Weekly Recipe Attempt: 30 Minute Meals

meatball soupSouthern California is on fire, so naturally soup came to mind?  Here in Orange County, I'm surrounded by fires, and while I'm safe where I am right now, my heart and prayers go out to those who are losing their loved ones or homes to the out of control fires in So Cal. 

Onto lighter things.  It's hot and I needed a distraction, so I decided to watch 30 Minute Meals and make soup.  I know that soup doesn't traditionally go along with 85 degree weather, but I needed a little soul filling soup.

Weekly Recipe Attempt: Mini Meatball Soup

Right away you can probably see the biggest accidental alteration I made to this soup.  My meatballs aren't "mini."  I didn't listen to Rachael when she told me that these little suckers plump up when they poach.  Oh well.  My bad.  So it took a little longer to cook and I had to break them apart to eat them.  No harm.  No foul.  It tasted just as good to me.

This soup was tasty.  It was easy, too!  Don't let the long ingredient list fool you.  Most of these things you probably have on hand.  If I had them on hand, you have them on hand.

I give this recipe a 9 out of ten.  It loses a point because it just didn't knock my socks off.  It was delicious, but not delicious enought to be a ten.


And the winner is: Bobby Flay

Looks like the grill master won the majority of you guys over with his fancy outdoor grill set up and quick moving tongs.  42% of you, in fact, would rather have Bobby Flay over to an outdoor cookout than the other three chefs.

My fav, Alton Brown, came in a close second with 37% of the votes.  I guess a lot of you, like me, are fascinated by the brining process.  He could also make a fancy smoker with teracotta pots.  Mmmmm planter ribs.

Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee duked it out for last.  Pretty much no one wanted the ladies to BBQ.  I guess they were afraid that Rachel might set herself on fire trying to carry too many things to the grill while Sandra would be set a blaze by one of her cocktails getting too close to the flame.

Here's a re-cap of the results:

  1. Bobby Flay smoked the competition with 42% (49 votes.)

  2. Alton Brown blazed into second with 37% (43 votes.)

  3. Rachael Ray flickered into third with 16% (19 votes.)

  4. Sandra Lee's flame went out completely with only 4% (5 votes.)


New Poll - Which Food TV chef would you want to barbeque with?

In honor of Grillin' and Chillin' week from the Food Network, our latest poll asks you to look deep within yourselves and ask a very important question, who would you like to party with?

I'm sure when you are watching the Food Network on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you often ask yourself whether or not you'd like to be one of those people who gets to eat that food with the chef at the end of the show. 

Now is your chance to answer that question for all your friends to see.  I want to party with Alton, how 'bout you?


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.)


Weekly Recipe Attempt: 30 Minute Meals

sconesAre you looking for a last minute Mother's Day gift?  Why not make something for you mom?  Try these scones from Rachael Ray, and mom might just forget that you forgot her on her special day.

Weekly Recipe Attempt: Rosemary and Ham Scones

I think that scones are a lovely little homemade surprise for mothers, or brothers, or birthdays or whatevers.  They're also very easy to make.  I settled on the ham ones because I had some ham.  I also made this recipe my own by adding cheddar cheese.  I just thought it needed a little extra something, and I didn't have an orange or sugar, so I made it more savory this way, too.

I made mini ones, since I've never made mini ones, and I think I liked them better in small form.  When it comes to baked goods, I can only handle small bits.  Big scones are a bit much for me, so I made the small ones.  But if you like bigger scones, and size matters to you, by all means, bake the big ones.

I give this recipe an 8.  I might bump it to a 9 if you give it as a present.  People love these little things.


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!


Rachael Ray's holidays: must there be lamb?

I don't know what Rachael Ray's fascination is with lamb, but it seems it's the only thing she likes to make on a special occasion.  Rachael decided to make tiny lamb chop bites for her Wedding Week contribution.  She made baby lamb chops with artichoke and tarragon sauce and they looked pretty and cute and fun for an engagment party.  But alas...

For her Mother's Day menu, what do you think she took a stab at making?  Lamb chops with mint and mustard dipping sauce!  I swear I've seen her make lamb for Thanksgiving before.  I understand that with the time constraint of 30 minutes, you are limited in the elegant things that you can make, but please.  I don't want lamb every holiday.  It's expensive.  I don't think expensive = elegant.  Good food = fun dinner party.  Bea little more creative, Rachael.


Wedding Ideas from the Food Network

weddingGiada De Laurentiis and Tyler Florence help turn a couple's Hawaiian wedding fantasy into a food filled extravaganza!  In a special two hour show, contest winners Jeremy and Dede have their reception dreams made into reality.  The beautiful couple chose Hawaii as their dream destination, while georgeous chef, Tyler Florence, offered to lend a hand with the meal.  Don't worry, Jeremy, Tyler just got hitched himself, so you don't have to worry about your bride running off with the cook.

As an omage to the whole wedding thing, Food Network has dedicated the hours of 8pm to wedding fanfare all week.  If you would like to catch the Jeremy and Dede wedding special, you have many chances: May 5th at 9pm, May 6th at 2:00pm, May 11th at 9pm, and May 12th at 4pm.

If you're looking for help with your wedding, Food Network has some tips.  Click here to see Rachael Ray make a mean wedding brunch mimosa.  Ok it's not the toughest of things to make, but when that wedding day creeps closer and closer, you need all the help you can get.


And the winner is: Alton Brown's quirky kitchen!

The latest poll has everyone craving Alton Brown's velcro herb canisters and extensivley labled tupperware.  I love Alton, and apparently, everyone else loves his kitchen.  I think I'd like his kitchen, too, if he came with it.

Giada De Laurentiis came in a close second with her pretty and hip kitchen.  In all honestly, I'd love to cook in her kitchen, probably more then Alton's.  It seems so lovely, but not so girly that you expect Martha Stewart to be making homemade baby food in the next room.

As for the final tally, here are all the results:

  1. Alton Brown's quirky and practical kitchen wins with 28 % of the votes.

  2. Giada De Laurentiis' pretty and hip pad comes in second with 27% of the votes.

  3. Ina Garten's clean and colonial kitchen sits comfortably in the middle with 19% of the votes.

  4. Tyler Florence's homey yet masculine digs beat a couple of others with 11% of the votes.

  5. Sandra Lee's matchy matchy cooking spot ties with Rachael Ray's funky color swatch with 7% of the votesrounding out the bottom.

Didn't see your favorite chef's kitchen on the list?  Tell me about it and why you'd love to slave over dinner in it.


Rachael Ray saves the world

OK that was a bit of an overstatment, but the quick cooking queen, Rachael Ray, is doing a little extra to help keep our planet a greener place.  The Post Chronicle has reported a Page Six bit of information that states "Ray insists on not only driving a Prius, but being driven around in one."  Ray uses a car service, Ozo Car, that only utilizes hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius.

I don't know why, but I kind of expected Rachael Ray to drive her own car until I read this.  I know she is made of oodles of money, now, but she seems so down to earth.  A little high strung maybe, but still too grounded to be driven around.  I kind of picture her in some Cadillac convertible from the sixites, not a Prius.  But at least she isn't riding around in a gas guzzling limo.  That's something.

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