Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Semi-Homemade Tribute

Yes, the presentation is lacking. But at that point in the move, so was my ability to care.

I am not a fan of Sandra Lee (aka Snadra, Puddin' Cups, or my personal favorite, Semi-Ho). I like her 70/30 concept, where 70-percent is store-bought and 30-percent is fresh ingredients, but her execution -- eccch. (Read case-by-case examples here.)

One of her favorite tricks is playing with angel food cake. She chops off the top, scoops out the middle, fills it with something, puts the top back on, and plunks it on a plate with fwap of whipped topping. "Delicious!" she cries.

Then she fills up a martini glass with vodka, Bailey's, and chocolate syrup, banging it down like a frat boy on a keg stand.

But a couple of weeks ago just before our move, I took a page out of her book. (No, not the alcohol. Well, not just the alcohol.) My friend Nancy was stranded in town after her car had broken down, and we invited her to spend the night. As everything in my kitchen was packed up, I had to Semi-Ho a dinner together. I bought a rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, a bag-o-salad, and for dessert, I dressed up a store-bought angel food cake.

I'm still surprised at how good everything was -- especially the cake.

Maybe I've been too hard on ol' Snadra. Then again, I didn't need a jigger of rum to swallow it down. (*Rimshot!* Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.)

Peach Melba topped Angel Food Cake

A fresh, store bought angle food cake
2 very ripe peaches, sliced
The best-you-can-find raspberry preserves (such as Bonne Maman)
Water
Whipped cream
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Place some raspberry preserves (1/4 cup to start, perhaps) in a small sauce pan over a low flame with a tablespoon or two of water. Stir constantly until the preserves have thinned to the consistency of a dessert sauce; set aside.

Slice cake and place on dessert plates. Top with peach slices and raspberry sauce; garnish with whipped cream. If desired, serve with ice cream.

Serves 5.

Grade: A+

14 comments:

Miasys said...

Semi-ho! You are so bad, and it cracks me up. Might actually try this one. I checked out one of her books from the library and was pretty appalled by it- a whole lotta cool-whip.

Acme Instant Food said...

This will say all that needs to be said on that topic:

http://mattbites.typepad.com/mattbites/2006/08/post.html

Miasys said...

OMG! Swiss Miss on Crack! That should have had a warning label on it! For shame- my eyes! But seriously, thanks for another blog to add to my bookmarks. Love you all!

Ellie said...

LOL! Though I don't know what Cool Whip or Sandra Lee are, this post cracked me up! I'm not a fan of quick-fix cookin', but in some circumstances when you really don't want to spend 5 hours in the kitchen, this sort of thing could go down quite well :)

Laura Rebecca said...

TOTALLY Swiss Miss on crack! Hoisted breasts aside (they could double as a serving platter), what adult woman wears pig tails?

Actually, back to the hoisted breasts: why would you dress that way on a cooking show? It's not practical -- one false move, and you've got flour in your bra.

A big thank you to Kevin for the link.

Ellie, I think Rachael Ray uses a lot of little shortcuts to streamline her work but her food is appetizing, don't you think? Same sort of idea but very different execution.
Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry on Sandra Lee (WARNING: there is another Swiss Miss on Crack picture featured in the entry. Apparently, her 'ensemble' is actually a thigh-brushing dress. Again, not appropriate clothes for cooking.)

Laura Rebecca said...

One other thing: This forum discusses the "Sunset Clambake" episode which Matt from Matt Bites refers to in Kevin's comment above.

Acme Instant Food said...

Funny.

Really,
really
funny.

Thanks for the link to the forum; those people are viciously funny.

I can't believe the Food Network Execs actually approved that show.

peabody said...

Lol, I can't stand her either. Someone bought me her cookbook as a gift but I have yet to make anything from it. Not that the concept is bad I just am not into a woman who spends more time on her "table scape" and making sure that her Kitchen Aid mixer matches her out fit and her martini.

Miasys said...

Oh, the snark is killing me! Tears are streaming from my eyes- or maybe that's just my retinas burning?
Direct quote from that Wikipedia link: "...Lee has filed for divorce from wife Bruce Karatz..."
Whazzat? Must have been the cool whip and cheez whiz that drove them apart. I'm pretty sure if I served my husband anything with cheez whiz, he'd divorce me.

Laura Rebecca said...

There's been a whole lotta commentary on that split at Television Without Pity (TWoP) -- sometimes, it gets so snarky I actually have to take a snark break.

I admit, however, that I sometimes watch Semi-Homemade while reading the TWoP forum about it. It's a media addiction, but we are living in a media world, and I am a media girl. (And when I feel really guilty, I justify to myself as research for teaching Media & Communications - a convenient cop-out.)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious post! Sandra Lee uses 100% store bought booze for every meal, doesn't she?
ICK ICK ICK I say to 90% of what she makes.
Was she a Barbie Doll at one time?

Laura Rebecca said...

Yes -- a Barbie that has spent one too many minutes in the microwave.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I just hate when non Southerners try to "talk" Southern...you are a fiasco at Paula Deen's dialect..
Where are you from, Honey..let me have a crack at your speech!!

Laura Rebecca said...

Dear Anonymous,

This discussion is about Sandra Lee, who is a completely different person from Paula Deen. One way you can tell the difference between the two is that Paula Deen makes food that people actually want to eat.

If you're referring to the post listed on BlogDay -- the day in which writing from other blogs is cited -- you may direct your comments to that blog's author.

If you'd like your suggestion to be taken seriously, however, you might leave your contact information along with your comment.

Lastly, I am an Italian-American from New York. You may have seen our accent featured in countless movies and television show, such as The Godfather trilogy, Good Fellas, and The Sopranos. But don't worry; I'm not going to have you whacked. Not today at least; I'm too busy throwing another body in the East River.

Love and Kisses,

Laura