Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm still taping!

Hey there! I'm still taping episodes of Cooking for Real in NYC's Chelsea Market and it looks like we'll wrap on Thursday. We start with one show on the first day to get our or -- my :-) sea legs back, then move on to two shows a day. With the snow day from last week, all we had to do was add an extra day of shooting . No biggie for me, I enjoy cooking and eating and if not at work, I'd be doing the same at home!

Sometimes during our lunch break a writer or camera crew from the press comes by for a chat and interview that usually eats up half of lunch. I don't mind because it means we're getting the word out about the show and since I've begun, the amount of lunch time interviews has increased. That makes me feel really good about the progress of the show and how people are receiving it. Anyway, today is the first day I've had a free lunch, so I thought I'd spend part of it with you. :-)

Here are some flicks ... I call this "Taters 'Cross America" teeheehee ...
See Hawaii? The bowl represents the Great Lakes and I ran out of potatoes and space so, Alaska, my bad ... you are there in my heart :-). I made this during a break between acts as my culinary team, producer and director discussed when, where and how to bring the potatoes into the show. Are they already sliced? Are they in the pan? Do I slice them during the act? Do I begin slicing them at the end of the act? Plenty of questions. The cool thing is this show at the beginning of the day didn't even include fingerling potatoes. It was an addition after we removed one of my cupcake recipes because I'd just filmed a cupcake episode last week. We didn't catch the redundancy of the dishes in the planning stages, but as soon as we did, I made a menu change on the fly. Now instead of chicken and cupcakes, it's chicken and fingerlings.

Here's a look at the workspace just in front of my set for the culinary team.
That's our culinary intern Ali on the far left of the table (actually the center of the pic), then Sarah on the true left and Jenna. If you've caught any of the posts tagged with "the crew", you'll recognize the last two. Each run of shows I meet a new intern and sometimes if I tape close within a few months, I see the same intern working. I always wonder how they are moving on after their time here, but I gotta tell you if you are a culinary student looking for some great hands-on experience ... I'd look into interning here. They get so much real time work and it's not just chopping and prepping or getting someone coffee.

Alright, this last pic is the answer to some of the questions I get about what I eat when I'm taping shows. Sometimes I take work home and eat that for dinner, but when I can't I always look for something easy to make. In my grocery store just last week I saw a new product stocked. It was seasoned meat in a vacuum-sealed pouch and it was called "Carne Enchilada", but under that heading it said "seasoned pork". I chuckled a bit because I've always correlated the word "carne" with beef, not pork. Misnomer or not, I thought I'd buy it and see what it was. Well, it was pork. Very well seasoned and cut into strips. I thought, this is an easy prep! Last night I poured it into a dish, chopped up a jalapeno, red onion, some tomatoes and garlic to cook it with and added some stock for moisture after I snapped this flick. Here it is before the oven ...
It came out bubbly and ready for a warmed tortilla with a lil lettuce and tomato. I wolfed it down and got in bed to make notes for today's shows. Can't wait to make something out of it for leftovers .. maybe just a tostada or something. So, hope that answers the question about what I do at the end of a long day cooking. Answer: I go home to cook some more!

Hope you are having a great week so far. It's still snowing in NYC and I love it!

17 comments:

A.T. said...

Sunny - just wanted to say that I love your show and your recipes. Your hazelnut pumpkin pie has been a favorite in my household, and I frequently make your open faced plum tart for myself and for friends :) As a fellow Air Force chick (I'm in the Reserves in Indiana currently, spent 6 years on active duty...here, there, and everywhere!), thanks not only for your service, but for being an inspiration by taking a dream and making it a reality. I wish you nothing but continued happiness and success - thanks for all you do!

The Duo Dishes said...

Thanks for this behind-the-scenes view. It's funny how even cooking for work doesn't deter you from cooking for fun. That's how you know you love it. That was probably good during that cold weather anyways!

Hope you've heard about Stir It 28, which is a multi-city culinary fundraiser hosted by 4 bloggers in LA, NY, Chi and Atl. We're raising money for Haiti. It'd be great if you could check it out on our blog post tomorrow. Please? :)

Mausi said...

HI Sunny, It is great to feel your enthusiasm form your writing. It makes me happy and motivate me more for cooking. Carne Asada pork looks really good. If this was before you cook, I wonder how much better it looked after. I love Mexican food. I used to live in California for about 9 years so I was able to eat lots of good Mexican food. I miss good Mexican food in NY. I have to explore more to find a good tasting Mexican restaurant! Good luck with the rest of shoot!

nessienessa said...

