Cooking Day on the Q

Oh lord, I admit it. I am a QVC cooking junkie. I just love David Venable and I try to watch the In the Kitchen With David show every Sunday (and Wednesday PM now!)

Well tomorrow is a full 24 hour day of cooking on QVC and I am so excited! Looking forward to learning about the Vitamix blender, along with seeing all the new toys. The joy starts at midnight tonight! Whoo hoo!

Would you believe that while I am a Q Junkie, I’ve never purchased one thing from them! Ha!

I’ll update this post as the day goes on!

UPDATE: 9am Sunday, Stayed up as long as I could last night to watch the Vitamix presentation, but fell asleep in bed at around 12:30am. Woke up this morning at 7:30 to watch Caroline’s show. They presented a set of two microplanes and they look pretty cool. Checked them out on amazon, and I added it to my (Amazon) shopping cart. I might buy one for zesting and cheese. We’ll see.

UPDATE: 12pm Sunday, it’s time for In the Kitchen With David – 4 hrs! whoo hoo!
Watched most of the morning shows. I find it a bit disturbing that the best selling cookbook on QVC is the Eat What You Love: More than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories book by Marlene Koch. The artificial sweetener craze is bigger than ever, and it really makes me sad. Oh well, that is a subject for another day. I did request the book from the library. Going to give it the benefit of the doubt before I condemn it!

Vitamix buzz on the QVC kitchen discussion forum is that the model offered on the Q is slightly different…and the 5 year warranty is less than the 7 year if purchased directly from A lot of people are buying them though. It’s fascinating to watch the presentations, but truthfully I don’t think I need something that elaborate. I have a blender and a food processor already, and I’m not so much into smoothies.

Stupid Domino’s Pizza Commercial

The new Domino’s commercial just infuriates me! They’re trying to jump on the grass fed bandwagon! Their new commercial is trying to give the impression that their cheese comes from happy grazing dairy cows in a pasture!

The commercial shows a “panel study” group discussing how they don’t trust the ingredients that Domino’s uses, and then all of a sudden, the walls come down and they are smack dab in the middle of a cow pasture, surrounded by cows. Yeah right! That’s realistic!

While I admire Domino’s Pizza marketing department for trying to revamp their image, starting from scratch, putting together a new pizza recipe… I hate when big food companies try to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes. Just like the ads for “happy California cows“, it’s very misleading! The majority of dairy cows do not lead a wonderful carefree life, as depicted in the new Domino’s Pizza commercial.

I would be a hypocrite if I said that I didn’t eat dairy; in fact, I adore cheese, but I try to limit my consumption just because it really is a cruel life for a dairy cow. And Domino’s Pizza is just adding to the misconception! I don’t think I’ll be trying Domino’s new improved pizza any time soon!

ETA October 28, 2010: After receiving a comment from “Dairy Farmer”

Yes, the farm in the commercial is a real farm….googled and found some info.

Truttmann Dairy, LLC is a real farm, and they look like they are doing the right thing by raising their cows naturally and grass based.

BUT it’s highly unlikely that this farm provides the bulk of Domino’s cheese inventory. My guess is, Domino’s is using a much much larger diary or dairies and Truttman’s is actually just for show to make consumers think they are getting a natural product.

Ha! After more googling, looks like I’m not the only one that doubts Domino’s intentions and marketing scheme:

There aren’t many farms left that are like Truttman’s and I applaud them for trying to do the right thing. But there is no possible way that Domino’s is using grass based naturally raised dairy on all their pizzas!

So, quit fibbing to the public, Domino’s and fess up!

Word is the next commercials will cover their naturally grown tomatoes and spinach! Can’t wait to see them!

Biggest Loser Season 10

I might be a total sap, but this season looks to be so inspiring!

I love learning about the contestants! Very motivating for me to keep on the right healthy path!

