Monday, November 15, 2010


Back when we were in Seattle, my daughter and I didn’t have cable TV.

(*gasp* I know.)

As a single mom, I just simply couldn’t justify actually PAYING to watch TV (whaaaaaaaaa—?) So, screw it, we didn’t. And I have no regrets on that, because if I had plunked down all that hard-earned moolah for a bunch of stupid TV shows, I seriously doubt I would have been able to afford to take my baby to Disneyland the two times we went…. and I would much rather have had those Disneyrific vacations than cable TV.



So, we survived with our free basic local TV channels (well, minus PBS and CBS, which would never ever come through! *sniff*) and our piece of crud converter box which kinda sorta maybe worked when it felt like playing nicely with others and wasn’t PMSing or dropping nine words out of every ten word sentance or pixelating the images sooooooooooooooooo badly that I often thought I was watching a game of Tetris.

Nice, huh?


And, for obvious reasons, we never really watched much TV. It was too frustrating to be honest.

Of course, I knew that would all change once we moved in with Scope. Scope, like 99.99999999999999999999999% of you reading this, has cable TV.

Me, personally, I’m still not too fussed about the TV. I like me some Dr. Oz every now and then and I admit I’m looking forward to American Idol starting up again (Steven Tyler???? As a judge???? Seriously???? C’mon!!!!), but otherwise—eh—I don’t really care what’s on TV. Even with cable. Whatever.

But my daughter…. she feels a little differently.


*insert the sound of angles singing: “laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”*

And, oddly, her favorite channel is not MTV. Nor the Disney Channel. Nor anything else you might expect a 14 year old girl to gravitate towards. Nope. Her favorite channel is Food Network. And her favorite show is Chopped.

If you haven’t seen Chopped yet, lemme sum it up for you like this: you take four chefs and force them to compete against each other creating a three course meal out of completely insane “mystery ingredients” (grasshoppers, raw lamb hearts and gummy vampire fangs, anyone?!) which they need to throw together into (hopefully) tasty (or at least roughly edible) meals in a ridiculously small amount of time without managing to poison any of the judges.

Gwen adores it. And Friday afternoon Gwen asked me if she, Scope and I could have our own Chopped competition here at home over the weekend.

Hmmm. Interesting.

So, we did.

We simplified it, of course. We focused on creating desserts only, not a three course meal. We each picked one mystery ingredient with which to spring in each others' gob-smacked faces (with evil glints glinting in our eyes) which had to be included in the desserts and we had 30 (ish) minutes to throw our masterpieces together.

And, oy, it wasn’t easy.


Here is how the Cora, Scope and Gwen version of Chopped played out yesterday afternoon:

Gwen’s mystery ingredient was: semi-sweet chocolate chips….

My mystery ingredient was: cherry flavored Craisins….

And Scope’s mystery ingredient was: crescent roll dough….

Scope created these yummy little doughy muffin thingies topped with melted chocolate chips infused with Craisins and marshmallows and topped with vanilla pudding and powdered sugar….

While Gwen made these ultra cute teeny sandwiches filled with melted chocolate chips, Craisins and marshmallows….

And I got out my Harry Potter party candy molds and made marzipan-filled chocolate frogs on Craisinified cresent roll lily pads sprinkled with powdered sugar….

We noshed on each others’ desserts until we felt a little nauseous (or at least I did anyway) (blah) and then we voted. We judged each other on creativity, taste and presentation. I lost a few points because my chocolate frogs were still chillin’ in the fridge when my 30 minutes were up. (*sniffle*) And once all the votes were tallied, Gwen announced the winner:


Of course, now Gwen is begging for a rematch and, because we are still suffering with icky sugar high hangovers today (*cranky shudder*), Scope and I are thinking of ditching the whole dessert plan and making the rematch all about appetizers instead.

(Hmmm.... just what do grasshoppers taste like anyway?.... Chicken?)

(Sorry, Gwen!)

So, congratulations to my hubba hubba hubby, Scope, our Chopped Champion of desserts! YAY!!!!

But, uhh, don’t get too attached to that title, dear, ‘cuz next time I’m kicking that cute little rear of yours!

*pinky swear*


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Anonymous said...

LOL! That's great! I don't miss cable one bit.. can watch almost everything on the computer for far less. LOL! Sounds like a really fun time!

Heff said...

That looks great, but Heff's GOTTA HAVE HIS DISHTV !

Kal said...

You are the coolest mom ever. Gwen is going to grow up to be an amazing person (not like she isn't already).

J.J. in L.A. said...

I don't know what I'd do without cable. I watch it almost exclusively (except for 2 1/2 Men and Big Bang Theory).

For some reason, 'Chopped' annoys me. Well, I actually know why. The holier-than-thou attitudes of some of the competitors. There was a young woman, just the other day, who won $10,000 just for (imo) being grateful for being there and not bitching about her fellow competitors like the older, ass-holey other guy.

And those desserts look de-lish! I'd be in sugar-laden heaven. And I can't wait to hear about the appetizer competition!

Scope said...

Cora would have won if not for the manditory deduction for her frogs taking time to chill. I consider this a victory with a big ol' asterisk next to it.

And I imagine that the grasshoppers taste a lot like crickets.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

OMG! I abosolutely LOOOVE this idea!!!

The froggies are waaay so cute and the familial creativity and bonding is super!

Shana said...

That is great!!! What fun. I like watching Chopped!!!

(Although after reading the titled, I thought you cut off all your hair or something!!)

JenniferAnne said...

That's AWESOME! I <3 Chopped (and most other shows on the Food Network. Your daughter is a smart girl!). I've wanted to do something like this or Iron Chef. It must be so fun to live in your house! :-)