Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grillin' with my girls ...

Hey there! I hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend so far. A special thank you to all the military members, veterans and family members. As a veteran from a large military family and a person living the American dream you make possible, I thank you for your sacrifices.

If you happen to be grilling this weekend I have plenty of stuff to let you know about ...

A few months back I taped an episode of Food Network Challenge and the week was so busy I took pics and didn't have time to share. Well now I can because I'm chillin' on a lovely weekend with time to spare and the show airs tomorrow night! Food Network Challenge - All Star Grill-Off airs Sunday, May 30th at 8pm. It's a battle of the sexes with Melissa d'Arabian, Aida Mollenkamp and myself for the ladies and Aaron McCargo Jr., Adam Gertler and Michael Symon for the guys ...
Ahem, yes, if you'll notice I did fashion the chef's coat they had for me into a cook's apron. I'm not a cop, I'm not wearing a cop uniform. Teeheehee. Plus it was hot and stuffy! I don't know how you chefs do it. That's like a whole other layer! We taped the show in California a few months ago and the weather was warmer there than it is here today in NYC.
Nice right? That's the evening before the shoot, all the crew was working hard to set everything up in time. Even better, the company that produces Food Network Challenge, also produced How'd That Get On My Plate? and it was such a great surprise to see some of the old crew from those road trips!
Those are my guys! Road trips like the ones we took are bonding adventures and it was so great to see them again and talk about the funny stuff. I even talk about them on Cooking for Real here and there. Bruner, second from the right is the reason I did my Sunny Lomi Salmon. Read about the story here. Ok, so then we got to grilling and the judges got to judgin' ...
I can't tell you the outcome of course, but I can tell you who I was sooooo excited to meet!
Yaaaay Keegan!! I am such a corny fan. When I met him, I told him how much I loved watching the show and like what he brings to the table as well. I think at first he thought it was just lip service, until I began listing episodes and specifics. I have to tell you, there's nothing better than the marathon of FN Challenge when you can catch it. I've sat and watched a whole day seems like. Anyway, Keegan was really cool and if you are a fan, hopefully you can live vicariously through me a bit because I totally gushed for him. To the point where I had to nonchalantly bring up that I had a boyfriend because I didn't want him to think ... "this girl has an eye on me!" lol! Ever do that? Ahh good times, well that's all I can tell you and show you because it's a competition. I can tell you that the money that usually goes to the winner is donated to charity! Hope you catch it ... Food Network Challenge - All-Star Grilling, this Sunday at 8pm!

Speaking of charity, remember a couple of weeks ago when I was in Providence, RI for a charity event? The final tally is in and Miriam Hospital raised $443,000 for their expanding cancer center. It was such a nice event with an auction and dinner, capped off by a cooking challenge with local chefs. Robert Irvine hosted and I judged along with Miriam Garron, restaurant critic Linda Beaulieu and food journalist Gail Ciampa. Gail actually reported on the event as well and it's on Providence Journal's site. Thanks for the link Jacob! Not the Jacob I usually refer to here on the blog, but a co-worker that buys all the food at Food Network. His dad is related to the cause and was a great host to the city. We had a super satisfying meal the night before the event at Al Forno, if you are ever in the area, I suggest the pizza for an app, everyone kept asking the next day if I'd had it and I was so glad I did. Obviously the locals know. It's super thin, crispy and the ingredients are premium, just real smart and good. We had one plain and a pepperoni, both to a thumbs up from the table. I also recommend if they have a special and it's a steak, just get it. The wine sauce alone was worth it, it had a nice molasses flavor and I plan to make a lil batch of my own at home now.

Ok, now for the other grilling news ... If you are up on Monday morning, catch me on the Today Show! I'll be on late in the 9AM hour and I can't wait!! I've been on before, but can you believe I haven't 'cooked' yet? Nope, just showing products and giving tips. So, now I get to step behind a counter and work! Hope you can catch it. If you've read my blogs from my first and second visit to The Today Show, you know they love to rehearse the day before (if not, check the links. I share pics and little stories). So, I'll take pictures tomorrow and share if anything interesting happens.

Aaaaaaand now the last bit of grilling news ... LOST? No, not the series that just wrapped and left everyone just that ... lost. I'm saying, do you need more brainstorming help for your cook out? We have a cool grilling site over at There's plenty of new videos with Bobby Flay and the Neely's, recipe links, sample menus, grilling guides and tips, just plenty of stuff. Take a look.

Ok, have a great weekend and I hope you get a chance to enjoy your friends and family. I'll post a few pictures of my visit to the Vice Presidential residence next week, but I just wanted to get you some grilling news.


Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Lawdy mercy! I honestly don't know how you keep up with yourself!!

Thanks for letting us know about the challenge - DVR is set! And of course, while I like the guys, I'll be rooting for the gals you know. ;) I'll try to catch your segment on the Today Show too.

