Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Best TV Show That I'm Watching Right Now

The state of television such as it is, I don't have many shows programmed into my DVR.   But this one is and it's a TV vehicle that has had a profound effect on my life.   That's lofty praise for a simple cooking show even if it is hosted by my long term TV crush Valerie Bertinelli.   I'd probably watch it simply if she was just stirring up fruit from the bottom of her yogurt cup.  But the program has made a difference for me.   I am a better cook today because of it.

Valerie is being smart about her career after a long acting career that recently  included "Hot in Cleveland."  Given her love of cooking, she parlayed that into a re-branding of herself.   As a star on TV's Food Network.  Genius move.   She pops up as a judge here and there.   More importantly, in 2015, she started her own weekly half-hour called "Valerie's Home Cooking."   The rest...for me...is history.

There is something about the recipes that she features which is remarkable.   For the most part, they are easy to make.  Usually, when I would watch cooking shows in the past, there would be some part of the process that would stump me and requiring skills that I didn't have.   But, Bertinelli's food is different. The recipes on TV, her first cookbook...and probably in her subsequent cookbook...don't trip you up at all. And, as a result, this woman has made me into a better chef.   I now look forward to the cooking process.  When you make some of this stuff for company, they are astounded.   The results are that good. When guests ask me what's on the menu, I say I'm doing "a complete Valerie." They know what I mean.

There are some Valerie concoctions that are now staples in my repertoire.   Her lasagna with Bechemel sauce.   Her chocolate love cake that includes the surprise ingredients of ricotta and marscapone cheese.   Brussel sprouts roasted with bits of pancetta.   A Limoncello-based challah pudding that is so easy and so incredibly tasty.  Her pan roasted tomatoes in balsamic jam which I now make as an entree at least once a week.  I am anxiously awaiting Christmas day for an excuse to try out this prime rib she just made.

Thanks to Valerie, I now appreciate the addition of fresh herbs and seasonings to the kitchen.   I know how to combine flavors to an optimum.   Because she loves lemon zest, I had to go out and buy a zester.   I've put together my own Italian seasoning just like she showed me.   And I learned to chiffonade.   Don't know what that means?   Well, you're not watching this show, are you?

Not only do I watch the first run episodes that run every Saturday, I'm still recording and watching the reruns.   Her next cookbook comes out this fall.   I'm all set to pre-order on Amazon.

I'm smarter and better now when it comes to working into the kitchen.   All thanks to Valerie Bertinelli.   When she recently did a Facebook Live from her set, I dropped in a comment like an ordinary fan and she "liked" it.  Then she liked a tweet.  

You would think that a grown man wouldn't react like some star-crossed teenager.   But I did.   At one point, I would have liked to write a sitcom role for her.   Hell, this cooking thing works just as well.  

Dinner last night:  Had a big lunch so just a sandwich.

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