I despise the term food porn ... unless you're a voyeuristic cattle rancher... eeeww ... enough said.
And while maybe once cute, "om-nom / nom-nom" has grown loathsome because the foodies overuse this onomatopoeia in their food porn.
I don't want to see photos of your every meal, and I assure you that red velvet cake is not to die for.
That said, I love watching Food Network Canada. Our family of four (9 year old Lola, 13 year old Oz, my wife @YouAreFierce, and myself) normally have some rather diverse interests and TV preferences, but find that we're all quite satisfied watching Food Factory, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, or Chopped Canada.
The shows that combine delicious food with game-show style competition are probably the most fun for us. Who hasn't caught themselves singing "Top Chef, serving it ... Top Chef, serving it"?
Watching a group of talented (or even not so talented) contestants prepare a meal under time constraints and often with a little twist or big surprise thrown at them, brings our family together. We love to guess who'll be Chopped next.
With the kids on summer vacation, we posed the question of "what activities do you want to do this summer?" and Ozzy came up with Family Chopped Canada. Lola offered to judge, host our "show", and create our mystery baskets of ingredients. Even with only 3 "chefs" competing, the logistics of all of us cooking in our home kitchen, will necessitate a few changes to format. But the point is, the kids found an activity that we all enthusiastically agree on. We don't expect to create restaurant quality dishes, and there's no cash prize on the line, but we will have fun.
I'll give a post-Chopped update (complete with self-indulgent photos, and no that's not hypocritical, unless I develop a need to do it every day).
I just hope I don't hear "Dad ... you have been chopped"
Okay, I know this is gonna sound like sour grapes from a guy who just didn't make the cut in the Family Chopped kitchen, but the mystery baskets (assembled by our 9 year old host / judge) were insane!
- Appetizer: canned crab, peanut butter, shortbread cookies, dessert waffle bowls, fresh cherries
- Entree: honey nut Cheerios, popcorn, processed cheese slices, whipped cream, dark chocolate
- Dessert: fruit gummies, cream soda, Snapea Crisps, cucumber, apples
Yes, my worst Chopped fear came true, as Lola picked Ozzy's dessert over mine. My only consolation was that I lasted one more round than T.
The parents lose, one child wins, and the other judges. Hmmm... Something's fishy here, and I'm not just talking about the canned crab from the appetizer round.
In all fairness, Oz deserved the win, he was a Santoku knife wielding warrior. His lack of experience was buried by his enthusiasm, and creativity.
The two takeaways for me were simple: cooking can be family fun - a lot of fun; and the real unsung heroes of the Chopped shows are the people doing the clean up. We created a ton of dirty dishes and had to wash them between rounds. Boo! Lesson learned.
Cheers for Chopped!