MasterChef Junior: Lemons & Lobster

Last week’s MasterChef Junior had yet another team challenge in store for the young home cooks.  Graham unveils a lemonade stand, from which Christina will blind taste test raspberry mint lemonade prepared by the Red and Blue teams.

Gordon has the kids pull straws to choose teams.  Tae-Ho, Zac, Mia, Corey, Kaitlyn, Addison, and Amaya pull long straws and become the Blue Team.  Jesse, Kya, Kamily, Sam, Avery, Ian, and JJ pull short straws and become the Red Team.  The losing team faces a looming balloon full of lemonade.

When Christina announces the Red Team as the winners, the balloon above the Blue Team bursts, dowsing the kids in lemonade!  To keep things fair, Red’s balloon bursts too.  After a quick costume change, the winners head up to the balcony, and the losing team face a time warp challenge.

Groovy Gordon comes out, reppin’ the 1960’s and suggesting the kids make duck l’orange.  Graham does a little disco reppin’ the 1970’s and suggests the kids make chicken kiev.  Finally, Christina rollerskates out (promptly falling, but recovering!) representing the 1980’s and finally declaring the challenge: surf and turf.

Here’s what the kids make:


In an episode that makes me feel so old, it’s kind of hilarious that Addison (born in 2005) makes steak Diane, but her dish is exceptionally well-received.  Tae-Ho’s use of sriracha on lobster is not to be forgiven.  Zac’s filet & lobster goes over well, especially considering he burn himself while cooking.  Amaya’s garlic sauce might have over-powered Graham’s palate, but the rest of her fish impresses.  Mia doesn’t cook her steak or lobster correctly, due to the fact that she’s a vegetarian and eats neither.  Kaitlyn’s beurre blanc sauce may not be “as good as her mom’s,” but it sure impresses Christina.  Corey’s New York Strip and lobster doesn’t shine, but is a good idea.

Kaitlyn is declared the winner!

Addison, Zac, and Amaya are all safe.

Corey is spared, and Mia and Tae-Ho are sent home.

I’m waiting to see all the kids cook again!  I’m still loving Sam and Kya, and we didn’t get a dish out of either of them this time around.  Addison is another one of my front-runners.  There are still a few that probably are a cut below the rest… thoughts?!

MasterChef: The Steaks are High in Vegas

Get it?  Steaks and stakes.  Heh.  I’m actually surprised the episode title didn’t take this horrible pun before I did.  Well, we were randomly in Vegas this week on MasterChef!  And randomly, Dan had to leave suddenly and without explanation.  Moving swiftly on, as the episode did.

Steven and Shelly are team captains.  Since Steven had the best dish, he can either pick his entire team, or pick proteins for both teams.  The protein choices are lobster or chicken tenders.  Steven decides to pick his team, so Shelly will pick the protein.  Of course, Steven is playing mind games and knows Shelly will go with chicken… which she does!

Steven chooses Amanda, Charlie, Jesse, Sarah, Olivia, Tommy, Kerry, and Nick for his Red team.  Too bad for Shelly, her top picks all get snatched up by Steven.  Her Blue team consists of Claudia, Christopher, Hetal, Veronica, Ailsa, Katrina, and Derrick.  Steven is a decisive, slightly scary leader.  His team is properly inspired and behind him.  Shelley has a chicken idea and won’t hear any of the feedback from her team.  I’m a little embarrassed for Shelly who called her roulade a remoulade… which is a sauce.  The chicken roulade idea is too time consuming and nothing is ready at the start of service.

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Halfway through service, Blue hasn’t served a single plate.  Derrick steps up as pinch-hitter team captain.  Graham notes that Christopher is the only one cooking and Derrick is the only one plating; you could get rid of the rest of the team.  Once the chicken gets to the diners, a lot of them say it’s worth the wait.  Tommy is a mess on the line when it comes to plating.  He later burns potatoes and is sent to wash dishes.  Red finishes early.  Blue doesn’t get to serve 8 plates.  Each of the 101 performers casts a vote.  The winner only wins by 3 votes.  That team is Red!

Only four members of the Blue team have to face the pressure test.  Shelly, as team captain, is one of those four and tasked to chose the other 3.  She picks Hetal, Veronica, and Katrina.  WOW.

The pressure test will be at Gordon Ramsay Steak judged by Gordon Ramsay himself.  Oh, and it’s actually two pressure tests.  In the first part, Gordon will request a steak: NY Strip medium rare.  He will pick the two best without knowing who cooked them.  The worst two face part 2 of the pressure test.  Derrick’s is perfect.  Christopher’s tastes better than it looks, but it’s rare and hasn’t been seared right… he knew that though.  Ailsa’s looks really bad and is raw.  I can’t believe Gordon ate it.  Claudia’s is slightly under, but the sear is good.  Derrick & Claudia’s clear them from the next test.  Gordon then requests a rare filet mignon.  That sounds so intimidating to cook!  Christopher obviously thinks so too because he gets way too in his head.  Gordon tastes Ailsa’s first– it’s slightly under and cold in a spot, but looks nice.  Christopher’s, which looked disastrous going from pan to over, back to pan and then on fire, looks perfect inside.  He ends up having the slight edge, sending Ailsa home.

After watching him work so hard during the team challenge, I was on the edge of my seat for Christopher to pull this one out!  I can’t wait for next week’s Mystery Box Challenge!

Photo Finish: Summer 2014

Though the season itself isn’t quite done, I can’t help but feel September’s approach means that summer is slipping away.  School is starting again for those who work in them or attend, and there’s already a cooler feeling to the air.  Well, I’ve got to say that this New England girl had a wonderful summer in Massachusetts and Rhode Island!


{1} Hi, neighbor!  Fourth of July Nails meets Narragansett beers {2} I am all about that porch life, and I thank it for my summer reading success and my super tan legs {3} summer isn’t complete without lobster!  I like the messy, do-it-yourself approach {4} a trip to Newport, Rhode Island and another helping of lobster at the Red Parrot {5} beach hair, no make up, no problems {6} I’m officially a blonde again {7} an amazing Boston view from a Beacon Hill apartment rooftop!  {8} snapped this in Narragansett, Rhode Island while we waited to order clam chowder, fritters, and stuffies {9} Chelsea, Kelsey, and me outside Watch Hill Lighthouse!


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