In an effort to keep your voracious appetite for my culinary musings satisfied, I’ve decided to start a new feature on this blog, cleverly titled “Amuse Boosh!“.  It features mini-diatribes which will be published in-between my usual long-ass diatribes.  You’re very welcome.  That’ll be ten bucks.

Aunt Sandy sez: "Look at me: I tablescaped my head!"

Have you ever sat around your home on some random weekday and thought to yourself “Man, I could really use a little more Sandra Lee in my life”?  Well, if so, today’s your lucky day, person who doesn’t exist.  Whenever you get yourself a hankerin’ for a little Aunt Sandy wackiness and existential confusion, just head on over to her website, click on her blog, and read away for the latest in lazy, drunken homemaking!  I did just that, recently, and found her newest entry particularly entertaining.  Parse along with me, won’t you?*

__________________

This past Sunday, September 12, was Grandparents’ Day. It was especially fitting that the newest season of “Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee” premiered on the same day. After fourteen seasons of “Semi-Homemade Cooking,” my Grandma Lorraine is still the main inspiration for Semi-Homemade.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Wait just a second, there, darlin’.  I’m sorry: “Semi-Homemade” has been on television for 14 SEASONS?!?!  Perhaps the scripts for Arrested Development should have consisted of 70% recycled material and 30% original content.  Maybe then it would still be on the air.

She raised me on a very limited budget, but showed me how to make things beautiful while on a budget. Following her around the kitchen, I learned that personal touches and savvy shortcuts can make anything extraordinary.

“I remember one night when we only had three grand to completely transform our kitchen to reflect the meal she was making for dinner.  But, somehow, with a little elbow grease and numerous trips to various housewares stores, we managed to make our kitchen look like the inside of a Lewis Carroll-inspired whore house.”

In a surprise twist for the new season of “Semi-Homemade Cooking,” I’ve

decided to cook stuff that doesn’t look and taste like shit?

adapted my Semi-Homemade philosophy so that I’ll be cooking with 70% in-season, fresh ingredients and only 30% ready-made products.

Oh.  Check out homegirl, flippin’ the script.  Does this mean that we need to change the name?  Should it now be “Semi-Store Bought”?  “Mostly Homemade”?  “Still Fucking Terrible”?  “Why, God, Why?”

I’m excited that I will be able to provide alternatives – whether it’s a healthier option or a more convenient shortcut. To make things even easier for you, I will be updating SandraLee.com every week with each new episode’s recipes and tablescape tips for you.

I’ve got a great tablescape tip for you: instead of taking the time to make idiotic and vomit-inducing tablescapes to creep out your guests, don’t do that.

My  Garden Fresh party’s menu and tablescape is online for you now – it is perfect for putting together a fabulous, floral brunch to savor the last days of summer.

Let’s check it out, shall we?  Well, there’s the centerpiece, there are the accents, the ubiquitous cocktails, there’s the broc-  Oh, sweet mother of Vishnu.  Oh, sweet Colonel Kurtz’s horror.  WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?!?!

I... Uh... There's no caption for this**.

According to the recipe, this is boiled broccoli covered with a lattice-work made from some sort of  yogurt, cream cheese, and onion soup mix concoction, and was created in the darker recesses of Edgar Allen Poe’s tortured psyche.  For those of you keeping track of irony, at home, this recipe was featured on the Food Network.

Many amazing episodes are ahead, with guests both old and new. My adorable nephew Bryce is returning. He helps me throw a colorful birthday bash in this Sunday’s episode (check out the pictures – we had a blast). My sister Kimmie will be joining me for four episodes.

Please tell me that Kimmie is a CIA-trained chef.

Of course, there’s my favorite Halloween special this season. I spent this past weekend shooting the Halloween episode at the New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park, New York. I can’t reveal  what costumes I’ll be wearing, but I promise it will be

…Cleavage-filled?

truly grand and medieval (hint hint!).

Ding, ding, ding! Slutty medieval wench costume, here we come!

I will be donning five elaborate costumes and whipping up five recipes in 30 minutes. It was loads of fun shooting, and I can’t wait for you to see the episode.

