"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's a Sandy thing, you wouldn't understand...

I was thinking that some of my readers may be puzzled by the alternate spellings, expressions, etc.. that show up on my blog. I'll try to explain what is going on for those who are unfamiliar with the television show Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. I learned these terms from spending way too much time over at the TWoP board for her show!!

I'm sure I missed some terms or made mistakes along the way. Hopefully, some of my fellow shrikes will point out any glaring errors or omissions! If you know the origin of a word or phrase, please let me know.

Thanks to Rosie Hawthorne of Kitchens are Monkey Business for her kind assistance!

Words sometimes used in place of her given name of Sandra:

  • Aunt Drunky
  • Aunt Sandy
  • Ol' Puddin' Cups
  • Sandy
  • SLoP/SLOP/SLop
  • Snadra
  • Snads
  • SHAMdra/Shamdra
  • Wal-Martha
A guide to the alternate pronunciations Sandy uses:
  • Aig-egg
  • Aigstract/eggstract-a liquid extract such as vanilla
  • Arussipees/russipees- recipes
  • Bee-yooo-tee-ful-beautiful
  • Day-kor-decor
  • Delishus-delicious
  • Engines from the sky -angels from the sky
  • Expresso -espresso
  • Fiend herbs-fine herbs
  • Flay ming yon-filet mignon
  • F'ntastic-fantastic
  • fohndont-fondant
  • Gaw-jus-gorgeous
  • Gerbil-chervil
  • Gorganzola-Gorgonzola
  • Groshury -grocery
  • Hard-bowled aigs-hard boiled eggs
  • Imonna- I am going to ...
  • Inajar- in a jar
  • INto-into ( she emphasizes the first syllable)
  • Joos/joose-juice
  • lil'-little
  • Manaise/maynase-mayonnaise
  • MARScapone-Mascarpone
  • Melk-milk
  • Mirinira-Marinara as in Marinara sauce
  • ONto -onto ( she emphasizes the first syllable)
  • Oranj-orange
  • Prisontation-presentation
  • Razzburry-raspberry
  • Rose peppers- roasted peppers
  • Regulur- regular
  • Sodalicious- so delicious
  • Strawburry-strawberry
  • Treasurly-tres jolie
  • Vanella-vanilla
  • Vinegar-ette -vinaigrette
  • Woostishyer- Worcestershire Sauce
  • Wunnerful-wonderful
Words and phrases Sandy uses and their meanings:
  • Acorns-corn nuts. See Kwanzaa Cake
  • Any word with extra 'l's-Same word with the correct number of 'l's.
  • Attention to detail- What Sandy says regarding something she has done that she perceives as special or going the extra mile.
  • Balsamic- Balsamic vinegar
  • Bacon joos/joose- Bacon grease
  • Can I just tell you? -What Sandy says before she explains or confides something.
  • Cocktail time- This is the segment when Sandy makes up very potent alcoholic drinks on her show.
  • Cooking from scratch- See 'Monkey business'.
  • Dolled-up-To use one convenience product to change the appearance or taste of another convenience product . Rarely, she will use a fresh product in the same manner. Can also apply to non-food items in a decorating sense.
  • Embellish-See Dolled-up.
  • Fancy-dancy-Something Sandy perceives as elite, expensive, or fussy.
  • France the 'City of Lights'-Sandy said this on her French Foods episode. It is assumed that she meant to refer to the city of Paris which is located in the country of France.
  • Gravy-This is either the liquid that accumulates in a slowkukker after cooking meat, or the jarred, canned, or dry packet versions from your regulur groshury store.
  • Great flavor- Means it contains booze or a seasoning packet. Sometimes it will contain both.
  • I cannot wait for that watermelon fizz!!-Sandy said this in the Sunset Clambake episode. It was at the very end of a rambling run-on sentence where she extolled the virtues of being outside in a swimsuit near a body of water.
  • Joos/Joose - The liquid from any fruit, vegetable, or canned product. It sometimes also refers to the grease that can result from cooking a meat product. Example: INto this bowl, Imonna pour this bacon joos ONto my green beans.
  • Kitchenscape- Same as tablescape but in the kitchen.
  • Kurtain Kraft- Pre-shaped wire product that you thread fabric through for decorating. Invented by Sandra Lee. Shrikes sometimes add extra 'k's or replace the letter 'c' with a 'k' as a joke in reference to this product.
  • Kwanzaa Cake- An store bought angel food cake in which the hole in the middle of the cake has been 'embellished' with apple pie filling and the outside of the cake is frosted with some 'dolled-up' canned frosting. It is then further 'embellished' by sprinkling corn nuts, (which Sandra calls 'acorns') and pumpkin seeds over the cake. Popcorn was also added in the original written version of the 'arussipe'. The final 'attention to detail', is to shove several large taper candles down INto the cake. This 'arussipe' has since been removed from the Food Network's website. The cake is considered highly offensive to anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa, or possesses taste buds. (Here's another video in case the first one is removed.)
