Sandra Lee's Floor/Table-scape?

You all know that I love Sandra, but even I couldn't get on board with the tablescape that I saw today.  She was doing a Tuscan-themed dinner, which looked pretty good.  The cocktail was pretty (and strong, of course.)  I was enjoying things thoroughly.  Until the tablescape portion came.  Oh the tablescape.  The camera pans out on a very elaborate table with...

...a CHAIR on top of the table.  She then decorated it with silk flowers, like the flowers would hide the fact that she put a chair on the table as a centerpiece.

I almost had the same reaction to the tablescape that I had when I watched Britney Spears last night on the Video Music Awards.  Oh my, what have you done now.

Sandra.  Please.  Hear my plea.  I stand up for you through the sauce packets, the alcohol drenched cocktails, and even the matchy matchiness, but please.  Chairs, and all other furniture, belong on the floor.  Don't ever do anything again to make me compare you to Britney Spears.


Sandra Lee's Restaurant Re-Makes

I tought i'd seen it all.  They made Rachael battle Giada.  They threw a star studded Thankksgiving dinner.  Now, to tie all the chefs together, they have one cook ripping off two other Food Network chefs.  When a stand-up comedian steals jokes from another comedian, rarely does that comedian brag about it.

Leave it to the marvelous Food Network, and the short cut queen herself, Sandra Lee, to bring such a concept to our living rooms.  In today's all new episode of Semi-Homemade Cooking entitled "Restaurant Remakes: Bobby and Mario," Sandra Lee takes recipes from these two chef's famous restaurant menus and turns them into semi-homemade masterpieces.

Is she running out of ideas?  Is there a reason that Mario Batali and Bobby Flay can't make these recipes on their own shows?  It was such a strange concept.  I felt uncomfortable watching it.

Do you think this is a good idea?  Should we let our favorite chefs re-make other Food Network chef's dishes?  Something just isn's righ here.  But maybe it's just me.


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.)


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: 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.


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.


Weekly recipe attempt: Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee

sconeI'm not a baker, which I've said before.  However, I was watching Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee and I saw the coolest baking trick I've ever seen.  While I don't eat a lot of scones, I often wondered how scones got their wedge-like shape, and thanks to the blonde, cocktail weilding chef, Sandra Lee, I figured out just how those scones got their shape.  I also had some leftover chocolate chips from cookies I had made the weekend before, and thought that this would be a splendid way to use them up.

Weekly recipe attempt: Mocha Chip Scones

When I first saw the amount of ingredients in this recipe, eleven to be exact, I was a little nervous.  But oddly enough, I had all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give this a try.  The mixing went fine, no problems to report there.  It was surprisingly not that messy. 

Now on to the trick.  The reason for this very recipe attempt.  So how exactly does a scone become a wedge?  Stick it in a pie pan and make it into a disk-shape.  Then cut the disk into wedges.  Genius.  Pure genius!  Also remember, which I rarely do when baking anything, that things spread out when they bake.  Make sure there is a lot of space around each of those wedges when you put them onto the cookie sheet and you're all set. 

I give this recipe/method a 7.  I give the recipe, a 6, but add a point for the trick.  In order for this recipe to get a higher score, it would have had to have less ingredients in the recipe.  After all, it is "semi-homemade."  I think she could have somehow found some more store help with this. 

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