Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Do you have a specific style of cooking? If you wanted to be The Next Food Network Star, what would your pitch be? For example, Giada cooks Italian, Rachel does 30 minutes, Bobby does grilling/southwestern cuisine, Paula does butter, and both Tyler and Ina cook classic dishes with great style. There are so many styles of cooking. You can be be healthy, vegetarian or vegan, kosher, gluten-free, or just plain eat raw food. Have you ever thought about which style of cooking best describes you? Call me crazy, but I enjoy asking myself these types of questions! It's not like I'm signing up to be the next food network star, but it gives me something to think about. So, just for fun, I decided to have another giveaway in the form of a contest.

Here are the contest guidelines:

Leave a comment describing your style of cooking. Pretend you won The Next Food Network Star and come up with a name for your new Food Network show. You also have to tell us what your "signature dish" would be. Feel free to have as many entries as you like, the more the merrier. They can be funny or serious, either way it doesn't matter since it's just for fun.

The contest will end next Saturday, the 29th at midnight. On Sunday, August 30th, I will post all the results/ideas of each participant and we will all vote for our favorite!! The winner with the most votes will receive these bestselling goodies from LUSH FRESH HANDMADE COSMETICS!!The first product is called Lemony Flutter, which is a lemony scented cuticle butter for use on all rough patches: elbows, knees, and heels. It is a Shea butter base infused with lemon, mango, avocado and flax seed oils and let me tell you....a little goes a long way!! Great for cooks, nurses, or anyone who washes and uses their hands a lot!

The second product is Ocean Salt, which is just plain awesome! It is an exfoliating scrub that smells like a margarita and is safe for the face and body! It has a sea salt base, with grapefruit and lime oils, and vodka. Feels terrific and makes your skin clean and super soft.

The third product is an Up You Gets Emotibomb for use in the shower. Stick this little guy on the shower floor, or on the soap shelf, and inhale the fresh citrus scent that will hopefully help wake you up! Just like a bath bomb, but for the shower instead.

Have fun!! I'm looking forward to see some very creative and funny ideas : )

Now, onto the food and then some award announcements!! I made this casserole from Paula Deen's Lady & Sons, Too cookbook. It would feed an army and is certainly a very filling dish. Extremely easy to throw together and one that everyone will like. Great for big crowds!! Fresh out of the oven it qualifies as good, but the next day it is even better. You could certainly cut back on the meat, using one pound instead of two. Additionally, you can also cut back on the cheese, there are so many other flavors you just wouldn't miss it. This dish made the hubby very happy because it is just simple and "normal" food (with tons of meat)!! Sometimes the hubby gets tired of trying new recipes and likes plain and simple. Who could blame him??

Wayne's Beef Macaroni and Cheese - adapted from The Lady & Sons by Paula Deen
One 1-pound box elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I used about 5 garlic cloves)
2 pounds lean ground beef
3 cups canned crush tomatoes (about one 28 oz. can or 2 14 oz. cans)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon each dried basil, cumin, and dried oregano (I used Italian seasoning)
2-3 cup grated Cheddar cheese (I love cheese and I think this quantity is just too much

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Heat the oil in a skillet; add the peppers, onion, and garlic, and saute until soft. Add the ground beef and saute until browned. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and the basil, cumin, and oregano. In a large bowl (and I do mean very large), combine the macaroni and the beef mixture. Spread this mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with the cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Ground turkey or chicken can be used in place of beef, if desired.

This was a great, easy, and tasty casserole that we have all probably made and loved over time.

Now onto the awards......

I received this award from Libby of Cooking with Libby. Libby is a great blogging friend that I met in the My Girl Paula group. Thanks Libby!

I also received this award from Joanne of Eats Well With Others. Joanne is another great blogging friend that I met through the Tyler Florence Fridays group! Thanks Joanne.

This last award requires that it be passed on to 7 bloggers and that each person list 7 personality traits about themselves.