  • Milli Vanilli/MV - The person (or team) whose job it is to try and make Sandy's 'arussipes' presentable for the camera. Also responsible for prep work and the stunt dishes used on the show.
  • Milli Vanilli hands/MV hands- This is where camera shots showing close ups of hands performing activities such as chopping vegetables, do not match up with known images of Sandy's hands.
  • Minute- A measurement of time consisting of 100 seconds.
  • Monkey Business -This encompasses anything that Sandy fears, doesn't understand, disagrees with, or thinks is beneath her.
  • My Buddha... She's faux.-Sandy said this during an episode while referring to a statue of Kwan Yin that she had on her tablescape. The female pronoun is not normally used when referring to the Buddha. Shrikes are not in agreement as to what exactly she meant by this statement other than the fact that Buddha was not corporally present during the taping of this episode.
  • Pantry- The place where Sandy keeps all of the items for her tablescapes and kitchenscapes. All current available colors of Kitchen-Aid stand mixers are said to be housed there. It is rumored that this facility encompasses one whole city block and has multiple floors. She has another smaller one on the set of her show that contains liquor and a large selection of convenience food products.
  • Pop ____ - To place or put. Example: INto your lil' bowl, I want you to pop this Vanella aigstract.
  • Pre -means already. Example: INto the oven, Imonna pop these pre-chopped nuts to toast up. On the Log Cabin Camping episode, she gave one guest some food to eat before the other guests arrived. She cautioned him not tell the other guests that he had pre-ate.
  • Seasoning blend- A bag of frozen, pre-chopped sweet onions, celery, green peppers, red peppers and fresh parsley flakes made by Pict sweet.
  • Set up- to abandon a food item out of camera range, so that it can easily be swapped out for the stunt dish. It is sometimes done when the appearance of the item in question, is more unappealing than usual.
  • Simple simple- This is something Sandy may say while assembling or after completion of one of her 'arussipies' or 'tablescapes'. It is usually said in reference to one of the more insane 'tablescapes' or 'arussipies'.
  • Smartest thing on the block-This means that she has used a convenience product in a way that tastes awful, doesn't make sense, or costs at least twice as much as if she made it from scratch.
  • Sweetness- A term of endearment that Sandy occasionally uses when referring to some of her family members/significant others and certain ingredients in her 'arussipes'.
  • Tablescapes/tablerapes/stupidscapes- This is when Sandy 'embellishes' her table and dining room or dining area, to coordinate with her food and clothing. The indoor designs may include elements such as chairs on the table, records hung from the ceiling and large gatherings of nutcrackers. The design normally inhibits the view of diners and may even prevent food from being placed on the table. Foods are frequently placed on unstable items to obtain the varying heights that Sandy desires. For outside events, a formal dining table may be moved outside and placed in a park or even in a parking lot. Chandeliers can be hung from trees, and motorcycles may be parked near outside tables. When this is done in her kitchen, it is called a kitchenscape.
  • The best time of the day!- See cocktail time
  • Thick, rich, and delishus or TRD- See Great flavor.
  • This gives great racetrack flavor!- Sandy said this during the Racetrack Tailgate episode where she prepared the entire meal on her portable outdoor kitchen next to a racetrack. The statement is puzzling because if one were to lick the actual surface of the racetrack, it would not be a pleasant experience. See Great flavor for more details.
  • Thoughtful/Thoughtfully-Sandy uses these words the way most most people would use careful or carefully.
  • Trick- Any simple tip related to cooking that Sandy has just now learned. If you can boil water without burning down your house, then you probably learned this 'trick' years ago. She also occasionally has a 'trick' that is not culinary related. For those tips, if you know how to operate a light switch, then you probably already know this 'trick' as well.
  • Verb followed by the word 'up'-This usually means the exact same thing as if the word 'up' was omitted. Example: INto the microwave, Imonna pop this butter to melt up.
  • You can see the flavor/Can you see the flavor?- See Great flavor
  • Yum-See Great flavor
  • Whoot!-denotes excitement, happiness, or to call attention to the fact that an accident has been narrowly avoided. Sandy frequently uses it in the vicinity of alcoholic beverages.
Shrike Words and Expressions