One woman, Shanna Masten (38 years old) from Arizona really got to me. She is a breast cancer survivor, having gone through treatment a year ago. I haven’t talked about it publicly yet, but both my mother and sister were diagnosed with breast cancer within weeks of each other. And I had a little scare that required a biopsy, which thankfully turned out to be nothing.

Anyway, Shanna reminded me so much of the situation with my sister and mother. She said that getting breast cancer wasn’t her “choice”, but losing weight IS her choice. She weighed in at 242 pounds. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it to the ranch, but she’ll be working hard at home (I hope)!

I’ll be rooting for all the contestants and cheering them on. They seem like a nice group of people. I like when they seem like they’re in it for health, not necessarily for the back stabbing game play!

Here is the first episode video on NBC

UPDATE October 5, 2010: Not so happy with this season so far. I thought I would really like the contestants, but I don’t like how it’s turned into more of a game vs losing weight & getting healthy. I am disappointed that it’s all about losing the most weight possible, and 5 pounds is looked upon as a failure. Come on!

Also, I don’t like the new placement of the “yellow line” at all. It just doesn’t seem fair to the girls, since it’s virtually impossible for them to lose as much as the boys. The whole thing is not fair!

I am not feeling inspired by anyone and the trainers are really pissing me off too. Jillian and Bob are getting more and more commercial! yuck!

We’ll see what happens next week

New Cooking Channel Debut Review

Original notes from MONDAY May 31, 2010 with updates from Wednesday June 2, 2010: As soon as I heard about the new Cooking Channel weeks ago, I was looking forward to today’s debut. The shows started at 7am on Monday, May 31st on the old FLN (Fine Living Network) channel. Brought to you by the same company as the Food Network, it’s more about instructional cooking sans all the reality show drama. At least that is how they are starting out. I am really looking forward to watching the old classic shows with Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet! Looks like they are starting on Tuesday at 2pm.

I woke up around 7:30 and started watching.

First Impressions of Cooking Channel Shows

Chuck’s Day Off” was on. I loved that he cooked simple, easy recipes with fresh, sustainable ingredients. That’s so important now. I liked his personality and will definitely watch again.

Next was “Everyday Exotic” – I only watched 2/3 of his first episode at 8am and 2/3 of the next one at 8:30am. He was okay. I don’t know that I would necessarily seek out his show again, but if I saw it was on again and there was nothing else, I would probably watch. I found his humming annoying, as well as how he keeps saying “crazy” or “beautiful” – too many adjectives. Maybe he had just too much nervous energy, and he’ll get better with time and experience. I do like that he takes one main ingredient (papaya, mango) and uses it throughout his recipes. He did offer some good tips. My favorite tip was that he used a pair of tongs to juice a lemon/lime. I am definitely going to try that!

UPDATE: I can’t believe the show I wasn’t so crazy about is starting to become one of my favorites. I watched Everyday Exotic a couple of times, and I really like the show now. His personality grows on you, and I am enjoying his recipes.

Continue reading “New Cooking Channel Debut Review”

Supersize Me

Yikes, watching the Super Size Me movie again on Hulu – geez, how bad is this food, but how badly would I love to eat one of those Big Macs. Oh darn, that looks goooood!

One of my favorite lines from the movie: “When I have kids, every time I drive by a fast food restaurant I am going to punch my kid in the face…and he’ll never want to come.”

Morgan Spurlock was speaking to a law professor sitting at a table at McDonalds, and they are discussing how the marketing of the fast food industry is similar to how candy cigarettes were used by the tobacco industry for brand imprinting.

Julie & Julia

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize” (Julie Child)

I just watched the “Julie & Julia” movie last night and loved it! The movie was light and bright and fun. I loved the parts about Julia Child’s life. So many fascinating aspects of her story. I am wanting to learn more. NO, I don’t want to cook with more butter and cream, but her “fearlessness” in the kitchen is so inspiring!

I want to try to cook more complex recipes! So inspiring!

