Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Recipes Please!

"Please, Sunny, I want some more" - paraphrased from Oliver Twist

Hey there! I've been a bit busy this week with plenty of recipe requests. I'm usually in recipe planning mode at all times. When I cook I jot down some notes in my notebook and when I get time, I transfer my notes to my computer. I do this at leisure and sometimes wake up saying to myself "Today, I'll catalogue some recipes" and I do. I sit on the couch or even yes, in the bed, and I type away for hours with my notebooks at my side. Sometimes I look up and realize I skipped breakfast and lunch and if I don't get moving, I'll miss the window for dinner too. Other times, I prepare and make breakfast and lunch the day before so I can just take quick breaks to reheat. So when people ask what I do day to day, that's my boring answer ... I write recipes. At least I think it sounds boring to others, but to me ... it's bliss. I do my recipe writing on auto-pilot, but when I have a deadline for something specific, I push my personal order of recipes aside and scoot the requested ones to the top of my list.

That's why I've been silent a bit this week ... I've had so many recipe requests that I haven't been able to come up for air! For what? Well, for starters ... I have a product partnership on the way and I'm submitting recipes and tips to them for approval. I also need to finalize recipes for my Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival event. BTW, my party is called Sunset, Spirits and Sliders with Sunny Anderson. It's at the Caesar's Palace rooftop pool on Saturday, July 31st. Get your tickets by clicking on the event title!! I'd love to meet you!

But that's not the biggest stress about my recipe writing this week ... I've been finalizing details of a menu I've worked up for a special event. How special? The military blood in me made me cry when I heard about it weeks ago and now that it's closer ... I'm still in disbelief ...

I've been invited to the Vice President's Residence to cook alongside Navy chefs and feed veterans of war and their families for Memorial Day. I almost need to type it again to believe it, so here goes. I've been invited to serve the troops and their families my recipes at the residence of our Vice President of the United States. Wow. My granddad went to war, my daddy, my uncles ... I'm the only female in my family that joined and I served proudly. It hurts my heart when I see people claim service in a war or even in the military when they were never a part of it. I hold Memorial Day and Veterans Day right up there with all the other holidays and make a note to call my daddy every year on Veterans Day to thank him for his service. I feel pretty honored to even be invited and Food Network Magazine is coming along to take pics for a future issue. In fact, it's the editor of the magazine that is pulling this all together. Can't wait for you guys to see the spread. It all happens next week, so this was the final week to get in my menu and recipes. I made a nod to the garden and even made room on the menu for the Second Lady's dietary needs. Turns out she doesn't do red meat, fine with me!

Want a peek at what we'll eat? I could make a corny national security joke here, but I won't. I won't give all the goods, but take a look at my personal notes I told you about above. They're from my handwritten cookbook and I flipped to this page when looking for ways to feed the troops. I've kept a journal since high school and I'm a lefty, so excuse the penmanship :-). This is what my recipes look like before they get to my hard drive ...
It's my left-brained notes for Honey Mustard Pulled Pork with Apricot BBQ Sauce. It's one of the recipes I'm serving with the help of the Navy Chefs. Somewhere in the haze of transferring it to my computer, I sent this picture to the head of the Food Network kitchens to show them what I was working with and they replied "Looks like a play book, lol". I couldn't agree more. It's my strategy for filling bellies and making smiles :-). Not a tough game, but needs a playbook nonetheless. Fyi, the arrow that is coming from the left page has 2 more ingredients I left out in the first run and made the changes the next time I made the recipe. This happens when developing a recipe. It is many parts before it is whole. Hope you are having a busy week like me, that's good news these days, eh? Take care and ladies, any idea of what I should wear? They keep insisting jeans are fine because it's a cook out ... I don't think so ...


LindaHensens said...

Hey Sunny!

Congratulations on getting to cook and serve the troops at Vice President Joe Biden's home on Memorial Day! If you get a chance to see President Obama, please give him a hug from one very grateful woman in NC, won't you? Lucky woman, you! The menu sounds sublime!

