Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top Chef: JD goes back to black and white,a TAR team's swan song and a Mad Men marriage proposal

For the Quickfire challenge on Top Chef:Just Desserts this week,everyone had to make a dessert with savory ingredients and it had to be prepared using only one pot. Zac won this round with a beet cake that had sweetened goat cheese and a lemon thyme gremolata.

He was granted immunity but quickly traded that in for a cash prize of five thousand dollars instead(which he negotiated from an offer of one grand!). That was a bit of a risk to do,particularly before learning the details of the Elimination challenge.

The devil was in the details here,as the chefs had to make black and white treats for a party of 200 guests to celebrate the 128th anniversary of the Los Angeles Times. Lucky for Zac that his deep fried whoopie pie with passion fruit cream and Asian pear rocked the socks off of the judges there.

Joining him in the winner's circle was Eric,for his take on a Mississippi mud cake that had Earl Grey whipped cream and hot fudge sauce. The most impressive component of the dish was the plating,which Eric has had some trouble with in earlier rounds. Judge Gail praised him for the obvious improvement and that meant more to Eric than getting the win here.

Yigit took the win this time,thanks to his chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse and a berry compote with almond milk ice cream on the side. The flavors were rich but not cloying,plus the elegance of the cake composition was a visual pleaser as well.

It was a bad night for the ladies,as all of them landed in the Bottom Three. Heather's spiced chocolate gingerbread torte had red berries,which stood out a little too much for the black and white theme,plus her flavors didn't have much of a punch.

Sadly,it was Erika who went home,for a lemon poppy seed ice cream that the judges said tasted like soap. Her white chocolate pave and blackberry creme brule didn't go over too well either. It's a shame,since Erika was one of the more levelheaded chefs in this competition,not to mention a creator of some really gorgeous looking desserts. She will be missed.

Next week, this Top Chef spin-off will getting it's own version of Restaurant Wars,whipping folks up into even more of a frenzy than they already are. Should be fun and frothy viewing there!

The Express Pass was used at last on The Amazing Race,sparing Jill and Thomas from struggling through the second choice for the Detour. The two of them were way behind to begin,before poor Jill kept taking tumbles on that ski slope scooter.

The team that was eliminated instead was the Princeton Acapella Boys,Jonathan and Connor. This particular leg happened to fall on the date of their college graduation,something they did keep slightly grousing about.

The boys took their loss in literal stride,serenading Phil with a pomp and circumstance tune as they made that final walk into the Pit Stop. Well,at least these new graduates gained a little life experience and were entertaining to the last:

The fourth season of Mad Men wrapped up with some hope for the future of SCDP,as Peggy signed on a new account all on her own and it turns out that Joan decided to keep that baby after all(good for her!)but everything was eclipsed by Don's proposal to Megan.

She wound up accompanying him and the kids on their California trip after Betty unjustly fired Carla for letting Glen say goodbye to Sally(when that girl actually has a real boyfriend,things are going to go from ugly to hideous with her mother). I had a feeling about Megan a few episodes back and was really happy to see that her answer was "yes" to Don.

Not just for the kids' sake,altho I do think that Megan will make a great as well as supportive stepmother,but she's more of the kind of woman that Don can handle right now. True,she is a younger female who looks up to him,much like Betty was at first,but Megan doesn't seem to have the same set of heavy emotional baggage as his first wife. Also,she's not as willingly naive and has a sincere interest in Don's work,which could help him and the agency in the long run.

Don's treatment of Faye stunk on ice,but let's face it-that relationship wasn't going to work out,regardless of Megan. Faye and Don are both too alpha for each other to take on full time and one way or another,they both know it.

Many folks point to that moment when Sally spilled her milkshake in the restaurant and Megan's calm reaction as the deciding point for Don to pop the question. I concur with that,since the stunned expressions on the Draper clan spoke volumes about how very much they wanted a change from their dysfunctional norm and happy to accept Megan as the agent of that new regime. Next season will hopefully show us if that snap decision was a wise one:


THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: After a brief break,the show is back with new developments on the Catherine front and more allies in the hunt to take her down. For Halloween week,we're getting a masquerade ball as a treat while Katherine prepares plenty of tricks to torment Elena and the Salvatore boys with-I love it when a theme comes together!:

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