Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Yeah, I said I would do it. But here’s the thing:

Top Chef? It’s worn me down. The endless permutations, the back to back seasons, the increasingly bloated casts of cheftestants (29 this season? For Fuck’s sake!)…it’s too much. I know I said I would be back for the next regular season of TC, but you know? I have zero interest in even watching it, let alone trying to comment on it.

Thus, I hereby announce that I am reclaiming my Wednesday nights permanently, until such time as TC stops being boring or I regain interest.

While I’m at it, let me ask y’all a question: what’s your favorite part of TNS? What kinds of recipes/features would you like to see more of? Because I’m thinking of doing a little retooling – after all, it’s been nearly four years* – and I’d like your input.



39 thoughts on “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

  1. I like the recipes/photos the best. For some reason I’m more likely to try to make something if I can see the process. Also, your 55 knives link goes to a “Buy this domain” page.

  2. Lately, I’ve been especially enjoying YOUR recipes. You know, not the ones you are following out of a book, but the ones that you’ve authored yourself. More plz and thx. (I’m hopeful about TC TX, even after the steaming pile of garbage crap that was this season of TC Desserts.)

  3. My favorite part of your site is your awesomely hilarious, biting, and sarcastic commentary on your cooking projects. Also, I love looking at your photographs. I have yet to attempt any of your concoctions (not sure my chef-boyardee-makes-a-fine-dinner boyfriend would really appreciate them), but your recently posted French Onion soup is going to get an attempt.

  4. As others have said, I enjoy your recipes and photos the most. I also like your personal stories and your sense of humor. I’ve made a few of your dishes and have really enjoyed them.

  5. I like when you test a cookbook recipe and it doesn’t work, so you rain down curses on the chef’s head. Or sometimes the ingredient’s head. Love your acid tongue, the gorgeous procedural pictures, and yet I don’t cook at all. But I eat well vicariously through your blog.

  6. The Tuesday recipes and Thursday Smackdowns. Not sure which I like more. Maybe the Smackdown, because they can be so snarky. The Top Chef posts were fun – I’d usually look them up when I got around to watching the episodes, but I haven’t watched any in awhile. The Wordless Weekends and Monday things are probably my least favorite (all though I do like them, and they’re probably the easiest for you!).

  7. I love the recipes, yours, most of all. I like your voice (and mouth, heh) and your pictures…omg the BBQ….and the ‘Awesome Shit..’ always makes me smile, if not laugh outright.

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked Top Chef. I would read your re-caps for the humor but it never was a must-see. However, I will read any other re-cap you do! So, there’s that.

    Enjoy moving the furniture around. Four years is a good time for a shake-up.

  8. I love the blog. Your honesty and sarcasm are refreshing in a sea of Susie Homemakers and Martha Stewarts. Honestly, I don’t watch the show, so those posts I’ve never read anyway. Awesome shit is probably my favorite part, but it was the recipes that made me start reading and the recipes have kept me here…I’m making the french onion soup right now.

  9. I admit I liked your top chef commentary the most I believe. I always watch top chef, even if top chef desserts is lame and I know, 29 cheftestants, ridiculous.

    I understand though, you taking back your Wednesday nights. It’s just that there is no one who breaks it all down like you.

    So I guess I would say I like you the best, your sense of humor is the greatest. I would read anything you write.

  10. I like your writing best, and your well-honed sense of snark.
    Topic, function, pics doesn’t seem to matter much.

    But if i am reading about a recipe — success or failure — I do like the pics that SHOW me how it looks, or how it should not look.

  11. I can’t stand Top Chef and would never watch it. Otoh, reading what you have to write about TC is entertaining. I suspect that would be true about most shows.

    I’m not fond of your monday posts. I can’t seem to connect with them, mostly don’t like stuff on that etsy website, and the whole tone of your writing seems different then.

    Your writing style on the recipes and smackdowns is definitely your signature work. Your pictures are always good. I enjoy the basic premise of the smackdown. I also like your own work.

    I think of you as the stand-up comedian of food bloggers (even when it’s not *funny* I can see your audience’s heads nodding wryly). I suspect you could swap to a non-food related topic and do the same thing.

    And once again, you managed to inspire me to write my own blog, so there!

  12. Michele, the sum total of what I know about TC coems from reading your commentary. I’ve never watched a single episode, so I’m really not going to miss it much. I love your Tuesday recipes and of course Thursday Smackdown. And then, there’s the sarcasm. I’m a serious fan of well placed sarcasm. Especially when it involves food, cookbooks and occasionally pretentious chefs.

  13. I did love your blogging Top Chef, but concede that it was more interesting than the show itself, so can understand where you want to pull your eyeballs out rather than have to do that another season.
    Smackdown is great, and the cheap ass challenges, liked those too, viewer interaction and all.
    Mostly I like reading anything you put out. I consider you an internet buddy, I’d buy you a beer any day of the week.

  14. I miss the cheap ass meals of yesteryear. But the Smackdown is always a little inspirational, beneath the veneer of snark.

