Hail to the Chef

Hail to the ChefI am a horrible cook. Well not horrible, just a lackluster cook. I don’t like planning meals, shopping for groceries or preparing food, which makes it absolutely nutty that I’m addicted to cooking and food shows! I love Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, MasterChef, and the Great Food Truck Race. And then there is Come Dine with Me, The Next Food Network Star and Restaurant Impossible. I could list probably a half a dozen more but I figure that you’ve already gotten the idea 🙂

What’s even crazier about these shows is that most of the things they prepare aren’t really things I usually dine on when I go out to eat. It’s kind of foo foo, fancy schmancy, small portions that are made with ingredients that my local grocery probably doesn’t even carry. Yet I’m glued to the TV, watching the chefs chop veggies with wild abandon, cooking with new techniques, like liquid nitrogen, and touching all the food while plating (yuck!).

I continue to be mesmerized while the “expert” panel of judges, taste, analyze and dissect each morsel, with a proliferation of flowery adjectives, and decide whether the bite of food was seasoned and flavorful enough for their discerning palates. Of course, we the viewer, have to take their taste buds word for it because we can neither taste nor smell the plates, obviously it’s a visual experience only!

I have to say though that the few times I’ve been lucky enough to visit a television top chefs’ restaurant (Gordon Ramsey, Emeril Lagasse, Rick Bayless) never once did I say, “Man, that was the best meal I’ve ever eaten”…never!  I don’t know whether that means I’m not classy enough to appreciate fine dining or whether those that do love it feel they must because they just forked over a weeks’ salary for their dinner. Probably a little of both!

So I will continue to indulge my love for cooking and food television shows from the comfort of my couch with my PB&J sandwich on my plate, a bag of chips by my side and a beer in my hand. Just because I don’t like cooking, shopping or preparing food doesn’t mean I don’t love eating it!

Probably not the best idea when you’re on a diet!

Today as I pack for my trip to Washington DC, I am enduring one more day of hard-core dieting because I know once I’m away from home, in a city filled with the some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted, I will not deny myself some extra calories!  In fact I’m happy to say I am only a few pounds shy of my wedding day goal, and with six weeks to go, I’m just hoping I haven’t peaked too early 🙂

So maybe, because I know I’m approaching the finish line, I let my fingers do the walking on the keyboard today, and I’ve discovered a few terrific food websites. To be honest most of the time when I’m looking for anything related to food on the internet, it has something to do with ordering a pizza, printing out a Living Social deal, or going on OpenTable to book a reservation, but today I think I just wanted to look at all the pretty pictures.

1. Serious Eats came to my attention because of this terrific looking recipe for Rummy Bears!

How amazing is this?! Not exactly food I know, but it did lead me to their website, which is overflowing with drool worthy photos and articles about all things yummy.

2.  Food 52 I found in a very circuitous way. Neatorama < BuzzFeed < Food 52!  And isn’t this why we all spend so much time on the internet??  BuzzFeed had this interesting article about ‘8 ways to eat well and cheaply‘, that showed Food52 as the byline. Okay I have now mentioned this website three times and I promise they are not paying me in alcohol soaked gummi bears! Anyway they have some interesting articles about food and some good looking recipes too.

3. The Pioneer Woman website is not new to me, I just haven’t looked at it for awhile because her recipes are anything but lo-cal!   Here in the States, Ree Drummond has published several books, has her own show on the Food Network and also publishes this blog and website. Her recipes are simple, delicious and made from fresh ingredients. Even I can make something great for dinner when I follow her step by step directions. Each step is photographed and she tells it like it is even when she makes a mistake! Her sense of humor shines through on the page and she makes cooking seem like fun.

Well, I think I’ve tortured myself enough for one day. First I find all these forbidden delights on the internet and then I relive the experience by writing about them on this blog!

Founding Farmers here I come!