Yes, it was a little disappointing that Julie never got to meet her idol though.

After googling though, I understand a little better why Julia Child was so negative about it. She didn’t like stunts and was very protective of her name, and felt exploited when anyone made money using it. Plus, she thought that Julie wasn’t a “serious” cook, always complaining. LOL

I found Julie Powell’s online blog “The Julie/Julia Project” and was initially disappointed that I couldn’t find all her entries. I realized I didn’t look far enough. The blog navigation is not very user friendly. Start at the first blog entry, and work your way forward using the calendar dates. Once you reach the end of the month, click the next month link, and so on. It is disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be any reader comments left though.

But I will start reading it. The beauty of cooking blogs are the photos, and with no photos and comments on this blog, we’ll see how far I get.

I was going to request her book from the library, but after reading some of the negative reviews online, I changed my mind. I don’t want to ruin the enjoyment of the movie, and I don’t want any negative feelings clouding my judgment of Julie Powell. So, we’ll just leave it alone.

The Biggest Loser on FLN (Fine Living Network)

I finished watching (Fine Living Network) FLN’s rebroadcast of season 7 of the Biggest Loser. It’s been on every weekday morning at 8am and I have a ritual with my two doggies, to stay in bed, have a little breakfast, play on the computer, and watch the Biggest Loser before I head to work.

I didn’t become a regular Biggest Loser fan until season 8, so it’s been fantastic to catch up with older seasons. After watching season 5 with Allie Vincent winning, I was excited to view season 6, with Vickie, the game playing manipulator I heard so much about. But unfortunately, they skipped season 6, and started playing season 7, which was okay.

So now they are repeating season 8. Wow, I watched the original shows, but it was really great to see them at the “beginning” again to realize how far the contestants have come! Especially Shay Sorrells – she is such an inspiration. I follow her on Facebook, & I think she’s just great!

I also adore Amanda and Rebecca. I don’t know why, but I find such inspiration in the Biggest Loser contestants. I know there are a lot of people who disapprove of the show and their weight loss tactics, but peel away all the “Made For TV” crap, and you’ll find human beings finding a new way of life for themselves. I find motivation in their daily struggles! I can relate to their pain and determination. Now that I am so close to finishing my weight loss journey, I need to keep finding new inspirations to maintain all I have accomplished. And the Biggest Loser helps!

And yay, a new episode is on tonight!

Cynthia Kereluk Everyday Workout

I have been trying to concentrate more on aerobics lately. I have been watching a couple of cable OnDemand aerobics shows but I also found all of my old fitness VHS tapes and have been converting to DVD.

So I made a couple of DVDs containing some shows from Cynthia Kereluk Everyday Workout (originally on Lifetime TV). Oh what memories she brought back!

I officially played one of her shows last night and it kicked my butt! It’s amazing how poor my aerobic endurance is! It is a little discouraging but at the same time, I am motivated to do better!

But getting back to Cynthia Kereluk! I just love her! I loved her years ago and it’s so good to be using her fitness shows again! She’s an inspiration and gives me a boost of confidence!

The other day, I googled her name to see if I could find current info on her, but came up empty! I was hoping that she would have a fitness web site somewhere, but the latest info I found was that she married Paul Rodgers from Bad Company back in 2007.

I wish I could tell her how much she means to me, both now and then! And that she’s a big inspiration for my fitness goals! I am lucky to have saved a bunch of her workout shows, and now I can enjoy them once again. They are timeless!

Yoga Journal’s Beginning Yoga Step By Step DVD Review

I found the #1 DVD from the Yoga Journal’s: Beginning Yoga Step by Step Session 1-3 at the library this week.

I watched it last night. Yes, it’s a wonderful yoga DVD, but no, it is certainly NOT for beginners.

I found it funny to read the positive reviews on Amazon, stating that it’s great for those beginning yoga; at the same time they also said that they either had prior yoga experience or were already very athletic. How could they possibly know how a true beginner feels? They are several steps above someone with not as much fitness ability.

