Food Network's New Year's Resolution: Let's get healthy!

All this week on the Food Network shows will be airing starting at 4:30pm from January 2nd through January 7th, showing the lighter side of the food spectrum.  All of your favorite chefs will be helping this cause by creating menus that are designed to help those of us who decided to cut back on the bad foods this year as our 2007 resolutions.  Three new specials include Emeril Live: In Training, 10 Days to a New You, and  Spa-tacular Destinations.  Along with the specials, count on Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Giada, and even Paula Deen the butter queen, to trim back the calories on their daily afternoon shows. 

What's your resolution?

 

Are you a chef in debt? Blame the Food Network

I found an interesting article this weekend from the Houston Chronicle, chron.com, by Associated Press writer, Kim Curtis.  According to the article entitled Celebrity Chefs Boost Culinary Schools a lot of hopeful chefs growing up watching the Food Network end up regreting their decision to make cooking their life.  When I first saw the title of this article, I thought that it would be a hopeful story showing how celebrity chefs have made working in the food industry exciting again.  While that did happen, the story also goes on to show how the industry is pretty cutthroat and that the cost of tuition for culinary schools can be as much as $20,000 per year.  So in a way, the Food Network is contributing to the debt of a lot of fledgling chefs with images of Rachel Ray's success in their heads, who end up working in entry level positions due to the lack of stability in the industry.  Just like a lot of things in life, things aren't always what they seem like on TV.

 

Food Network Thanksgiving Guide

Thanksgiving is a little more than a week away, I should, therefore have a handle on the planning, right?  Unfortunatly, I am going to be out of town for a few days busy being a bridesmaid for one of my friend's weddings.  I need help.  I love to cook the Thanksgiving meal, so I, therefore, volunteered for the task to cook this huge meal for my family months ago and I'm happy to do it.  However... 

I'm getting a little nervous.  I don't know if I'll have enough time to plan for the meal itself.  I looked at Food Network's Thanksgiving site and found a couple of recipes that I'm going to try.  If you're a bit panicked, too feel free to check out the site.  You might find somethings helpful, or you might not.  

But before I leave, I would like to ask for all of you to help me, too.  What timesaving tricks do you use for Thanksgiving?  I could use all the help that you can give me.  I like to keep things simple.  My family eats simple food and we all have varying levels of pickyness.  My brother only eats turkey and bread.  My mom doesn't like vegtables.  And, as I've said before, I don't like fish.  My dad will eat almost anything, so no problems with him, but I'm not going to make oyster stuffing just for him.  Sorry dad. 

So if you, also, have run into the problem of picky eaters, and have simple crowd pleasing recipes that you think my picky family might like, those would be most helpful as well. 

When I get back from the wedding, this blog better be full of ideas.  Please.  I need help.  And thanks in advance.

 

Guiness World Record Week on Food Network nearing it's end

I've caught a couple of glimpses of the Food Network Challenges every chanel surf or so, and I must say, how boring!  This week, the Food Network has devoted its "Food Netwok Challenge" show to breaking world records.  Among the shows, we have, Popcorn Giants, Fastest Foods, Sugar Skyscrapers, and Pizza Champions. 

I've never been a fan of the challenges in the first place, but this time they are taking things to a new boring low.  A popcorn sculpture?  I'd never even heard of such a thing, until now.  OK, the world's largest pizza sounds cool, but pretty much all I need to see is the finished product for about ten seconds and I think the marvel is over.  I do have to admit, I paused a bit on the onion chopping in the "Fastest Foods" episode, mostly because they were using big knives and chopping at lightning quick speeds through the fast forming tears.  It was kind of like watching someone on a balance beam.  You watch in horror that something tragic just might happen.

I worry that these episodes will be played over and over and over again for the next couple of months.  That's what Food Netowrk tends to do with these shows.  I've passed through the Gingerbread Mansion episode countless times in the past couple of weeks and I would just rather watch someone cook. 

