Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sandra Lee is Food's Natural Enemy

I know in the past I have expressed hatred for a certain Food TV biddy but Rachael is not the most evil force in the culinary world – that title belongs to one Mrs Sandra Lee. Officially Sandra specializes in creating “short cuts” for busy women (Sandra lives in some patriarchal wonderland where men don’t even know what a kitchen is) who want to serve “gourmet” meals to their WASP-y friends. In reality she specializes in offending the taste buds of everyone in America while feeding her alcoholism. Sandra’s shows usually center on some inane party theme -- she’s always having the “girls” over for cosmo night or her niece and nephew over for a slumber party. Every episode includes at least one cocktail recipe (Beer-garitas anyone?) and ends with a “tablescape” (like landscape but for the table! Best ever: the NASCAR themed “Racetrack Tailgate” tablescape that included CAR ENGINE PARTS as decoration -- if only I could find a picture.). Someone at Food TV needs to step in and discourage Sandra from cultural themes before they become the Abercrombie of the broadcast world. Which brings us to tonight’s challenge.

The best (where best = most offensive) Sandra Lee episode ever is the Holiday Show where Sandra makes a Christmas Crescent Cake, a Classic Holiday Wreath, Sugar Plum Pops and, in a nod to her African American sisters, a Kwanzaa Celebration Cake. Like all of Sandra’s shows the entire episode is an exercise in surreal hilarity but it’s the Kwanzaa cake that makes you Tivo the repeat and force everyone you know to watch as Sandra Lee turns a pile of processed food into the most offensive creation since Nazi lamshades.

On a whim one night last week Gillian and I decided that we must “bake” this cake and share the experience with you, our dear readers. Shockingly no cocktails were involved in this decision making process (we will not repeat that mistake).

Kwanzaa Celebration Cake

Recipe courtesy "Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Desserts", Miramax Books, 2003.

1 (10 to 12-ounce) purchased angel food cake
1 container (16 ounce) vanilla frosting
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (21-ounce) container apple filling or topping
1 (1.7-ounce) package corn nuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/2 cup popped popcorn

Special Equipment:
Kwanzaa candles

Using a serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place bottom cake layer, cut side up, on a serving platter. Mix frosting, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon in large bowl until combined. Spread about 1/4 of the frosting over top of cake layer on platter. Top with second cake layer, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake to coat completely. Spoon apple pie filling into hole in center of cake. Place candles atop cake. Sprinkle top of cake with some corn nuts, pumpkin seeds, and popcorn. Sprinkle remaining corn nuts and pumpkin seeds around base of cake.

Things that are wrong with this recipe:

  1. The obvious: corn nuts? WTF? Seriously. WTF? Even better: on the show she keeps calling these acorns.
  2. Why did she go to so much effort to make the cake brown? I have a sneaking suspicion that Sandra thought “well, people who celebrate Kwanzaa are brown, they probably like brown things!” I’m surprised she didn’t incorporate watermelon and fried chicken into the cake.
  3. Anyone who has seen Sandra’s show knows she’s obsessed with filling the hole in store bought angel food cakes. This seems to suggest some sexual frustration on Sandra’s part.

Gillian and I completed our challenge tonight but I’m holding off on the official blow by blow until she has emailed me photographic evidence. I will, however, say this: crunching into a corn nut when your mind is thinking “cake” will trigger the gag and giggle reflexes simultaneously.

Update: Read about the horror in detail here.


Anonymous said...

for hating her so much, you sure do watch a lot of her shows. only losers (or fat cows who can't cook a damn thing) would blog such crap. get a life. and put something positive out in the world.

Anonymous said...

I think Sandra Lee's shows bring much joy to the world. Not because of the "food"-- YIKES, no!-- but because how much fun is it to watch someone decorate her table with car parts? Or pinatas, or surfboards, or whatever she's got this week.
It's all about the snark.


Anonymous said...

