Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mi Lechuga and My Laziness ...

Hey there! I'm about to head into the city to get my nails done for a huge shoot I have tomorrow and Friday, but I thought I'd write up a quickie.

BTW, that first sentence can sub for what I would tweet, if I gave a twit teeheehee. I remember my blog buddy Jacob trying to convince me I should tweet and at the time of the text conversation we were having, I was getting my nails done. I told him, 'What would I tweet? That I'm getting my nails done and then I'm on the way to one of my favorite restaurants?" ... he said "yes". I have still yet to tweet away. I still don't know if I have an interesting life. I currently am truly enjoying the Wendy Williams Show and she constantly talks about what she likes to do most is pretty much nothing. Same here, I enjoy staying at home and cooking and playing video games and watching television. I do love going places, but I just don't think it's exciting or note-worthy enough.

Ok, so anyway ... i digress ... here's a shot of my lechuga, aka lettuce in my garden!

It grows like crazy when I clip it and because it's mixed, it makes a real pretty salad. My radishes didn't make it and it was totally my fault, I kept saying I needed to thin them out and never did :-(. I am so not letting that happen to my fennel! I'm a bit worried about the tomatoes even though they are looking great, the weather and other reports from gardeners makes me feel like they may not taste as tomatoey as they should. I am thisclose to pruning them while they are green and frying away. In the top left of the pic is a look at one leaf of my collards, they are big and feeding little herbavores, not me ... not yet. Other than that I'm, a lady in waiting for my onions and can't wait to see if they are big and juicy.

Alright now for another picture. I was in recipe development a couple of weeks and back I'm still wrapping up all my recipes for the next episodes I begin taping in August. I always try to bring you the flavors of my kitchen with an emphasis on easy and accessible recipes. I really want you to watch and see that it's possible to do and there are no real tricks involved in getting good food on the table everyday. Well, on a future show I'm planning I wanted to demo a dish that I love to eat in my new neighborhood in Brooklyn. They are called pastelillos de carne and basically it's seasoned ground meat wrapped with pastry and fried, yummy. There are many variations and really a great comparison is an empanada, if you are familiar. So, I was working on developing the pastry dough part and came up with something great, but for such a yummy treat, the steps involved would be lengthy on television. I don't mind showing long steps because sometimes we alllll know good things come to those that wait. But, shortcuts are fun too, when they don't mess with the integrity of the recipe. Look, when I make pot-stickers, I'm not making the wonton papers, I'm buying them. Although I know how to make them, and have a great recipe from my days making their cousin yakimandu in South Korea ... laziness is what will keep me from cooking, so wonton papers are a miracle in my freezer. Now ... on what I call a "spelunking grocery store trip" just yesterday I found the way to faster empanadas and the aforementioned pastelillos de carne I have planned for a future show. Take a look!

Who knew? Not me, so I thought I'd share for a few reasons;
1) If you don't have these at your local grocer, you can get them. All you have to do is take the name of the product to the customer service window where you get the membership cards and stuff and ask for it. Enough people asking, and they are sure to stock them. I've gotten stuff stocked after only asking once ... and don't think they know I work in the food industry, they don't. I just put on a smile and ask. Goya is a national brand, but I find sometimes they are mostly in ethnic areas. So, if you don't have these or any other thing you see being used on Food Network, empower yourself and ask for it at your local grocer.

2) I just want to inspire you to do some of your own grocery store spelunking. You never know what you are going to find when you open your eyes. I know it's economically safe to walk in with a list and a full belly, but try to look at your grocery store in a different way. New items are constantly arriving and you never know what you'll find if you just do a stroll instead of a marathon. I usually take forever when I'm in the mood and it's as if I look at every single row, high and low, very slowly. Like it's a museum.

3) After I took the picture of the empanada wraps in my freezer, I realized the borders reveal a few of my freezer items ... can you tell what they are? Just a fun game to play if you happen to be working when you catch this post and need a little 5 minute distraction. Ok, enjoy the day! I'm headed off to get my nails all pretty for tomorrow's big shoot ... details to come.

p.s. this isn't an advertisement for Goya or it's products, just a friend telling a friend :-).

25 comments:

The Duo Dishes said...

