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Karen/NoCA

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My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:07 pm

During our hot summer months, we get up early to enjoy the cooler air. We like to walk our dog while it is cooler because she likes it that way. I do my gardening and all my chores during the morning hours, as well, plus any appointments are made first thing in the morning, so by afternoon I am ready for some rest. If not reading I have been enjoying watching At Home with Giada, Barefoot Contessa and on Fridays Bobby Flays Addicted to BBQ. I enjoy the first two shows not so much for the cooking, but the characters. Giada's little daughter, Jade is about three now and just as pretty as her mom and is blessed by that same bubbly personality. Jade is on most of her newer shows and I am amazed at her accepence of all foods. I also enjoy Giada entertaining her friends. I've noticed she seems a lot more animated now, not sure why...perhaps she is more relaxed, or looking at life through her child's eyes. She always looks fresh, polished, and relaxed. I am amazed at how much food both she and Ina waste. Giada cuts both ends off a bunch of chives and discards them, so she has even cutting edges. Both of the ladies leave so much food on the bowls of the mixers, or in the blender or pots that quickly go into the sinks. Martha Stewart on the other hand, never leaves a crumb.

I love watching Ina, again for the characters that appear, Jeffery is interesting. Not sure if he is shy or very bored with the whole thing. TR is her special male friend and the kissing that goes back and forth beween the two of them is curious. Her gardens are beautiful and I always enjoy when she goes out to snip herbs or collect flowers. Also fun, is the shops in the Hamptons that she visits, a quick peek into some shops I will never see. Of all the chefs, Ina is the one who uses many electric appliances. Most of her shows, she will use the food processor, blender, mixer, sometimes all of them on one show. I rarely use my blender, or mixer, the food processor is used maybe twice a month, if that, and I cook a lot. Ina has some great guests.

Bobby Flay, who used to irratate me with his attitude, seems to have lightened up, or is it my imagination? He enjoys this new show (I have never seen it before) with everything BBQ, seems very relaxed and is looking very fit. He does have some very interesting recipes and the ones I have tried are always very tasty.

Just some thoughts on these shows that I have been enjoying inside and staying cool.

So, how about you, are there any food shows you like? I do watch Chopped now and them, and Restaurant Impossible. However last week, I saw such filthy kitchens I almost gagged, I've had enough of that for awhile.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Carl Eppig » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:34 pm

My sentiments exactly. We too complain about the waste in chopping and bowl emptying, but otherwise enjoy the shows. Giada was a big help with her online recipe in our trying replicate Uno's Farro Salad. Now ours is better than theirs!
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:24 pm

I will also add to my above post that I am enjoying The Pioneer Woman, and again, not so much for the cooking, but for the life on the Drummond Ranch. I love watching the kids ride horses and can they ever ride well! They are home schooled and learning everything about ranching. The two boys and two girls seem to enjoy it, plus they have a ton of fun. Ree Drummond has a sense of family and often entertains her family members who come to stay at the Lodge. It is a fun show to watch.
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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Carrie L. » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:33 pm

Interesting observations, Karen.
I'm not a huge Bobby Flay fan. For some reason he just seems very arrogant to me, so I don't watch too many of his shows. I did watch The Next Food Network Star (and like who they chose). On that show, I actually found him to be quite knowledgable, but again, a little too big for his britches.
I really like Giada. Her shows and her cooking style. In fact, I find she and Ida have similar styles, though I think Ida is a little less concerned with health, using lots of butter and cream. And, while I like Ida's entertaining and cooking style, I find her a bit uncomfortable in front of the camera. Some of her laughs seem forced, and she just seems a little awkward in her delivery and interactions at times. That said, it's got to be one of the toughest jobs to cook and be pleasant, informative and entertaining all at the same time. I also find the Pioneer Woman endearing but a little awkward as well.
I never noticed their waste in the kitchen but will now have to watch for that!
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I...I....still like oaked Chardonnay. (I feel so much better now.)
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:19 pm

Some of her laughs seem forced, and she just seems a little awkward in her delivery and interactions at times.

She does have what seems to be a forced laugh, and I have often thought it would drive me nuts...kinda like some folks who talk endlessly. I have to agree that Ina uses an abundance of high calorie products, and when I do make a recipe of hers, I use half and half instead of heavy cream, or half the butter or less than she calls for. Recipes are always very good.

I like the way Giada sneaks veggies into her recipes, or other healthy ingredients in unexpected places. I have a cookbook of hers and in it she mentions that the most often asked question for her, is now she stays so fit cooking the way she does. She replied back that even though she cooks a lot of pasta, she may only have 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Obviously, she watches her portions, and she also has a yoga instructor a few times a week, early in the day.
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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Jenise » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:36 pm

Karen,

I'm similar to you on Bobby Flay. I used to dislike him, but over the years, and probably in particular from watching Iron Chef and his mentoring on Next Food Network Star (Winger, I agree with you on Demaris), I've gradually and begrudgingly acquired respect for him. I still don't think I'd want to spend an afternoon with him the way I would Hugh Acheson :oops:, but unlike a lot of people on the Food Network and the kind of 'Star' they want to recruit (where personality trumps ability), he's extremely talented. And more to the good, if I'm cruising for a how-to recipe on something that's out of my usual ouvre, his name on a recipe is actually compelling. However, other than the shows just mentioned, which aren't really HIS shows, I don't watch him.

