Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

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[ Currently Eating: Some Pistachio Nuts ]

Alton Brown from Food NetworkI didn’t know for the longest time that my polling system had been completely foobar-ed until the other day. Well, it was time to change it out anyhow but still it was a bit disappointing to have lost a whole lot of votes. In any case, I’ve got a new poll plugin going that I think actually works better, along with a new poll: Your favorite type of cheap food. Be it salty, spicy, sweet, or sour. Think hard on this one because there’s no combining attributes…

Ah so, I didn’t have the usual screenshot since the system was broken so I’ve had to write the numbers down alongside. It isn’t a huge surprise who the winner would be here. The dashing and dangerous (look at that knife) Alton Brown completely blew away the competition (though I do believe there may have been some “ballot stuffing”) for the Cheap Eats Favorite Food Network Star. If you weren’t one of the 137 people to pick Mr. Brown, I think in most cases it was deciding which of the other 3 food stars were the least annoying, hehe.

I gotta admit that Alton is probably the least annoying and probably most informative of the food stars. You can even get his entire catalog of Good Eats shows on DVD, I’ve watched many of the shows from a friend’s copy.

Food Network Star Poll

Rachel Ray came in second with 27 votes as was expected, riding on the “hottie” ticket that rabid Food Network fans have plastered her with. I think she gets a lot of flak for being maybe the most annoying with the giggling and “E.V.O.O”. And what is with her looking completely different in every show? She has 3 shows on Food Network too, so there’s even more change between the different shows on how she looks. Sometimes she looks like she’s put on the pounds and other times she’s skinny as a rail. Weird.

Emeril and Bobby Flay brought up the rear with a handfull of votes each. Thankfully so. The very first time I watched Emeril I was thinking, hey this guy is kind of weird… interesting. However, there have been one too many “Kick It Up A Notch”es and “Bam!”s for my liking; the jokes just grew old. I’ve always thought that Mr. Flay was way too smug and “dormitory” for my tastes and extremely rude to his guests.

I guess if I had more candidates in the Poll it might have been better… Morimoto and Mario Batali would have probably done better. Not Wolfgang Puck or as we like to call him Wolfgang Shyte. The other transformation of his last name is just too obvious, and I refuse to give him that satisfaction…


[ Currently Eating: Mushroom Soup ]

I’d been looking forward to Dave Lieberman’s debut show ever since hearing about it awhile back. I just finished watching it today and at least for this initial show am pretty impressed. Some initial thoughts:

Pros:
Down to earth, accessible.
Genuinely concerned with prices.
Will use canned food.

Cons:
Show is actually too short!
I would like it if, like Rachel Ray’s 40 Dollars A Day, he gave each recipe’s total price.

First, it should come as no surprise that he isn’t going to concern himself ONLY with Cheap Eats… forming a cooking show around that theme would be highly unrealistic especially on the frou-frou Food Network. However, I’ve got to give him some props for at least attempting to inject some cheap eats tips into various parts of his show.

To start with, New York food writer and chef Dave Lieberman is actually a pretty down to earth guy on TV which makes the show more palatable. He isn’t condescending, stuck up, or acerbic like Bobby Flay can be, yet he’s more organized and less sloppy than The Naked Chef. He reminds me of college student or something. A funny side note is that he sounds almost exactly like Scott Wolf (from Party of Five in the 90s).

Anyhow, in this first show he sets up 4 different dishes for a last minute dinner party. I started writing down all the ingredients before I found out they’re available on the food network site:

Cannellini Bean, Red Onion, and Arugula Salad
Roasted Cauliflower
Apricot Glazed Chicken with Dried Plums and Sage
Pudding and Berry Tart with Graham Cracker Crust


Continue reading “Good Deal With Dave Lieberman” …


[ Currently Eating: M&Ms ]

I’m somewhat looking forward to the premiere of Good Deal with Dave Lieberman on the Food Network channel on April 16, 2005. The Yale graduate hosted a food show at his alma mater and is the author of a book called “Young and Hungry: More Than 100 Recipes for Cooking Fresh and Affordable Food for Everyone”. I don’t in particular expect it to be anything close to real Cheap Eats because it’s a TV show after all (Rachel Ray, though sometimes cute in $40 A Day, often brings shame to the theories of cheap eats. Come on. FORTY dollars a DAY? Some people could probably make do with $40 a month…) From the Food Network website:

Dave Lieberman is a young man with a mission: teaching people how to live, eat and entertain like a king or queen, even if they have the budget of a commoner. In Good Deal with Dave Lieberman, Dave keeps things quick, easy and inexpensive, giving viewers practical tips on keeping quality up and costs down. Whether preparing a buffet dinner for an ever-expanding party guest list, helping a love-struck best friend pull together a romantic dinner or throwing an indoor bbq party for the space and budget challenged, Dave always guarantees fabulous food in a way that won’t break the clock or the bank.

Still, I’m intrigued by the possibility of converting some of the recipes that may be offered on the show to true Cheap Eats. I often find myself successfully using a recipe or idea from a Food Network show by doing a reduction in the cost of ingredients and the methods used.




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