I want to talk a little more about Sandra Lee and some of the reasons why she drives me bonkers.
Like most people, I do use convenience products in some of my recipes and even have some frozen rising crust pizza in my freezer right now. *the horror!* Does that make me a hypocrite? I don't think so because:
A) I never pretend that I made something from scratch when it's not. I'll tell you straight up that it's frozen pizza, I used store bought bread, etc... In other words, I don't try to "take all the credit" if I didn't do the work.
B) When I use a convenience product, I always try to use it in a logical manner. For instance I have a very simple beef brisket recipe from Mama Hairball where you sprinkle some powdered onion soup mix over the brisket, cover it with foil and bake it in the oven. I don't buy apple pies,
cheesecakes or canned frosting and then try to turn them into something else.
C)When Sandra Lee spouts off about how buying all those seasoning packets and mixes saves you money, I really see red. ( I'm not talking to those of you who live in double or triple coupon land and are skilled couponers/sale shoppers who routinely get stuff for free or almost free.) The average shopper is going to spend more money over time if they rely heavily on the boxes, mixes, and pouches versus learning to make their own. Sandra uses math that focuses exclusively on what she spends today instead of overall spending to make her point. Yes, a five pound bag of flour (when it's not a loss leader item) at the grocery store *will* cost more than a box of cake mix but, you can make a lot more than one cake with that five pounds of flour. One seasoning packet does cost less than five or six bottles of spices but, how many meals can you get out of those five or six bottles versus the seasoning packet??
How the food looks and tastes is much more important to me than "tablescapes" and redecorating my kitchen and myself to coordinate with the food. I think some fresh flowers and pretty plates are a lovely accent to a good meal but, "tablescapes" can never make up for a substandard meal.
My "tablescapes" are more on the order of asking Mr. Hairball to please take the mail off the table and scoot the lamp down to the end so we have room to eat. In other words no chairs on the table!
Lastly, her unrestrained glee over her cocktails is just disturbing to me. She never thinks that some of her adult guests might want an nonalcoholic beverage instead of her drunken delights.