As for what you are going to wear.. I think if it were me, I would wear jeans to cook in, but have a separate outfit to change into once all of the messy cooking is done and overwith. Surely you could change in one of the many bathrooms or bedrooms on the estate, no? Are you going to be using those white cover-ups that we see some chef's, (like Emeril) use or will you just be wearing your normal street clothes? If you are using the white cover-up thingie, then you could dress to kill underneath there, but I would think that wearing heels would become quite tedious while you are cooking. That is why I suggest flats, jeans, and a decent top for all of that. Actually, there is a picture that you have posted on FN that shows you in a purple top with a black blazer that really looks great, and so does the turquoise top that you have with another black blazer (if it is not the same one..:) You are kind of looking up towards the camera in both of them. Do you know which outfits and pics that I am talking about? Black really pops on you when you wear it on your show.. So does purple, turquoise, and I think you have even worn some magenta tops (or hot pink) and some lime green colors too, right? My point is that whenever you pair black with any of the stand-out colors, they really look great on you with your coloring.. Your shape also looks really good with the wrap-around type of blouse that you have worn on occasion.. Those shirts accentuate your curves.. :) Of course, all of this is just my opinion and yours may vary greatly..So, you may be thinking that I could go jump in a lake.. :)

Lastly, let me thank YOU for serving in our military as well! I think it is phenomenal that you are the only female in your family to do so, and I sincerely thank you for your time and commitment made to our continued freedom and our US military!

Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy your very cool trip to DC! If you happen to decide to come down to NC afterwards, it would be so cool!

I gotta ask you one day what I am doing wrong with a pound cake recipe that I make, but I think I need to wait until you have a more generic-type post on your blog..

Have a safe trip to DC!
Linda in NC

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Oh wow Sunny, that is really cool. Congrats on that one! My husband is a veteran too and I often wonder if kids even understand the meaning behind holidays like Veteran's Day and Memorial Day, other than a day off for them or a picnic with the family.

Love the notebooks - I use those kinds of comp books too!!

Anonymous said...

Can't tell you how proud I am of you and yep I agree, real VETS and military personnel hold a special place in my heart. They should have their heart's desires. On your attire, I think a comfy sundress of sorts would work fine with your chef's apron. Not restricting like jeans but if you get the right one it can be appropriate for an upscale cookout like this. I wish we had time for me to send you a few things to pick from but next time, hit me in advance and I'll have them on your doorstep. Much love and admiration is sent to you Sweetie.


Jen said...

I was just saying to my girlfriends that I can’t wait for the AC F&W Festival!! And I definitely can’t wait to hear the menu that you come up with! I’m looking forward to meeting! Although I feel like we’ve met before, lol!

Congrats on the gig you have coming up! How awesome! The VP was at my former BFF’s wedding! He is family friends of her husband’s family. Good luck and I can’t wait to hear how it went!! :)

Oh, BTW, I made the Zesty Chicken Meatballs! They were good!! I had them with Homemade Pesto! YUM!!

big2beautiful said...

How exciting for you! The Vice President and the Navy Chefs! I'm sure you will feed the troops well. I am the total opposite when it comes to recipe writing, I suck at it! LOL, I need to be more organized in the kitchen. Oh, how I wish I could join you at Caesar's Palace, I know it will be fun, fun, fun! Thanks so much for all you do. Keep the "Sun shinning Sunny"!

~best wishes Shelisa

Lindsey Christensen said...

Oh Sunny what a tremendously touching honor for you to get an opportunity like that! Pack some Kleenex girl because it sounds like it could be a recipe for high emotions!! Pulled pork with apricot BBQ sounds ballin’. As for attire, you can’t go wrong with an easy breezy sundress. Gotta keep it classy for the VP!

Napa Valley Wife said...