Ina--eh. Smart woman, nice lady. But I've never seen her do a single dish that I wanted to make myself; her voice sounds like a drone to me; 11 minutes of every 22 her show actually lasts, sans commercials, is a dessert which I could care less about; and her dependence on measuring in particular with those noisy measuring spoons drives me NUTS. I don't watch her.

Giada--I don't watch her either. I know I've seen a few of her shows in the past but I never find her food compelling. Too, I've never seen the little girl you mention so it's been a long, long time.

Laura Calder is who I could watch all the time--she DOES make the kind of food I want to cook and unlike the others I occasionally learn something from her because she's technique-, not gimmick-driven, but she only gets a few reruns on the sister network. So few I don't even bother to look.

I don't watch anyone else either. I miss the old days of Mario and Ming--those chefs, I learned from.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Christina Georgina » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:06 pm

Don't watch TV so I can't comment. I do read cookbooks and probably would agree with Jenise about Ming Tsai having read one of his and cooked from it. What terrific Asian takes on classic dishes. They were a revelation to me. Another such revelation I am having right now is Mourad The New Moroccan Cookbook. Although he is very adamant about measurements this is essential if you are not familiar with the complex interplay of spices. My go to seasonings now are schug, harissa and ras el hanout all made from his recipes and all well worth the effort.
Mamma Mia !
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:16 pm

Ming Tsai and Mario used to be my favorites too. Ming is on PBS and has a pretty good website. I watch The Chew now and then but feel that show is beneath Mario, he actually looks bored. I thought he was going to start his own Network but haven't seen anything about it.

You mentioned Ina's dependence of measuring tools....I wonder if that might stem from her background working with the government with lots of figures, and her owning Barefoot Contessa, where you want consistency with your product. As a pilot, she also had to be consistent with figures. Just a thought. I've seen her not measure at all while making a recipe saying you don't have to be exact. I also wonder if the Food Network has guidelines for the chefs and cooks, and perhaps they are different for a chef versus a cook, like Ina.
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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Fred Sipe » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:34 pm

Jenise wrote:I miss the old days of Mario and Ming--those chefs, I learned from.


Mario is the man! He has such knowledge, personality and easy grace about him. He makes it look so easy! And it's real food.
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Jenise

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Jenise » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:35 pm

From where I sit, Ina's just naturally punctilious (def: a person who takes great care to follow rules and instructions). I'm sure it suited her well in the bureaucratic life. I'm rather the opposite, which is why it stands out to me.

I would doubt the FN has any rules about anything. They don't care what you do as long as people watch your show. It's all about illusion anyway--the information presented doesn't have to be accurate and the results don't have to actually be edible--they just have to LOOK that way. Which is why so many of us find 99% of their shows more irritating than entertaining. Their programming really isn't for people like us.

Didn't know Mario was considering creating his own channel. Along that same line, tuning into the Food Network these days one might think Guy Fieri already had one of his own. He's ubiquitous! :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:43 pm

He's ubiquitous
Now that is one I cannot watch...just like Rachael Ray and a few others. Ubiquitous is a good word.
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Ted Richards

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Ted Richards » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:42 pm

Jenise wrote:Laura Calder is who I could watch all the time--she DOES make the kind of food I want to cook and unlike the others I occasionally learn something from her because she's technique-, not gimmick-driven, but she only gets a few reruns on the sister network. So few I don't even bother to look.


Jenise, all 78 of her regular shows and one special (in Season 3) are available on YouTube:

Season 1: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF117D8C41D5EBB93

Season 2: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6E77D2FDC4168F3

Season 3: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL16EBD0082627CC51

In addition, the recipes from each show are available at http://www.foodnetwork.ca/ontv/shows/french-food-at-home/episode.html?titleid=105739&episodeid=105739, although they don't always exactly match what she does on the show.

Her web site, http://lauracalder.com is finally back on the air.
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Jenise

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Jenise » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:57 am

Ted, thanks. I had not realized. I love Laura. She's a true cook--she really knows what she's doing unlike most people on the food networks these days.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:35 am

I watched Laura yesterday for the first time. I liked her very much, classy lady with just the right amount sassy atitude. I've made a few of her recipes but did not know she was on the Cooking Channel. She will be on my watch list for sure.
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Jo Ann Henderson

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Re: My thoughts on Flay, Giada, and Ina

by Jo Ann Henderson » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:11 pm

I'm a Laura Caulder fan too. Love her style in all things. There is another show I've only seen a couple time on the Cooking Channel(?) where this young woman is cooking and serving food in her closet sized apartment somewhere in France. Can't remember the name of the show. What she can turn out on a two-top stove and shoebox sized oven if pretty amazing. She has a "restaurant" that is just large enough for a couple, that she serves one night a week in her apartment. But, I've only seen it a couple times. Anyone know anything about this show?
"...To undersalt deliberately in the name of dietary chic is to omit from the music of cookery the indispensable bass line over which all tastes and smells form their harmonies." -- Robert Farrar Capon

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