I can.  So, six minutes per recipe?  Yeah, that sounds about right.  I’m super psyched to test your six-minute roast chicken recipe.

This week, I’m in Birmingham, Alabama shooting photos for forthcoming issues of my magazine. Today, I’m headed to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and tomorrow, it’ll be all about “in the kitchen.”

I’m taking that as a threat.

I hope you are enjoying the new SandraLee.com, which is still in its testing stage.

Unlike your recipes, which have obviously been vetted in the most stringent of trial periods.

I would love to hear your feedback on the website or on Facebook, so that I can make it even better to become the go-to online kitchen helper for you, my fellow Semi-Homemakers.  Until next time, remember to keep it simple, keep it smart, keep it sweet, and keep it Semi-Homemade!

Ironically, after reading this, I need a pitcher of some Sandra Lee cocktails.  Seriously, I feel like I’m living in a Kafka novel.  Anyway, until next time, remember to keep it sexy, keep it sleeping with high-priced call girls, keep it sarcastic, and keep it Semi-sober!

______________
*This post was inspired by the brilliance that is Fire Joe Morgan week at Deadspin.  The FJM guys do it way better than I do, but they do it better than everyone, so oh, well.
**Delicious “Broccoli Pie” photo is from foodnetworkhumor.com, always fighting the good fight.

A Simple Breakfast

13 September 2010

Breakfast at Tiffany's is great . . . up until she tells you that you remind her of her father.

The terrible truth is that I will never be a great chef.  I won’t open restaurants, I won’t have Frank Bruni faun over my food, and I won’t have the enviable burden of Michelin stars.  I haven’t put my name and money on the line and had to back it up with my cooking.  I haven’t given heart and soul to the betterment of our culinary history.  I haven’t done any of that.  But, what is more important, what is pertinent, is that neither have  you.  We’re all in this together.  We all cook.  It is what we do to make ourselves, and those around us, feel good.  I’m okay with the fact that I’m never going to be a great chef, because I know that what I make makes others happy.  I’m comfy with it.  We should all be comfy with it.  After all, we’re still cooks.  We cook because we love.  I’ll still endeavor to create great dishes, take pleasure in fresh ingredients, attempt to better myself as a cook, and try to put my bad part in pretty girls.  That’s what we can do as cooks.  But, luckily for us there are those who have gone to great lengths  to manifest their souls on a plate.  Those who have – perhaps not literally, but surely figuratively – put their lives on the line.  So, who are we, mere cooks, to ignore these culinary giants?  Sometimes, we need to go the pros.  To those who are preternaturally better at this thing than anyone else.  Which is why, for breakfast, you need to speak with my buddy, Jacques Pepin.

If you don’t have Jacques’ book, “The Apprentice,” you need to get that shit, immediately.  Jacques, as you can tell by his name, is Mexican.  Just kidding, he’s French.  It’s the best autobiography of a chef I’ve ever read, mostly because I could read it while sounding out the words in a French accent, in my head.  Also, he imparts, as all good chefs should, the recipes he’s learned.  One of those recipes happens to be the best breakfast recipe of all time.  There’s no bacon or sausage or morning sex in it, but holy balls is it good.

Put it In

Eggs
Garlic
Parsley
Milk
Salt and Pepper
Oil
Mustard

Doins’ a Transpirin’

Hard boil some eggs.  Split ’em in twain, and remove the yolks.  Take the yolks and put them in a bowl with chopped garlic, parsley, a splash of milk, and the ol’ salt and pepper.  Mash the mixture up, and divide it into the hollows of the egg whites.  Heat some oil in a pan, and put your eggs – stuffed side down – on the heat.  Cook for two or three minutes, and you’re good.

Sure, it doesn’t have the heft of an English fry-up, and there ain’t a lot of nitrates, but it’s basically deviled eggs for breakfast, and I hate you if that isn’t up your alley.  Now, go make some Oeufs Jeannette;  kiss the Swedish supermodel you brought home, last night; and let the gods delight in you culinary mastery.  Because, after all, we’re cooks, aren’t we?

A cute hipster-chick wearing a beret isn't necessary for this recipe, but it is advisable.