The Fortunate Paula Deen

If you're a fan of big spinning wheels and annoying gray hair chefs, I hope you caught tonight's fairly boring episode of Pat Sajack's most famous game show.

Paula Deen was a celebrity contestant on tonight's episode of Wheel of Fortune.  I caught a glimpse of her helping out one of us regular people who was playing the game.  I admit, it was a little funny to see her matching her partner.  They both coincidentally wore orange, and both, coincidentally did not wear it well.

I know a lot of you love the butter-loving grandma, but I find her a bit much.  She was a little more subdued than I thought she would be on a game show, but still a bit much.

I appreciate that she played for charity, but please, try to keep her confined to the Food Network where I can avoid her.



And the winner is: Paula Deen

I must say, I'm a little surprised by the results.  I thought that Ina Garten would run away with this category, but the Southern Butter Queen, Paula Deen, wins by 4 votes.  I guess it wouldn't be the worst thing to grow up around so much butter.  It would make me thankful for all those hours of swimming, though.

On to the rest of the results:

  1. Paula Deen's sassy, southern drawl wins with 38 votes (41%.)

  2. Ina Garten's sweet comfort comes in a close second with 34 votes (37%.)

  3. Sandra Lee, Rachael Ray, and Giada De Laurentiis all tied for third (or last) with 7 votes each, or 8% of the votes.

I think a lot of people went for the older chefs for this one.  I'm not judging, I'm just saying. 

I didn't know I had that many fans in the south, but I love you all.  (I still can't bring myself to say "y'all.)


New poll! A Mother's Day theme

I thought in honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, that this week's theme should be centered around mom.  Afterall, she is generally the one who teaches us to cook, and the one who made all those meals for all those crazy people who lived under your roof.

Every time I watch the Food Network, I see a bit of my mom in the way that Sandra Lee cooks.  If she's reading this, which she probably is, she has no idea who that is.  Trust me, mom, it's a compliment. 

me and momSandra Lee finds shortcuts in cooking to make meals that taste delicious but don't take a lot of time.  There is no shame in using stuff from the store and turning it into your own meal.  My family was always so busy.  My brother played waterpolo religiously and I swam for 5 hours a day every day.  My mom was a middle school teacher and worked really hard all day, while my dad also worked an 8 to 6 job.  By the time we all got home, and believe me that was never at the same time, my mom had made something for dinner.  Sometimes parts of it were from boxes and stuff, but we were all fed and happy.  That in itself was miraculous.  My brother only eats chicken and pizza, and he still does today at the age of 27.  Because of my mother's ingenuity, my flare for cooking was sparked.  OK, I admit I'm no professional chef, but I'm not afraid of the stove either, and that's all due to my mom.

Thanks, mom!

Feel free to post something about your mom, tis the season!


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. 


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.


And the winner is: Paula Deen vs. Sandra Lee!

Last week's poll results are in, and the winners are Sandra Lee and Paula Deen!  Most of you folks would like to see these two chefs duke it out in the Iron Chef America ring.  Let's take this thing a step further.  In honor of Chocolate Obsession week on the Food Network, I think that the secret ingredient should be chocolate.

Both of these beauties have chocolate episdoes coming up.  Paula has her Sexy Southern Chocolate episode airing February 11 at 10:30 am ET/PT, February 13 at 4:00pm ET/PT, and February 20 1:00pm ET/PT.

Sandra takes a stab at the chocolate craze with Chocolate 2.  This episode airs twice February 11, at 11:00 am ET/PT, and February 12, at 5:30pm ET/PT.

Let's see who tackles the fine art of chocolate cooking the best.  My money is on Sandra Lee.  I know everyone loves Paula, but you also know that I'm not one of them.  Go team Sandra Lee!!

What do you think?  Who will come out on top with Battle Chocolate?


Weekly Recipe Attempt: Paula's Home Cooking

asparagusAs all of you may know, I'm not Paula Deen's biggest fan.  However, I was intrigued by her attempt to jump on the healthy band wagon for this week's Light and Healthy Week on the Food Network.  I decided to try one of her southern-style light fares.  Since I recently purchased a bag of frozen asparagus on an impulse buy at the supermarket, I decided to find something that could use those bad boys up.  I landed on a typical asparagus recipe, Paula Deen style (aka it has butter in it.)