We cannot tell you how much time we spend poking around mainstream and ethnic markets. It's an obsession. So many good finds! We have totally used wonton wrappers for ravioli by the way. Easy, lazy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,,,,have your show on right now, "Mexican recipes",food channel, 3 PM SW Missouri. About an hour north of Springfield MO.
I decided to Google your name and came up with all your online info...enjoyed reading it all so far.
I love to make up concoctions and get good ideas from your show. If you were about 30 years older,,,I would ask you to marry me. LOL
Harvey Dean
SWMO (South West Missouri)
I like your attitude,,,it seems like you enjoy life. I love that.
(((HUGS)))

Sunny Anderson said...

the duo dishes, yaaaaaaay! so glad i'm not the only one that makes going to the grocery store an event! you hae to see the multitude of places i hae in my hood to shop and i still haven't looked through them all. and i do the ravioli trick too ... i have a recipe on the way i tape in august called "ricotta ravioli with spinach pesto" ...wonton-mania! you can julienne them and fry em tooooo or boil em for teeny fetuccine. so many things to do.

harvey dean, well first ... thank you so much for the compliment. you are right, i'm a happy person, not perfect in any way, but in love with this gift of life we all have. so the smile is there because i'm working my dream and always have. i'm so happy as a foodie, you've found your way here and to my shows! southwest, mo is allllllllright with me :-). hope you enjoy the new shows on the way!

J. R. Jones said...

Hi, Sunny! We appreciate the insights into your off-screen life. You don't have to tweet, though. "Following" people still feels a little creepy to me.
I wish you much success, and hope to see you on-air and in the blogosphere for many years to come!

Selenasking said...

Well Sunny, I think it's fun to shop. I food shop for my parents and me. I just get what's on their list and mine. I want to do better with my cooking, lol. Why did RR have to marry someone else, lol, I'd have my food cooked so well if she were mine. Anyway, the last time I shopped at our local A&P store guess who I saw? I saw him there about six months ago too. Yes, he lives locally here somewhere and goes into the big city for his TV duties. I'll tell you when you guess.

Cooking Mama said...

So the empanada wrappers were in the freezer section? I'll need to check that out. You could make all kind of fun stuff with those!

You said you like to play video games? What titles do you like to play? I always find it interesting to see what "older" people like me are playing. I don't have much time these days but my favorites are Harvest Moon and The Sims. I'm into the RPG's. Can you tell? :) Mario Kart is fun as well. And now we have Rock Band but I get enough of just the kids playing that. My ears are ringing!

I've been reading Brad Metzger's, Millionaires. It's really good! Thanks for recommending. I don't think I would have picked any of his stuff up otherwise.

Sunny Anderson said...

j.r. jones, hey there! thanks for reading the blog and i am so happy there is a non tweet vote! i feel like ... dare i say ... peer pressure?? you are right, the following thing is creepy and i still think there will be a tweet-stalk case in the near future, although i hope i'm wrong about that. thanks again and i hope you continue to catch shows and enjoy the blog!

selenasking, hmmmmm i dunno whom you speak of, but i know when i lived in nj, i couldn't walk two steps without bumping into a singer or rapper lol ... gimme a bigger hint ...i'm game, love a challenge.

cooking mama, yup! in the freezer section and there were also sazon-flavored ones with annato-orange color! i agree, i am waiting for some free time to play with them and make way more than empanadas! ok, here's my video game list, god of war, call of duty, resident evil, guitar hero, mirror's edge and any game that has what i call "boss levels", where you fight a beast and then the next level is even harder with a bigger beast and the finale is the boss. childish yes, but really fun. and yaaaaay on brad! i'm reading "zero game" right now, and just incase you like his style, i won't tell you anything, but boy, he just socked me in the face with a crazy twist. what a good read! i'll tell him he's earned another fan, he is very cool with his readers. if you check on my myspace page, he is in my friends, email him and he emails right back ... very nice family man.

Selenasking said...

Haha, you are great Sunny. Ok, He is a newsman on CNN so you couldn't have a clue, lol. The initials are L.D. Do you know? I'm way up here in the boonies 55 miles NW of NYC.

Sunny Anderson said...

selenasking, i don't say it much, but i'm a news junkie, read the paper everyday and often fight my dude to watch the evening news over junk ... i began my career writing the news. next time you run into LOU DOBBS. tellem his demographic is everyone even hip hop heads that cook and play video games! :-) ... do i get a cookie?

Selenasking said...

Yes, that's right! How about you make the cookies and we both eat them? Yum!

Ernesto said...

Sunny i love you!!!

please bring more of your mexican inspired food to your show...

i love your show and i love your soul, your spirit... saludos from San Diego.

Ordyne@cox.net

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny! My name is Jonelle and I'm from New Orleans. What radio station did you work at when you were down here? Anyway, I tried your 20 clove garlic brisket during the holiday season and it turned out great! Have you thought about making more Jamaican or African style dishes? If not, I challenge you to try something out of the box! LOL!!

