• The 2006 Weblog Awards

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Food Snobs - Quit Picking on Rachael Ray!

I do think they are jealous.  Rachael is quickly becoming "everyone’s Emeril" with her quick cooking meals and easy ingredients.  I think it’s pretty hard to "hate" her, so envy must be it.  Slate’s managing editor has a great article, and talks about Rachael Ray’s successes as well as the challenge to actually cook meals in 30 minutes. 

To her credit, Ray has always cast herself as a sort of anti-Martha, offering options for those who want to save money, eat healthfully, and cook at home but don’t have the time or budget to entertain the Turkey Hill way.

That’s the main reason I like her.  Okay, I admit it.  I can’t STAND Martha Stewart!

Regular cooking shows are rife with annoying you’ll-never-be-able-to-replicate-this moments. When the chef begins, meticulously prepared ingredients lie at the ready; he breezes through instruction and then—poof!—pulls out the perfect frittata that’s been waiting in the oven.

Can you say Emeril?

The show is also fantastically entertaining. It’s suspenseful: As the minutes tick by, Ray becomes frenetic—will she finish? (She always does.) And it’s educational: As Ray trims her asparagus and frantically wraps prosciutto around the green stems, she offers tips. Use a "garbage bowl" to collect debris as you’re cooking.

I’ve got one!

Chop chicken into small pieces so it cooks faster.

I do it!

Roll citrus before you cut it, and you’ll extract more juice.

Do that, too!

Forget about measuring—"Eyeball it!"

A regular occurrence in my kitchen! 

Then came the true test, the editor tried to actually cook one of Rachael’s meals in 30 minutes (actually she tried 21 recipes!):

My most successful effort was Ray’s "Back in the Day" menu:  Super Sloppy Joes, Deviled Potato Salad, and Root Beer Floats. I prepped with the same care as Ray—produce pre-rinsed, garbage bowl at the ready, pantry items near at hand—but it took me 49 minutes and 51 seconds (and I skipped the Root Beer Floats).

Rachael can do it though - proven time and time again before live audiences - she’s the real deal.  Cool thing is, I may not have done the Deviled Potato Salad, but I’ve done her sloppy joes well within 30 minutes - and throw in a side dish or two, I am usually very close to 30 minutes.  HOWEVER, I’m not explaining what I do to a camera, I’m not following tele-prompters, and worrying about staging and other such stuff. 

It truly doesn’t matter if these gourmet-style chefs welcome her in their circles or not.  What it boils down to is the fact that she caters to "us" - the parents, the career people, the people who can’t afford expensive ingredients, the people who don’t have time to prepare a meal over the course of 4 hours.  Oh, and she has a special place in the hearts of men who can’t seem to get enough of her shows or her spread in FHM.  Rachael Ray vs. Martha Stewart?  I’d bet on Rachael Ray any day!   

Woman Beats Her Children to Death

Yet another monster who thinks they should play God…

DYER, Ind.A northwest Indiana mother has been charged with two counts of murder.

Police said she beat her two sons to death with a 10-pound dumbbell because she thought they’d be better off in heaven.

Magdalena Lopez was arrested after police officers answered a 911 call and found her 9-year-old son Antonio and 2-year-old son Erik dead in separate rooms of the family home in Dyer, Ind.

A police report said as officers approached the house, the mother walked out, her clothes and feet spattered with blood. She told officers she had to kill the children because she couldn’t take care of them anymore, saying, "They’re in a much better place now."

Relatives said Lopez was being treated for bipolar disorder but had been coping better recently. The boys’ father was at work when he was told of the deaths.

I don’t particularly care that Lopez was "being treated" for anything - I’m certain that little "issue" with bipolar disorder will set up Lopez for a nice little "innocent by reason of insanity" plea.  She does not deserve to breathe fresh air outside prison walls ever again.  These were innocent children - HER children.  Unbelievable. 

Merri Must Rant

Okay, anyone reading my blog will know that I’m not a fan of the ACLU.  There just flat out is no need for an ACLU any more, particularly due to their extreme positions on the most basic things in life.  As a parent, and as a human being, I’ve just had it today.  My hubby pointed me to Little Green Footballs and three articles laden with ACLU bullshit.  You can read them here, here, and here.  I’m done, and the gloves are OFF.

I awoke today to yet another report of terrorist bombings in London.  I think everyone knows that it is very possible that similar acts of cowardice could take place here in the U.S. - it’s only a matter of when.  So in an effort, undoubtedly, to deter such acts it is reasonable that security measures get stepped up.  The NYPD announced that they would do random searches of bags for those commuters on buses, railways and subways.  The ACLU is saying that this goes against the very basic principles of the constitution.  I have to wonder, what do the card-carrying members of the ACLU have to hide?  Are they worried that the NYPD might find their drug stash? (They’ve got to be high the way they act…that’s the only thing that could explain it, right?)  I think that security measures will help lessen the threat of terrorist acts, even if it is only a little bit.  And just which side is the ACLU on anyway - the terrorists?

As the parent of a Cub Scout, I’m furious about the ACLU’s fervored war against the Boy Scouts.  If the ACLU had their way, the Boy Scouts would 1) allow girls to join 2) would be ran, all the way down to the den leader level, by pedophiles 3) would not be able to teach the scouts morals, and would instead show child porn videos.  Yes, part of what a scout learns is related to "love of God," but look deeper into the lessons taught to these boys.  The difference between right and wrong, treating people with respect, doing your part in society - when did these lessons become dangerous?  Even a family who doesn’t practice religion can find value here and these young boys grow into young men who can and do hold leadership roles in their communities.  Scouting has been well-established for years and years and no one has been harmed by allowing long standing relationships between the Scouts and military organizations (or other similar types of organizations).  The Jamboree has been held at Fort A.P. Hill for 25 years.  What the hell has happened in recent time that all of a sudden makes this relationship wrong, requiring the ACLU to sue to get it stopped?  Just because this event is sponsored there doesn’t mean that the main reason they sponsor the event is because the Scouts have "God" in their oath.   

The ACLU’s positions are extreme, they advocate the criminal far more than they advocate the victim.  They don’t think an opinion or idea is "right" unless it is one they belive in.  They have managed to manipulate so many in order to realize their goals and objectives (if you even could call them that).  And when they start screwing with my son’s organization, they’ve crossed the last proverbial line.  I realize we are in a country that affords us freedoms and these very freedoms allow this group to be in existance and have the agenda they do.  But when do *I* - normal, every day Amercian citizen Merri - get my voice heard?  I don’t WANT child porn legalized, I don’t WANT the ACLU to tell me what I can’t do, or what my son can’t do.  I don’t want the ACLU telling others what is right for me and "representing" me.  They don’t have a clue what is right for me - they haven’t even bothered to ask me - and I’m not sure who they are representing, but it sure as hell *isn’t* me.

I just had to get that off my chest.  And that is all.            

The Jawa Report linked with Late Night Loser Religion of Peeps Roundup
Cotillion linked with "Merri Must Rant"