What an amazing opportunity to cook for the Vice President AND feed families of veterans! Only you, Sunny, do amazing things. I live vicariously through you! LOL! Thanks for doing a great service to our country.

Marcella said...

Hey Sunny-
Congratulations on cooking for Vice President Biden. What an honor!

My husband, daughter (age 10), and I can't wait to hear about your experience at Disney's Food and Wine Festival in California. We sadly couldn't get there to see you, but we did catch Iron Chef Cat Cora's demonstration one Sunday and she did a great job.

We were also wondering how you enjoyed your time at Disneyland and if you had any fun backstage photos to post or any surprise run-ins with Cinderella or Mickey Mouse! ;)

All the best-
Ventura, CA

Anonymous said... sound like your very busy. I hope those recipes that you are writing someday are released as a cookbook. I have been waiting for a Sunny cookbook for a long time now.


Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Sunny, just watched your potluck "Feeding Your Friends" episode with the smokey turkey leg green bean salad and those jalapeno deviled eggs (and the granola of course!) I'm so all over every one of these recipes - but I gotta say, the jalapeno in the deviled eggs and the french fried onion ring garnish on your deviled eggs is simply brilliant!! I am so totally stealing that idea, but I'll be giving my girl Sunny credit. What a great idea!

I'm off to get me a turkey leg though because I just picked a pound of green beans out of my garden and that salad sounds fantastic!

By the way we make our boiled eggs exactly the same way - but I seem to have problems with the peeling process, even with eggs that aren't brand new & fresh. Any tips on that? It just seems like I can't break through the membrane most of the time and I lose chunks of the white which of course is not attractive for deviled eggs.

Eric said...

Wow! that is so awesome, Sunny, I am so happy for you.. and I am sure your menu will be amazing and delicious. The pulled pork and apricot bbq sauce sounds really good.

Good luck!

dani1908 said...

Hi Sunny,

WOW! That is such an honor - congratulations!!! I suggest wearing some capris or bermudas with a comfortable top. Don't forget to accessorize...those details can take an outfit from simple to spectacular! :-)


Sunny Anderson said...

linda, thanks!!! i'm here and stressed! thanks for the clothing suggestions! hope everything goes off without a hitch!!

mary, i know right? i'm in awe still. really excited. this is huge for a girl from a military family. if you would've told me this would happen when i was an enlisted airman, i'd say u were crazy.

linda(bham), ok, i did the sundress hunt and found a couple, but still may do as ordered and wear jeans

jen, yaaaaaay!!! it is gonna be so cool to meet! i'd say i'll recognize you from th crowd, but i doubt u look like a very interested and cute black cat :-) and glad you liked the meatballs!!! i loooovvvvve pesto, so pesto on anything is perfect!

shelisa, long time! hope you've been well! i agree about recipe writing being tough, but once you start and get a system, it's great. i have now 4 handwritten "cook books" and i hope to keep them in the family. it's hard pulling verbal recipes from my grandma, but imagine if she'd written them all down. do your future generations a favor miss foodie ... write em down :-).

lindsey, i still can't believe it. i wonder if i'll wear the dress ... i've packed a few, plus some jeans :-)

napa valley wife, i have to tell you, this doesn't even feel like my life. like how did this happen? i'm honored to even be thought of and now here i am about to cook and serve the vp and some honored vets. pretty cool.

john, it's coming, eventually.

mary, yaaaaaay! glad you liked the recipes! the darius i was talking about is "dtdub" from the comments section here. he invited me over for a bite if i ever landed in chicago and i am soooo happy i took him up on it! the food was crazy!!! ok, for the eggs ... i've found brown eggs are harder to peel than white eggs. do you use brown?

eric, thanks! i hope it turns out well too!! so nervous!

dani1908, thanks! i packed some capris, but i'm afraid they'll look too comfy because they wrinkle easily. if i stand the whole time, perfect ... once i sit, it's wrinkle city!

The Duo Dishes said...

Huge honor for you! Congrats!