Sunday, July 29, 2012

Women, Fat, and Magazine Mythology

A few months ago a friend of mine gave me a big stack of women's magazines to read as a way to pass the time.

I got a Family Circle, a Woman's World Weekly, and a Woman's Day.

Each magazine was replete with helpful hints, inspiring articles, and tips aimed toward making me a better woman:

"Remake your shape in six easy moves"
"The No-Time-To-Clean Cleaning Guide"
"Slow Cooker Recipes for a Mom on the Go!"

And my personal favourite

"How Not to Feel Like a Stuffed Turkey this Thanksgiving."

It's interesting when you start paying attention to the ways in which women are marketed.

At present, I find myself in an age bracket where the powers that be want to sell me things like Tide, Swiffer Wet Jet Mops, Lavender Scented Pine Sol, and Dove Pro Age, instead of Lavendar mascara or push up bras.

A time where people assume I'm more interested in "The Top Five Ways to Spice up a PoundCake,"than the Top Five Ways to Spice up my Man."

A time I like to think of as: The "Over Forty Zone."

You'll know you're there when your hair goes to grey like clockwork every four to six weeks, you prefer taking a bubble bath on a Saturday night over going to the club, and that strange crackling sound you hear isn't coming from an open fire, but rather your knees as you bend to pick something up.

Not to mention the fact that people begin to call you Ma'am.


In our society the ma'ams and the moms get lumped into one big sexless, cake eating, carb and calorie counting entity.

***

The world of women's magazines assumes that we're all on a quest to look younger, be thinner, and cook the perfect souflee - both in the bedroom, and in the kitchen.

All in a desperate attempt to please...

Who?

***

I was at the pool the other morning, listening in as I often do to the conversations going on around me.

That being said, what do you think women talk about the most?

If you said weight, you win a big slab of cake.

With icing.

Start to pay attention and listen when women get together.

Then go it a step further and try to stay out of a conversation about weight.

Seriously, give it a try.

Because I'm here to tell you, it won't be easy.

And why would it be?

I went onto Google Images tonight and grabbed a random sampling of recent Women's magazine covers.

I copied covers that would represent women of all ages.

Starting with Seventeen Magazine.

Thank God the teenaged girls of today are learning perfect skin tips, why school is making them fat, how to kiss, and how to get their best butt and flat abs.





Here's some random covers of Cosmo and Redbook...

It looks like the primary issues on the minds of women in their 20's and early 30's are tight abs and other "sexposes" along with the standard lose weight, and look younger type fare.








And now, let's head into the Ma'am/Mom zone...
Just once I'd like to see a magazine not have a big slab of cake on the cover followed by the latest diet.

You think I'm making this stuff up?









Pathetic isn't it?

This was just a randomn sample of the hundreds of magazines I perused.

Every cover had a weight loss component, a "Look younger component" (in the teen magazines it was a "clear skin component") and a "how to keep him satisfied" component.

With the exception of magazines aimed at the Ma'ams/Moms.

You'll notice beween Cosmo and Woman's Day there is a transition.

Where we were once wowing him in bed, we're now wowing him with cheesecake.

As opposed to wowing OURSELVES with the indesputable evidence of our power, intelligence, capability, and the right to choose all things that are in our best interest.

Me, I just keep fighting the good fight.

Encouraging women to follow their own bliss and not subscribe to the status quo.

Whether that be driving a race car or baking really good bread.

And that' the blog.

Happy Monday all!


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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tipsy Pork Chops in Beer Marinade

With grilling season upon us and the lazy days of summer ahead, I thought I would re-post some of my favourite summer recipes on Saturdays over the next few months.

Today's recipe for pork chops is one of my absolute MUSTS for summertime grilling.














Ingredients

* 1 can beer (the new Budweiser lime beer is amazing in this marinade)
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1/4 cup peach or mango chutney
* 1 teaspoon hot sauce
* 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 tsp ginger
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, dish or plastic bag.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, turning a few times.

Remove meat and cook according to your preferences. I like to grill at this time of year and serve with a little more chutney on the side.