Here goes mine:
1) Loyal/Dedicated -I love my family and friends and would do anything/stand up for them no matter what.
2) Curious-Full of questions
3)Passionate/Extreme- I really like something/someone or I really don't. Not a lot of in between with me.
4)Real/Honest - I don't like to put on airs or be "politically correct". I think we should all be okay with being who we are as long as we are kind about it.
5)Forgetful/Somewhat Oblivious - *ahem* ask my husband about this. I have a tendency to look for things that are right in front of my face, or hit parked cars, or write checks from the wrong account *ahem*. I'm hopeful this will all change, but not holding my breath.
6)Anxious/Nervous- This probably feeds the forgetfulness and obliviousness (is that a word?) I mentioned above. I'm constantly thinking about to-do lists and what needs to be done.
7)Bad Temper - Assume being happy is a 1 and being very angry is a 10. I'm super laid back until I get to about a 7 on the scale. It takes A LOT for me to start getting to an 8. I feel sorry for the person who is around me when I'm a 10! Once that happens I'm angry the rest of the day and can't shake it off. I've been told this improves with age, but I'm finding it to be quite the opposite~

Here is a list of the 7 bloggers that I am passing this second award to:
1) Beth of The Seventh Level of Boredom
2) Kristin of Sogkonnite Living
3) Libby of Cooking with Libby
4) Glennis of Can't Believe We Ate
5) Arlene at The Food of Love
6) Debby at A Feast For the Eyes
7) Coleen of Coleen's Recipes

Don't forget about the contest/giveaway!! I'm really excited to see what great and creative ideas you can come up with : )

See ya tomorrow for a Creative Thursdays!! It's gonna be a delicious, super quick, and extremely easy recipe from another foodie friend.


  1. What i find funny about this post is that a while back I made hubby chilli macaroni. He said it would be good, but it would be better without any beans (!) looks like you have the recipe for a hubby pleaser here.
    Great post, and wonderful learning more about u. Congrats on your award.

  2. That looks and sounds quite tasty - but I really enjoyed reading about your 7 things. I learned a lot about you today!

  3. Wow, what a busy post, I feel like a total slacker, especially since it was WW! I love the contest & love the prize even more, everything sounds heavenly! But, it's going to take a little bit of thought, I have never tried to classify myself. I'll have to get back to you. Thank you so much for the award, it's my first one & I feel honored! The 7 things are such a great idea, but will also take some thought. Looks like I'll have a busy night. I'll write about it tomorrow- thanks!!!

  4. My cooking show style would be comfort food with healthy ingredients and all vegetarian! I would call it The Meat and Potatoes Vegetarian. That's funny! My signature dish: Meat-Not Loaf! This is something I make a LOT! It's a vegetarian loaf with a tangy topping.

  5. Love the contest idea; I'll have to give it some thought. Thanks so much for the award. Will upload it tomorrow when I try to think of 7 traits, lol. Busy time between volunteering and preparing to go back to work (very part time).

  6. Congrats on the awards, and my hubby would love the recipe!

    Hmmmm....I suppose I would call myself the "VaVaVoom Vegetarian"....haha....and my signature dish would have to be my 15 veggie/7 cheese lasagna!

    Thanks for the entry!

  7. Fun! Your mac looks delish and congrats on your awards. This is one of those questions that I want to be able to answer but my brains swims and draws a blank all at the same time. I'll come back to answer your question once I can sort it all out, LOL :P

  8. Your casserole dish sounds wonderful. Im enjoying Pauala deens recipes more and more lately.

    My style would be doggycowgirl style.. kidding

    My style of cooking is Girl Next Door Cooking. I cook like an every day mom/wife/neighbor, Im the friend you want, and down to earth in my tastes.

