My Second Entry In The “Chopped” Cooking Challenge At My Office

April 28, 2020

A couple weeks ago, I entered a fun challenge at work: to make a dish, over the weekend, that used three mystery ingredients. Check out what I came up with! This past weekend, I participated in the challenge again. The first time, the challenge was to make an entree. This time, the task was to make an appetizer!

But you can’t just make any appetizer. You have to use the three mystery ingredients, which, this time around, were: Read the rest of this entry »


My Office is Having a “Chopped” Cooking Challenge and I Am Totally on Board!

April 12, 2020

Some friends at work came up with a really fun idea: a cooking challenge, inspired by “Chopped” on the Food Network! They posted three ingredients on our internal social media platform on Friday, and over the weekend, everyone that wanted to participate could make a dish using those ingredients. Then, on Monday, Read the rest of this entry »


Birthday Weekend Recap

March 7, 2011

I just got home from a wonderful event that ended a fantastic birthday weekend.  Let’s start there, and move backwards through a couple other highlights.

1) “Chopped” Viewing Party. Are any of you fans of “Chopped” on Food Network?  Tonight was the first episode of the new “Chopped All-Stars” season, and my friend Giana invited me to tag along with her and another friend to a viewing party to watch it.  The party was hosted by Debbie Lee, who was one of the competitors in the episode tonight, and who came in 3rd place on “The Next Food Network Star” in 2009.  Giana and Debbie go way back, and since Giana knew I was a big fan of  “The Next Food Network Star,” she thought I’d get a kick out of coming tonight.  Naturally, she was right.

The party was in a room at Capitol City, a sports bar in Hollywood with lots of TVs.  We got there early and I got to meet Debbie and we chatted with her for a little bit.  Of course, I went into total nerd fan mode, and immediately started talking about she was robbed on “The Next Food Network Star” and how much I don’t care for Melissa D’Arabian, who ended up winning her season.  Which is true – I think Melissa’s show, “Ten Dollar Dinners”, is complete bullshit.  Yea, I said it.  Bullshit.  You can only make those meals for ten dollars IF you have a completely stocked pantry at all times and buy every ingredient on super-sale.  Melissa and the producers totally know it, too, and I suspect that’s why they never get into specifics on pricing.  At the end of each show, Melissa will say things like ‘this whole platter of chicken and vegetables cost about seven dollars.’  Really?  I wanna see receipts!

Okay – tangent over.  Get back on track, David.

Debbie is a total sweetheart.  Really nice, straight-forward, and she gets bonus points for putting up with me peppering her with behind-the-scenes questions during the commercial breaks.  She has a great attitude about not winning “The Next Food Network Star,” because coming in third has opened a lot of doors for her, and she has some cool things in the works.  On a day-to-day basis, she keeps busy running Ahn-Joo, her Korean Snack Bar food truck.  You can check out the Ahn-Joo website here, and if you’re in the LA area, follow their tweets to find out when they’ll be parked in your neck of the woods.  Debbie fans can also follow her on Twitter here.

I won’t spoil it for anyone and say how Debbie did on “Chopped All-Stars”, because with TiVo and the Food Network’s tendency to air shows ten times during one week, you still have plenty of opportunities to watch for yourself.  But it was great episode, and really cool to watch alongside someone who’s actually on the TV!

I got a picture with Debbie – jealous, Food Network fans?

2)  Slimmons. On Saturday, my actual birthday, my day started at Slimmons.  Richard Simmons normally teaches on Saturday mornings, but this week he was out of town, so Anne, another instructor at Slimmons, filled in for him.  Anne is fantastic – she’s the in-house exercise physiologist at Slimmons, and teaches her regular classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.  I haven’t been to one of her classes since probably last summer, and had forgotten how tough they are.  Much tougher than Richard’s.  I was up for the challenge, though, and really pushed myself, and, as a result, it was probably one of the sweatiest workouts I’ve had at Slimmons.  A tremendous way to start the day.  Here’s me and Anne after class – you can see how soaked my shirt is!

After the workout was over, the entire class sang “Happy Birthday” to me and a few others that had birthdays that week, and Anne gave me, on behalf of Richard, the little hand-made Richard doll that he gives out to birthday celebrants:

3) Chart Update. I’ve saved the best for last.  I wasn’t planning on doing a weigh-in this weekend, since I just had one on Wednesday, but my curiosity got the best of me, and when I work up on my birthday, I stepped on the scale.

I was DOWN TWO POUNDS! Woo-hoo!  Fuck you, month-long plateau, I’m done with you! That puts my weight at 239, and brings my weight-loss total to 163 pounds.

Here’s the chart:

I have no idea how I managed to drop 2 pounds in 3 days, but I’m not gonna over-analyze it, or expect that rate of loss to continue.  Maybe I just had more water weight when I weighed myself on Wednesday.  Or maybe my body was stalling to give me a kick-ass birthday present from myself.  Either way…

Keep it up, David!