Well I am not very athletic (yet) and I don’t have a whole heck of a lot of flexibility and upper body strength (yet), so it does qualify me a true Yoga beginner. I wanted to love this DVD. I really want to do yoga! But for now, this DVD is way ahead of my abilities.

I was frustrated because I was trying to do the poses, and at the same time, cranking my neck to look at the TV. She suggested that less flexible beginners should “watch Jason” but the problem was, Jason was rarely in the shot when she was initially demonstrating the poses. He was way off to the side. It would have been so much easier to actually see him in the shot, so I could see the modifications.

When she specifically show Jason’s demo, it was always AFTER I had already tried it myself; by that time, I was feeling a bit confused and lost. I tried to keep up, but it was frustrating because I wasn’t sure if I was doing the poses correctly.

After a few minutes, I restarted the DVD, and tried to follow along a second time. I really loved the initial pose, but by the time I got to Downward Dog and Cobra, etc. I just didn’t feel very confident.

So, I don’t think this DVD is for me, at this point in my life, but I will keep trying. I won’t give up on yoga. I found a set of old VHS videos on really simple yoga and I might try that next. Then once I gain more upper body strength and flexibilty, then I will revisit the Yoga Journal’s: Beginning Yoga Step by Step DVD and see how much I have improved.

Supersize Me

I am now a huge (no pun intended) fan of Morgan Spurlock.

His book, Don’t Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America started it all for me!

I knew fast food was bad for my health, but I didn’t really realize how bad until I took a real close look at the calories of all the Wendy’s food I was regularly eating. Wow! Like a ton of bricks, I realized that I was eating way too much! I needed to make a change.

I started with a desire to stop eating so much processed food, and a commitment to learn more about food in general.

I don’t know why, but I chose the audio version of Don’t Eat This Book to be my first learning tool.

The book is based on his experiences during the filming of the “Super Size Me” movie. For one month, Morgan ate nothing but McDonald’s food. He gains weight, his health deteriorates, and he feels like crap!

Sure, I knew how horrible McDonalds’ food was for your health, but the book really made me realize how evil these food companies really are, with their sneaky advertising tactics peddled directly at children. Our nation is in extreme disarray, with more and more of our adults and children becoming overweight and obese. Diabetes is skyrocketing!

I chose the audio version of the book because I love audio podcasts, so I knew it would be great to hear on the way to work. I was right! The audio of Don’t Eat This Book is excellent. It’s Morgan Spurlock’s voice you hear; he has a great personality so listening to the book is very easy. He made all the boring facts interesting, and I enjoyed how he separated the “sidebar” text. He added voice “impressions” for the different characters in the book, which added a ton of humor. I don’t know if the book would have been as enjoyable if I didn’t “listen” as opposed to “reading” it. He really made it special!

Listening to this book set me on the path I am on today. The decision to try to limit or completely remove processed food from my everyday diet can hopefully make my life more healthy and enriched. But what about everyone else? It’s very sad how people are blind to the poison that McDonalds, Coke, and countless other big food corporations are pushing on us. I wish everyone could read (or listen to) this book! Just don’t eat this book! hahaa

So, I finished the audio book, and was intrigued to watch the movie “Super Size Me” now.

Luckily, I found it for free on – cool!

I started to watch it the other day on my laptop while working out on the treadmill, then took a break after about 20 minutes. I started it up again in the kitchen on Tuesday while I was cooking dinner. Would you believe my dear hubby came in, and decided to watch it as well. I was so happy! I wanted him to see this too!

It’s such an important message, and something we can’t afford to ignore any longer! We all need to open our eyes and minds and STOP eating this junk!

Shopping Links:

PS I admit though there were times when watching him eat those greasy burgers and fries, that a little part of me was craving to grab a bite for myself! Gawd, it’s very sad how they have snuck into our brains!