Monday, February 23, 2009

The Amazing Race, Week 2

The pies were flying and the laughs kept coming during this week's Amazing Race. Photo from

I had mouth surgery on Friday, so laughing was the last thing I wanted to be doing on Sunday night, but I couldn't help myself. In fact, I laughed a lot.

I have to say that this has been the funniest start to the Amazing Race to date. Last week it was the wheels of cheese, and people, rolling down a Swiss hillside. This week it was contestants throwing pies in each other's faces while drunk German's watched on. Reality TV at its finest. And while they struggled this week, Linda got her wish after the teams found out they were headed to Munich Linda chimed in saying, "There's beer in Germany so hopefully there's a beer challenge." Well, sorry to say the beer wasn't for you Linda, but a few pies in the face were so much better.

Before the pie challenge, where the other choice was to complete an obstacle course on a Segway (boring), a team member had to complete a road block of paragliding down a beautiful mountain side. I was extremely jealous not only because I want to go paragliding, but because once again teams got to enjoy some breath taking views. Due to some heavy winds teams had to wait out the weather or choose to run down the 6,000 foot mountain. Mel was the only one to wait it out and enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, the "hick from the sticks", Linda, made a wrong turn on her trek down the mountain which put she and husband Steve way behind.

Despite much pie in their faces, Victor and Tammy were able to find their way to the pit stop first this week. Photo from

It was siblings Victor and Tammy who came in first this week while Steve and Linda weren't able to catch up and were the pair to be elimintated.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Amazing Race 14

Mother and son team Margie and Luke are out to prove that even though Luke is deaf they can still do anything the other teams can do. Photo from

Hooray, my Sunday nights are saved by the return of the Amazing Race.

Teams started out from Los Alamitos, CA and headed to Lacarno, Switzerland. After flying to either Milan or Zurich, teams had to take a train the final length to Lacarno. The show doesn't often use trains, which I think is a shame for the teams because they kind of just get to sit back and really enjoy the sights around them while they're traveling (which to me is the best part of this realty show).

While traveling to Lacarno, my favorite quote of the episode came from Mike: "I think the other teams are going to think my dad is Cloris Leachman, but he's really McGyver." But coming in a close second was when the teams were introducing themselves and Steve pegged he and his wife Linda as "Hicks from the sticks."

During the first night teams had to camp out. There were lots of bugs flying around, so the camping part didn't look like much fun to me.

The first roadblock was to take a leap on the 2nd highest bungee jump in the world. As someone who has jumped from a plane at 15,000 feet up, I still don't think I could do the bungee jump. That looked REALLY scary.

After the bungee jump teams had to complete one of the funniest challenges I have seen in a while. At the top of a giant, grassy hill was a hut filled with 50 lb wheels of cheese. Each person was given a rickity looking wooded backpack and had to carry a total of 200 lbs (as a team) to the bottom. People were falling all over the place, wheels of cheese went crashing down the hill and the rickity looking backpacks were just that (and most ended up breaking immediately).

In the end mother and son team Margie and Luke made it to the pit stop first while bickering couple Preston and Jennifer were eliminated.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Awesome kitchen gadget

Making sure the slicer is on straight is probably the most important step to the process.

I love getting inexpensive, delicious pineapples from Costco and Henry's Market. I don't, however, love slicing the pineapples after I get them home. There are so many steps to slicing a whole pineapple and I end up having to go back and slice off the excess thorns that I missed in the first go-around. It's just a pain and eating my fruit shouldn't be such a process.

For my birthday, my wonderful friends, the Breier family, gave me a VacuVin Pineapple Slicer from Williams Sonoma. As it isn't exactly pineapple season (we're still a few months away), they have been in short supply so I hadn't gotten a chance to try out this new and potentially glorious gadget.

Low and behold I went to Costco last week and in the produce area was a new stock of pineapples. I picked one that looked semi-ripe so I didn't have to wait to long to dig into it. Here's how it turned out.

After getting the slicer on straight, it took about 30 twists with barely any effort to get to the bottom of the pineapple. I will say that it took a little bit of muscle to release the suction and pull the slices of pineapple out.

Once the pineapple was removed from the shell, it was wrapped around the device in a perfect spiral. It made the perfect addition to my breakfast that morning.

Left behind was just the rind and the core. Instead of trashing the beautiful container I decided to turn it into my beverage container for Super Bowl Sunday. That's right. How many Super Bowl parties have you been to where there's been a girl walking around drinking from a bendy straw sticking out of a pineapple?! The beverage: Orange, pineapple, banana juice with 2 shots of 99 Bananas liquor. Delicious.

Results: This machine is AWESOME! I give the Pineapple Slicer two thumbs up. My only complaint is that with the size of the pineapple I bought I feel like quite a bit of fruit was left on the rind. Next time I might try a smaller pineapple for less waste. Thanks Breier family for introducing this time-saving gadget into my life.