Weekly Recipe Attempt: Quick Fix Meals

corn pimentoIt's historic.  I don't give out many of these, but this recipe gets a 10.  I know I usually wait until the end of the blog to tell you my score, but this one is too good.  You have to try this one.  I mean it.  Father's Day is this weekend and lots of people will be barbequeing.  This recipe is perfect to take to someone's house as a side dish.  What is this amazing recipe?  Drum roll please...

Weekly Recipe Attempt:  Corn-Pimento Salad

I know what you're thinking, "how is that an amazing salad?"  That's what I thought at first.  I picked this recipe because I had all of those ingredients in my refrigerator.  (Don't ask me why I had pimentos in my fridge.  Half the things I have in there are from some hair brained recipe gone awry.)

This is one of those great salads where no dressing is necessary.  You just toss it all together and viola!  Instant culinary genius!  It has is all.  It has color, and uniquness.  It uses up stuff you don't really know what to do with after you make your main dish.  It tastes amazing.  A culinary moron couldn't screw this up.  And, perhaps best of all, it's healthy!

Once again, this recipe gets a 10.  This is foodtvandme's highest honor.  Try it.  I swear it's good.


Who will be the Next Food Network Star?

Watch Season Three to find out!  And if you missed it, catch the recap on FoodNetwork.com by clicking here.  Ok, I missed it.  I didn't realize it was on again.  I also have to admit that I like Bravo's version of this food based competition (Top Chef) better. 

I haven't been that big of a fan of the past winners (sorry Guy Fieri.)  No one even remembers the "Hearty Boys."  I think what doomed those two from season one was the title of their show.  The food was catering food, not hearty food.  They were companions, not brothers.  The title misled the viewers.  We didn't quite know what to expect when we were watching the show.

And, while I like Guy's (season two's winner) attempt to match the title with the show, his food isn't really something new.  I also don't really like any cooking show that enlists the help of innocent bystanders into the cooking process.  If I cook a meal for someone, I do it for them.  I don't make them help cook, too.  It kind of defeats the purpose. 

Maybe this next batch of competitors will be up to my high standards of Food Network personalities.  Want to meet the new contestants?  Click here.

Who do you think stands out as a major competitor?


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.)


Behind the scenes of Good Eats

Alton Brown and his wacky cast of on scene characters aren't the only ones who have fun on the Good Eats set.  The off camera people get in on the act, too!  Especially the husband and wife team of Dana Popoff, producer of "Good Eats," and husband Marion Laney, who is the show's director of photography.

I came across an article by TV and Media Editor, Mike Brantley, who interviewed the couple and led to some fun insight into the behind the scenes world of food tv.  Think the cast and crew get to eat the fun food that's been cooked on the show?  Think again.  Brantley reports:

"If something gets cooked, unless we know there is not a scene afterward where we have to use the same exact-looking thing, we don't touch it," said Laney.


To read more about the behind the scenes antics, click here for Brantley's full article.


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.


Think your recipe is worth $10,000?

If so, the Food Network is looking for you!  According to the Food Network's Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, Bob Tuschman, "we're challenging America to send us  their best recipes and we'll put the cream of the crop on-air to duke it out for the title of 'Ultimate Recipe.'"

Tuschman threw down the gauntlet.  Are you chef enough to enter?  If so, there are a few categories to enter:

CHICKEN - Whole, Fried and Soups & Stews

CAKES - Chocolate, Birthday and Cupcakes

COOKIES - Chocolate Chip, Spice and Bar

PASTA - Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna and Stuffed

COMFORT FOOD - Sandwiches, Mac & Cheese and Chili

BURGERS - Beef, Poultry and Seafood/Veggie

If you become one of the 9 finalists, you'll win a trip to Los Angeles and compete for the title of "Ultimate Recipe."

And, oh yeah, $10,000.

Click here to enter!


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: Jamie Oliver

The Naked Chef ran away with this poll, which would have been quite the site to see, I might add.  About 60% of you miss his heavy English accent and his simple way of cooking.  He was a very entertaining cook to watch, but I never saw something that he made that I would want to replicate.  It was very...English. 

But who am I to argue with the masses.  If you miss your favorite chef, tell me about him or her in the comments section.  We can all grieve together.

Here are the results:

  1. 63% of you (46 of the votes) long to bring back the Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver.  (You remember he wasn't actually naked, right?)

  2. 16% of you (12 of the votes) are dreaming of the Sweet Dreams chef Gale Gand coming back to television. 

  3. 11% of you (8 of the votes) wish Wolfgang Puck was part of the Food Network gang, again.

  4. 10% of you (7 of the votes) would like Juan-Carlos Cruz to cruise by our TV sets.

That's it for the results!  Make sure to check out this week's poll and feel free to comment on this one.


Hot pepper tips from that hottie, Alton Brown

I have to say that one of my favorite items to cook with has to be the chili pepper.  I love any shape and kind of them.  Yesterday, Alton explored the fantastic world of chili peppers.  This was one of those episodes devoted to information as opposed to recipes.  He gave some helpful hints for all of us who like to cook with a plethora of vibrantly colored, shiny fleshed, veggies that set our mouths on fire.

How to handle hot stuff from Alton Brown:

  • Use gloves.  Anyone who's ever made salsa then tried to put their contacts in can attest to the fact that the sting of peppers stays on your hands long after handling the little guy.  Even washing doesn't help.  Use gloves, plain and simple.

  • If you eat a bit more pepper than you can swallow, take a gulp of milk.  I know you've heard this before, but Alton had an addendum to this.  Don't swallow.  The burn can be washed down your esophagus.  No one ever told me that before, but it makes sense.

  • Smaller usually means hotter. 

  • Pointier usually means hotter.  Think of the bell pepper vs. the thai chili.

This all makes sense.  Next time you feel like making salsa, keep these things in mind.  You can control the heat and the sting.  But remember, sometimes a little heat and sting can be fun.  It releases endorphins, but in moderation.

If you're looking for a spicy salsa recipe, Alton makes one in this episode.  Click here.


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