Social Networking And Fried Chicken Soup

Richard Blais shares his critiques on each one of the ATL Housewives.

Jump to Page for Richard's recipe for Fried Chicken Soup!

So I'm starting this, in the spirit of social networking -- the Real Housewives' status updates. Think of it as political polling, but, well, I'm the only respondent.

Deshawn Snow. She was my favorite from episode 1, but takes a good dip down the scale of likability during this episode. The, "We are really just a normal family" impression I was left with at the end of last week seemingly disappears as DeShawn whines about not having her NBA husband around and then disintegrates as she draws comparison to being a single mother. What!?!? I'm sure single mothers everywhere cringed. Hey DeShawn, most single mothers don't have an estate staff. Most put on their own make-up. Most cook their kids breakfast themselves. Also, as a business woman, who asks interview questions straight from a scripted list like their reading a Jeopardy question? The interviewees lack of knowledge on who DeShawn is obviously bothers her. I do hope we get to see that DeShawn has a real business and not just an office to have an office, because well, having an office sounds important.

Lisa Wu Hartwell. Lisa and Ed keep me with some hope that there are are few "real" people on this show. Lisa takes us on a business meeting, a real, actual business meeting. The couple play some golf, an RHW must. BTW, Ed, it's in the shoulders not a flick of the wrist. It's a putt, not a free throw! And, then we get to see Eddie Romance make chicken soup. It was cute and felt pretty authentic. Lisa is ... in love, in both her professional and personal life, and it shows!

NeNe Leakes. NeNe takes a big jump on my likeness scale. The college tour of Clark University was a genuine moment. I felt like what separated the New York series from Orange County was the NYC wives emphasis on education and culture. Until this moment, the ATL gals have only shown interest in bling. So when Brice tours Clark, it gives us a bit more of the reality most of us deal with. I liked both NeNe and Brice in this episode. I used to live near the Clark campus so I'm glad we got out of Buckhead and way downtown to show a small bit of one of Atlanta's historical colleges. NeNe is still being NeNe, and I'm still not messin' with her.

Sheree Whitfield. It would have been difficult for Sheree to fall any further on my favorites list. Her elitism and "acting" were awful during the first week. I didn't like her. Not so much different this week. We get to hear about Sheree's Imelda Marcos size obsession and view her catalog of footwear. There were furry shoes, polka dot ones, shiny ones, and transparent ones. Yawn... She wants a seven-figure settlement, remember. In her most genuine moment, Sheree tells her daughter that she can't leave the house to help her open the car door, because, well, she'll mess up her shoes. That was the realest moment from her so far. I didn't say it was pretty! Sheree is making sure she knows when the camera is on her!

Kim Zolciak. Kim absolutely loses me -- most likely for good -- in this episode. Her actions during the show actually got me so fired up, that my wife had to calm me down afterwards. Where do we begin? It's Kim's kid's 11th birthday party, so we're gonna go do it all cheesy bachelorette style and head on down to rent a room in Buckhead. Huh? And we are gonna take a rented stretch Hummer, because that is what little girls want of course? Were gonna hang out the windows, smoke Parliments, and shake our chi-chis. Gross. We aren't going to leave a credit card deposit at the hotel, because, well, who knew that hotels charge for their rooms. Oh, and Kim's upset about it? We see an exchange of presents. A very expensive hand bag, perfect for Hello Kitty lip gloss. Then Kim is upset because her kid isn't acting happy enough. She isn't jumping up and down exclaiming how grateful she is for the expensive day. I can't believe how ungrateful her kid was, could you?!?#%!$. Then, because this is so stressful, Kim, with sidekick in tow, chugs on down to the lobby bar to get their drink on. Smoke more Parliments, drink more Jack, and make some fake text messages to NeNe and Sheree. In an actually cool idea they go to a pastry shop. Little girls like cupcakes and chocolate ... maybe I'm a little girl. But the cake isn't up to Kim's standards. Someone forgot to fill us in that Kim was a pastry chef who specializes in celebration cakes. She can't seem to figure out what the fondant is. It's like watching a monkey do algebra (Monkeys don't do algebra). She'd rather go to Publix. In an earlier shot, she's eating cake with a knife? She bought a $2000 dollar cake and doesn't get it. I mean, the cake doesn't have a label on it, so how can she judge it? And then Sheree "Health Department" Whitfield insites the cake riot by saying the slicing knife is dirty. It's a knife being dipped into water to slice the cake ... it's as dirty as the cake, ladies. It gets better. Kim doesn't want to pay for the cake or the party planner. It's so typical and so ignorant. This is the same lady who had no problem using a broken handbag in the last episode, but doesn't want to pay for someone's hard work or an artisan cake. Please now know why you pay things like automatic gratuity. Like I mentioned last week, I don't know Kim, but I've met her a thousand times. I've had to tell her that sashimi means raw, that we can't seat her party until they have all arrived, and that sweetbreads aren't french toast. Kim is on my last nerve.

Now for some Atlanta restaurant notes: The restaurant where NeNe and Prince ate at was BluePointe. It's one of the city's better Asian fusion restaurants and located in the heart of Buckhead. Lisa's meeting was at Sia's, an OTP restaurant that I have personally never dined at, but that gets good reviews. The Intercontinental Buckhead is relatively new. It has Au Pied de Cochon, a Paris favorite brasserie, and also was where I first met Top Chef casting guru Randy Bernstein. Chocolate Pink: a pastry shop in Midtown Atlanta, unfortunately the victim of the Housewives' ignorance. Don't forget to check out my blog for more updates, recipes, and stories from the road ..... And check out my recipe for this week, Fried Chicken Soup! rB


fried chicken leftovers, or not - a small bucket

onion, minced - 2 each

carrot, thinly sliced - 4 small ones

celery thickly sliced -1 whole stalk

ginger minced - 2 tbl

scallion chopped- 1 cup

garlic minced - 6 cloves

chicken stock - 1 gallon

egg noodles - 1 #, usually

1 bag eggs - 4 each

white vinegar - a good splash

to taste white pepper - a good pinch, or a babys hand full

lime juice fresh - 1 or 2 limes

cilantro - 1 cup chopped

rosemary - 2 tbl chopped

basil - 1/2 cup chopped

Method 1. Pull half of the chicken skin -- the good crispy stuff -- aside and save for garnish. 2. In some olive oil, or chicken fat if your hardcore, sweat the vegetables, ginger, garlic, and half the scallions. 3. Add the chicken stock and remaining fried chicken and cook slowly for a good bit, at least an hour. 4. Warm the noodles in the soup, or cook separately and add at the end. 5. Crack the eggs (optional) in the soup and cook briefly. 6. Finish with the vinegar, some salt, and white pepper, the herbs and scallions, a squeeze of lime, and the remaining crispy chicken skin on top.

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