Crocodile Tears for Paula Deen

I just watched Paula Deen on the Today show, interviewed by Matt Lauer.

I wasn’t looking for the interview, I came upon it by chance, switching channels.

Let me say, first, I don’t really like Paula Deen. I think she and her family (sons) are fake and are very monetarily motivated.

With that said, I don’t fault Paula for past sins. Something she did 30 years ago doesn’t have anything to do with her now. People can change, and as we all age, we grow and sometimes regret our past.

But her actions after the fact have been troubling.

When I start to cry while tying to speak about something that’s difficult or emotional, I immediately tear up. Whether it’s just a few teardrops or an outpouring, there are actual wet tears.

Paula tried like mad to show actual tears, but failed. Yes, her face was scrunched up, and looked like she was deeply upset, but there was not ONE wet tear until the very end when I saw a tiny glistening in the corner of her eye.

It looked like a bid to fix her reputation and had nothing to do with truly being sorry. As they say, Paula, you’re sorry BECAUSE you got caught, not because of your actions.

My advice to Paula is to shut up. Stop talking about it, lay low and make your comeback in a few years. People always forget about stuff like this and allow celebrities to come back bigger than ever.

ABC’s “The Taste” Review – Great Cooks and Picky Judges

I was looking forward to watching the new highly marketed ABC show “The Taste.” It’s food network meets The Voice. The premise is four judges (Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, and Brian Malarkey) blind-taste a one-bite morsel and decide if that cook belongs on their team of four.

Only after the judges decide yes or no, is the cook revealed. (S)he could be a home cook or a professional chef.

Judge Tony Bourdain was actually sweet, contrary to how he usually is. I’m surprised they didn’t go for more ratings with making him more Simon Cowell-ish. Nigella was wishy-washy most of the time, which was very disappointing because I love her! Ludo was barely understandable when he spoke and I don’t even know (or care) who Brian Malarkey is! Ha!

By the end of the 2 hours, I was bored, paying more attention to my cookbooks from the library.

There was hardly any actual cooking shown and per usual in prime time, the show was painfully slow. During the first half hour, only a mere four bites were tasted!

Over and over, the judges enjoyed the taste of the dish but declined to say yes. It was frustrating to see a lot of interesting, unique cooks be dismissed. Even stranger, the judges repeatedly expressed remorse, but then the same thing would happen with the next cook. It was getting frustrating because By the time they chose a cook for their team, it seemed like they were picking out of desperation, making some of their choices uninspired and dull.

Another peeve was the judges repeatedly told the home cooks not to apologize for being a non-professional. It was as if they were supposed to feel shame about being a lowly home cook!

But the worst part of the show was the excessive use of dramatic props. Clunky game show buttons, blinking lights, special effects screens, and sliding doors looked silly and wasted time that could have been used to show more detailed recipes. But then I guess most viewers probably would be bored too much complicated cooking.

So yeah, i was not happy with the show. But Surprise! Yes, I will probably keep watching, as long as nothing else was on. I am intrigued by Sarah the food blogger and Lauren, the Mississippi girl living in the trailer park.

Next week will be part 2 of auditions and going forward, they’ll start the actual competition. I’ll give it a little more time and see if it’ll perk up my interest.

The French Chef vs New Food Network Shows

PBS is having a marathon of The French Chef shows today! Julia Child is a delight! What a difference in comparison to today’s food shows.

Perfection is the most important aspect of current (highly edited) cooking shows.

Take the “Next Food Network Star” – the contestants have to perform flawlessly or they will be scolded. I don’t think Julia Child would make it past week one on The Next Food Network Star. She’d be criticized for her clumsy performance!

But her charming imperfection was what made her show so alluring. She was an experienced chef/cook, but she made you feel like she was just like us, fumbling our way in the kitchen!

I love her! God Bless Julia Child! Thankfully we still have access to her past shows!

Tricia Yearwood’s New Cooking TV Show on Food Network

Tricia Yearwood has a new Food Network show called “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” and I watched the “Girlfriends” episode today.

Okay, yeah, there’s typical Paula Deen-ish, way-too-much butter and sugar recipes, but I was pleasantly surprised to find Tricia’s personality really shined. I enjoyed watching the episode! There were many helpful cooking tips, plus little bits of Tricia’s personal life.

Her pecan pie and crockpot mac & cheese recipes are decadent, and are just waiting to give you a heart-attack, but at the same time, intriguing.

I don’t know if I’ll be a regular viewer, only because her recipes aren’t really my cup of tea, but I might sneak a peak if it’s on or if I remember to DVR her.

She’s very funny, charming, and adorable. I wish her luck on the new show! :)

Hamburger Helper Stuffed Bellies

Just saw a TV commercial for Hamburger Helper.

The family is together, sitting at the dinner table and the dad is stuffed so he leans back and pats his belly, full to the brim.

