Archive for the 'Food Network' Category

Daytime TV with David, Robert and Rocco

Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpirito

My family moved to Austin, Texas more than a year ago. There were many changes big and small to endure: finding a new home, sending my child to Kindergarten, figuring out how to find the grocery store, and the biggie for me, learning how to work from home.

I have worked for the same company for nearly 11 years, so I know my colleagues like family. I have the inside jokes, the rants and raves, and the daily interactions. Working from my home-office can make me feel isolated and, quite honestly, lonely.

So, I turn to my beloved TV… and a whole new kind of Laptop TV was born. Laptop TV at night is easy because I sit on my couch with a glass of wine, fire up the laptop, and finish up my work for the day. Laptop TV during the day is a different beast. I am actually cranking on work, and the TV just provides background noise to break the silence and to keep me company.

Because I am in the business of news, I spend a lot of time watching CNBC and CNN during the day. But there are some days I simply need a break from the doom-and-gloom of a failing economy, the political pundits frothing at the mouth and the loss of innocent lives. So I found some new guilty pleasures for Daytime Laptop TV:

My Fair Wedding with David Tutera = This is my ultimate guilty pleasure. The premise of the show is easy: seemingly nice brides plan uber-tacky weddings, and celebrity wedding planner David Tutera saves the day by planning (and paying for) ultimate dream weddings. I have a massive crush on David, he is so sweet, thoughtful and creative. I’m already married, so maybe I’ll plan a tacky renewal ceremony and call David for help? Find this show on WeTV.

Restaurant Impossible = This is my new favorite show on Food Network. Celebrity chef Robert Irvine gives a failing restaurant a massive makeover. (Think Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, but for restaurants.) I tell you what, there are some disgusting restaurants out there… think grease, grime and dead rats. This delicious show is like a train wreck and I can’t look away.

Say Yes to the Dress = A show about brides with big budgets trying on glam gowns? Please! I have a daughter and I rushed through my wedding. This show is pure fantasy and pleasure… and on TLC.

Dr. Phil = Say what you want about Dr. Phil and his psychology-based advice show, but I love the dude. I appreciate his “Get Real” attitude and the fact he does not coddle his guests. I respect that he calls BS when he hears BS. Of course, the real reason I watch this show is because Dr. Phil’s guests make me feel somewhat normal.

Rocco’s Dinner Party = I’m so happy to see my boyfriend Rocco get his own show on Bravo. Sigh. This show is competition where three highly skilled chefs have the opportunity to create the perfect dinner party for Rocco and his celebrity guests, including A-listers like Kenneth Cole and Liza Minelli. My six-year-old daughter and I never miss an episode!

– LTV Mom

Photo credit: Bravo TV

My German Chocolate Cake “Throwdown”

Bobby Flay's "Throwdown"

Bobby Flay

I made birthday cupcakes for my husband’s office just after we moved to California 16 years ago. My husband requested German chocolate cupcakes, which is one of my favorites desserts. I happened to be very busy at work at the time, so I opted for (gasp!) store-bought frosting. The cupcakes tasted horrible, so I made an emergency call to my mom asking for Grandma’s recipe for German chocolate cake frosting. And the rest, as they say, is history.

My grandma passed down the best coconut-pecan frosting, the technical name for German chocolate cake frosting, ever. I have since made it dozens of times for my friends in California, happily sharing a nugget of my German-Czech-Midwestern upbringing.

Now for my dirty little secret: I have always used a cake mix. I know, it’s embarrassing. I simply thought the frosting was so delicious the actual cake could never hold a candle, so there was no need to bother. And then, I saw the light…

On a typical Sunday night, I was watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network. But this episode was especially intriguing. Bobby was on the war-path to make the best German chocolate cake ever, and he wanted to beat the famous “Make My Cake” bakery in Harlem, New York City. Bobby’s Throwdown was my inspiration to create the ultimate cake to support my grandma’s coconut-pecan frosting.

Since that episode aired, I have been on a mission to make a cake that can hold a candle to my grandma’s delicious frosting. Once I have that magical recipe figured out, I’ll write again, but I doubt I will ever share my grandma’s recipe for the frosting. It’s just that good.

In honor of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown, the title of famous show and his new cookbook, I am giving away a copy of the cookbook to one lucky reader. Write a comment below to be entered to win the prize. Share your favorite German chocolate cake recipe to be entered twice. The good folks at the Food Network will mail a copy to you, and you can cook more than 100 recipes from his shows, from meatloaf to matzo ball soup. Deadline for entry is November 12, 2010; entries from the U.S. and Canada only. Make sure you leave an email address, so I can notify the winner.

Good luck and happy cooking!

– LTV Mom

About Bobby Flay’s Throwdown: Are you ready? Every week on Throwdown!, celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay goes head-to-head with cooks who have staked their claim as masters of an iconic dish—buffalo wingschicken cacciatore, or sticky buns, for example—even though he may never have cooked these things before. The results are always entertaining—and delicious. In his first-ever cookbook collaboration with Food Network, Bobby shares the recipes and fun from his popular show.

The ultimate companion cookbook to one of America ’s favorite food shows, Bobby Flay’s Throwdownlets home cooks and fans in on the action, featuring favorite Throwdownmoments and behind-the-scenes peeks alongside beautiful, all-new color food photography created just for this book. So if Bobby Flay ever strolls into your backyard asking “Are you ready for a Throwdown?” you definitely will be! Get your copy today at

Photo Credit: Food Network

Note: The prize is provided by Food Network. I volunteered to write this post, without compensation. The words are mine and unedited.