My Little Chef . . . and thoughts on Downton Abbey

So Jeff and I are big fans of the Food Network on TV. And we watch Chopped all the time. Probably even more than we realize. This occurred to me as we noticed that Ashtyn has started playing 'chef' all the time and calls out "Five minutes left!" She also pretends to open her basket of ingredients (very important on the show) and insists on having someone play with her to "be the person who talks." In other words, she wants a judge to inspect her creations. The whole thing is so funny! It's not like she sits down and watches Chopped with us, but it's amazing how much she's absorbed. So this morning she called me into her room to "be the person who talks" again. I recruited Polar Bear to be that person (albeit he's a little on the quiet side). You can see above that Ashtyn has her own absolutely adorable apron (thanks to Aunt Stacey!). She is so creative when cooking and makes up names for every one of her dishes. I keep hoping she decides to go to culinary school one day and open a restaurant. :)
OK, moving on to all that British goodness that is Downton Abbey! There may be spoilers below so don't continue unless you've seen the episode!

So what did we all think about last night's season premiere? First of all, I was just thrilled to be back in that world again and I absolutely loved every minute of it. But let's get to specifics. Mary looked gorgeous on her wedding day, but I do wish we'd at least been able to view the radiant couple saying their vows. I was emotional when Lord Grantham and Carson saw her coming down in her wedding gown. So sweet. Loved it.
The drama before the wedding was interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole "taking Levinia's father's money" issue. It seems like Matthew is taking the high road and that's a good thing. How could he live with himself if he's living off money only promised to him because of Levinia? But losing Downton is not a small concern and it's also understandable that Mary sees the money as a way to save the estate. In some ways, Mary is all about holding to tradition. But not in other ways--like how open she is to Branson as part of the family. I suppose that's mainly for Sybill's sake, but still. Let me just say up front that I do not really like Branson. I felt like the "love story" between him and Sybill was not even a love story! Her response to his proposal was "I'm ready to travel. And you're my ticket out of here." That's not romance to me. And I never liked him in the other episodes because he was such a hot head. Remember when he tried to pour the pot of mud or whatever on that general? Really? He's a grown man! Anyway, it sort of seemed to me that Lady Sybill was desperate to escape her mundane life and he was her way out. Not exactly heart-stopping romance. Now Matthew and Mary, their love story is wonderful. 
I'm hoping Branson goes back to Ireland. I do realize that's probably wishful thinking. but he's just not my favorite.  I loved Cora's mother and Lady Violet's sparring. Lady Violet is just so hilarious!  I loved this quote by her: "No guest should be admitted without the date of the departure settled." Obviously, Cora's mother is not her favorite person.
I did think there was some added intrigue when it comes to Bates's case. Did he murder his wife? Time will tell. I'm also glad to see Edith getting somewhere finally. Yes, her love interest seems older than her father, but still. We'll see where it goes. Jeff doesn't think Edith's guy will live through the season. I hope he's wrong. The big question is how will the Grantham's save Downton? And is Sir Richard gone for good? I rather thought he'd be back this season to cause more trouble. (And I tend to think he's involved in Vera's death.) And poor Mrs. Hughes! I hope it's not too serious. She's a good character.
Overall opinion, I thought episode one was fantastic. Lots of humor and drama. I'm counting down till next week! What did you think?


  1. I also love the show Chopped and often prepare dinner while it is on--but it's funny because I find myself rushing to cook the meal because everyone on the show is rushing!

  2. I love that she pretends she is on Chopped!! That is so awesome! And adorable. I love that show

  3. I loved the episode. I loved how they executed the wedding- I didn't really want to watch the wedding, to me it would have drawn out the suspense of if they will get married or not (I was sorta expecting someone 'objecting' and announcing publicly Mary's "non-virgin life".) SO, I was kinda glad they skipped it and were happily married.
    It made me wish I wasn't American. Haha, but I love Violet and all the lines and things they say to each other. (Also- I am so glad that Lord Grantham's 'thing' with the maid is over- it bothered me, since he seems such a noble character and loves his wife so much).
    I think that Matthew should help Downton- since it will be his home too one day. I guess I can understand how he feels, and maybe it is because I am poor and if I inherited money it wouldn't matter what circumstances I would take it- ya, that could be a large part of it- but it would be so sad if they loose the house, which I don't think they will- I hope something comes up, at least. Because I am so happy that Mary and Matthew are finally together- and it would be irritating for this to ruin their start of newlywed life.

  4. I love Chopped! I didn't like it much until this summer, when I had it on a lot in the middle of the night when our baby girls would wake up to eat. It's funny how it's crept into our daily life too - I'm sure we'll hear it from the mouths of the babes once they start speaking more English. It's so cute that your daughter wants her food to be judged! I haven't ever watched Downton Abbey. Maybe I should - everyone else does!

    Stopping by from the GFC Hop, and I'm your newest follower now! Looking forward to reading more!

  5. Hey there! Stopping in from the GFC blog hop. Love Chopped and Downton, can't wait to see what happens next with the the whole Bates thing! They were totally making us think he did it with his line to his cellmate, right?! Hmmmmmm :)

  6. How could Matthew not use that money to save Downton?! It really hope he ends up using it. Yes, I decided to add this show to my list!

  7. Loved your thoughts on Downton Abbey - I'm not sure how I feel about the $$ issue between Matthew and Mary - it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out.

    Found you through the blog hop!

    Ray Doc Wife


Tell me about it! I love hearing from you!