If using boneless chops, the brine recipe is HERE.

If you try it, write back and let me know.

 Happy summer Saturdays all!!

***
Watch the step by step video, or visit the Printable Recipe HERE


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Friday, July 27, 2012

The Power of a Ham Sandwich

I always know when times are tough emotionally.

Not as much by the things I do or say, but more often by the things I eat.

When life becomes difficult, for whatever reason, I go straight to food as my ultimate source of comfort.

This can be explained twofold:

1. We didn't have a lot of money growing up and food, therefore, represented a sense of safety, permanence, and security.

2. In a family that resonated with art, passion, texture, colour, fragrance, and taste - food was a natural source of comfort. I learned at a very early age that gingerale, potato chips, and chocolate bars had the power to make me feel better.

A notion, that despite valiant ongoing efforts, has carried into my adult life.

And into the past three weeks.

I haven't been to the gym, I've put on weight, and I look tired.

But I'll be okay.

I went out this evening and bought myself a whole new kit of makeup, have a hair appointment tomorrow, and will get back to the gym eventually because I always do.

However, because I haven't quite worked through the stress, I found myself this evening dreaming about my ULTIMATE comfort food:

A ham sandwich with margarine, and mustard on processed white bread.

I know.

For me, this is right up there with mashed potatoes.

Here's why:

I don't think any of us should minimize the role of food in our emotional lives, and, for some of us, the part it plays in "filling up" the empty spaces.

When I was in high school I had a very good friend who I'll call, "Philip Finkelstein" (and yes, he was exactly as one would expect: studious, shy, a little nerdy, but on the road toward great things)

Too bad I couldn't see it then.

Because Philip Finkelstein (who went on to become a very wealthy and successful man) had a crush on me in high school and everyday come 12:00 pm, would share his lunch.

Philip's mom packed it for him every day: Two ham sandwiches on white bread with margarine and mustard.

Wrapped in wax paper.

And every day from grade ten right through to grade twelve, he shared his second sandwich.

The beauty of this is that his mother has absolutely no idea.

She doesn't know that - even though we never met and all I ever knew of her was the love she put into a carefully wrapped sandwich - I modeled portions of who I became as a mother after her.

She doesn't know that the love and comfort packed into those lunch bags has created a personal need in me for ham sandwiches to this day.

On white bread with margarine and mustard thank you very much.

And she will never know that the love and care she packed into those sandwiches continues to be felt by me now.

But that's energy.

The power we each have to affect lives - and the resonance love has when it infuses itself into everyday moments.

So today, when you go about the business of your own life, remember this: Love, even in its smallest moments and routine gestures has the power, not only to alter the course of a life, but to turn memories golden - like the mustard on a ham sandwich.

The right kind of love travels all kinds of unexpected places so that years after the last of the wax paper has been put away, a middle aged woman who, once upon a time, enjoyed a brown bag lunch in a long ago cafeteria, feels comforted by the memory.

Happy Saturday all!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Next Food Network Star, Season 8 Finale, Justin Takes it Home!

It's been an amazing season and after much cooking, and more than a few uncomfortable on camera moments, America voted and tonight's episode revealed who The Next Food Network Star would be!

But not before a little re-capping and never before seen moments featuring our would be stars and their coaches.

The episode began with the "final four" - Martie, Michelle, Justin, and Yvan and it was interesting to learn from the coaches that all four of the finalists had been first choice picks.

It was also enlightening to learn of the rivalry that existed between the teams and the animosity between Bobby Flay's group toward the other cooks. It became apparent from the get go that Flay's people thought they were somehow better because of their previous culinary experience and it was nice to see that the other teams remained un-intimidated.

In particular, Team Alton.

As an aside, have I mentioned that I adore Alton Brown?

Here's what he had to say:

"I mentored my team to be individuals and to not fit any molds... In reality, what I realized is that the winning was secondary. I want to make sure that all five of them have a different life, and a better life because they did this."

I caught my breath because that was exactly it.

I know first hand the importance of informing a life by experience as opposed to always looking toward an outcome. Life is a moveable feast and the only real "outcome" is when we're no longer around to keep icing that cake.