He looks at his young daughter, they smile at each other and she imitates him, patting her belly as well. Camera pans out to show everyone is happy and laughing as they all pat their full bellies after dinner.

Their tagline: “Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni – now even cheesier and tastier.”

So that’s the message of Big Food! Inspiring families to eat meals together, but eat until bellies are stuffed or better yet, over-stuffed!


And THAT, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with our dysfunctional eating habits. We don’t stop eating BEFORE we get to the point of busting our bellies! Our brains are broken, not connecting with our bellies to tell us to stop eating.

The bigger problem is, overly-processed foods like Hamburger Helper are never going to satiate us, so we have to keep eating, and eating, and eating, until it’s too late and our bellies are beyond stuffed.

So, good ole Betty Crocker is taking advantage of our dysfunction by feeding us more of their processed crap, that tastes really, really good, but doesn’t do anything to really NOURISH us.

Stuffing your belly, until it hurts, with white pasta drowned in dried cheeses is not healthy, even if mom makes it at home, and all family members eat it together at the dinner table!

Just in case you were wondering, here is the list of ingredients for Hamburger Cheeseburger Macaroni. It’s funny, in comparison to their older ingredients (found online), they weren’t lying when they said it was now “cheesier” – they’ve added a lot of dried cheeses:

Enriched Macaroni, Corn Starch, Salt, Enriched flour, Sugar, Dried Ricotta cheese, Dried Tomato, MSG, Natural flavor, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Paprika, Spice, Colors (Yellow Lake 5&6 and Yellow 5&6), Monoglycerides, Dried Cheddar Cheese, Dried Cheddar cheese, Dried Whey, Dried Buttermilk, Dried Blue cheese, Enzyme modified blue cheese, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Phosphate, Enzyme modified cheddar cheese

They wanted to hate on me for coming down with something – Paula Deen

Oh lordie, Paula Deen, just doesn’t get it! Late last week, she was quoted by AP as saying

I think a few people who have access to a TV camera and ink kind of wanted to hate on me for coming down with something.

First, she didn’t “come down” with diabetes – it’s not a cold or flu that will go away in a few days.

And no one is upset because she developed diabetes; it’s the fact that she was diagnosed years ago, but decided to go public by partnering with a diabetes drug lord, err, pharmaceutical company.

Then there’s the pesky fact that she continued to make show episodes using unhealthy quantities of ingredients like cream and butter, knowing full well that she was diabetic. Hey, I’m the first to admit that I use butter, but I don’t need 2 sticks in my cornbread!

And, really, hate is such a strong word; I really don’t think most people actually hate her, although there are probably a lot of people who can’t stand her.

Personally, I feel she is moving in the wrong direction. She has an opportunity to really make a difference, but she’s wasting time denying that her diet was a large factor in her illness. She keeps babbling about genetics, stress and age.

Wouldn’t it have been fantastic, if she decided 2 years ago, to change her lifestyle? Last month, she could have announced she was diagnosed, but instead of turning to pharmaceuticals, she took charge, lost weight, changed her diet, started exercising, and beat diabetes! Wow, talk about being an inspiration! That would have sparked a lot of people to follow her example! But alas, that didn’t happen, and it probably will never happen.

Stuff Dieters Say – Too Funny!

Yeah, I’m sure I uttered a few of these when I was first starting out. This gave me some good giggles. Thanks Norma!

“If I don’t eat after 8” – that’s a real popular one. Never really followed that one. haha, I eat when I be hungry! ;)
“Starbursts are low fat” – hahaa
“Before I weigh in, let me take off my necklace…” – oh yeah, gotta be neked when you’re weighing in, even now!
“Does coffee count as water?” – now that is something I hear the newbies ask a lot!
“They say chocolate is really good for you”
“Baked cauliflower is exactly like mashed potatoes”

Too funny!

Good Housekeeping Drop 5 Lbs – New Cooking Channel Show

I was curious about the new show on Cooking Channel TV: Good Housekeeping Drop 5 Lbs (with Melissa d’Arabian), so I made sure to DVR it.

The first episode opens with the recipe, Chicken Breasts with Apple Curry Sauce and it looked scrumptious; I love the idea of sweet & savory for dinner.

But I was a little puzzled when she suggested topping the steamed broccoli with a tsp of margarine. MARGARINE? Do people still use margarine?

It was even funnier to look at the recipe online, and see they suggested, “trans fat margarine” – LOL. I assume they meant “trans fat-free margarine” but even still, to suggest margarine over a whole food like butter is silly.

trans fat margarine

For example, after googling “margarine brands”, I found Smart Balance Buttery Spread contains 80 calories per tablespoon, that’s 26 calories for 1 tsp. Organic Valley unsalted butter contains 100 calories per tablespoon, which equals out to 34 calories per tsp. That’s hardly enough of a difference to recommend margarine over butter!