Jesus, talk about needing to put something positive into the world (fat cow?) Take it easy dude, stop being a douchebag to people you don't even know

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you can check the comments or it's e-mailed to you or anything, but I have to say, I've read this post about 3289 times and I still laugh every single time. It's basically my favorite, just so you know. The only channel I really watch is the food network, and I looove Sandra Lee. She is ridiculously hilarious. Is this the same one where she took different alcholic glasses and tied them to a tree? Her tablescape ideas are pure genious.

Brianna said...

Thank you to all of the anonymouses out there! I do get comment notification because I am very very self centered and comments on my blog make my entire life.

I do not believe that this is the glasses on a tree episode as that doesn't sound very Christmas-y -- I think Jesus hates booze. (though I doubt Sandra believes that so....)

Flaca said...

great post but yeah i gotta disagree. sandra lee is pure genius. i am only in my 30s but watching sandra takes me back to how insane it must have been to be a bored ass housewife in the 50's.

jill harrison said...

Brianna, I have finally discovered your blog. It's wonderful and I will RSS.

This post has made me LOL at my desk maybe three times now, mostly at the corn nuts, because that's possibly the most ludicrous ingredient ever.

I also despise Sandra Lee, but it's impossible not to watch her show when it comes on the Food Network reruns. It's just sooooo lame and she's sooooo enthusiastic about how lame she is.

I am pretty sure I could devote an entire blog to the Food Network. Confession: I was browsing around the Charm City Cakes website last night, checking out what Duff and his crew are up to.

In summation, yes, I'm lame. But Sandra is way lamer.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one who hated sweet, blonde, well-meaning Sandra Lee!

In short, she is everything that is wrong with American cuisine today. Thoughtless, pre-packaged, lowest-common-denominator food presented among plastic doo-dads and other sh*t. The "inspiration" Sandra Lee comes up with is just a poorly executed rip-off of somebody else's good taste!

Anonymous said...

Too funny!
I had to look Sandra up on the net to affirm my thoughts regarding her crappy cooking skills. I thought her X-mas cake show represented a new low in the Food Network line-up.

Anonymous said...

OMG - I'm laughing outloud. I know this is a WAY old post, so I hope you get this comment. I was googling Sandra Lee because I swear she looked EMACIATED today. So I was looking for snarky comments on her and this blog came up. I LOVVVVE it!

Here's another snarky bit of "food for thought" - ever notice how she tries to extend the smallest, simplest sentence into a really long time-filler kind of sentence? Like: "so you juuuuust....put thiiiis innn heeeeere, like soooo"

UGH - So Excited to get to vent about that! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

In response to the first comment. There's nothing else on t.v. so I know precisely why you watch all of the horror on the food network and praise God you saw this too. Amazing. We call her "low boobs" in my house.
Also, the hot Italian is "5 head". General Emril.

heartafire said...

This is so-ooo-oooo-o funny!
Came here from cakewrecks, and love your blog too!

I do feel sorry for the people that have nothing better to do than go on someone else's blog and post hateful comments.

I appreciate all of the people that take time to entertain others, and that goes for the commenters here and on cakewrecks. Now that's the kind of internet community I'd like to belong to.

Think some of those Anonymouses above ought to be put in the pokey.

Unknown said...

This is HILARIOUS. I have no idea what crazy mind would have come up with such a creation and actually convince someone to put it on TV. Way to make my night. Came from Cake Wrecks!

Anonymous said...


Why did she go to so much effort to make the cake brown? I have a sneaking suspicion that Sandra thought “well, people who celebrate Kwanzaa are brown, they probably like brown things!” I’m surprised she didn’t incorporate watermelon and fried chicken into the cake.

Anonymous said...

Oh you'd love this page then: Food Network Humor

Anonymous said...

I do sort of agree with you, but saying that little thing about fried chicken and watermelon makes you look worse that Lee. CALM THE FUCK DOWN. SHE MAKES FOOD LOOK CUTE!!

Anonymous said...

This is some funny stuff. I have never heard of Sandra Lee (I don't watch the food channel that much), but my next stop is youtube to check her out. Just the thought of mushy apple pie filling with the styrofoamy consistency of popcorn makes me want to gag. And "tablescape" is just hysterical to think about. He he. I hope you don't take the crap that some of these people say to heart, they have no sense of humor!