Don't take my word for this, folks.  If you love the challenges, let me know why.  Also, if you've caught any of the World Record breaker episodes, and think that a certain moment might change my mind about the challenges, let me know what moment.   I'm sure it will be on TV a hundred or so times next week and I'll try to catch it. 

You can catch glimpses of these challenges on the Food Network Website.

 

Want to see more Giada De Laurentiis?

Food Network thought so.  Adam from the Giada Fan site reports a new show in the works for the beautiful Giada. This new show called "Giada's Weekend Getaways" will premiere on Friday, January 12 at 9:30pm, according to Adam.


This new show seems to be a lot like another traveling cook's show, Rachael Ray's "Tasty Travels."  Adam also comes to the same conclusion and also makes another interesting point, "I see this possibly going the way of Rachael Ray. Before her daytime talk show, she was in at least 4 shows on the food network, mostly about travelling and finding great deals and great food like in Tasty Travels or $40 a day Sound familiar?"


Yes, it does sound familiar, Adam.  I hope we don't get bombarded with Giada now that Rachael has her own network talk show to worry about.  I still love her, but I might get sick of her, like I did with Rachael.  I'll cross my fingers.


For more on this new show and more from Adam, please check out his blog, Giada Fan


 

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

 

Food Network products will now be easier to find

I don't shop on eBay.  I don't buy kitchen stuff online.  I want to see the product in person before ordering from Foodnetwork.com. If I'm going to spend $100 on a knife, I want to see it close up.  (Honestly, I probably won't spend that much on a knife, but if I had the means, I might consider it and I'd still like to see it close up.)  Lack of opportunity has prevented me from purchasing, or looking at, those highly profiled kitchen gadgets we see everyday from our favorite chefs. 

That is about to change, my friends.  According to chron.com, we will be able to peruse those fun kitchen items at Kohl's department stores in the fall of 2007, just in time for the holidays.  Maybe I should start making next year's Christmas list now. 

According to the article, "Food Network's celebrity chefs will be involved in marketing the products, which also include kitchen electronics, table linens, cutlery and pantryware."  Maybe they'll even have W there to help us pick out the right crock pot or frying pan for whatever our culinary dillemma may be.  Thanks, Kohl's!

 

Sad to see Molto Mario go? It's all my fault!

I didn't watch him enough and now he's gone!  According to an article this morning in the St. Petersburg Times Online, the Food Network says that viewership numbers drive the programming.  If you don't like the fact that they cancelled Molto Mario, in all honesty, you probably didn't watch it as faithfully as Emeril. Or you didn't go onto enough blogs to petition your friends to tune into the soft spoken Italian man. 

In any case, the article also states that the 5 most popular shows this month are Iron Chef America, Throwdown With Bobby Flay, Road Tasted and the new Ace of Cakes.  I looked at the list and found it strange that all of these shows have mostly male cooks (the only female is Cat Cora from Iron Chef America.)  The core audience, according to the article, is mostly women.  Maybe we like to see hot chefs cooking tasty dishes.  I don't know. 

This was a fun article to read.  It also pokes a little fun at us bloggers who love to voice our opinions about various chefs and the way the sometimes over decorate thier tables or use too much butter.  Check it out and let me know what you think. 

 

Food Network Challenge is coming to Colorado!

Want to see the action of food competition live and in person?  Well if you're from Colorado, hang onto your spatulas because two tapings of Food Network Challenge are taking place in September. 

The first challenge takes place on September 21st, in Centennial, Colorado at the Comcast Media Center.  Watch the chefs construct chocolate creations with the Chocolate Runway Challenge.

The second challenge takes place the following day at the same location.  This time the chefs take on cakes in the Food Network Awards Cake Challenge. 

For more information please visit FoodNetwork.com.

 

The Next Food Network Star is coming back!

The Food Network has renewed the chef finding show for a third season according to Mediaweek.com.  This show has returning host, Marc Summers, along with guest chefs searching for the next great food personality.  The last winner, Guy Fieri of Guy's Big Bite, has also been renewed for a second season.  He will also be appearing on specials for the network.  The Next Food Network Star will be premiering in June 2007.

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