  9. I have never met a mac and cheese I didn't like - and this one looks fab!

  10. Thank you so much for the award! I'm truly honored. My style of cooking? Totally Ina Garten. No doubt about it. She cooks and bakes, just like I do. Her recipes are very simple, I think. I've made so many of her recipes, and I have never been disappointed. I'd so love to have a meal with Ina.

  11. First of all - love the mac and cheese. If there's anywhere you should turn for a good mac and cheese recipe - it's Paula Deen. That's a no-brainer.

    Second of all - love the contest. I would say my cooking style is healthy with a twist. I think the problem with some of the healthy food network star shows (ellie krieger) is that the food is usually kind of bland and boring. I'd like to think that my food has a ton of flavor and pizazz without going overboard on saturated fat. There would definitely be a huge emphasis on sweet potatoes and winter squash in my show. I think my signature dish would have to be my Rosemary Mac N Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Sweet Potatoes.

  12. My show would be all about using fresh herbs. For example, one show would be basil from start to finish - an appetizer, entree, and dessert - all showcasing the featured herb. I wouldn't have a signature dish, because really who could chose their favorite herb?

  13. I absolutely love LUSH products. I have been a devotee for about 5 yrs now! Love their REHAB shampoo--it works wonders!!

    If I had my own show it would have to be named after my blog "A Pinch of This, and a Dash of That" just because my style of cooking is having a creative mind and adding a little bit of a lot of things to get your own masterpiece! Plus, my blog was really what prompted me to push my self in to be more creative in the kitchen. As far as my signature dish, it would have to be something with many different ingredients, which many of my recipes do--one of my fav is probably my Sinless Strata; a little of everything good in it--eggs, bread, sausage, apple, onions, and milk! :-)

  14. Thanks again for my award, I cheated with the traits- didn't have much brain power today. I do want to enter the contest too- just am not so good at this self assessment stuff I guess. I try to be healthy, frugal, and kid friendly. Don't think I could pitch a TV show on that, but I hope it wins me this great prize!

  15. Oh man, this is too easy! I can tell you what my show would be called, "Recipe? We Don't Need No Stinkin' RECIPE!" Don't get me wrong, clearly I use recipes, but when it comes right down to it, the recipe is just a guideline. I am a firm believer that you can and should adapt any recipe to your personal liking, based on what you have available to you (you know, since I live in Deliverance and I can rarely get my hands on the right ingredients anyway!). My show would be all about how to make do with what you've got since so many of us are not situated neatly in a thriving city with great grocers and ethnic markets. My signature dish would probably be my Kitchen Sink Risotto Cakes. I make up a batch of risotto in chicken stock...maybe with some leeks or peas, or whatever other veggies I have on hand. Add a little cream and voila! Its risotto! Then, the next day, brown up some meat, maybe pork sausage, maybe hamburger, whatever you've got....mix it in with the leftover risotto, shape it into patties, roll in breadcrumbs (or cracker, or pretzel, or flour, or parmesan, or NOTHING if that's what you've got!) and pan fry to golden yumminess! A fantastic breakfast!

    What a great contest - can't wait to see how it turns out!

  16. If I were to have a show, I'd make it a baking show and simply call it Chaya Bakes Kosher. That would emphasize what is important to me. I would make all the goodies on my long list of "to do's".

  17. What a fun question! Hmmmm....I am kind of a schizophrenic in the kitchen. I want to eat healthy, but then there is the side of me that can't resist the sweets. I think my signature dish would be anything made with Oreos when I am cheating on my diet and something fruity and light when I am being a good girl. I think I'd name my show the same name as my blog: Cheat Day Cafe.

  18. oooh, I love lush products! I've never bought them, but I certainly love going into the store and just trying stuff. :)

    My cooking style is really a bit of everything .. I think for a show name, I'd use 'Yes, please!' since that's what my husband always says when I suggest recipes that sound good. My signature dish would probably be nisua - a finnish cardamom bread that my aunt usually makes for the family. Guess I should try making it! :)

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