Nigella Lawson's trashy decadence

hamI caught this episode last weekend on the Food Network.  The lovely Nigella made "trashy" food.  I'm all for trashy food and cook it on a regular basis, but somehow this British beauty still looked sexy even while cooking Elvis's favorite dish, the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I remember watching her eat this food-type concoction on her white couch and cringing every time she took a bite.  Not because of the sandwich, but because she eats like no one is looking and I was sure that at any moment a huge glob would come squirting out the side of the sandwich and fall right onto the white couch. It didn't, but I was worried the whole time.

Anyway, on the the more fascinating, pertinent recipe of the show.  Since Easter is coming up, there was a trashy-style ham on the show.  It was a ham baked in Coca Cola, if you can imagine.  Tracey over at Foodie Obsessed saw this ham recipe as well.  She found the actual recipe for this ham on the Style Network's website.  Please click here for her take on the recipe and the recipe itself.  I thought the ham looked delicious, but I'm still sticking to my pre-cooked ham that comes with the glaze in little baggie that you add later.  I know it's tragic, but it's family tradition.  I take more liberties with the sides any way.


And the winner is: Giada De Laurentiis

I don't know if anyone is surprised here, but the very lovely, very Italian chef, Giada De Laurentiis has stomped the competition in the latest poll.  Who is the hottest female chef?  40% of you who voted said you love Giada's low cut shirts and fancy measuring cups.

The winner wasn't much of a surprise to me, but the race for second was a heated one.  Nigella Lawson and Paula Deen battled it out for the silver.  I stopped the poll at an even 200 votes and Nigella, my favorite female, beat the silver haired southerner by one vote.  Better luck next year Paula. 

Surprisingly, not that many people voted for Sandra Lee.  I recieved a few e-mails about this topic and a lot of you felt she tried too hard to be sexy or that she was a little too Stepford Wife for you.  I can see that.  No arguments here.

Here's how the results broke down:

  1. Giada De Laurentiis: 79 votes (40% of the total).  Gotta love those low cut tops.

  2. Nigella Lawson:  39 votes (20% of the total)  See, curves can be sexy, too!

  3. Paula Deen:  38 votes (19% of the total)  Hey, y'all!  This proves that grandmas can be hot!

  4. Rachael Ray: 24 votes (12% of the total)  EV uh-oh! Maybe she should cook something sexier than a burger.

  5. Sandra Lee: 18 votes (9% of the total)  Maybe matching your wardrobe to the table is more creepy than sexy, and a little too high maintenance.

  6. Ellie Krieger: 2 votes (1% of the total)  I don't know that enough people know who this is.  Try again next year.

Disagree with the votes?  Feel free to comment. 


Nigella Lawson's Chefography

Of all the chefs being profiled this week on the Food Network, I was most anxious to catch Nigella Lawson's biography on the small screen.  Last night, I did just that.  I had read her synopsis on, and thought that I just needed to know more.  Of all the chefs profiled, she was the newest to the Food Network family and I, therefore knew the least about her.  I think everyone should know a little about this domestic goddess.  She faced overwhelming tragedies and still managed to become one of the spunkiest, sexiest, chefs on TV today.

Nigella had to face the painful deaths of not only her mother and sister due to cancer, but she lost her husband, John, as well, to the tragic disease.  It was heart wrenching and awe-inspiring to watch her become a powerhouse in the television cooking field, all while slowly losing her husband leaving her to raise two small children on her own.  The whole time I was watching the chefography, I fell in love with her all over again.  Even in the face of death and disease, she celebrated life and the time that she had on this planet with her family.  She cherished things that many of us take for granted.  Perhaps this is why she translates so well on film.  Her passion for life shows through in her cooking and zest for food. 

She never wants anyone to feel sorry for her or treat her like some wounded bird.  For all of you who are crying right now about her sad life, take comfort in knowing she found new love and is continuing to live each day to the fullest.  She still counts her blessings and feels that she is one of the luckiest women in the world.

If you'd like to catch Nigella's chefography on the Food Network, it airs again March 21at 8pm and March 25th @ 3pm.


Get to know your favorite Food Network chef with Chefography week

How did Rachael Ray take over our TVs?  Who taught Paula Deen to use all that butter?  Who put the "BAM" in Emeril's sauce?  Tune in this week to the Food Network for Chefography week to find out all the answers about your favorite chefs.