  • Choking hazards:Describes the items Sandy places in her drink 'arussipies', that guests must navigate around to consume the beverage.
  • Fauxography-The special the Food Network did that details her life. It is called 'faux', because some facts of her official life story have changed over the years. When all 'facts' are gathered together and compared, disturbing inconsistencies are found.
  • Me washie handsies- To draw attention to the act of washing one's hands. Sandra makes a big production out of the times that she actual washes her hands. She normally doesn't wash them long enough or frequently enough. She also doesn't always use soap.
  • Pudding cups- These are Sandra's "girls".
  • Semi-ho'ed- To cook something using convenience products.
  • Slow-kukker-slowkukker-See Kurtain Kraft under the Words and phrases Sandy uses section.
  • Whack-a-dough- Packaged raw biscuit, pizza, etc...dough that comes in a can.
  • Yoda speak- Sandra frequently reverses the word order in her sentences which reminds shrikes of the character Yoda from the Star Wars movies. Example: INto this bowl, Imonna thoughtfully drop these razzburries.
People in the Sandyverse
  • Aunt Peggy-This is Sandy's aunt who cries when she gets roses and is married to Uncle Bill.
  • Austin- One of Sandy's nephews.
  • Bryce/Brycer - One of Sandy's nephews.
  • Carrie- This is Sandy's friend who created the Espresso Martini.
  • Cindy - One of Sandy's siblings.
  • C'leen- Colleen is one of Sandy's friends. Her favorite drink is a White Russian so Sandy likes to make her White Knight Saketinis. She and her friends were taken aback when Sandy first suggested putting a slice of avocado on a cheeseburger.
  • Fandras - The name shrikes have given to Sandra's most rabid fans.
  • Grandma Dicey-This is Sandra's other grandmother.
  • Grandma Lorraine -The deceased grandmother who took in Sandy after her parents divorced, and supposedly taught her how to shop, cook, and bake on a budget. In different episodes, Grandma Lorraine hails from different states in the US.
  • Hillary-She introduced Sandy to the concept of using a 'slowkukker'.
  • Kimber/Miss Kimmie/Kimmie - One of Sandy's siblings.
  • Lee or Lee Lee - This is Kimber's husband. He has a thing for large, black stone fountains.
  • Rich - One of Sandy's siblings.
  • Scotty-One of Sandy's nephews.
  • Shrikes- Those who dislike her and her philosophy towards food and its preparation.
  • Stephanie/Miss Stephanie- This is Sandy's niece.
  • The Ladder - Andrew Cuomo, Sandy's current significant other.
  • The Stepladders- These are Andrew Cuomo's children from a previous marriage.
  • The Wallet - This is Sandy's first husband Bruce Karatz.
  • Uncle Bill-This is Sandy's uncle who likes Six Cheese Tortellini. He's married to Aunt Peggy.
  • Yue-Sai.-This is Sandy's friend who has a cosmetics line.

Fabulous dinner for tonight

I am just so psyched about the wonderful meal I'm making tonight. It's such a fun retro dish from 1974! Here are the ingredients you will need for this dish!

8 oz frankfurters (pre-cooked)
1 tart medium apple
1/4 medium pineapple
4 oz. canned onions
1/2 cup sliced canned carrots
1/4 cup bouillon
1 Tbs tomato juice
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tbs cider vinegar
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp coriander seeds

Are you ready for the picture? It is just gorgeous!!


"Peppermint Bark" Chocolate Cookies

I found this recipe online a few weeks ago. I was searching for recipes that called for candy canes as I had bought several boxes during the after Christmas sales. I must confess that I made up some of the dough the same day I found the recipe. I just never got around to actually baking the cookies. I kept the dough in the fridge and kept snacking on it until it was gone. *sheepish grin*

Well today I decided to make another batch of dough and do a post about them. I got the recipe here. Now you are probably saying to yourself that the recipe calls for 'peppermint bark' not crushed up candy canes and you would be absolutely correct. If you look right above the recipe it says:

You can buy peppermint bark at any candy store or specialty food store, or you can simply make the peppermint bark yourself. If you want to make life even easier just add some white chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candies in lieu of peppermint bark.

and then down in the comment section I found this:

If you are taking the short cut and using white chocolate chips and candy pieces, how much of each would you recommend using? Thanks!

