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Old 03-29-2009, 04:26 PM   #11
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I don't get Sandra Lee here in Canada so can't comment. Rachel Ray I think has a good concept of helping people make nice meals in a short time. I know I have been known to take a few shortcuts in my home cooking (don't tell my clients please LOL!!!) and there are people who want to cook like a pro but just don't have the abilities, money, time, and/or facilities to do it. These ladies serve a purpose.

Again, I haven't seen Sandra Lee's Table Scapes, but I have seen Martha Stewart do some pretty over the top table presentations.....for a child's birthday, among other occasions. As Callisto says, you take from it what you want or leave it. But I do find it interesting to see what they do!

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Old 03-29-2009, 04:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Callisto in NC View Post
I think the point is if you are having a special occasion, you pick one and use it. She has some interesting ideas. The thought process is to help, not be budget friendly to buy every tablescape she presents.
Right on Calisto, good point.I don't believe for a minute that she keeps all these things from her table scapes at home. What she is intending,is to show us different ideas for different things..Having a special party, her ideas can help you,you don't have to copy them item for item.Remember as well, her short cuts help those of us who have several small children,work, keep house and cook the meals. We love our families and there for use some shortcuts so we can spend time with each other. Sure she uses pre-cut veggies, so if we have the money or the veggies are on special, why not? The main thing is the food is on the table and you are all together.

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Old 03-29-2009, 04:41 PM   #13
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I don't get Sandra Lee, either, but I have watched her when I am in the states. Rachel Ray we get daily on our local satellite service. I don't agree she is a lazy cook, either. She does not use alot (if any) processed/convenience food and her premise is "get it on the table in 30 minutes." Sandra Lee struck me as a type of cooking I don't care for - lots of processed and prepared foods. HOWEVER, it is at least home cooking, and there are many many families (I used to live next door to one) that NEVER cook, and Sandra Lee's cooking is better than going out for fast food. To each his own...if I only had 1/2 hour to get dinner on the table every night, I'd use some shortcuts, too. And lots of young cooks today grew up in families where both parents were working hard and they never learned to cook. To me, the effort is what is important. I am not a food snob, and the lack of food snobbery on this board is one of the things that drew me here and keeps me here.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:56 PM   #14
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I wasn't a big fan of Sandra Lee either until I made one of her dishes. I am the cook of the family. Both my wife and I work. I tend to like good tasting food and my wife dosen't cook. So it's up to me to come up with things to cook.

One thing I noticed is that Sandra Lee always has some alcohol in her food. Like wine, vodka, etc..etc... I really like to cook with wine. Also I noticed they stuff that is store bought tend to be things like pre-chopped carrots, or frozen cut potatoes. So it's easy to substitute, say the frozen potatoes for some real ones and cut them yourself. You just save time on the other stuff.

But I found her food great tasting and starting making more of her dishes.

My .02
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:44 PM   #15
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While I don't care for the use of lots of processed foods and mixes (usually heavily laced with salt), I find that some of Sandra Lee's recipes give me a good base to start with, using my own substitutions for prepackaged sauces & mixes. Just a couple weeks ago an episode aired on soul food. The Smothered Chicken recipe looked delicious, so I printed it out, and made my own homemade gravy instead buying bottled gravy, and made my own flour dredge in place of Dixie Mix. It came out wonderful, and I'm sure the salt was reduced by about 75% because I was cooking from scratch and not for long term storage in someone's pantry. I guess you could say i separate the wheat from the chaff.

My wife likes the tablescapes, but she admits that tablescapes are really something the average person only uses a handful of times each year. I think it's more of a trademark of her show than something that's really being promoted for every day use. I'm sure the ladies like it more than the men.

I watch most of these chefs/cooks and hope to glean a tip here and there or a useful recipe the same way, but realize that they are also there for their entertainment value.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:50 PM   #16
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Welcome to DC, flyguy. I agree that her recipes are certainly adaptable. When a recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup, for example, I find that a well-seasoned white sauce works great and probably tastes better. And it certainly cuts down on the salt.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:05 PM   #17
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In my family growing up, as long as the tableware was clean and we had enough plates, glasses etc., we considered it good. Occasionally we'd have a centerpiece if it was a special party (shower, graduation etc) so the table scapes I don't care for. I think it is more important to have good food and good friends than good decorations. As for the food, I don't watch Sandra much. The few times I caught her show I wasn't impressed. Rachel on the other hand I like. She does her own cooking using fresh ingredients but points out that you can substitute store bought products if you want. She is very encouraging to timid cooks. So many of the ones on tv seem to be food snobs and Rachel really breaks that mold.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:43 AM   #18
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Like some have said, Sandra Lee caters to many people that are not comfortable cooking from scratch. Many young people have little interest in the art of cooking, they would rather have an almost ready made meal.

Although I don't do tablescapes except for special occasions, I do like some of her ideas. Some are too far out for my tastes but I am sure there are many that do do them.
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:48 PM   #19
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I also find her tablescape segment totally hilarious/ridiculous. I guess it could do for a special occasion, but the whole idea is more suited to the home & garden channel or something. I mainly watch the show(whenever I randomly come across it) to stare at her for a few minutes =D
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:57 PM   #20
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This abomination, supposedly a Kwanzaa Cake, tells you all you need to know about Ms. Lee's culinary talents:

Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake Video

BTW, what she calls "acorns" are, of course, Corn Nuts.

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