Plus if you choose the butter, you’ll save yourself the consumption of icky ingredients like artificial flavors, monoglycerides, sorbitan ester of fatty acids, disodium EDTA, along with a dose of GMO (genetically modified) vegetable oils, plus all the pesticides and toxic fertilizers.

But getting back to the episode.

I whole-heartedly agree with the advice that you need to measure your portions; I think a kitchen scale is a more accurate way than a measuring cup though (I love to weigh in grams) but it’s better than eye-balling it. Two & half years later, I still weigh most of my food. It really does help keep your portions honest!

On the whole, I’m not a fan of Good Housekeeping, it’s a bloated ad-driven magazine, but at least the show seems like a fairly good idea. No, the tips and hints aren’t anything new, but if it helps inspire someone to begin a healthier lifestyle, then that’s all that matters.

I’ll continue to DVR the episodes, so we’ll see how it develops.

New Jennifer Hudson – Seeing & Hearing Double – Weight Watchers Commercial

Ugh, I know she has a lot of fans, but I find ALL of the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watcher commercials extremely annoying. Her voice sounds like screeching nails on a chalkboard, and this new commercial is no exception.

The commercial opens with the “old” Jennifer in a tight-fitting bright pink dress singing on American Idol, as the new improved, thin Jennifer comes from behind, singing in a creepy duet with her former self.

Ugh. Jennifer Hudson x 2 = even more annoying because she’s competing with herself to out-sing and (hard to believe) it gets more offensive than her “It’s a New Day” commercials!

Gawd, it’s not even January 1st yet, and I can’t even think about how many times we’ll have to listen to this awful commercial for the next couple of months! Where are my ear plugs?


Before I get a million Jennifer fans coming down on me, I should clarify!!!

I NEVER said she was a bad singer in general and I do not dislike her. It’s her commercials that annoy me.

There is a big difference hearing her sing one song, than hearing the weight watcher commercials played over and over ad nauseam.

UPDATE #2 January 2, 2012:

Okay, I admit the newest J Hud Weight Watcher commercials are not bad. The one with her singing “I am you, you are me, gotta stand up if we’re gonna be free” – with the other women who lost weight on the program. Her voice is strong without being over-the-top and it’s enjoyable to watch. There is another new commercial that is also equally better.

Emeril on Dr Oz Show

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse was on the Dr Oz show the other day, and I’m not a regular Dr Oz fan, but I just happened to catch the show. At first I thought that Emeril would be the one getting advice from the doctor concerning his obesity problem, but I was shocked to realize it was Emeril that was giving the audience health advice!


Emeril’s Must Have Items to Revolutionize Your Health – watch the 4 part video of his appearance.

Does anyone else think it’s strange that an obese chef is dishing advice regarding how to live a healthy lifestyle? His three must-have items? Spices, non-stick pan, and gluten free pasta.

Seriously? You have to narrow your list of items that will “revolutionize your health” and those are your three picks?

How about adding more vegetables to your meal to bulk it up? Limit the processed pasta and eat more “whole” grains? Start your day with breakfast? Drink more water?

The worst part? He tucked in a sly promotion of his own non-stick fry pan! He claims you can save calories and fat by using non-stick. No, Emeril, you don’t need 3 Tbsp of oil to saute vegetables in a stainless pan! I sometimes don’t use any oil at all, depending on what the dish is!

And besides, what is so wrong with cooking with fat anyway? I’ll take cooking in my seasoned cast iron fry pan with a tsp of coconut oil over his toxic fuming non-stick pan any day! Ha!

This situation reminds me of when Kirstey Alley was pushing her crazy weight loss products while obese, or when Dr Phil wrote his diet book!

During the Dr Oz interview, Emeril avoids revealing any details about his own personal medical conditions, he does mention that he’s been trying to live healthier for the last two years. I’m wondering if he has diabetes, or a pre-diabetic condition, and that is what triggered his desire to “get help”. But at the same time, how can he expect people to take him seriously when he’s clearly still struggling with his own demons even after 2 years!

I admit I always watch him when he is on HSN, selling his cooking products, but I find his sales tactics to be very questionable – following the typical HSN sales banter: ooh better order now, these are flying out the door. Our inventory won’t last the day!

In fact, it’s ironic that while he’s now claiming to be healthy, just last weekend he was still hocking his “fry right or don’t fry at all” home frier on HSN. Talk about mixed messages!

So, why do I continue to watch him if I don’t really like him? Well, I like watching HSN Cooking shows to learn about new kitchen products. And secondly, I used to really like him years ago. I enjoyed watching his TV shows and thought he was a caring person. I guess I am hoping to perhaps find bits of the old Emeril underneath the sly, pushy salesman. I’m still waiting!