Sunny Anderson said...

selenasking, haaaaa! well right now i am actually making plenty of cookies for the 12 days of cookies event with food network for the holidays, trying to make sure the recipe is good to go before my deadline!

ernesto, thanks! i looooooove mexican food. chorizo coming in first!

jonelle, i worked at wyld and kumx. i think kumx changed it's call letters since then, but it was top 40 when i was there. glad the brisket was yummy! i have some more neat twists on the holidays coming up this year. hope you catch them! and i have plenty of jamaican dishes in play right now with more on the way, but nothing that screams "african" ... i think i'm waiting to delve into that after i take a trip there. it's such a huge continent with so many countries, so if I do african, i'd like to have a distinct point of reference. is it tunisian, senegalese, egyptian, sudanese, ethiopian? and the list goes on ... it's on the way though. :-)

Anonymous said...

Love you Sunny but you really should
not talk so much. I want to watch you but you talk constantly, just cook like you would if you had company over. Sorry, but I like the shows where they cook more and talk less.

Elizabeth said...

I love empanadas. I make beef empanadas all the time, but I also make cheese empanadas and some people even make guava empanadas. I even baked them once, but of course, it will never be the same as a fried one!

I took an interest in wonton wrappers last year some time and had lots of fun stuffing them with all kinds of things too.

Sunny Anderson said...

anon, my family calls me motor mouth! we all as television cooks must talk because if we don't people get uncomfortable. more people than not, actually. maybe i just don't talk the way you like or about what you like, because we allllll talk ... constantly. if it isn't about the ingredient, it's the process, or the story behind the dish. one of my fave shows, the host talks non-stop in rapid fire! i don't mind at all, so i'm sure this is just to each his or her own. they call the silence 'dead air' and i perfected the art of dodging it in my radio career. the goal is to cook and talk at the same time and i actually like that you want me to talk like friends are coming over, because well ... if you are watching i want you to feel like you are visiting my kitchen and you are a guest. that means, plenty of stories and laughing and fun. sorry it irks you, but the good thing is you'd like to watch the show, and hopefully try the recipes. thanks for visiting the blog!

elizabeth, saaaaaaame here! just made some pork and chicken ones last night courtesy of my new find! ok, my dude loves guava in the jelled form, goya sells that too. he eats it straight out of the package, like candy. i gotta see if he'd like a guava empanada! thanks! and yeah wonton wrappers make my life so easy. i'll make ravioli and then freeze it and either fry, steam or boil them, such a quick fix in a pinch!

Sue said...

Hiya Sunny,
I loved you on TNFNS last night. You were so nice...much nicer than I would have been. Was that dragged out so long that you were starving or did you feel like you'd been eating all day?

Selenasking said...

Speaking of Mexican, my favorite in Atlantic City (that I've found so far)is Los Amigos. I haven't been there for a while but over the last several years I have many times. I know your cookies will be great Sunny and have you seen my MySpace? I'm there waiting for you to approve. Seems you don't go there much, lol.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sunny! It's Jonelle again. I've never heard of KUMX, but WYLD is still alive and kickin. Girl, I made the spicy mac & cheese! I need to slap you cause it was too good! I am extremely proud to see a fellow african american doin it up big. Keep up the fabulous work!!

Lys said...

*note to self: Pick up Empanada wrappers* ;)

Seriously - you brought up a good thing re: talking to the customer service about stocking items. I have had a few discussions with store management and next thing I know they are stocking Italian Parsley, Arugula and Marscapone Cheese. Not bad - makes my trips to multiple stores less :)

Sunny Anderson said...

sue, glad you caught nfns. and to answer your question, i was HUNGRY!!! we got there early in the morning to get hair and makeup and then we taped the walk-in a few times, then each plate we ate, then talked about for at least 30 minutes each. they wanted a comment from each of us, that's not counting our comment on the demos and our comments on each person overall ... it's amazing how 12 hours can get cut into just a few minutes, but they did a good job of getting the feeling of the day. i watched wondering what i would've left in or out having been there myself, they did an excellent job. i think i'd just have a jillion hour show for fear of leaving out the goods. can't wait to see who wins! also quick note, the challenges are so realistic, some people say they aren't, but i've been at cooking demos where not all of my ingredients are there and others are given to me to work with. i've done television demos where the equipment was faulty and had to fix it live ... scary. i've also been given 1 key ingredient to make a recipe out of with a deadline ... and so many other very similar things. so feel good when you watch the show about the realism of the challenges. some of them seem harsh or outlandish, but they all come from a real place.