I eagerly await the episode with the onion rings! teehee

Mary said...

It's good to see that you cook at home too - I often wonder if once people get their own shows and such if they keep at it. That sure looks like some good tortilla stuffing going on!! Oh and love the potato map LOL. Have a great weekend - it is Friday isn't it??

Jen in Detroit said...

Hi Sunny, love seeing the pics from your set...they're great! And as far as the pic of the "Carne Enchilada"? All I can say is "O-M-G!" I must have been a little hungry (which is NOT a rare occurrence for me-LOL) when I looked at it because my first thought was "DANG! That looks good enough to eat right now...before it goes in the oven!!!" I'm sure it was awesome; sounds wonderful with warm tortillas.

I'm a HUGE rice fan--seems like it would also be great over rice. Sometimes I do this homemade Mexican pizza-type of thing using flatbread with refried beans spread on top and then ground meat and veggies. I'll bet this Carne Enchilada would be fantastic in place of ground meat! (That was a lesson for me as well; I always thought "carne" referred to beef.) I'm going to look for that product next time I go shopping!

When you said that you go home and cook after cooking all day, I wasn't surprised at all because it's obvious that you truly love what you do. To go home and do the same thing you've been doing all day---that's when you KNOW you have an awesome job! (I WILL get to that point eventually as well!)

I'm headed to the kitchen to make some "kicked-up" popcorn. I LOVE popcorn, and I'm totally OLD SCHOOL. I always buy kernels and pop them the old-fashioned way using a big pot on top of my stove. (One of my favorite childhood memories is standing in the kitchen watching my Mom at our stove with the big ol' cast-iron pot...and listening to those kernels pop and slam up against the lid! If I live to be 100 I'll always remember that sound and that great smell! Funny how the simplest things result in the fondest of memories; ones that last forever!) Anyway.....sorry, I digress... I usually like my popcorn with just a little butter and salt, but tonight I think I'll add a little of this spicy bar-b-que seasoning mix I put together (a little garlic powder, salt, paprika, sugar, etc.) I think it should be pretty good sprinkled on hot popcorn; I love "sweet and salt" together.

Gotta have something to munch on...one of my all-time favorite movies just came on...don't laugh: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". I don't know WHAT it is about that movie but it captivates me (and trips me out) every time I watch it!

I have typed way too much; if you made it to the end, thanks for reading! And keep sharing those great pictures and recipes!
Jen in Detroit :)

biff1872 said...

Hi Sunny!

Just watched your show yesterday and wanted to know where you got your cute black hoodie with the hot pink accents on it?? I live in the Chicagoland area and I loved the recipes for peach horchata, the breakfast skillet and french toast pudding.....

Sunny Anderson said...

a.t., yaaaaay! so glad you love the pumpkin hazelnut combo! it's so smooth to me. so glad you like it and congrats on your service! i used to live at ft. ben back in 93! isn't it closed now? thanks so much for the encouraging words, i'm a dreamer and like the air force used to say, i aim high and continue to do so everyday. it's just extra special that i have the support to continue, thanks for watching!

the duo dishes, well, i cook because i love to eat and i'm impatient! lol. i haven't heard about the group you mentioned, thanks for the information.

mausi, yeah, that pork was very surprising for coming out of a vacuum packed bag in the grocery store. it was well marinated and tender cuts, plus pretty cheap. i like it when i find things like that. the bad thing is, it's regional, so i can't really share the recipe on the show. i want to make sure every one can give it a go. glad you like mexican food! they are the #1 growing population in nyc, look in your area, i bet there's an authentic place close by!

nessinessa, yaaaaay! yeah, after taping that show, the control room asked for a tray full of them to be sent up so they could eat it while the crew reset for the next show taping. they are easy, tasty and don't need ketchup!! hope you like them!

mary, you know what, i wonder too ... what other people do. it's is plenty of work and every time i cook for pleasure, i'm still writing down what i'm doing so i can generate a recipe for the show. i love it though, so it's not a bad deal. there are days like any cook, though, where i decide to order-in or go out. glad you like my taters lol. i was just buying some time while the team readied for the next act in the show. the benefits of taping in chelsea market is having pretty fingerlings ready to buy when you make a menu change on the fly. hope you like the recipes when they air!!

