Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee: Fat Free 2

TV Arts

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Apparently, today's theme color is green and the featured item is grapes. She 
also apparently has an herb, vegetable and grape garden, so guess what the 
centerpiece is going to be? Yup, lots of grapes from her garden! She tells us 
what "healthy and low fat" food she's going to make and claims she's gonna cut 
some carbs. Wow, even the center piece is healthy and its from her garden. It 
is SO obviously plastic fruit!

We return from opening credits to see SLop in her GREEN kitchen drowning a 
plant in the sink and setting it aside. Poor plant! She repeats her 70-30 
credo for those of us who stumbled across this show by accident, adding you 
should use low fat margarine if you can and starts on her stuffed mushrooms. 
She says the proper way to clean them is to wipe the mushrooms with a paper 
towel. She then claims margarine has no cholesterol. She uses a basting brush 
to coat them with melted margarine, then turns them over and does the same 
with the inside and mentions these are great for every day of the week, like 
deviled eggs. She adds more margarine into the pan and says these are 
cholesterol free. She then adds onions but uses already prechopped onions to 
keep her makeup from being ruined ("NO tears today!"). As it sits in the pan 
she adds a 1/4 teaspoon (a 1/2 really) of garlic powder and tells us to 
sprinkle it evenly so its flavour is evenly distributed. She mangles some 
parsley and dumps it in with some Parmesan cheese. She then adds some lowfat 
cream cheese which she claims tastes just like the real thing and then says to 
use either herb seasoned croutons or bread crumbs or stuffing, whatever you 
have available. Idiot. How do you get those croutons into the caps? She then 
stirs the mixture so the cheese melts into the stuffing. That is going to be 
so dry! Oh, you could substitute a bell pepper instead of mushrooms and make 
it a meal. She then pops them into the oven and slurs that she's making 
ridiculous salad with almond crusted goat cheese balls (which look like the 
ones you see from Hickory farm with crackers)

Her nephew Brycer left her a child's rolling pin, so, she's using it in his 
honor to crush her already crushed almonds for the goat cheese balls because 
she's too lazy to get out the real one. She adds half a heaping teaspoon of 
paprika. <over-dubbed voice>and this adds great color <end over-dubbed voice>. 
What the fuck just happened? She uses lowfat goat cheese, whatever that is. 
She says she likes them because <jump cut> delicious. They're nice and rich 
and creamy <jump cut> roll it into little balls". Whoah! Is my cable going out 
or is someone doing some really piss-poor editing this week? SLop confesses 
that she wants to eat the goat balls right now. Gawd, I hope you're not 
talking about The Wallet! She says too much bread is not a good thing, hence 
the nuts for the cheese. Wow, it's just like the crunch and flavour of an 
herbed crouton! Before we got to commercial, she stuffs a huge wad of 
left-over stuffing into her mouth with eye-rolling food-gasmic "Mmmmm!".

We return from commercial to see SLop walking into the kitchen from who knows 
where (my guess is the bathroom, like what most of us do during the ads) and 
say that "Today is all about low fat and healthy cooking" and then picks up 
the phone and calls for pizza. No, just kidding. She begins her citrus 
balsamic salmon. She tells us "Salmon is so great because it has all those 
fantastic oils <over-dubbed voice> like the omega 3 fatty acids that u need to 
have great hair and skin and nails and all that good stuff <end over-dubbed 
voice>. I guess she had to look that up post production. She then pours some 
olive oil around the edges of the pan instead of on the fish or under it. She 
then puts the fish in and takes out the mushrooms. She makes the glaze in a 
non-stick saucepan and mixes it with a metal whisks, making sure to scrap the 
sides of the saucepan. She then adds a can of chicken stock from a can with 
label the intern made that week that matches her kitchen, or maybe she stole 
it from Rachel Ray's set. She produces a pan of rice that she already made, 
whoever THAT is done, and moves on to a black olive vinaigrette for the salad. 

She starts with balsamic and then olive oil, at which point I hear the worst 
post production voice over inserted edit yet! <over-dubbed voice>"Olive oil 
isn't exactly low fat, but I hear it's really good for your heart, and it 
lowers bad cholesterol and it's full of antioxidants!"<end over-dubbed voice> 
OMG, that's funny. She then  adds a little yellow mustard and some honey with 
a "Whoo!" for the honey. As she stirs she says "Those fancy restaurants are 
gonna have nothing on you!" then shes adds black olives.  Hey, you can buy 
prechopped olives in the store, did you know that? She then adds a dash of s&p 
and some oregano for flavor. My GAWD, it looks like diarrhea! I have never 
seen that happen before.

SLOP chops the radicchio by cutting the head in half and then slicing it, 
followed by a good rinse and fluff. She then dumps it all into a serving bowl, 
core and all. She then pours the dressing onto the slaw as she tells us that 
the mustard will make the dressing thick, but right before she starts to pour 
the dressing, there's another sudden cut to an over-dubbed voice saying "The 
ONE tend thing I tend to not really skimp on is the dressing altho I feel a 
little guilty it's so good I have to have more!" as MV pours a stunt dressing, 
which was obvious switched out because MV made hers correctly, and then 
suddenly SLop's at the sink! I take back my previous statement about the worst 
post-production voice-over EVER. I swear someone is making the new intern do 
this for some reason. She tosses it (the salad) and tells us how the almond 
crusted goat cheese balls will make this just like a fancy dancy restaurant. 