I digress.

Because an outcome was about to be given to one of the finalists and the person with the lowest number of votes, who would therefore not be going any further, would be revealed.

And that person was Martie.

As much as I didn't love her throughout the season, I have to admit to being a little heart broken on her behalf because its a tough pill to make it that far into a race and not quite cross the finish line. 

But again, I would say to Martie that, perhaps this race wasn't hers to finish - the horizon beckons, and I'm excited that she has the courage and the moxie to take this journey because life is about so much more than just getting older.

Hey, I'm middle aged.

I can say stuff like that. 

The next part of the show featured the finalists and their answers to a series of anonymous poll questions that were sent to them via email starting with: "Who is the most competitive?"

The answer, Nikki.

Um, big surprise - not. It was always my belief that Nikki's overly competitive nature was the thing that led to her undoing because it made her far less likeable. Instead of just being herself (whoever that is, I'm still not sure) she adopted a series of grrrrrl personas throughout the season that just weren't relateable.

Was she a tough chick? A pageant alumni? The girl next door?

We'll never know....  

The next question, "Who was the cockiest competitor?" also came with an unsurprising answer:  Malcolm. And true to form, even though his lack of a Point of View is what ultimately sent him home, he still had the stupidity arrogance to stare down Suzie Fogelson and say "My lack of a POV is my POV.

To which I say: "Good luck with your Food Network Career Malcolm."

 Moving on. 

The oddest couple vote went to Justin and Martie followed by a montage featuring the so called rivalry between judges and, again, it was really fun to see Alton, Bobby, and Giada as themselves. I was also so happy to see Bobby Flay acknowledge Eric as he was one of my absolute favourites from the get go and I still say, I would watch a show with him as the host over people with "better personas" - why? Because I am a home cook who is invested in learning and growing and getting better.

Food Network, I beg of you, groom Eric - I want to learn how to make artisan bread, and soups, and sauces, and pastas.... and.... and...

Next we heard from Bob and Suzie and it's always interesting to hear how invested the Network becomes in its would be stars - but TV is a tough business, and for those known as  "the talent" it's important to  understand that nothing, and I mean nothing, is personal. This is a business where personality and the ability to generate ad dollars and viewership is the commodity. People embarking on such a venture will be traded up or down in much the same way as copper or silver and it isn't a personal reflection if things don't go their way.

Further, as Oprah Winfrey says, "You can't create a phenomenon," people either have stardust or they don't and no amount of fighting or competitive spirit is ever going to change that.  

In the end, after four and half million votes, the person I called out from Day 1 as the one to watch; the person who, along with Emily and Eric, who I also always believed had stardust - Justin Warner - won!

And I am so incredibly excited because, I know, with Justin and Alton on the project this is gonna be some Good Times!

And so ends season 8.

I look forward to revisiting its outcomes as time goes on...

***
 How about an amazing soft taco??


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Good Things Take Time - Soft Tacos with Roasted Corn and Tomato Salsa

Down the road from where I live is an amazing Farmer's Market.

















 And parked there every summer is Frank.

Frank operates a travelling kitchen and along with the usual fare of hotdogs, hamburgers and great fries, he serves things like red snapper sandwiches and grilled prawns - which have made him famous in our area.












But that's Frank.

You know the kind.

Referred to as "eccentric" or "original," Frank is a man who marches to the beat of his own drum.

And would tell you, if you thought to ask, that his particular beat sounds like jazz.

Because next to cooking, Frank is all about the music.

If you're lucky, on a summer afternoon when the sun is lighting the world just so, Frank will come out and blow you a tune or two.
















Eccentric?

I believe that's just another world for teacher.

As he flips his burgers to the cool sounds of Charlie Parker, he hands out nuggets of wisdom to the people patiently waiting for his food.

And wait you will.

Because Frank is never in a hurry.

If you order, for example, a hotdog with onions, you will be receiving nothing short of a work of art.

The all beef wiener will be cut in half and perfectly fried until it's crispy on the outside but still juicy and tender and filled with flavour.

