Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Food Network

Ever since remodeling my kitchen a couple of years ago, I made it my mission to conquer my fear of cooking. It's not that I was a BAD cook, it was just that I never learned. You see, my sweet sweet mother didn't cook that much when I was growing up...it's something my siblings and I joke about. The three or four things that she made were our favorites, so she just kept making them. Anyhoooo, my post-college roommate, Robin, was an INCREDIBLE cook. I call her the gourmet chef when I talk about all the things she would whip up. But I never bothered to learn from her...yes, I am lame.

So, fast forward to the kitchen remodel...and my adventures in cooking!

I think I'm a pretty good cook now...but I never venture too far off of recipes and cook books - I'm sure that will come in good time. But, the more I cook, the more I like to cook, and the more I like to research new recipes.

Enter the Food Network.

I'm an obsessive watcher of HGTV and TLC, so when I started cooking, I was immediately attracted to the Food Network. Lately, at work during lunch, a bunch of us gals will gather with our brown bags and watch it, too! Over the last couple of years, I've found shows that I love and shows that I DON'T love...and because this is my blog, a place where I can espouse opinions, rants and raves, I thought I'd fill you in on what I think of some of these shows!!!



So, the Barefoot Contessa has recipes in Traditional Home, a magazine that I subscribe to...I made her Tuscan Pork once for a dinner party and it was a HUGE hit. Therefore, I love her. Her show is fun, but her voice is so monotone that I can't watch it very often because it makes me sleepy! Also, her recipes aren't exactly low fat...and let's be honest, I've got to keep an eye on my waistline when I cook, otherwise I'd be as big as a house!






The girls at work and I refer to Tyler Florence as our boyfriend. He's got a GREAT show that features interesting meals that don't seem too difficult to prepare....AND HE'S TOTALLY DREAMY! There, I said it. I guess it really wouldn't matter what he made because we think he's so stinkin cute. Got a problem with that? Didn't think so!









I TOTALLY love Giada...but I'm pretty sure she's a puker. I just don't believe that any chef can have that kind of bod naturally and eat Italian food nonstop...










I don't get why people either LOVE or HATE Rachel Ray. Her show is quick, filled with tasty dishes, and nothing she makes appears to be overly difficult or overly amazing...











Duff Goldman is my Jewish boyfriend who lives three thousand miles away. I flippin LOVE Ace of Cakes....it's total entertainment!!! However, I don't watch it to learn anything. Oh wait, I DID make a certain cake for a certain bachelorette party recently with ideas I got from this show...maybe it DOES have educational value. Ha!








I CANNOT STAND SANDRA LEE or her show. Her semi-homemade brand is interesting, but it's a novelty, not something I need to see everyday. And I LOATHE her creepy tablescapes, matching outfits, and theme drinks. I seriously have a visceral response to her show. Sorry, but that's just how it is in my world!





So...what do you think? Do you have a favorite Food Network show? Agree or disagree with any of my personal likes and dislikes? Any recommendations on other shows that I should be watching or TiVo'ing? Similarly, if you've tried any of their recipes that are TO DIE FOR, please pass them along my way!!!

I'm sharing this post with my friends over at Hooked on Houses. Stop on by Julia's linky party to see the other fab things people are hooked on this week!!!


16 comments:

Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria said...

I too love Food Network! I have always had a passion for cooking since I can remember. I love trying something new. I would say I agree Barefoot Contessa is my favorite, followed by Tyler(he is very cute!)and I too love Ace of Cakes! My favorite thing to watch is Food Challenges and Mission Impossible. Thanks for sharing! Oh, a great recipe of Inas is Outrageous Brownies! Tried and tested! I would love to tell you too that I am having a giveaway on my blog! Would love for you to stop by and see the very Whimsy Birdie Bag and Yummy Cupcake Pincushion! You might just win it! :)

Hugs to you,
~Victoria~

DesignTies said...

I don't get the Food Network, so I can't give you my thoughts on the cooks you mentioned. But just wanted to mention a few recipe web sites you might want to check out...

www.allrecipes.com
www.epicurious.com
www.tastespotting.com

Happy cooking!!

Kelly @ DesignTies

Tamara McDonald said...

Jenny...Giada is my favorite hands down...I want to spend a day in the life with her. Preferably a day that she is back in Italy, but that is either her nor there. I have actually met her at a book signing where I took along my out-spoken brother-in-law who found himeself speechless at the sight of her. Try this one from her first book. Shrimp Fra Diavola and Lemon Spaghetti! One of my favorites to make in the summer!