She plates the mushrooms on a plate and the salmon on a platter of rice which 
was just sitting there and crams as many on as she can. She then drizzles a 
very runny and thin-looking glaze over it (it looks like Worcester sauce) and 
just has to shovel some into her mouth. After she closes her mouth she does a 
little hip jiggle. Hmmm, if I put my VCR in reverse, it looks like she's 
vomiting, along with the appropriate facial expressions. Once her mouth is 
relatively empty, she gushes that when we come back, she's going to show us a 
wonderful dessert that isn't "laden with calories", and of course, Kimbos 
Mojitos! 

We return from commercial break to a glamor shot of the ricotta rum cake and 
SLop walks in saying "When I think of dessert or cake, I think of something 
that is just chock full of FAT!" She claims the cake is "as sweet as they come 
and almost fat free" with a cut-away back to the cake. OMG! That looks NOTHING 
like the one we just saw! It looks like a vaguely cylindrical white blob with 
a pile of pink puke on top, like some sort of oozing peach pustule.

SLop takes peach jello and gives an a super extended Whoooooo-hoooo! for the 
not-so-heavy container of grape juice. She puts the juice into the microwave 
for "just a little while", intending to use it instead of hot water. She takes 
a tub of whipped topping that is obviously Cool Whip, despite the half-arsed 
attempts to blur the name, and dumps the whole container of it into a bowl and 
then umm-um-ums as she cleans the spoon off, which she promptly puts in the 
sink. She then uses some rum extract to "embellish" the whipped topping so it 
makes it taste "like you've been whipping it up for hours but it just took you 
a couple minutes!" Wouldn't that make it...BUTTER? 

She retrieves the grape juice form the micro and adds it to the dry gelatin 
and tells us to dissolve it thoroughly, giving it a couple stirs and then 
dumping in a package of frozen organic peaches, telling us that the hot grape 
juice will thaw the peaches out in seconds. She then frosts the angel food 
cake on the pedestal with the whipped topping mixture. As she spackles it on, 
she says "ice it generously, make it nice and thick and look fluffy" and adds 
"with taste this rich, a little goes a long way" (so, which one is it?). She 
then adds some low-fat ricotta cheese to the peach/jello mixture with a 
"Whoo!" and asides that ricotta is great because it can be made savory or 
sweet. I am guessing she's taking the "sweet" option in this case. She asks if 
it looks like peaches and cream, to which I reply "Not really!" to my TV. She 
sticks it in the fridge to set it set up like ambrosia, but even better and 
much more fancy! With that she plops it into the center of the cake. Hmm, it 
kinda looks like curdled peach yogurt, but I don't see any peaches in it. The 
effect is like something a bunch of dermatologists would serve at some sort 
"My favorite skin disorder" themed pot luck dinner. She starts to pull away 
the waxed paper from underneath the cake but it looks like someone edited out 
where the knocked the cake off the stand and onto the floor when she removed 
the last piece of wax paper. As we cut to commercial, MV's cake has the crap 
in the hole but has a nice star like arrangement of peach slices on top. SLop, 
however, didn't do that with the one she just finished.

And now, Mojitos! Ok, I have never had one of these, should they look like 
they have grass clippings floating on the surface? SLop walks in from off 
camera as the now-familiar "Sandra's Cocktail Time!" graphic appears (if this 
is going to  be non-alcoholic, is it really cocktail time?) and shows us the 
recipe on a piece of paper from her girlfriend Kim with a stupid quote on the 
back, "A perfection not an invention" and a stupid smiley face, but I don't 
believe it for a second; it's written in crayon scribble. Into that pitcher 
that looks a LOT like one used for bedpans, she dumps some lawn clippings, 
err, chopped mint , lime slices, and the runniest simple syrup I have ever 
seen. During a sudden change of camera angle to an overhead boob shot of her 
pouring in the "syrup",  she explains it's sugar water that's been boiled (no 
wonder it's so thin!) and says to add a shot per drinks worth, but she's just 
pouring it in. SLop suddenly produces a pestle of Biblical proportions and 
proceeds to mash the green stuff up to help release the juices form the 
greens. She says that an alcohol free mojito is great, because leaving out the 
rum makes it much lower in calories and how she and Kim had it was the best 
thing she ever had. But what about all that sugar you just dumped in there? 
With a "Whoot!", she adds some crushed ice and a splash of soda water and some 
lime juice. As she pours a glass and thanks Miss Kim, the bottle of booze next 
to the pitcher silently sobs "Sandie, why have you abandoned me?". Ignoring 
its cries, she teases us about her green, beautiful, natural, lush (heh heh) 
tablescape.

And now, the tablescape: "A healthy and happy heart starts with GREAT food" 
but not at this table. She's calling it a "bouquet centerpiece", a trifle dish 
full of bunches of grapes and pears/apples and leaves, but I thought bouquets 
were made from flowers. Apparently it's supposed to double as decoration and 
alternative food source, because fruits are a great alternative to high 
calorie desserts. She calls it "edible and gorgeous", but that centerpiece is 
obviously plastic. The she shows us that she "tented" her chairs with little 
fabric pieces on the tops of the backs of the chairs. She then says we need 
healthy happy tummys to go with our hearts and that her recipes can be found 
on the Food Network home page (including that centerpiece, I guess), closing 
out by telling us to "keep it simple, keep it smart (didn't you just tell us 
to keep it simple?), keep it sensational, and always  keep it semi-homemade", 
before stepping out of view of the camera.
                                            
Nick
I hate when I miss the boob shots.
They are the best part of the show.