I watched an episode of the new cookbook cooking show called “Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag” and fell in love! It’s on Oprah Winfrey’s new TV network, OWN.
The premise of the show is refreshing! Each episode is different. Two home cooks (Anna & Kristina) choose a specific cookbook, read it, experiment, then come together for one afternoon of cooking a few distinct recipes; then they ask an expert chef to taste their culinary creations and he/she rates the finished dishes.
The show is true to life with mistakes and food “disasters” – while I have read others criticize them for this, I think that is what makes the show so endearing! They are not expert chefs, so they make mistakes and we can learn from them through the show! I love that they bring it down to our level! Don’t be afraid, just try it, and who cares if you fail!
The show also offers tips and recommendations on ingredients, cooking tools, and equipment. For example, one show I watched, centered on the cook book “Nobu West“, also had an impromptu crab tasting, asking passersby to decide whether fresh is really better than canned crab, and yes, it was! They also had a kitchen tool testing segment on why it’s better to use a “sushi knife” than a chef knife when cutting sushi rolls and ingredients.
It’s such a great idea for a show, as there are so many web blogs online cooking through specific cookbooks. It’s great that someone finally created a show about the same thing! After doing research on Anna & Kristina, it appears the show isn’t actually “new” – it premiered in Canada in 2008, and they completed their 3rd season.
I am so bummed I didn’t start DVRing their shows until the other day, but thankfully I only missed a few episodes from last week, and it appears that OWN is replaying them throughout the day, so hopefully I’ll eventually be able to catch all of the episodes, especially the “Cook With Jamie” episode!
I’m so enthused about this show, I can hardly wait to learn more about all of these wonderful cookbooks, whether they receive their “seal of approval” or not!
You can find out more about Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag show by visiting their web site. There’s also a lot of detailed info about each episode from all three seasons, including recipes, ingredients, tools, and cook book reviews.
OWN = Oprah Winfrey Network, check your local listings for channel info, or check the OWN web site.
UPDATED January 30, 2011: I’ve been watching episodes from Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag on my DVR (in fact, I’m all caught up) and I still really like the show. Some episodes are better than others, but I really enjoy the equipment and food reviews, as well as learning more about cookbooks, most of which I hadn’t heard of before. I plan on borrowing a lot of them from my local library!