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When the idea of 'Chopped' surfaced, it was originally meant to be taped at some guy's mansion with him and his crazy Chihuahua. A stuffy fellow in a tuxedo was to host, and the losing chef's dish was then fed to the dog! I am not kidding, I saw it! I think it is genius! Twisted, but genius!
Back a hundred years ago, especially around Woodrow Wilson, what happened in this country is we took freedom and we chopped it into pieces.
I tried to take heavy metal... and balled it up and chopped it in half and really tried to create a new form of energy. I really tried to re-shape extreme music as I see it through my eyes.
I have a corn creamer that I love. It extracts pulp and juice from kernels, and I simmer that down into a creamed corn that has an almost mashed potato-like consistency. I add butter and hit it with chopped fresh chives at the end for an accent of color.
I panicked when my son, Jett, stopped eating baby food. He's only two, but his food vocabulary is fantastic. He likes my baked tilapia and string beans with chopped garlic. But he really likes pizza. Sometimes every inanimate object to him is pizza.
On 'Chopped,' the time goes down a bit and there are several ingredients, usually one that makes no sense whatsoever with the rest of the ingredients. So it gets you out of your culinary comfort zone a little bit. Like we had octopus and cheese paired up with each other.
I was mainly raised by a working mum who didn't have much time or inclination for making food. So I had three or four basic meals: fish fingers and a tomato; a packet scotch egg and a tomato; pasta with a tin of tomatoes; and extra mild plastic-y cheddar chopped into cubes with bits of cucumber.
One of the smartest things you can do on 'Chopped' is to take one of those ingredients and make a pickle out of it, because almost every dish benefits from that. I'm feeling like those intuitions are becoming more natural.
If I'm playing in the morning, I'll get some carbs early: porridge with chopped banana. If I'm playing in the afternoon, I'll start with less carbs and have some eggs and fruit for breakfast, then a light lunch about 90 minutes before I play, so I don't feel sluggish or full.
I hate fussing about in the kitchen when I have people over to supper, so I make a rich beef stew cooked in wine with carrots, sundried tomato paste and chopped chorizo sausage.
Lunch is a big huge salad with every color in it. From leafy greens to purple to herbs, fresh cut herbs mixed into it for flavors. I vary what I toss into it. Sometimes it might be lentils and chopped tomatoes, other days it could be garbanzo beans, some days I might have just a salad and have some lentil soup on the side.
Skylar is my first name and Astin is my middle name, and my real last name is Lipstein. When I was 15, I think my first agent just kind of did it for me. I'm not ashamed, I'm not embarrassed, but she said it was just less specific to one thing and she kind of chopped it off. But forever to my friends I will be Skylar Lipstein.
It's a 12-hour cooking class for me on the set of 'Chopped.' You'd think I'd get sick of it, but it's a source of endless interest to me. The only thing I don't like about it is it's a long day and my feet hurt. Otherwise, I love it.
Anger has been a really big deal for women: how can we express it without feeling that, as the physically weaker sex, we won't get killed. The alpha-woman was burned at the stake and had her head chopped off in days of old.
Rock n' roll was one thing, and then they chopped off the 'roll' and called it 'rock,' which became a sort of umbrella term for anything with a guitar in it. Like hair bands. How could we possibly believe that? It's just gotten downright silly, to the point where now it's sort of become like professional wrestling.
Over the years I've tweaked my stuffing recipe many times, adding a variety of ingredients like sauteed wild mushrooms, dried cherries, fresh chevre, toasted hazelnuts, chopped ham hock meat, and other taste treats.
I'm boiling about the rainforests being chopped down to make disposable chopsticks. I'm boiling about the fact that we have palm oil put into every single one of our substances.
To make extra money, my parents would sell eggs and chickens. I was very little. I remember a chicken's head being chopped off with the chicken running around. I wasn't sure if my imagination was running away with me or if it really happened. It really happened.
People have their own opinions but sometimes with the media things get chopped up and cut around to make stories out of it.
I've always hoped 'Chopped' would telegraph our enormous affection and love and admiration for chefs and food, but at the same time, we are inflicting extraordinary cruelty on them.
One day, the people who work in my kitchen stir-fried chopped Napa cabbage to serve with some meat or fish for their own dinner. I got to thinking: 'What if the cabbage was the most important thing on the plate?'
I'm going to be a 'Chopped' champion.
People say the Beatles were John Lennon. What is Paul McCartney? Chopped liver? But everyone has their own favourite members whose creativity they gravitate to. That's normal.
Because Bin Laden's culture doesn't permit the worship of images, they understand how powerful images are. We wouldn't have thought of creating a visual bomb. In a way, he's chopped down two iconic buildings, and used our very truth imagery, to express himself. It's fascinating... I mean, dreadful.
I love food shows: Anthony Bourdain, Iron Chef, Chopped, you name it.
William Arthur Ward
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the Moment
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
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