Maybe around a half cup of each, though I would lean more towards more white chocolate. Candy bits sometimes have a habit of getting melty as well, so it may hurt the appearance, but not the taste (I ate one where a large chunk of candy melted and browned a bit and it tasted just fine). You can follow Elise's idea and use peppermint extract with or in lieu of candy pieces as well. ~Garrett

I saw that and I said Whoot! yep, I really did say Whoot! as I was one happy gal. So I opened up all those boxes of candy canes and put them INto my food processor and gave them a whirl. Can I just tell you that it was LOUD! Anyway here's my big ol' peanut butter jar full of crushed candy canes:

Peppermint bark chocolate cookies

I decided that I would use 1/3 cup of my crushed candy canes and 2/3 cup of those "white" chocolate chips I got on clearance because they were red and green swirls. I'm just not getting enough artificial coloring everyday so I knew these would help me out in that department. Hmm, I need a mixer for this but unfortunately I broke one of my beaters so...I'll use my food processor and see what happens.

peppermint bark chocolate cookies 002

Here's the butter and sugar all creamed together.

peppermint bark chocolate cookies 003

I don't want to over beat the flour so here's the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda about to be worked in.

peppermint bark chocolate cookies 004

Here's the dough with cocoa worked in. Then I added the candy canes and "white" chocolate chips to break them up some more, and then the flour was slowly added in. I forgot to get any shots of that or after the flour was all worked in. The cookies turned out flatter than the ones pictured with the recipe and are soft and fudgy inside. They are tasty!!

peppermint bark chocolate cookies 006
I saved you some! Want some milk?

Edited to add: Since I wrote this, I tried making another batch of these using 1.5 cups of brown sugar instead of half white granulated and half brown sugar. This resulted in a very soft cookie which I just loved.

Grocery List

I know you've been making out a grocery list since 1786 and are wondering what great insights could I possibly add to this task?? Here's the story, I was watching one of those morning news shows and they were interviewing Kate Goslin of Jon & Kate plus 8 fame about her tips for how the new mom of octuplets can cope with her new babies and her other six children. I was hurt for a minute that nobody asked me for tips. Then, I remembered that I don't have any children, and suggesting that the mother of fourteen run away or lock herself in the pantry and drink copious amounts of alcohol would not be considered all that helpful. ;)

Anyhoo, Kate said something about making out a grocery list in the order of whatever store you happen to shop at is laid out. My mind creaked a bit as there used to be a time when I did this. Nowadays, I use a slightly different method. If you only shop at one store, it can be a big help to have your list organized like Kate suggested. That is until the whackjob store manager decides to move everything around and comes to the conclusion that flour, dog food, and motor oil all belong on the same aisle. As an old employer of mine used to say about our most trying customers, this guy really needed a beating. ;)

Most of you are aware that the grocery store wants you in there as long as possible as the longer you are in the store, the more money you are likely to spend. We are on a mission to get the most bang for our buck so we need a plan. Oh and a theme song!!! Whoot!!

Don't you miss theme songs with bongos? Oh, just me huh? That's okay, I have a special affinity for 70's television from when I was just a little fuzzball.

Okay, now you can either do this on your computer or use a pen and a piece of paper. I do it old school and write on a sheet of computer sized paper folded in half lengthwise. If this is a scratch sheet leftover from a botched printing job or some other purpose, all the better. I usually only write on one side of the paper so that I can save it for next week and use it again.

grocery list 001

Okay, let's put some categories on our list. The ones I use are:
Boxed, bagged, bottled, and canned
Cold foods
Non-food items
Dr. Bacon/meat lab

grocery list 002

I should have made my categories darker or used a different color of ink but, you get the concept. If you want to go further, you can break it down so that you group things together that are usually found near each other. Once again, watch out for that whackjob store manager! Here's a sample list I made up:

grocery list 003

Use whatever works for you, okay? (Hush, Shrikes, hush!!)
Heh, I'm having one of those days where I can't spell 'broccoli' without the spellchecker helping me! *blushes* You will notice that the stores in my town have the milk in a different area than the yogurt and sour cream, YMMV. Please excuse my handwriting as its getting worse as time goes by.

Okay, now some of you are asking why should I do it this way instead of the way I've always done it? Okay, have you ever gone to the store with a long list and at the top of your list you had milk, somewhere in the middle was cheese, and near the end was orange juice? Did you get them all on that one trip to the area where the cold foods hang out, or did you have to go back and forth a few times? I would always have to make a few trips around the store because one of my 'cold items' would be lost in the list with the non-cold items and I would overlook it. Organizing my list helps me spend less time and money at the store. That way I have plenty of time to go home and soak Popsicle sticks for my tablescapes. ;)