  • Rachael Ray's chefography airs March 23rd @ 8pm ET/PT and March 24th @ 9pm ET/PT

  • Bobby Flay's chefography airs March 23rd @ 9pm ET/PT

  • Ina Garten's chefography airs March 25th @ 2pm ET/PT

  • Nigella Lawson's chefography airs March 21th @ 8pm ET/PT and March 25th @ 3pm ET/PT

  • Paula Deen's chefography airs March 20th @ 8pm ET/PT and March 24th @ 7pm ET/PT

  • Sandra Lee's chefography airs March 20th @ 9pm ET/PT and March 24 @ 10pm ET/PT

  • Tyler Florence's chefography airs March 21th @ 9pm ET/PT and March 25 @ 6pm ET/PT

  • Giada DeLaurentiis' chefography airs March 22th @ 8pm ET/PT and March 25 @ 4pm ET/PT

  • Emeril Lagasse's chefography airs March 24 @ 8pm ET/PT

  • Mario Batalli's chefography airs March 22th @ 9pm ET/PT and March 25 @ 5pm ET/PT

Maybe next time they do Chefography week, they'll delve into Alton Brown's past.  I'd really like to see how he came up with all those cooky gadgets.  Until then, I'll have to settle with the chefs above.  I think I'm ok with that.


I want Nigella Lawson's cutting board!

And you can have it if you'd like. I've had a lot of e-mails asking me where to buy the products they see their favorite TV chef's using when they cook their dishes. Luckily, the Food Network places a lot of the products that you see online for purchase. Check out for things like:

Rachael Ray's Anolon 5-Qt. Covered Oval Saute Pan

Michael Chiarello's Cocorico Chicken Roaster

and of course Nigella Lawson's Mezzaluna Board in Beech

There are many other cookware categories that you can browse from. Emeril has his own page at the store. The items can be sorted any way you like, as in by chef, by category, or by show. There are also many many cookbooks to choose from if you'd like those sorts of things.


Weekly recipe attempt: Nigella Feasts

This week's recipe attempt wasn't actually attempted by me.  My friend, Valerie, decided to take on a recipe from last weekend's Nigella Feasts episode.  Her recipe was a more adventurous attempt than my usual attempt (she's a bit more skilled than I am at cooking and I hate to admit it, but I have to give her credit.)  This is also a fish dish, which is nice for everyone who likes fish, unfortunatley, I'm not one of them.  So here is a treat for all of you out there.  The following is Valerie's attempt at a salmon dish from Nigella.  The commentary on the dish is also hers.  Enjoy!

salmonWeekly recipe attempt: Sake Salmon and Rice
Valerie writes:
I am completely new to Nigella Lawson, but I'm already hooked.  On Sunday, she made salmon look so delicious I was ready to try it.  Salmon isn't even a favorite of mine.  Truthfully, I rarely eat fish.  I think her accent and semantics makes her recipes extra inviting.  Due to a power outage,  I was able to invite two coworkers over for lunch.  The main course was Sake Salmon and Rice.  I only changed one thing in the recipe.  I tried, but couldn't find English Mustard and didn't want to use wasabi paste, so I used ordinary spicy brown mustard.  The cardamom gave the rice a nice aromatic flavor.  I think I'll always put cardamom in my rice now.  If you have a rice cooker, this is the simplest recipe ever.  It's great to entertain with because you aren't slaving over a hot stove.  I think the English mustard or wasabi would have really kicked the flavor up a notch, but I was quite satisfied the way I made it.

I give it an 8 on taste and a 9 on the easy factor.  I have a salmon recipe!


I caught Nigella!

And so did the food network addict.  I, unlike jrs, caught some of Nigella's previous shows from the land across the pond.  I agree that the constant conversions could sort of make your head spin, and deter you from wanting to make the dish, but you can't blame her for trying to make the amounts accessible to us yankees.  In "Nigella Bites," her previous cooking show, she used the metric system, while a conversion scrolled along the bottom.  I think I liked that method better as opposed to the lovely Nigella breaking the flow and saying a second measurment.

Apart from the measuring weirdness, I thought the show was a nice little show.  There are a whole lot of close ups that take a bit for me to register what I'm looking at, but after I see what it is, the angle makes things more artistic.  I like the rustic feel, but doubt I'll ever pluck up the courage to make any of the dishes.  So far, they've seemed complicated and heavy.  More artsy than practical.  She's definitley no Sandra Lee or Rachael Ray.  It's a lot like the Barefoot Contessa or Giada.  You feel like you're in her kitchen chatting with her while she makes some dinner.  It's nice.  I also appreciate how she has some curves.  I actually feel that she eats the food she makes.  It's a nice change of pace from, say, Giada.  I love Giada and all, but I think that one bite she takes for the camera is the only actual bite she takes. 

I think Nigella's a keeper.  For more from the Food Network Addict, click here.


Nigella Feasts premiers

The sultry domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson's, first Food Network show premiered last Sunday to much anticipation.  I, unfortunately, was only able to catch a glimpse of this new show last weekend, and therefore, am relying on other reviewers opinions on this new show. 