The onions will be plentiful and caramelized to a beautiful golden brown.

And the bun, which is always fresh, will be buttered and toasted.

As Frank tells anyone willing to listen, "People are always in a hurry but good things take time."

And trust me when I tell you, a hotdog from from Frank's is more than just good.

It's a memory.

The kind of thing you'll look back on one day and say "Remember Frank?"

And realize you'll never again have a hotdog that good.

That you will never re-capture the feeling you had while sitting outside a hotdog stand on a warm July afternoon listening to Eddie Coltrane and watching the world roll by.

That's what love does.

Whether it's expressed by a gesture, or a smile, or a hotdog, when we take the time to put our whole hearts into whatever we do, the end result can only ever be beautiful.

Martin Luther King Jr said:

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."

I love that.

And I am filled with gratitude that we live in a world where everyday we're offered the opportunity to infuse our lives and all of the things we do with love.

In the spirit of that, I'd like to leave you today with a recipe you'll thank me for later.

Soft Tacos with Corn and Tomato Salsa (Printable recipe here)

I'd like to think Frank would say these are okay...



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Sunday, July 22, 2012

When a Home Hair Treatment Goes Bad...

Tonight was a hot one - and as I sat with the fans going it made me think of another hot night a few summers ago when, with the best of intentions, I created a hair treatment using a few simple kitchen ingredients. 

I hope you enjoy!
***

I was a stay at home mom and hadn't been out of the house all day.

It was around 10:00 at night, and HOT.

I was drinking red wine, watching tv and feeling like I needed a change.

Worse still, I was feeling fugly.

This because I'd spent the better part of the day watching soap operas and prime time tv.

And there aren't a lot of ugly folk on the soaps...

Or on prime time for that matter.

I mean, who'd watch Dr. McUgly?

So I'm sitting in my hot living room, half depressed, when 20/20 comes on.

It's an interview with Jane Fonda and she talks for a half hour about the virtues of self preservation and natural beauty - claiming that ordinary housewives can look like Hollywood starlets by using a few simple ingredients from their kitchens.

Of course, I'm all over that.

My hair had been feeling a little dry and I was excited to note that after the commercial break Jane would be sharing her recipe for a homemade hair moisturizer, guaranteed to add luster and shine to even the most unruly manes.

I got up for a pen and paper and waited in breathless anticipation.



When Jane came back on and recounted the recipe, it was as follows:

One cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 dashes sesame oil, and one beaten egg.

The entire affair was to be whipped together until fluffy and then applied to dry hair.

Fabulous.

I mixed the whole thing up, and then because I like sesame oil, I added about five extra dashes.

Then I applied it, wrapped my head in Saran Wrap, and put a towel around that.

I was supposed to sit like that for ten minutes and then wash it off.

But because my motto has always been "Go Big or Go Home," I decided to leave it on overnight - and even though it was getting hot beneath all that plastic, I knew my hair was going to be Amazing by morning.

The next morning, on the periphery of awakeness, I heard the PB mumble:

"What the HELL is that smell?"

"Grdnnmel," says I

"Wake up!" says the Town Crier, "It reeks in here!"

"Eeeshatup," I reply.

Wherebye the Pool Boy jumps out of bed and with a giant "MY GOD!" says, "I think the cat died."



I woke up immediately and attempted to get into the sitting position - but there was something heavy on my head and it was holding me back.

"What in the name of God have you got on your head?" says the Pool Boy.

And then I remember.

The hair mask.

In retrospect, the decision to leave it on my head and under plastic overnight was not a good one because the smell was unbelievable.

And the longer we were awake, the worse it was getting.

Within three minutes, the Pool Boy and I were both gagging, and I ran to the bathroom in a panic so that I could get the saran wrap off my head.

But it wasn't that simple.

The combination of mayonnaise and egg had adhered to the plastic wrap and hardened so that after I took the towel off, retched twice into the toilet, and then looked in the mirror, I had a perfectly formed poultice affixed to my head.

I dry heaved again, tore off my clothes, started the shower, and got in.