Weekly Recipe Attempt:  Asparagus with Lemon Butter

I liked this recipe.  It's simple and quick to prepare.  I paired the asparagus with a skinless chicken thigh that I roasted in the oven.  I think that I put a little too much lemon on top, because the asparagus had a little too much of a kick to it, but it was still pretty good.  I like to squeeze lemons and sometimes get a little over zealous with the juice.   Paula's recipe called for olive oil, and to lighten things a little, since I didn't want to keep all the butter, I sprayed the asparagus with canola oil from a can.  This method saves about a 100 calories and still had the desired effect.  I love using asparagus because it looks so pretty on the plate.  Even if you use only a few stalks it takes up a lot of the plate and makes things look pretty.  Use extra lemon wedges for garnish to wow a crowd.

I give this healthy recipe an 8.  It's too simple to merit a higher score, but I do think that this just might be the perfect light side dish to any lean meat entree.


New cooking Queen crowned?

According to Richard Johnson of the New York Post, the Food Network has crowed a new queen.  Due to Rachael Ray's recent network TV fame, Paula Deen has stepped into the royal footsteps and became the queen of the Food Network.  Funny, I don't remember a coronation? 

I agree that Rachael has a lot on her plate right now, and that Paula seems to have stepped into the spotlight, but Paula doesn't scream regal to me.  I guess neither does Rachel.  I say we have a vote. Don't we live in America?  I think Giada would make a lovelier queen than either of those guys.  Her food is prettier, too.  What do you think?  Who's the Food Network Queen in your opinion?


People are crazy about Paula Deen!

ButterI'm just not one of them.  According to an article on released today, September 11th, Paula Deen has mass market appeal and lots of loving fans who follow her around.  I'm not going to lie.  If I saw the "Grandma of Southern Cooking" in a supermarket, I would probably stop and look.  OK, I'd probably try to get an interview, but that goes for any T.V. star I could recognize.  I just don't see her appeal.

Paula Deen has become a toursit magnet for Savannah, Ga, the Deep Fried Queen's home town.  According to the article, people actually go there in hopes of getting a glimpse of the gray haired cook.    "Paula Deen is why we came to Savannah," said Gerry Adams, 59, of Fort Myers, Fla., reports Russ Bynum of the Associated Press.

Now that's what I really don't get.  Going across state lines to get a glipse of the butter packing chef.  I could see trying to spot Dave Leiberman in New York, or Giada in Los Angeles, if you happen to be in the neghborhood, but Paula?  Maybe she's easier for people to spot.  Or fans can hear her annoying voice from a couple of states away.  I guess I'm glad that I live half the country away from her.  That way there is little chance of running into her, or her equally annoying offspring.

I apologize if there are any Paula lovers out there. If you disagree, please feel free to voice your opinion.  Maybe one of you can shine some light on her appeal.


Weekly recipe attempt: Paula's Home Cooking

TomatoesOk.  There are a couple of things I have to say here before getting into the actual recipe.  I'm not exactly a big fan of Paula Deen.  I don't know if it's her voice, her use of copious amounts of fat in her dishes, or the insipid catch phrase she uses at the end of each show, "best dishes from my house to yours," but I can't watch too much of her.  This brings me to the number of reasons for my selection of one of her recipes for my weekly attempt.

Firstly, I was tired.  It was hot here in Southern California (almost 100) and I had just gotten back from a 6 mile walk.  I wasn't in the mood to cook anything.  It's also rent paying week. That wonderful week where my latest paycheck goes toward putting a roof over my head.  I wanted to use the stuff that I already had as opposed to going grocery shopping where I would inevitably purchase more than I came in for, yet again.  That brings me to the last reason.  All the great grilling or brunch recipes or just plain things I wanted to cook are being saved for the weekend.  My friend Valerie is coming up and we are working on a special Labor Day menu for the blog.  

With all that being said, I am willing to suffer through Paula's show to get this recipe which I bring to you today:  Marinated Tomatoes.

This recipe was perfect for what I wanted last night.  I had just gone for a walk in the blistering heat and wanted something light and cool to eat.  The ingredients were easy to assemble, no cooking required, mere whisking is all this one takes.  There was quite a bit of oil in the recipe.  I wouldn't recommend eating the tomatoes by themselves.  I put them on top of some mixed greens along with some left over peas and white beans.  I used them like a dressing with big heaps of tomato.  It was quite tasty.

I give this recipe an 8 out of 10.  It gets a high score because of it's versatility.  You could even use the tomatoes a sort of a Southern style bruschetta if you put the mixture on top of toasted bread.  Hmmm....  Maybe I'll try that tonight with the left overs.

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