A Cook for the People: In Defense of Sandra Lee

Look, I work eight hours a day on my feet at the SuperTarget and then I have to drop the kids off at judo class in time for Dr. Oz, so I can’t go around marinating and roasting some sort of fucking loin for hours on end.  I NEED TO GET SHIT DONE AND IN MY FACE FUCKING PRONTO.  This is why I make things easier for myself.  Why would I waste the time using a knife to chop things when I can magic bullet the hell out of those vegetables?  Saves time and money, folks, so don’t you look silly ninety minutes later and you still haven’t finished the sauté. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here doing something more worthwhile, like learning how to lose weight by conga dancing, or wondering why I’m not getting my prescribed three orgasms a week, or worrying if my occasional headaches means I have brain cancer.

Sandra Lee understands.  She knows what it’s like.  She basically took over the house at eleven years old and practically raised her four younger siblings, buying and cooking all the food and everything.  Did you know that?  I bet you didn’t know that.  Because if you did you might give her a fucking break if one of her recipes only takes a few minutes to make or tastes awful.  Not everything has to be in the Michelin guide, people!  Sure, she uses mostly prepackaged stuff, but according to the rules, thirty percent of it all is fresh ingredients.  Thirty percent!  That’s a pretty good rate, if I say so myself.  It’s thirty percent more than the microwaved crap I used to eat, believe me.  So what if it’s mostly store-bought?  Isn’t that where everyone buys their food, the store?

Let’s look at a random recipe of hers off the Food Network website:

Fried Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Pepper Relish and Artichoke Caper Dip
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: —
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings


For Ravioli:

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 (9-ounce) package 4 cheese ravioli

For Tomato Pepper Relish:

  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 diced Roma tomato
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

For Artichoke Caper Dip:

  • 1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a straight-sided skillet, heat 2-inches of oil, over medium-high heat. Oil is ready when the tip of a wooden skewer is inserted and the oil bubbles around it. When oil is ready, carefully fry ravioli until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

For Tomato Pepper Relish:
In small bowl, combine red peppers and tomatoes. Stir in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar; set aside.

For Artichoke Caper Dip:
In small bowl, combine artichoke hearts, capers, mayonnaise, sour cream, parmesan cheese, and lemon juice; set aside.

Serve ravioli hot with Tomato Pepper Relish and Artichoke Caper Dip.

What the hell is so wrong with that?   Nothing as far as I can see!  But some of the commenters on the site are downright cruel.  I hardly think your husband would divorce you because he didn’t like a meal you made, MrsDocChuck, so let’s not resort to hyperbole.

Plus, she knows what we all need at the end of a long day: a fucking drink.  And not just the same boring beverage over and over.  She’s constantly experimenting and creating new and exciting cocktails.  Not every one will be a success, but how will you know that lemonade, vodka, and heavy cream cocktail doesn’t taste good unless you try it.  Sandra also knows drinks for every occasion and holiday, from Christmas to Kwanzaa.  Summertime picnic, summertime cocktail.  New BBC nature documentary on?  I bet she could whip you up a “David Attenbourbon” lickety split.

And we mustn’t forget the tablescapes.  Oh, the tablescapes.  Who in their right mind would want to eat at a bland table with nothing decorative on it?  Sandra comes in and jazzes the sweaty fuck out of that table.  Doesn’t it look pretty?  Doesn’t it?  Don’t you think it looks pretty?  It looks pretty.  Yes.  How does your fucking table look, huh?  What’s that, kind of empty and boring?  Figured.

Fine, Sandra Lee is not the best chef in the world, I’ll give you that.  And her ceaselessly happy and bubbly personality is a little unnerving.  But she’s functional.  She can teach you know how to quickly throw together some random crap you have lying around with plenty of time left over to make another cocktail.  Let’s see Rachel Ray feed a family of five with a BAC of 0.15.

About Tim

Tim Bennett works for a publisher of science and technology, amongst other things.
This entry was posted in Home of the Bizarre Rant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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