Lately, I’ve become bored with food. My old recipe standby (salt + pepper + olive oil + heat) can work on practically any food, meat or vegetable, and I think that because it has been such a reliable combination, I’ve used it too much. That has become boring. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a lifetime food addict, it’s that when the good healthy food you make is boring, you start looking for other, unhealthy substitutes. It’s the nature of the beast.

So in trying to cook with more varied spices, I’ve been watching a lot of Food Network. It’s about to drive me crazy. Every American chef now uses the Rachel Ray “give it a” phrase. Instead of saying “stir the soup”, they’ll say “give the soup a stir.” Instead of  “tie the pork tenderloin”, they’ll say “give the tenderloin a tie.” It’s stupid. Give it a stop!

They all do it. Why? It’s unnecessary and it’s annoying. The one exception has been Nigella Lawson. Maybe she doesn’t speak thus because she’s British. Maybe it’s because she’s not an idiot. Whatever the reason, thank Gawd for Nigella. She’s been a 30 minute block of sanity in the midst of hours of crazy. (Though to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand her fascination with frozen peas.)

PEACHES AND MINT JULEP? MERCY: I’m a true Georgia Girl; I love peaches. And mint julep is my favorite mixed drink. Nigella mixed the two. You know I’m trying that recipe as soon as I replace that empty bottle of bourbon and find some fresh peaches.

Food Porn

How do you know when something has Jumped the Shark? You see some no-talent, coke-snorting, faux-cool TV chef using it on the travel channel. Oh yes, dear readers. Anthony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations, will air a show tonight titled Food Porn. Shouldn’t I get paid for that title or something?

It’s not even a real show. It’ a clip show. (Clip shows are where they paste together pieces of a show’s “greatest moments” previously aired on TV.)Yeah, it’s one giant self-important, masturbatory hour of Anthony Bourdain eating. Hairy palms are the least he deserves.

Sniff. I’ll still use Food Porn as a category when I write about food.  But it will never be the same now that Bourdain’s had his greasy, Ramones-playing, bong-grasping, nicotine-stained fingers all over it.

And yes, I watch the show. I much enjoy seeing Bourdain uncomfortable. Occasionally, the show delivers. Looks like I’ll be skipping tonight’s show ’cause I don’t think I’ll get to see him in an awkward situation tonight. I think a rerun of Jon and Kate Plus 8  is on. That’s better anyway.

January Sunshine

My Honeybell Oranges are here again.

Honeybell Oranges

Yum. I’ll be busy eating oranges if anyone needs me…

P.S. If you want them, you can get them at QVC. I ordered item # M16483, but there are other Honeybell packages if you don’t want the 12 pounds of large and small oranges I bought.

P.P.S.  And you will need the bib that comes with the oranges. (Either that, or you’ll have to stand over the sink like I did just now.) They’re that juicy.

I Still Hate Rachael Ray

See? See?!!!?!!1!1!! Rachael Ray is EVIL. She kills puppies.

Not that I needed another reason to hate her… Still. It’s nice to have an opinion validated by a competent authority. Sweet!

The Back Story: Once upon a time, I watched 30 Minute Meals every day. Seriously, if I wasn’t able to be at home when the show was on, I taped it. I made detailed notes. I trolled Food Network, magazines, and Rachel Ray’s own site looking for 30 Minute Meal recipes, ideas, information, and tips.

I tried a few of the recipes. And none of them worked for me. Oh, I didn’t expect to make them in 30 minutes; I realized that Rachael Ray has to practice an awful lot to get those meals down to 30 minutes. The timing wasn’t the problem. The problem was the food.

The food sucked. Man, that food sucked hard.

Yum-O? More like Yuck-O.

Now, I am a good cook. I’m an amazing baker, but I do well with regular stove-top cooking too. (I’ve never met an Ina Garten recipe I couldn’t handle.)

But these supposedly easy no muss-no fuss dishes from Rachael Ray were kicking my ass.

So Delish? Hardly. And for crying out loud,  can’t she say delicious? It’s only one more fucking syllable.

That’s when her voice started getting on my nerves. When you add that to her overly cute delivery, inane slang, ceaseless pandering, oft-repeated phrasing , and rictus grin… well, I began to hate her.

EVOO? ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!!!! Would it fucking kill her to say extra virgin olive oil? Even if she just said olive oil, we’d all know what the hell she meant. Why unnecessarily complicate things with the EVOO shit? It doesn’t save time to say EVOO because she has to stop and explain what EVOO is when she says it. It’s just another part of her cutsie act that drove me insane.

So I stopped watching 30 Minute Meals.

And just about that time, Rachael Ray started showing up on other programs on Food Network. Now, I love to cook. (If I posted a picture of me, you’d know that already.) And I’m a good cook. So I like to watch Food Network. But I can barely turn on the stinking channel without seeing Ray’s grinning moonface looking back at me.

But little Miss Thing didn’t stop with Food Network. Oh no. She has a talk show. And she didn’t stop with TV. Oh no. It’s bad enough that she’s invaded the bookstore. She now has a magazine. She sells cooking equipment at Kohl’s. She on the box of some crackers. She has a brand of extra virgin olive oil. And recently, she invaded  my favorite TV shop; Et tu, QVC?

Everywhere I turn, that moonface is glaring at me. She’s stalking me. Make her go away!!1!!!!111!!

P.S.: I am fucking sick of the color orange.

P.P.S.: Looks like I found some inspiration to write, after all.