That's a great grilling section on FN - they've been tweeting it. I'm hoping to get to my grill in between rain showers.

Hope you're having a fantastic weekend!!

Cassandra Boston said...

Hi Sunny! A lot has happen since the last time I stopped by your blog. Congratulations on all of the recognition that you've been getting. You really deserve it.

I watched you last night on the food network challenge and this morning on the Today show. I've made those pork chops that you made while on the show. They're really good. I would love to make the salad that you made as well but I really don't like blue cheese. I can eat the crumbles on some salads but not as a dressing. Could you suggest another cheese that I could make the dressing with? Anyway keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say, that sounded like a rockin' time. I discovered you on "The Best thing I Ever Ate" the comfort food edition, you were talking about hash lol! I had never heard of hash, at least for food! Anyhoo, your show is amazing and your advice on being persistent (sp) was very insightful. Blessings to you and hope to see more of your joyous blogs.

Big ol' Texas

Jen said...

Looks like you had fun taping the All Star Grill-Off! :)

We have an awesome grill now, but we're planning on selling our house in the 'burbs and moving into downtown I will miss grilling! :(

Hope you had fun at the Today Show!

Mausi said...

hi Sunny, I am happy to hear that you had some time to relax and enjoy your memorial day weekend. It seems like you are always so busy traveling everywhere so I think it is nice for you to have time to relax. Hope you enjoyed it.

I had a nice BBQ at my place with friends. The weather was great! I also went to Washington Heights on Sunday and had a best roasted chicken! This restaurant called "Malecon" was really good and very affordable.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing more of your shows on TV!

Venus said...

Hi Sunny,
This is totally off topic from your blog post, but I was hoping you could help me. I can't seem to get rice to cook just right...I mean, it comes out tasting fantastic, but I can't seem to make rice that isn't sticky and clumpy. I'd love to make rice that is fluffy with individual grains of rice, but I can't seem to get it right...advice?

kellyg said...

Hey Sunny! I totally loved seeing you gal's grillin' on Challenge! I live in LA so that was pretty cool to see the set down in Huntington Beach. I am also a huge Keegan fan! Hope your demo on the Today Show is great :) I'm heading to NYC for the first time this weekend. Looking forward to seeing the city.

Sunny Anderson said...

soapdish, hope you get this, lost your email. pls resend in comments.

mary, apparently my computer can't keep up with me lol, check the new post. :-(. hope you liked the challenge. keegan liked my beef!!! yaaaaaaaaay!!!

cassandra, glad you caught both shows!! i think a great sub for your salad is manchego cheese. get a wedge and make crumbles by stabbing it with the tip of a knife and breaking off pieces. it's a great stand alone cheese, but has definite flavor far from the blue cheese flavor you don't like so much. give it a try. course parm or asiago works too.

bigtubaman89, you caught me on best thing i ever ate in an emotional meltdown for some hash!!! so good it makes me cry! and yes, there's hash that you eat :-). usually it just refers to something chopped down to size in food terms. i am so glad you found me! i am usually not this slow at replying to comments, but last week was a doozie, then my computer blew up lol. welcome to the blog and i hope you can catch my cooking show. it's called coking for real and new eps air saturdays at noon and weekdays at 4pm. hope you like what you see :-)

jen, i had a great time! aida is my girl! and i've really taken to melissa since she started after nfns. both cool chicks! and don't worry about missing grilling, just buy some liquid smoke and trick your tongue into thinking coals were involved!

mausi, washington heights has just the right population to make perfect roasted chicken, i imagine like my area in brooklyn, if you can't roast a chicken right, the people will run you out of the neighborhood lol. glad you got some good bird!!! i feel like roasting one now, but i already planned dinner and it involves some grilled lamb ...

venus, i say rinsing your rice is the way to go. google my name and "right rice" and check the proportions and method in my recipe, but the main thing i see missing from your description is rinsing the rice. it has starch dust all over it. put it in a colander under water and with your hand rinse and stir the grains until the water runs clear. (it'll be milky at first). then shake off the excess water and either a. cook as usual, or b. do what i do and toast it. so just add some butter or oil, or a mix of both to the pot you are going to cook the rice in and add the rinsed rice. cook or toast the rice until it begins to smell nutty (you'll know) not brown. then add the proper amount of water for the measure of rice and cook. hope this helps you, trust me, the rinse on the rice can change everything. toasting too.

kellyg, it was fun to be a part of, so i am so happy it turned out looking fun! keegan is the greatest, eh? i sat watching not knowing what the comments would be on my cooking so when he said he liked my grilled steak rub and the sauce, i almost fell out of bed! lol. where do you plan on eating this weekend in nyc?!?!?!? do tell!

Toby said...

hey your blog. I'm in NYC and am heading to Chelsea Market tomorrow. I so hoped that I would hear from you so that maybe we could have a cup of java or just chat. I will be in NYC until Friday, 6/11
I have my laptop so I am able to check my email.