God help me, but it took more than twenty minutes of scrubbing, picking, and pulling until, finally, the last of it was off.

I got out of the shower, wrapped another towel around my head, dried my hair and then took the towel off.

And there it was again.

That smell.

It hadn't washed away.

So I dry heaved some more, showered again, and got back out - continuing a process that took approximately three hours until I felt I could finally breath through my nose again.

You know, even in writing this I can conjure up the smell.

And that's the blog!

A little blast from summertime past :-)

Stay tomorrow for more summertime fun!


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Beet and Chicken Soup (Borscht)

I have long extolled my love of beets, beet greens, and the earthy summertime flavours they conjure but, up until now, I haven't done a recipe featuring the beet in its entirety.

That is, until now.




















I think beets are one of those vegetables we see in the produce section that, unpeeled with their stems and leaves intact, might seem a little daunting for busy cooks.

Even though they are super healthy, and mega delicious, who has the time?

In today's video, I'll show you just how quick and easy it actually is to throw together a beautiful and incredibly tasty soup featuring every part of the beet that will go from your produce section to the table in under an hour!

Better still, this one gets better with time. Make it ahead on a Sunday and you've got soul satisfying, nourishing lunches for the next few days.

High in fibre, nutrients, and flavour, this one's a keeper - I hope you'll agree!

To visit the printable recipe: "Health Soup" or enjoy today's step by step video!




Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes 
Serves: 6

Ingredients 
  • 5 baby beets (one bunch) - peeled and diced small
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 chicken breast diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (olive oil and black pepper Aylmers)
  • 1 cup chick peas
  • 5 cups low or no sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Directions
  1. Remove stems and leaves from beets. Separate the stems from the leaves, dice the stems small. Chiffonade the leaves.
  2. Saute the chicken, onions, beets, and stems in extra virgin olive oil over medium high just until chicken begins to cook. Add the spices, tomatoes, and chick peas. Cover with the chicken stock and cover and keep at a simmering boil for app 25 minutes until the beets are soft. During the last five minutes of cooking add the beet greens and 1 tbsp white vinegar.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream, stir well, and serve.



***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Next Food Network Star Season 8, Episode 10 Now We Know Why Alton Was Crying!

Tonight was the night our six finalists were faced with their last challenge: to shoot a 30 second promo for the show they hope to have on Food Network. The promos would be screened for a panel of judges consisting of a very special panel of Food Network all stars: Aaron Sanchez, Melissa D'arabian, Anne Burrell, Sunny Anderson, Robert Irvine, and last season's Food Network Star winner Jeff Morrow, the Sandwich King.

The finalists with the most promising promos would be invited to shoot pilots for the network - with one catch - only three of the remaining six finalists, Michelle, Ippy, Nikki, Yvan, Martie, or Justin would be asked to continue, and I was struck by the friendships, not only between the finalists and the judges, but the finalists with each other. In an interview Justin said that he would honestly be heartbroken to see Martie go home, and I believed him.

Of course, it just made me want him to win all the more :-)

Our would be stars only had three takes to get their promos together, so the pressure was on as they each struggled past their nerves. Martie's promo featured Martie with the Party, Yvan was Family Style, Michelle featured New England, Ippy brought Hawaii, and Josh presented my favourite promo of the night, Rebel with a Culinary Cause.

 In the end, they each did a great job, but a few really stood out: Michelle, Yvan, Justin, and *gulp* Martie. I know I've had my issues with her this season, but I also think she has a great idea for a show - and her tagline "Pretty soon your friends are going to think you've got a caterer, a decorator, and a bar tender on speed dial" was inspired and I have to admit, I would watch that.

It was also here that we finally found out why Alton was crying this season: he was going to have to say goodbye to one his finalists, and in a heartfelt pow wow prior to the results he told Justin and Martie that he felt like Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice.

The reckoning began.

The first person chosen to make a pilot was Michelle from Team Bobby. Yvan was chosen from Team Giada, and amongst many tears Justin was chosen from team Alton - except...

In a lovely twist that I have to admit I saw coming, Martie was also selected to shoot a pilot.