Struggler said...

Well, disclaimer, I'm one of those strange people who owns a TV but doesn't have cable.. so I'm basing this on the recipe books I've seen.
Rachel Ray seems to strike a great balance of quick, achievable and fairly healthy - she gets my thumbs up.
Sandra Lee's book really caught my attention, but as I got deeper into it I found she starts with store-made things (which already have goodness-knows-what in them), then adds extra butter/cheese etc, and I have to think the end result is pretty unhealthy...

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Hmmmm. I actually don't watch the food network. But looks like I should based on your reviews!

Misti of Studio M Designs said...

Okay...here goes. I love what Barefoot Contessa cooks, however she DOES put me to sleep. Giada gets on my last nerve but her food always looks delish. Tyler IS a hunk. Ace of cakes ROCKS. I try ANYTHING that Rachael makes. Sandra Lee drives me nuts with all the matchy matchy stuff, but darn if I haven't printed off so many of her recipes!

So then other night I caught a FN show called "Dear Food Network" why I haven't see this show yet is beyond me. (Oh could be because all of the other shows were on, now they are all finaled and done) anyway, this was a great show. You should catch it sometime. The cooks get a food question from viewers and they cook together to fix the problem. Kind of like Tyler's show Food 911 (I think?)

Watch it, then come visit and tell me what you think. I have no clue when it comes on again, but I think it was on Tuesday night or even Wednesday?

~Misti

Tira J said...

My husband is the cook in our family and can't wait for a brand new kitchen with a REAL triangle some day. I personally love the Barefoot Contessa, even though, her recipes are fattening! Rachel Ray is a "fake Italian". Sorry, my husband is Italian and we just have issues with her. I loved all of your fun thoughts about each chef. Smile!

desiree said...

I Love Ina, she's great and Tyler need I say more...I love that guy. I waited in line for him to sign my "ultimate" book and would have waited even longer. I cannot stand Sandra Lee and now she's pushing KFC...YUCK! I can take or leave Giada but I think you might be right about her.

Maria said...

I was laughing out loud at your post!!! hysterical and Im in full agreement with everything!!! I actually learned to cook via the foodnetwork...thank God for them otherwise my husband and child would starve!! Tyler is dreamy and so is his food, love Ina, and rachael.....well, i owe it all to her!! great post!

Robin said...

This made my day and it's only 8am!!! Cracking up!!
I love Tyler, his food is awesome but honestly I could turn down the sound and be happy ...
Sandra Lee, I do like her. I hear ya on the dislikes but for some reason I usually pull out 1 thing from her shows that I can use...
Barefoot C...love her recipes, not so much her voice but I'm totally intrigued by her lifestyle, so I watch...
Giada...looks like good food but the way she talks...food porn. I can't watch her. CAN NOT. She drives me crazy!!!
What about Paula Deen? My girls think her southern drawl is fake but I love her like a great aunt!
This post was delightful, I couldn't shut up responding!!!
Oh, and Ace of Cakes totally rocks!
I love Rachel Ray, the food network show isn't her true fit like her network show...I don't mind her voice, her made up words...just love her.
See? I can't stop myself!
Robin
All Things Heart and Home

Astrid said...

I love the Food Network! The hardest part about giving up satellite/cable TV was giving up Food NT. Now I just go to their website and get recipes. I also found Sandra Lee's style & recipes a little hard to swallow (pun intended!). :)

Kughn Family said...

I totally agree with you on Sandra Lee. I think that it is weird that she changes out her curtains and plates in her kitchen for every theme. It is all a bit cheezy for me. I inagine that she is one of those that becomes a total witch as soon as the camera turns off. She just seems off balanced to me.

Daly Essentials said...

haha I love the commentary. Unfortunately, I am in the pre-kitchen renovation phase of my life - so I don't cook.... but I have dreams of doing it someday!!

Condo Blues said...

I don't watch a lot of Food Network anymore, except for Ace of Cakes. Any guy who regularly uses powertools to bake has my heart.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

We don't have cable so I have just seen a few of these shows. It sounds like I may be missing alot. :)

Puna said...

I love the food network. I watch the competitions and I love the Iron Chef. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I think the Morimoto is a genius. An absolute genius. You're right, Sandra Dee is slightly neurotic.