children

MasterChef Junior: Family Favorites

This week’s MasterChef Junior started out with a Mystery Box Challenge that wasn’t so much of a mystery.  Thanks to a floating banana from the sky, the home cooks are not surprised to find bunches of bananas under their boxes.  Bananas are one of my absolute favorite foods, so I love this challenge!

Gordon, Joe, and Graham taste Jenna’s, Nathan’s, and Ryan Kate’s.

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Nathan wins!  How could he not with those mouth-watering macarons?!  He wins an advantage in the elimination challenge, which Gordon’s youngest daughter, Matilda Ramsay, comes out to announce.

Twelve-year-old Tilly explains that the one dish the Ramsay kids always request their father make is salmon en croûte with hollandaise sauce, baby potatoes, and minted peas.  The kids will basically taste it/make it (for those of you who watch Hell’s Kitchen) but with a little help from Matilda, who lists the ingredients for the dish which they also find on their stations.

Though Tilly sports a British accent, she pronounces basil like an American, much to her father's chagrin.  Gordon teases her about this, but she's adamant it's bay-zil.

Though Tilly sports a British accent, she pronounces basil like an American, much to her father’s chagrin. Gordon teases her about this, but she’s adamant it’s bay-zil.

Nathan doesn’t have to cook, instead he gets to eat a salmon en croûte prepared by Gordon Ramsay himself.

The kids try to replicate Gordon’s dish, with varying degrees of success:

Gordon's dish is in the center.  How did the kids do?!

Gordon’s dish is in the center. How did the kids do?!

Jenna | salmon perfect, pastry cooked beautifully, even the hollandaise  came together!
Andrew | just nailed it, overall excellent!
Kayla | way too much pastry, and it’s raw, very little salmon.
Ayla | the sauce is spicy, but the salmon, the hero, is perfect!
Ryan Kate | overcooked her salmon
Riley | pastry is raw, potatoes need more color, hollandaise is broken.
Jimmy | visually, near perfect, and the taste aligns!

The top two are Jimmy and Andrew, whose the real winner.  On the bottom, we have Kayla, Riley, and Ryan Kate.

Ryan Kate is eliminated, and I literally gasp out loud.  Riley is also eliminated.  I’m really shocked at these results, as I thought Ryan Kate had been a strong contender and Kayla was looking a bit weak lately.  Let’s hope she can make a come back!  It’s just Jenna and Kayla hanging in there for the girls, now.

I’ll miss Ryan Kate, who cooks with such maturity.  I’ll miss Riley, with statements like he “made a lot of nice friends.”  It goes without saying that they are both very talented!

Six left means the competition is really getting down to the wire!  Can’t wait to see what these kids do next!

Friday Favorites: Bad TV

It’s no secret that I watch a lot of really bad TV.  When you live alone, TV provides a pretty essential background of dialogue to remind you that there are other people on this planet.  I always have something playing; reality TV that you can completely tune out is perfect for background noise.  I keep it on while I play 3DS, while I write, while I browse online, and while I cook.  (But never while I’m reading; books deserve my full attention.)

I thought I’d take inventory of some of these horrible, guilty pleasure shows, and share them with you here.

Four Weddings

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I make every effort in life not to be a super girly girl, (simply because I’m not one!) but I do have a small fraction of my being that is a girl stereotype.  That part of me is the part that loves Four Weddings.  I’m such a sucker for weddings.  While the dress is probably my favorite part, I prefer Four Weddings to Say Yes to the Dress.  This show lets you see the full picture of four weddings in each episode, and thus gives you insight into all the other fun details of the day.  A friend of my friends was in an episode and I was dying to see that… so I purchased the season on Amazing Instant Video.  This is a great show to leave on as you go about your evening and you might find yourself planning your wedding while you do.

 

Toddlers and Tiaras

IMG_0469This is a car crash of a show: you simply can’t look away.  Complete with absolutely insane parents and ridiculously spoiled children, this show has a plethora of cringe-worthy moments.  Yet, there’s something about Toddlers and Tiaras I love.  I think it’s the poise of these well-polished girls, dressed eerily to look four times their age.  I’m not a parent, and I’d never make my kids do pageants if I were, but if for some reason my kids wanted to, I would go glitz.  Fake hair, fake teeth, tons of make-up: all par for the course.  The tanning I have a problem with, not because little kids shouldn’t be tanned (well, maybe.  But they also shouldn’t look 25.) but because I’m pale.  What’s wrong with being pale?  I’m not defending pageants at all.  I am not a fan.  However, I think a good contestant has a certain control over their movement that any dancer would envy.  I’m impressed and entertained by that full package.

 

Super Nanny

IMG_0475One summer, my brother was interning in the city so he took up residence in my living room.  This wasn’t so bad for me; I simply had to move my no-pants-TV-time from the couch to my bedroom.  I fall asleep to TV, and reality TV you don’t care about is the perfect thing to keep on as you drift away.  Unfortunately for Joey, this was the summer that I was obsessed with Nanny 911 on Netflix.  Sounds of screaming kids wafted through the walls while I snoozed and he begged for silence to sleep.  I don’t know why I started watching Nanny 911.  Maybe I had eaten through everything interesting on Netflix.  After finishing that series, I moved on to Super Nanny, which is sadly the reason I started my Hulu Plus subscription.  Revisiting both, I think I like Super Nanny better.  It’s less gimmicky than Nanny 911, but either will do.  Just keep the volume down low if you’re planning on sleeping through the screams!

 

I guess I’m not feeling too guilty about watching these shows… one of these or a similar show plus the TV’s sleep timer is essential to my nightly routine!

What are you guilty pleasure shows?