    Top Chef I’ll survive without, though your particular knack for dressing down all the d-bag assholes inherent to that show will be missed. :)

  15. It’s definitely the sarcasm, cursing, the dogs, the grilling husband, trips to OBX; I could go on and on……and oh yeah, the food. Stop by Norfolk, VA sometime and I’ll throwdown for you; I owe ya. xo

  16. I love seeing things through your words, if that makes sense. I’ve pretty much stopped watching TC – reading your recap was way more entertaining. I love your cursing, your wit, your personal stories. I prefer your recipes to the smackdowns. I’ve actually tried quite a few. I do enjoy reading about the successes and failures with the smackdowns though. I miss the audience participation events of years past (this month’s theme is purple, so make something purple), but I understand it’s probably more labor-intensive on your end to have to post it all once submissions are in.

  17. I know you probably didn’t watch Top Chef yesterday, and I fast forwarded through a bunch of it. But one seriously awesome thing you might have missed. A total douchebag personal chef was one of the contestants. I was rolling my eyes, thinking “I don’t think I can put up with this guy for a whole season.” In the first challenge, they had to break down a pig. This guy could barely butcher a tenderloin, and Tom DISMISSED HIM ON THE SPOT. 15 minutes into a 1 hour quickfire. Before he’d even had a chance to turn on a burner. It rocked.

  18. I love the namesake Smackdowns. But I also miss hell out of Cheap-Ass Mondays and/or Hobo Tuesdays or whatever day they were. Those were fun.

    Can’t say I’ll miss Top Chef so much; never watched it, though reading the live blog and comments were amusing.

  19. I love everything about TNS EXCEPT the Top Chef stuff. I’ve never watched it, so it never made any sense to me. Otherwise, your food site is the best I’ve gone to, and you are really the type of person I’d totally be friends with. :)

  20. Well I turned many people onto this site BECAUSE of the top chef blog. It’s the part I was most excited about. I will miss it greatly.

  21. There are three things I love that TNS does better than anyone:
    1. Meat
    2. Cursing
    3. Simple but fancy desserts

    I’ve been reading TNS since almost the beginning, and I love every post! Thanks so much!

  22. I like the Thursday smack downs best. I have two small children, and thus nowhere NEAR enough time to tackle something like a Thomas Keller recipe. So when you do it, and post pictures along the way, and curse up a storm about the things that are frustrating, and so on… I find it incredibly satisfying, almost like I was able to do it myself, except I don’t get to eat any of it, sadly.

  23. Your voice as a writer and an eater make my day! I have purchased way too many cookbooks based on your blog. I will read whatever you write and I feel ya on TC. Doesn’t feel real anymore and without your commentary, not even very fun…

  24. Yeah, Michelle, you would have LOVED it when that dick personal chef got tossed out on his ass… thank god, because he had this creepy mannequin smile that never faltered as he told us how awesome he was, never slipped off his dopey face as he messed up the meat, and even when Tom told him to get the hell out he never lost the goofy-ass grin… I think someone’s hand must have been up that puppet’s ass.

  25. The snark is the reason I keep coming back! I can count on time well spent when I stop by. I love the Smackdowns and your recipes (baked eggs on leftover stuffing has become a yearly ritual!). I also love Awesome shit – but know that it must take FOREVER to find all those things. I loved the TC recaps but am bored with it too. Maybe you can recap Hootie Hoo over on The Chew instead…

  26. In addition to various things posted by other people, I really liked the challenges, even though I did like two and barely blogged them. Is it more or less work to coordinate that stuff, compared to doing your own thing? (Feel free to not answer, I’m just musing….)

  27. I think I’m done with TC too, so that won’t be missed. I do miss the Cheap Ass Mondays.

    I’m here for the Smackdowns, the other recipes, and your way with words.

  28. To be honest, I began reading the blog for the TC commentary, and it was my favorite part. I’m really going to miss it on the blog, and watching TC will be less fun, too!

  29. I miss the cheap ass recipes too, though I hadn’t realised til now. Love the recipes, yours and others, and the general snark/cursing/dog/husband stories. You’re the only blogger who doesn’t make me want to tell them to fuck off now and then, so I’ll pretty much read whatever you post quite happily.

  30. i enjoy reading what you enjoy writing/posting. for me, it’s your voice that i keep coming back to, and it even comes through in wordless weekend projects, which i thought a brilliant strategy for posting without pressure. you shine most in smackdown thursdays and i always enjoyed the cheap-ass monday feature, too, but i’ll read whatever inspires you, which is the most important thing.

  31. I’m four million internet years late on this, but I just wanted to chime in. I bet everybody’s already said this, but it’s definitely your writing voice. TNS was one of my first favorite cooking blogs, and remains my very favorite one, and the one I get the most inspiration from. I make carbonara all the time thanks to your recipe, and made soba with your spicy peanut sauce for my book club. I even followed your close-roasted pork shoulder recipe over the weekend for the most delicious, moist porky-tasting pork I’ve ever had. You cook good food, you provide good recipes, and you do it all with the best flavor text anybody could ask for.

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