys like Homaru Cantu show up as contestants--and delighted when Mario wins--again and again, forestalling his secretly long-planned execution. His commentary is mostly good. And that collar-bone snapping fall off the motorcycle on Feasting On Asphalt? Good television!

EMERIL: I’m actually grateful when I channel surf across his show. He’s STILL there--the original Behemoth. And I STILL find him unwatchable. As much mileage as I’ve gotten over the years, making fun of Emeril; he deserves a lot more respect than I’ve given him. He does run a very successful and very decent restaurant group. He is--in fact--a really nice guy. And-as much as I hate the show-- compared to the current crop of culinary non-entities, he looks like Escoffier. He will probably be the last of the Real Chefs. I’m sure they’re growing future replacement options in petrie dishes somewhere, conducting Top Secret focus groups at suburban malls with their latest Bright Young Hopeful. I’m just glad he’s still there--a rebuke to the geniuses who brought us such Great Ideas as Dweezil and Lisa.

BOBBY FLAY: They seem to have noticed Bobby’s strong “negatives” among some viewer responses during focus groups--and decided to respond by subjecting poor Bobby to THROWDOWN; the object of which is to allow every web-fingered geek with a backyard grill--or half-mad muffin maker to proclaim, “I beat Bobby Flay at makin’ barbeque!” at the heart-warming end of show--before returning to tend their meth labs.. I watched poor Bobby battle to a draw recently in some bogus Southwestern “Chili Face-Off.” Now…does ANYONE actually believe that Bobby Flay can’t make a better chili than a supermarket ground beef bearing amateur? I don’t. It’s a cruel exercise in humiliation. A variation on “Dunk Bozo” or “Shoot The Geek,” at the carnival. And whatever I might have thought of Flay’s previous TV efforts, I find the network’s misuse of one of their founding chefs to be nauseatingly cynical. The conspiratorial-minded might be tempted to suspect this as yet another part of the Secret Plan to rid themselves of the annoyingly big ticket chefs--by driving Bobby to quit--or insane with misery. He may not be Mr. Cuddlesworth, but he’s a successful businessman and a good chef--and he doesn’t, after all, need this shit.

Oh, Mario! Oh great one! They shut down Molto Mario--only the smartest and best of the stand-up cooking shows. Is there any more egregiously under-used, criminally mishandled, dismissively treated chef on television? Relegated to the circus of Iron Chef America, where--like a great, toothless lion, fouling his cage, he hangs on--and on--a major draw (and often the only reason to watch the show). How I would like to see him unchained, free to make the television shows he’s capable of, the Real Mario--in all his Rabelasian brilliance. How I would love to hear the snapping bones of his cruel FN ringmasters, crunching between his mighty jaws! Let us see the cloven hooves beneath those cheery clogs! Let Mario be Mario!

THAT ACE OF CAKES GUY: Hey…He’s got talent! And..he seems to be a trained chef! And he’s really making food--and selling it in a real business! I think…I like it! If I have one reservation, it’s that I have no idea if the stuff actually TASTES good. It LOOKS really creative and quirky--and I’m interested but…I’s like construction going on over there from what we’re told and shown. One suspects that the producers don’t want to waste valuable time talking about anything so technical as food--on “Food” Network. I mean...what’s in those cakes, beneath the icing and marzipan and fondant? That said, it’s the only “kicky, new, cutting edge, in-your-face” hopeful they’ve managed to trot out of any quality in memory. Hope it lasts. Wait till they try and put the poor bastard on a pony--or do a “Tailgate Special” with the usual suspects. Or a “Thanksgiving Special” where he has to sit down with the bobbleheads and pretend to like it. On balance, it’s still probably the best new project they’ve come up with in a long, long time.

GIADA: What’s going on here!? Giada can actually cook! She was robbed in her bout versus Rachael Ray on ICA. ROBBED! And Food Net seems more interested in her enormous head (big head equals big ratings. Really!) and her cleavage--than the fact that she’s likeable, knows what she’s doing in an Italian kitchen--and makes food you’d actually want to eat. The new high concept Weekend Getaway show is a horrible, tired re-cap of the cheap-ass “Best Of” and “40 Dollar a Day” formula. Send host to empty restaurant. Watch them make crappy food for her. Have her take a few lonely, awkward stabs at the plate, then feign enjoyment with appropriately orgasmic eye-closing and moaning..Before spitting it out and rushing to the trailer. Send her to Italy and let her cook. She’s good at it.

RACHAEL: Complain all you want. It’s like railing against the pounding surf. She only grows stronger and more powerful. Her ear-shattering tones louder and louder. We KNOW she can’t cook. She shrewdly tells us so. So...what is she selling us? Really? She’s selling us satisfaction, the smug reassurance that mediocrity is quite enough. She’s a friendly, familiar face who appears regularly on our screens to tell us that “Even your dumb, lazy ass can cook this!” Wallowing in your own crapulence on your Cheeto-littered couch you watch her and think, “Hell…I could do that. I ain’t gonna…but I could--if I wanted! Now where’s my damn jug a Diet Pepsi?” Where the saintly Julia Child sought to raise expectations, to enlighten us, make us better--teach us--and in fact, did, Rachael uses her strange and terrible powers to narcotize her public with her hypnotic mantra of Yummo and Evoo and Sammys. “You’re doing just fine. You don’t even have to chop an onion--you can buy it already chopped. Aspire to nothing…Just sit there. Have another Triscuit…Sleep….sleep….”

