As a writer of popular women's fiction, including Something Borrowed and Heart of the Matter, and a lover of all things pop culture, I am thrilled to be a guest blogger for TrèsSugar. I look forward to sharing with you my girly pursuits — from my latest must-read books to all the relationship advice that comes my way as the author of five best-selling books about love and friendship. I can't wait to hear from you as we go along; please keep me posted on your latest obsessions, too! Stay tuned for my first post, going live tomorrow.
The always entertaining Stefan Richter is back! Here are his thoughts on this week's Top Chef All-Stars. Take it away chef!
Hello Everybody: This will be short and sweet. Before I start blogging I have to say I love Tabatha Salon Takeovers; she makes me laugh a lot and she hates to be called sweetheart. So do I.
Three-day trip to Napa? Really? That's something new. Fondue. I make fondue in my restaurants sometimes. Dale funny guy, PHOONDUE, love it, he has gone from child to grown up. Ohhh pobresito: Angelo making things that are too complicated (that's something new). Blais, I know you hitting on my man, but great idea, I like it. I will put that on my menu next week. Goat cheese, barf hate it, can't stand goat cheese. Carla screwed up, it's very funky looking. Antonia is ratting on Mike Isabella. It is down to the wire. They all look tired and over it.
BLOGGING TOP CHEF ALL-STARS AGAIN, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT????
OK here we go again: First off, Jamie, my girl, is gone, that kind of sucks because since she is back on All-Stars my scallop sales went through the roof! Damn. Actually, it is not that bad, because she kind of screwed up in the last few episodes and she is, after all, my competition next door. I don't even remember who was the second person who got kicked off with her? I think I'm having a moment of dementia.
I have a question for all the readers: What bugs you the most about the judges? I tell you what bugs me the most — and it has for seven seasons and my personal past for more then 12 years in America. Judges, please eat with fork and knife! Geeze, God gave you two hands, use them. (I'm not a bible pusher.) There is nothing more anti-sexy than shoving your food in your mouth with only a fork. Then even using the fork on the wrong hand or use your fingers to get it on the fork. UGH. It is like watching Top Chef without sound, making Goulash without bay leaf and red wine, or going surfing in Finland without a wetsuit.
For more of Stefan's take on Top Chef, keep on reading.
There's no better person to comment on the all-star season of Top Chef than a previous contestant. That's why we've asked Top Chef Chicago's Ryan Scott to watch the show and share his thoughts. Here's what he had to say about last night's shocking decision!
OK, I am not holding back my thoughts on this episode and will risk losing Facebook friends for it. I can't help myself. This season rocks!
Casey: I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when your brilliant idea of bacon and chocolate lasagna came into play for kids. Is that really what popped to mind? Wait, maybe it's like poached pears at a tailgating event.
Dale Talde is my boy, but dude! Your girlfriend doesn't have People magazine in your bathroom? Joe Jonas? Come on man, get with the times.
Jamie's going to be a great mother one day. It's good to see her genuine enthusiasm ooze with the kids at the museum challenge. Hope she's recovering well after the two stitches on her pinkie finger. That's got to be one painful "owie." I'm feeling a text from her in about eight hours from now when this hits the web . . .
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post written by Annabel Karmel, the British children's chef and kiddie cookbook author. This week Annabel shares step-by-step instructions for holiday decorations the entire family can make, and eat, together.
The holidays are the perfect excuse to bring the family together and into the kitchen. Cookie baking is always a favorite activity, as kids love eating the tasty things they make, but there are only so many cookies a family can consume. Converting treats into home and tree decor is a great way to get even the youngest kids involved in holiday decorating. Tots as young as two can use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and crush candies for the colorful centers of our stained glass window cookies – edible decorations that taste as good as they look hanging on the tree!
Did you watch the first episode of Top Chef All-Stars last night?! We did, and so did one of our favorite Top Chef contestants, Ryan Scott. Here, Ryan shares his thoughts on the show. Take it away, Chef Scott!
Wow! Memories. It's been three years since they shot my season of Top Chef and it's nice to see a lot of my good friends back on All-Stars. Dale Levitski was just in our living room a few months back. Here I am, laying in bed with my girlfriend, who has a backache, and me stuffed up cold, blogging just for you guys. After all, "people from all over the world have come to visit me." No, wait! That's Jamie.
Of course, my dear friend Richard would bring out the big guns on the first challenge; his liquid nitrogen. How the hell does he get that on the plane? Also, it's refreshing that Spike actually shaved for this season. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that Fabio's hairdresser could fit him in before they shot the show. Fabio knows I love him, and there's not a more traveled, harder-working top chef than him. So grow that hair out, brotha man.
Get excited readers. The eighth and most-anticipated season of Top Chef starts tonight, and we're bringing in past contestants to share their thoughts on the show! To kick-start the series we have our favorite cheftestant from season four, Ryan Scott. Since appearing on the reality competition, Scott has been super busy. After inviting us into the kitchen, he left his post at Mission Beach Cafe to start up a catering business, Ryan Scott 2 Go. Most recently came the news that he's opening a food truck in San Francisco called 3-Sum Eats. Stay tuned to see what Ryan has to say about the first episode of Top Chef All-Stars!
Editor's note: Get excited! Our favorite party guru, Colin Cowie, is back. This time he's here to help us handle the holidays. The event planner extraordinaire is a fan of buffets, especially for large food celebrations like Thanksgiving. Below he shares his recipes for the perfect turkey day buffet.
A Thanksgiving buffet allows each guest to help themselves to what they like, skip what they don't favor, and go back for seconds and thirds should they wish. You can place serving platters in the warming drawer until ready to be used (if you don't have a warming drawer, set the oven to 200°F and place the platters inside for 5-10 minutes). After a leisurely dinner, clear the buffet and set it for dessert — an apple tarte tatin, coffee, and cognac. And remember, the best part about Thanksgiving is enjoying the leftovers the following day!
Get Colin's recipes for roast turkey, haricot verts, baked apples, and warm spiced cider after the break.
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post written by Annabel Karmel, the British children's chef and kiddie cookbook author. This week Annabel shares some travel-friendly recipes just in time for the holidays!
As all parents know, travelling with children requires a lot of organization and it doesn’t matter if you are going away for an afternoon or a week, you end up packing for every eventuality! Travelling is much easier if you are prepared, which means always having some sort of food with you, as there is nothing worse than a hungry child and no store in sight.
If you have a young baby who is starting on solids there are several fantastic fruits and vegetables that do not need cooking. Banana, peach, mango, and avocado are all ideal, and all you need is a knife, fork and a bowl to make nutritious purees. All of these have their own protective case and will not spoil without being refrigerated.
When travelling, it is important to have child size portions that are easy to eat and that make as little mess as possible. Keep food simple – finger food is the easiest option. Chopped carrot, sandwiches and wholemeal muffins are examples of foods that are easy to eat. You can always use a mini ice pack or freezer gel pack to ensure food is kept at the correct temperature.
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post written by Annabel Karmel, the British children's chef and kiddie cookbook author. This week Annabel shares mural meals to help entice tots to try new foods.
Children often say that they do not like foods even before they have already tried it. So it is important to entice them and encourage them to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is easy to give up and just make the foods you know they will like. But just persevere, keep trying new things and make food look attractive so they are at least tempted to try just a little bit.
Children also like to assemble their own food, so you can get them involved – they love to eat food they have made themselves.
Have a picky eater who refuses to eat his greens or a lil girl who is begging to be your sous chef, but you don't know how she can help? Submit your cooking and feeding questions to The Children's Table group over in the LilSugar Community, and we'll have Annabel answer them!