selenasking, well then you must go a bit further down the coast and hang out at wildwood ... so many people give me a weird face when i recommend, but it's lazy and sunny and there's plenty of good food. maybe it doesn't have the lights and whistles, but it has history and a great boardwalk!

jonelle, yeah i think kumx has different call letters, it even changed when i worked there. glad you like the spicy mac n cheese!!! it's fire right?! i've worked on it for years and it has elements from every great mac i've tasted. glad you liked it. :-) make it with my cider-brined fried chicken!

lys, teeheehee, yes, and get two packs cuz 10 isn't enough! i'm a stocker, i love to have one to use and then one in the bank, my pantry is a teeny bomb bunker of canned goods n stuff. i just like to know it's there. so gimme a high 5 on the customer services window!!! (i throw up the HIGH 5) ... there's power in words, especially if the words are backed by spending power. i've moved so much that the best thing about living in nyc is i can get my korean ingredients and german ingredients, i mean pretty much anything here ... if i look. it doesn't mean i don't beg for it allll at my local store though lol. one place in detroit i got to stock tortillas lol ... i was like, i promise, i'll buy them and so will so many others! and then all of a sudden they were there! kudos to you on the marscapone! that shoulda been there! it is so versatile! i get it on the produce, a bit harder to get sometimes because they expire faster and truly need a market to sell or it's all lost. you still comin for the wine thing? lemme know so i can take ya for a bite here! see if we can have a bloggers lunch, me, you, jacob and more ....

Mary at My New 30 said...

Oh my gosh, How you doin'?? I am SO loving Wendy's show too. She cracks me up!! I swear I spend the entire show laughing.

I'm all for shortcuts too - I would never even dream to try to make wonton wrappers!

We have a Louisiana grocery store over here in Mississippi (Rouse's) and I can browse that store like I'm in a library or window shopping at the mall, I swear! There are so many Louisiana products there that aren't in other stores and I love checking the shelves.

I see freezer pops for sure, and maybe some peanuts??

Oh yeah, and on Twitter. Well, the other FN chefs that are on there usually tweet book signings, appearances, when they post new recipes - basically things like you put up in your posts. You can put up links using tinyurl.com to shorten them. Sometimes they tweet pics of dishes that they upload to twitpic.com You really should consider giving it a try! I follow Emeril, Jamie Oliver, Flay, Guy, and Tyler.

Sunny Anderson said...

mary at my new 30, HOW YOU DEWWWWWIN?! LOL!!! i too haven't laughed harder at tv in years! i think the only other person making me laugh that loud is chelsea handler and kathy griffin, but for just off the cuff, live commentary ... wendy is the best! my dude is always asking, what are you laughing at?? i taped a show that airs i think on labor day. i'll post as soon as i know. ok, jealous of your grocery store!! if i find a store with a jillion regional sauces, i buy them all and work through them one by one. i currently have like 15 different hot sauces waiting in my pantry that i'm working through ... maybe i'll take a flick and post. and yes, freezer pops, i'm a kid and so is my dude. peanuts, slivered almonds. on the twitter, i dunno ... still don't think i have enough random thoughts to fill the day and i don't want to have an advertising only blog, you know. i'm a content person, so i'd want to fill it with that and i don't know if i could say interesting enough things all day. at least here i get a few days to construct my thoughts and if you haven't noticed ... i'm long-winded teeheehee, so the 140 chars thing is a hard thing for me to get over, even with a tinyurl thing. never saying never though ...

Lydia C said...

Hey Sunny!

I love empanadas! When my husband and I got engaged, his mother brought me in the kitchen and said this is one thing you need to learn to make. Also, she taught me how to do sofrito and arroz con pollo that afternoon. I had writer's cramp by the time I was done. LOL

As another poster stated above, you don't have to just go with the meat filling. My husband loves me just putting american cheese in there. I love making a pizza version - just throw some sauce, pepperoni and some mozzarella cheese and seal it up. It's a nice little appetizer - especially for football games!

Sunny Anderson said...

lydia c, teeheehee, i got the same rice lesson and a tupperware of her sofrito for my fridge! ahh the overprotective, yet caring mother ... have to love them passing down the recipes! and yessssss, empanadas are meant to be filled with everything! i'd tightly wrap one of the pre-made wrappers around a candy bar and fry it! ooooooweeeee i can taste it now...