The remainder of the episode was spent on the pilots and I have to say, at this point it's anyone's game - and though voting is now closed in the US, I will be waiting with hopeful anticipation that my American neighbours chose right (say it with me: Justin, Justin, Justin Justin).

For all the latest action, stop by FoodNetwork.com to see what's what!

In the meantime, thanks to the beauty of Youtube anyone can be a star in their own kitchens!

Though I have gotten a lot better at putting videos together and making them shorter, this would be the kind of pilot I would make.

People, don't judge. It's just like when I was a little kid and I played school - no matter our age, we should still indulge in dreams... even if they are just in our own kitchens ;) Plus, I particularly love it when my mashed potatoes go flying while I'm trying to make the "ghosts."

The best of luck to all of the finalists!

And now, may I proudly present, my inaugural episode of CHARMED! 




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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hell's Kitchen Season 10 Episode 13 "Potato Gate"

It's been awhile since my last Hell's Kitchen blog. This because Robyn and Barbie drive me bat shit crazy  I've been waiting for some of the less talented cooks to go home. But last night's debacle featuring original menus from both teams promised to bring an interesting dinner service that I felt might just be blog worthy.

So with Gordon Ramsay telling everyone "Tonight will be the night," the kitchen was open for business. The red  team's menu featured grilled rib eyes with Kimmie's signature barbecue sauce beef jus, a tender grilled duck, and flat bread.

The blue team did a squash blossom appetizer featuring scallop mousse with lobster and grilled sea bass and though it all sounded delicious, Robyn's inability to properly cook the squash blossoms found the blue team running short on seafood and she was forced to head into the dining room to apologize for her transgression.

In the other kitchen, Kimmie was on meat and Dana was on fish and though Kimmie had some initial difficulty on the red team's meat station, she quickly bounced back and managed to put out tender looking duck and mouth watering rib eyes. Not so much for Dana, though, who cooked her halibut perfectly, but botched the lobster tails, assuming they were pre-cooked she served them to the guests completely raw. So much so, Ramsay exclaimed "It's pinker inside than Paris Hilton's lipstick!"

With Justin on meat and Clemenza on fish, service was a bit of a clown show for the blue team and caused Ramsay to lose it old school Hell's Kitchen style screaming at Clemenza "I will nail you to the bleeeeeeeeeep pole" while Clemenza added to the sauce by sweating all over the sea bass.

With an hour and a half into dinner service and less than half of the blue kitchen served, the diners were beginning to grow restless, and though the red team seemed to have momentum, they were serving up raw potatoes to the dining room. Tiffany, who apparently needs a lobotomy, was responsible and though she brought the kitchen to a grinding halt, she exclaimed into the camera that she cares about food more than her family.

If raw potatoes and cooking in dirty pans are any indication of that, my advice would be to pray for her children. She was removed from the kitchen and retired to the lounge for a Red Bull and a cigarette.

Unfortunately the blue team didn't fare much better and after Clemenza served up some more raw fish, the entire team was kicked out and Chef Ramsay completed service with Scott - leaving Ramsay exclaiming "Tonight was one of the most shocking services ever."

Because of that, there was no winning team and they were charged with nominating two people each to go up for elimination. This caused quite the bru ha ha on the blue team between Justin and Robyn and, in the end, Robyn was selected as was Clemenza.

On the red team it came down to Tiffany and Barbie and though Tiffany stood and cried claiming she enjoyed the experience and badly wanted to be there, this was the same woman sucking back on a cigarette and a Red Bull earlier.

Meanwhile Barbie, with her full Warwick on, claimed to be a team player as the rest of the red team stood back and cringed.

In the end, Tiffany was selected to leave Hell's Kitchen and Chef Ramsay left the chefs with a warning: he is no longer going to carry any of them, and is going to begin making massive cuts in episodes to come - to this I say sweet holy relief! Let's cut the fat and get to the marrow.

And that's the blog.

But before I go on, and in the spirit of living my cooking life vicariously through food TV, here is one of the dishes I would serve in Hell's Kitchen if I was responsible for the menu...



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