New Beginnings: The Food Network or "Background Music" launched a new show Thursday called "Sweet Genius"...basically "Chopped: Desserts". If you don't watch Chopped I insist you do so immediately, it's like Iron Chef turned up to 11. In each of three rounds (appetizer, entree, and dessert) a chef is removed from the competition based on the taste, originality, and plating of a dish made from 3-5 mystery ingredients introduced at the beginning of each round, starting the first round with 4 chefs. The mystery ingredients range from average fruits, vegetables, and meats to the craziest or foreign fruits, vegetables, and meats, or pre-prepared items like boxed Mac & Cheese, teething biscuits, Raisinettes, or hot cross buns. The chefs have to transform the ingredients and make them fit into their dishes seamlessly. The winner receives a $10,000 prize.
It's freaking awesome.
So Sweet Genius takes the same format (4 chefs; 3 rounds; mystery ingredients; $10,000 prize) and applies it to desserts. Unfortunately, it's not exactly the same. What they changed is kind of disappointing, they added strange gimmicks. The show is hosted and judged by one guy instead of three judges and hosted by Ted Allen of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" fame. Instead of Ted and the judges explaining the more obscure mystery ingredients, the 2 mystery ingredients are revealed and described by a kind of creepy, disembodied, robotic woman's voice. The judge also gives the chefs an "inspiration" and only one of the mystery ingredients, then the second is introduced halfway through the round. It's pretty annoying.
And I wish there were more judges-- more judges means more opinions, and if you have a judges that doesn't particularly enjoy an ingredient a chef used (like on Chopped, judge Scott Conant hates raw onions) then another judge that likes them balance each other out.
Don't get me wrong, I'll still watch the crap out of it, but I won't be as happy about it as I could be.
Nephew Talk: Oh, the boys, the boys, the boys...
Deb and Mick's son Manny is still struggling in kindergarten, but nothing more than expected, really. He hasn't been to the behavioral specialist yet, but the school's child study team is meeting with Mick and Deb on Monday, so it'll be interesting. What we currently think is happening is mild to moderate Asperger's or high-functioning Autism with a severe Auditory Processing Disorder, but it's all speculation, we just have to wait. The waiting is frustrating, though, because the poor boy is being punished at school for not listening or following directions. The thing is, he doesn't care he's being punished-- he has no concept of being in trouble or doing anything wrong, he just floats through the day while his teachers cite him to his parents as being a behavioral problem...we're much more upset about it than he is. It's a strange situation.
Arthur and Janet's son Sean has started preschool, and after being sick only one day of his life he came out of two weeks of preschool with two ear infections, pink eye, and a cold. Poor little thing. We're going to see him next weekend because he's turning two on October 2nd, and I'm so excited. I miss his little face. We talk to him on the phone a lot-- Arthur and Janet put the phone on speaker so we all get to talk to each other and talk to him. It's interesting because we can actually talk to him and ask him questions about his day and he can answer, mostly "yes" and "no" but when he babbles he does it with purpose, he's trying to tell you something-- which is leaps and bounds from a conversation you have with Manny. Even when Manny is trying to tell you something most of what he says is gibberish.
Manny did tell me yesterday that his brain is in his head, though, so that's pretty cool.
Told You I was Bad: You know, or should know, that I want you all to learn from my mistakes (The Internship from Hell). Remember when I said I had $10 in library fines in Saturday Summary +8? Turns out it was actually $33 because they thought I'd lost the books. They ended up only charging me $15 because I "found" them...oops.
I got out 3, and I'll probably get all three done and reviewed before I finish Middlemarch because it's so enormous, so look forward to more book reviews coming soon.
Apparently nobody has an answer as to why people (like me) have vinegar cravings. That's really, really annoying...when I Google something random I want an answer, damn it. At least I got an answer for Why I Crave Junk Food When I'm Sick...apparently it's because getting sick as stressful to the body as emotional stress, the same emotional stress that also makes you want junk food. Interesting.
Oh my god, I WANT VINEGAR. I'm seriously considering just dumping a ton on my dinner...just thinking about that is making my mouth water. Or maybe for a snack tonight I'll roast some potatoes and dip them in some...
Finishing up today I'd like to say a great big Happy Birthday to one of history's greatest entertainers: Mr. Jim Henson. I grew up on Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The Muppet Show and it breaks my heart that he's gone, that there will never be anything new from him.
Sleep well, Mr. Henson, and thank you for making me laugh, feel, and learn in my past, present, and future.
Upcoming Posts really do include Fight Club & Self Injury, as well as Chandler's and my review of The Lion King, the first appointment with my new doctor, and a pause in posting due to the return of the pain. And in lieu of next week's Saturday Summary I'll be posting all day from New Jersey to Maryland and back.
Remember to return any overdue library books!!