jen in detroit, thanks so much for watching!!! you are right, the pork was perfect for rice! i'd add some yucca or potatoes, but yessss ... perfect!! glad you like cooking as much as me, it make me proud to have you as a viewer! no foodie snobs over here! just eaters and feeders! ok, enjoy your movie some of my faves are rebecca, clash of the titans and ratatouille.

biff1872, thanks so much for watching! the hoodie you mentioned is INC from Macy's. it may be hard to find now because it's old, but they have very similar styles on the website now. glad you liked the bfast skillet menu!! i do that one the most on a weekend morning, never the same, but a variation no less. thanks again for watching! hope you like the shows on the way.

Jen said...

Your "Taters 'Cross America" now have me hungry!!!! :)

What I'm going to say next sounds VERY silly (and probably stupid too! :)) I wish I liked Mexican food more. I like a taco here and there, but besides that, I don't really care for it. I don't like cilantro, chiles, hot peppers, and I don't like black beans, refried beans, corn, etc. So I think that is what keeps me from eating it. Because it's hard for me to find stuff that doesn't include those ingredients!

But I WANT to like it! Maybe I should try hypnosis...? :)

Sunny Anderson said...

jen, teeheehee ... it's my master plan ... to make everyone want some fingerlinnnnnnngs ... you are getting very very sleepy ... :-). speaking of hypnotism, i'd say no on the food thing. i once thought of it to help me trim some lbs, and then i thought ... but i love to eat. i love fattening ingredients, i just need to moderate, not cut out. in your case ... what if adding a love of corn, would subtract a love of rice? i dunno ... i'd be afraid to mess with my buds. that being said, maybe you haven't had your dislikes prepped in a way you'd like them? also realize, all mexican food isn't the typical beans, corn and such, but you are right ... they play a part in many of the typical dishes.

Black girl with long hair said...

I LOVE watching your show and I love that you have a blog!!! I think you represent black women SO WELL! One question though: Why don't you ever have your boyfriend on the show? I've never seen him but I bet he's cute :)

Complaint Department Manager said...

Okay, I waited to see if anyone was going to take up for Puerto Rico. I can understand dissing Alaska, I do it all the time, but Puerto Rico???

You mean you couldn't find a small sweet potato or something to throw down there? THAT'S DISCRIMINATION!

Again, that is all I have to contribute.

LindaHensens said...

Hey Sunny!

You must be seriously tired when you get home at night from all the taping.. It has been a while since you posted a blog post.. well, one that is new, not just responding to the comments people like me write to you.

I wanted to tell you that I did what you said about the pound cake and separating the egg yolks from the whites and beating the whites up separately.. OMG!! This pound cake that I just made has got to be the best one that I have EVER made.. It is SO incredibly light and it rose to REALLY TALL proportions in the pan. I will definitely be using that technique in my other cakes.. I am trying to concoct my own cheesecake recipe now, and I keep thinking on it.. you know how I want to do it, what I want in it, etc.. My problem is that I have never been one to measure spices, oils, etc.. I just eyeball it, as Rachael says, and it turns out perfectly seasoned everytime. However, in this case, I need to figure out what measurements I need to put in this dream cheesecake, and I have NO idea on how to go about doing it.. Got any brilliant ideas on how to convert eyeball measurements to precise measurements? I would appreciate the help.. ;)

Have a great weekend!
Linda in NC

Sunny Anderson said...

black girl with long hair, ok first ... stop braggin you genetic lottery winner :-). just kidding. thanks so much for watching the show!!! i am just representing my life until this point as well as i can through food. I just love to eat and love to cook. as for having my guy on the show ... it will never happen. it's my job and he didn't ask for all of this mess. people say the nastiest stuff and i am ok with them saying it about me, but i don't think i could handle people saying things about anyone i date. some things should be kept held close to the chest. plus, we aren't married. think about how permanent tape is girrrrrrl. :-)

complaint dept. mgr., I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! i was thinkin about that as i made it because my guy reps p.r., only prob was i didn't have counter space and can't move the board not an inch. although placement looks relaxed on the show, everything has it's place and even if i pull something from the pantry, there is a specific place it has to land on the counter so it doesn't block a camera shot. so, anyway ... i was wondering if anyone would call me on it and like you always do ... you came through for me!! teeheehee ... mike my director actually added the cup of water for the great lakes. not minutes later i used it to 'glue' some pastry shut ;-). how have you been??

