25 November 2010

Thanksgiving .....

And what are we thankful for?
My wonderful husband and outstanding son.
Living in a free country.
A job that I enjoy and working with people that are fun.
Two great pups who take up lots of room, shed lots of fur, eat lots of kibble, and make us happy.
Gulf Coast Living (hurricanes and oil spills excepted).
Wearing shorts on Turkey Day - It's expected to be 75 degrees today.
Turkey and all that goes with it.
Having lots of things to be thankful for...
And especially a FOUR day weekend!!!!

24 November 2010

Food Network (Humor)

Food Network Humor (if you've not checked this out and you watch Food Network -- you need to take a peek) listed their version of the five worst shows on Food Network. I have to say, I've not seen Cupcake War - really a war about cupcakes? Stupid. or the Neely's - no particular reason, just not seen it before. I have not seen Meat & Potatoes because that just sounds dumb. Shows like Outrageous Food never appeal to me. Intentional excess is just silly and kind of sad. I have seen Food Feuds and while I like Michael Symon - this is just another travel around and eat things show - with judgement involved.... kind of not nice in the end for the "loser" of the feud.
So this started me thinking. I've been watching Food Network a long time (years and years). What are my top five shows on Food Network?

#1 is so. very. simple.
Good Eats
AB rocks! I learn something every time I watch and I will watch episodes about things I can't even eat (seafood). The show if fast, funny, and very informative.This to be is clearly head and shoulders above anything else Food Network puts on. And has been for years. I still remember the first show I saw and I was instantly hooked. 1999 Season one Episode nine - A Bowl of Onion (Barbie and Ken were involved).

Nigella (anything she does)
Nigella Lawson seems very comfortable cooking, baking, and talking at the same time. Her recipes are typically simple and quick and include pre-planning ideas which make it easy to come home from work and make dinner. She's calm and stable -- not running around all over the kitchen like some shows do.

Jaime at Home
I know it's over, but those shows were good and again, I learned things and I liked the fact that he used his garden to source some of the food - cool.

Well, now things are getting harder...maybe Iron Chef America (but only when they have real food people as judges and aren't dispatching live animals in front of me). I used to watch Giada at Home, but it was some much of the same over and over - and that annoy affectation of rolling into Italian every time an Italian work show up (spa get ti) -ugh. Secrets of a Restaurant Chef - Anne Burrell just got on my nerves - she's the anti-Nigella, Alex's Day Off - meh, but I do like her as a judge on ICA. Barefoot Contess has developed some annoying habits that started to get on my nerves ("really good" insert ingredient here, or "How easy is that" and the decorating the able (tablescapes anyone?) and her collection of gays (I don't care that they are gay, but don't they feel a little weird being used as props?)

I get the feeling that my cooking skills have somehow gone beyond some of the shows. Or maybe I've just gotten from them everything I need so far.

There are many shows I haven't watched because they just don't appeal to me (beyond those noted above).
Ace of Cakes - snore. I hear said snore is going to be canceled.
Anything Rachael Ray is in. She's so 2004.
Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee - tablescapes? Really tablescapes? Blech.
Private Chefs of Beverly Hills - sounds eerily like Real Housewifes of (insert city here)
5 Ingredient Fix - meh
Anything with Guy Fieri - the clothes  should explain it all. 
The Best Thing I Ever Ate - Really don't care to see you get all gushy over the best (insert here) you've ever eaten. Watch the grammar here people.
Aarti Party - I had to watch the first episode to see if it would be a train wreck. It was.
Anything with Paula Dean. Where did the real Paula go? Have the aliens abducted her and sent a creepy replacement. She's just not right.
Ten Dollar Dinners - I'm not sure I want that.

Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen are more up my alley now. They are my go to group for tested, straight forward, though sometimes time-intensive recipes. (And when are they going to send my someone to wash all the dishes I dirty in the process of making their great food?) I know I say it every time I mention them - but do yourself a favor and sign up - they are sooooo worth it. 

22 November 2010

Is it cheating ...

Is it cheating at Thanksgiving to purchase all or part of the dinner already prepared? I've been thinking about this a lot lately. The only thing I've ever bought before (because I'm too chicken to make them) is Parker House rolls - which I love. But how far down the  slippery slope do you go when you purchase your turkey and a pie and maybe even the cornbread dressing?  I always called my mom to help me through the dressing, but since she's not here any more, I'm sort of at a loss. I don't want to do the first (fill in the blank) since my mom died, so I'm trying hard not it.  It's not quite Thanksgiving without smelling celery and onions first thing in the morning though. This year Thanksgiving will be for the four of us, me, the MotH*, the Boy** and my lovely mother-in-law. 
I'm accustomed to cooking for 8-12 people, so is it worth the work to do everything from scratch for just the 4 of us. So this year is an experiment... I am purchasing a few things and making the rest and we'll see how it goes. I may hate it. I may feel guilty (highly likely). Or, I might think it's the best thing I've done lately. We'll have to wait and see.  Why are holidays so full of things that are hard to deal with especially after someone is gone?

Full menu (w/recipes) to be posted on Turkey Day. 

*Man of the House
**I'll have to stop calling him the Boy in a few months - yikes!