PAULA DEEN: I’m reluctant to bash what seems to be a nice old lady. Even if her supporting cast is beginning to look like the Hills Have Eyes--and her food a True Buffet of Horrors. A recent Hawaii show was indistinguishable from an early John Waters film. And the food on a par with the last scene of Pink Flamingos. But I’d like to see her mad. Like her look-alike, Divine in the classic, “Female Trouble.“ Paula Deen on a Baltimore Killing Spree would be something to see. Let her get Rachael in a headlock--and it’s all over.

SANDRA LEE: Pure evil. This frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker seems on a mission to kill her fans, one meal at a time. She Must Be Stopped. Her death-dealing can-opening ways will cut a swath of destruction through the world if not contained. I would likely be arrested if I suggested on television that any children watching should promptly go to a wooded area with a gun and harm themselves. What’s the difference between that and Sandra suggesting we fill our mouths with Ritz Crackers, jam a can of Cheez Wiz in after and press hard? None that I can see. This is simply irresponsible programming. Its only possible use might be as a psychological warfare strategy against the resurgent Taliban--or dangerous insurgent groups. A large-racked blonde repeatedly urging Afghans and angry Iraqis to stuff themseles with fatty, processed American foods might be just the weapon we need to win the war on terror.

AND FINALLY: Some IRON CHEF AMERICA match-ups I’d REALLY like to see:

Mario Batali (with one arm tied behind his back--and drunk) vs. Regina Schrambling
Michael Ruhlman, swacked on Ripple, vs. John Mariani-- in a Charcuterie Challenge
Grant Achatz vs. That Guy In Australia Who Ripped off his recipes as his own
Marco Pierre White vs. Gordon Ramsay
Charlie Trotter vs. Martin Picard (Chicken Livers vs. Foie Gras)
Chris Cosentino, Fergus Henderson, Martin Picard vs. Alain Passard, Roxanne Klein and Charlie Trotter (Cooked vs. Raw Challenge)
Martha Stewart vs. Rachael Ray (bare knuckle cage match)
Ducasse vs. Robuchon
“Mikey” from Top Chef vs. Sandra Lee
Video Gold!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Baby pictures

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I guess this is where Ginger's clumsiness all started...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I dropped Ginger off at my mom's so she wouldn't be so lonely during the day. In the meantime, I am babysitting Whiteman for a couple days. Buddy keeps beating him up - my place is like his vacation house in the Hamptons. Immediately, he made himself comfortable.

Pot belly. Look familiar?
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Automatic trip to the doggie bed (more like a tug toy for Ginger)
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He loves to play with Ginger's toys.

Sigh - someday, the cats and Ginger will have to get along!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Last night, Raf and I went to my mom's for Chinese New Year Dinner. She made a 10 course meal! Crazy. It was yummy. I need to learn some Chinese home cooking! She taught me a few things that I have yet to try.

Anyway, I didn't do much for Ginger's birthday this year. (Bad mom!) I need to take her to Five Paw Bakery and get her a free Birthday cookie as well as some goodies. Today I ended up taking her to the park to play some ball and run around some. I think she had a good time. She is sound asleep on the couch.

Ginger is so clumsy. She trips over everything, hits her head on every corner and shelf in the house, trips on stairs and when walking over things, and she slips and slides all over the place. Occassionally, she'll be sleeping on the bed snoring away - then she rolls over and falls off the bed. She doesn't really wake up until she hits the floor! Crazy girl! Anyway, here's a funny video clip:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day! (And Happy Birthday to GINGER!)

My wonderful boyfriend surprised me with a bouqet of cookies! They were colored in my favorite colors - red and black. I love these sugar cookies (from Cookies By Design). They are so yummy! I gave Ginger a nibble since it's her birthday. She turns 5 today!

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I will reframe from typing out what he wrote on the card so I can "let him be a man." LOL.

I had to eat a boobie first
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Monday, February 12, 2007

Food is the only thing consuming my life right now.

This weekend me, Raf, Timo, and Christine went to a cheese class at De Anza. We tried 6 different cheeses paired with 6 different wines. It was really fun! I wish I had brought my camera. hehe.

Saturday and Sunday were filled with hours of prepping and cooking on my part. Tons of fun for me. My life at this point is filled with food adventures. Besides work, there really is nothing much going on. I can't wait until the weekend so I can experiment with some more food.

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I think Raf got cheese poisoning. Today he felt really sick and nauseous. =( I must decrease the amount of cheese I put in front of that boy - he has no self control. Personally, I can eat cheese everyday - I just don't eat a lot of it. hehehe.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I've got a case of the MOOONNNDDAAAYYYYSSS

You know when you wake up feeling like crap. Then you are late for work. And you keep dropping things on your way out the door. THen you get to work and realize you forgot your badge so you have to knock on the door and/or wait for someone to walk by and open it for you. Then you have Outlook problems and end up going to a meeting where the conference room is empty because it's really at 330pm even though it says 10am on your calendar. Yah, one of those days.

Otherwise... this weekend was cool. I spent a lot of it prepping for my Superbowl party that turned into a Superbowl get-together which turned into a couple ppl coming over since the 10 ppl I invited went to other Superbowl parties. hehe. =) Had a culinary filled adventure and was very happy with the results.

Check out my food blog for details! Take that, La Bodeguita Del Medio! jk.