  • Mike at TV Food Fan writes - "This is a very good show, and one that is all about the food."  (If you're only going to read one review, I recommend this one.  It is comprehensive and really captures what the show is, not just his opinion.  Excellent re-cap, Mike!) For this review Click Here.

  • Neal Justin of Ye Old Shoppe writes - "Hail to the chef" in his succinct review of Nigella.  For this review Click Here.

  • Pascale Le Draoulec of the New York Daily News writes reports - "Sexy chef Nigella Lawson heats up the Food Network."  For this review Click Here.

  • The Food Network Addict has a review by blogger Amanda and writes - "She always seems so stuck up and full of herself." (Hey, they can't all be good reviews.) For this review Click Here.

Please comment with your reviews.  Hopefully I will catch the full show this weekend.  Nigella Feasts airs on the Food Network Sundays at 1pm.


Men are "reach"ing for Giada and other sexy cooks

Thanks to an e-mail I received from Erica Cerulo this week, I caught an interesting glimpse into the mind of the modern day man.  Erica pointed me to an article in Details Magazine entitled, Sexpots in the Kitchen by Jeff Gordinier.  Fellow food Blogger, Adam Byrd also caught the article, and was quoted in the article, no doubt due to it’s detailed homage to Giada and her “reach.” 

According to the article,  “(The Giada Reach) happens whenever Giada De Laurentiis…spies a key ingredient—extra-virgin olive oil, juicy Italian sausage, whatever—that seems to have been placed ever-so-slightly too far away from the stove. She must therefore lurch forward for the ingredient, and into the camera, leaving the viewer with no choice but to zero in on the scooped neck of her shirt.”

This is the fascination - sexy women in the kitchen.  It’s so simple, yet, so effective.  The modern day woman has forgotten this alluring trick.  We go off to jobs, earn oodles of money, go to the gym, and run errands like pros, but somewhere amongst saving the world, something had to give.  So we dropped cooking off the schedule and made it an endangered species. 

I’m all for throwing guys for a loop and doing a throwback to the hoop skirt era, but I can’t help but be reminded of an old acquaintance of mine.  I dated someone a while back who was more turned on by me in an apron than me in a low cut shirt, and I have to admit I was a bit offended.  I work so hard to look attractive, and ended up getting more attention in a huge, unflattering apron with flour on my face and nutmeg in my hair.  This guy is no longer in my life for a lot of archaic reasons such as these and other pretty stupid things, but alas, this article brought some of the inter workings of man to life.

I ask you.  Where is the article about how sexy a man is in an apron?  I would love it if a guy came over to my apartment with bags full of ingredients, threw on my pink apron and started to whip up some risotto.  I think this allurement works both ways.

In the end of the article, Gordinier redeems himself a bit by quoting fellow blogger, Adam Byrd, explaining the attraction.  “In the end, what’s alluring and subversive about the image of a cheerful lass in an apron is not that she’s playing a housewife per se, but that she appears to be . . . enjoying it. “Because of feminism,” says Byrd, “it’s kind of taboo to want that.”

That makes sense.  I can get behind that.  It’s not ok to wait around like a sad puppy expecting the woman to wait on you hand and foot.  Enjoy me in an apron, but also drool when you see me in a little black dress.  Or better yet, a white tank top and jeans. 

All in all this was a fun article to read and comment on.  Please check it out.  There is also a fun little slide show of sexy TV food women to check out.  They call Sandra Lee the “Stepford Wife” of cooking, and Nigella Lawson the “food-sex” fusion goddess.

All comments are welcome on this.  For Adam’s take, check out his blog


I love Nigella Lawson!

And I'm not the only one! Fellow blogger jrs agrees that Nigella will be an interesting addition to the sometimes-too-yankee station, Food Network. Jrs also brings up an interesting point, will there be a grudge match between already established European-American chef Giada DeLaurentiis and newcommer Nigella? I have to admit, I knew who Nigella was before I knew Giada. I came upon Nigella's previous show on the Style Network early one morning while channel surfing before I left for work. I was hooked, and then it was gone. Not long after I came upon Giada and my thirst for exotic, yet easy food was quenched once again.

I'll have to see the new show to see if Nigella Americanzes things too much, like using pounds of flour as opposed to kilograms, or starts saying cilantro as opposed to coriander. I liked the English version. It was like I accidentally hacked into an English cooking station. She also looks like she actually eats what she cooks. With Giada, I sometimes feel that the only bites of the food she actually eats are the ones that we see on camera.

I'll have to wait until October before I can difinitively choose a favorite.

Please visit the food network addict site to see more on Nigella.

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