linda hensens, ok u r so like me with the long sentences. love it. u r right, i am tired, but happy. it;s a good tired. i've been bad tired before, no fun! glad you like the egg separation tip for the cake. works like a charm!!! thanks to grandma! now for prepping a recipe, if you are baking, you gotta measure. if you are eye balling, eyeball into an empty bowl and then push it out to measure. i think your best bet though is to study ingredients to understand how they act when you bake them. then you can come to your own idea about how much soda or powder is needed, or how many eggs and what they do when they bake. stuff like that. i do plenty of research when building a baked recipe. baking is like that, pretty much a science. dive in though!! it's fun!!!

Sunny Anderson said...

black girl with long hair, ok first ... stop braggin you genetic lottery winner :-). just kidding. thanks so much for watching the show!!! i am just representing my life until this point as well as i can through food. I just love to eat and love to cook. as for having my guy on the show ... it will never happen. it's my job and he didn't ask for all of this mess. people say the nastiest stuff and i am ok with them saying it about me, but i don't think i could handle people saying things about anyone i date. some things should be kept held close to the chest. plus, we aren't married. think about how permanent tape is girrrrrrl. :-)

complaint dept. mgr., I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! i was thinkin about that as i made it because my guy reps p.r., only prob was i didn't have counter space and can't move the board not an inch. although placement looks relaxed on the show, everything has it's place and even if i pull something from the pantry, there is a specific place it has to land on the counter so it doesn't block a camera shot. so, anyway ... i was wondering if anyone would call me on it and like you always do ... you came through for me!! teeheehee ... mike my director actually added the cup of water for the great lakes. not minutes later i used it to 'glue' some pastry shut ;-). how have you been??

linda hensens, ok u r so like me with the long sentences. love it. u r right, i am tired, but happy. it;s a good tired. i've been bad tired before, no fun! glad you like the egg separation tip for the cake. works like a charm!!! thanks to grandma! now for prepping a recipe, if you are baking, you gotta measure. if you are eye balling, eyeball into an empty bowl and then push it out to measure. i think your best bet though is to study ingredients to understand how they act when you bake them. then you can come to your own idea about how much soda or powder is needed, or how many eggs and what they do when they bake. stuff like that. i do plenty of research when building a baked recipe. baking is like that, pretty much a science. dive in though!! it's fun!!!

Sunny Anderson said...

black girl with long hair, ok first ... stop braggin you genetic lottery winner :-). just kidding. thanks so much for watching the show!!! i am just representing my life until this point as well as i can through food. I just love to eat and love to cook. as for having my guy on the show ... it will never happen. it's my job and he didn't ask for all of this mess. people say the nastiest stuff and i am ok with them saying it about me, but i don't think i could handle people saying things about anyone i date. some things should be kept held close to the chest. plus, we aren't married. think about how permanent tape is girrrrrrl. :-)

complaint dept. mgr., I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! i was thinkin about that as i made it because my guy reps p.r., only prob was i didn't have counter space and can't move the board not an inch. although placement looks relaxed on the show, everything has it's place and even if i pull something from the pantry, there is a specific place it has to land on the counter so it doesn't block a camera shot. so, anyway ... i was wondering if anyone would call me on it and like you always do ... you came through for me!! teeheehee ... mike my director actually added the cup of water for the great lakes. not minutes later i used it to 'glue' some pastry shut ;-). how have you been??

linda hensens, ok u r so like me with the long sentences. love it. u r right, i am tired, but happy. it;s a good tired. i've been bad tired before, no fun! glad you like the egg separation tip for the cake. works like a charm!!! thanks to grandma! now for prepping a recipe, if you are baking, you gotta measure. if you are eye balling, eyeball into an empty bowl and then push it out to measure. i think your best bet though is to study ingredients to understand how they act when you bake them. then you can come to your own idea about how much soda or powder is needed, or how many eggs and what they do when they bake. stuff like that. i do plenty of research when building a baked recipe. baking is like that, pretty much a science. dive in though!! it's fun!!!

Black girl with long hair said...

Sunny, you're so right. People can be cruel/critical, and thoughtlessly so. And girl I don't have long hair!! That's the name of a natural hair blog that I author (http://bglhonline.com). But no, my hair is pretty short ;)