Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Cooked with Bobby Flay (and a fractured wrist)

IMG_3181_edited I’ve fractured my wrist exactly twice in my life.  The first time was a few days before the start of 4th grade.  The second time was a few hours after I got a call to do a cooking video with Bobby Flay.  Yeah, I know.  Earlier this month Hellmann’s invited me to be the first blogger to shoot video content for their new initiative, The Hellmann’s Real Food Project which will be on their website in late March.  What a fun opportunity, I thought.  Later that afternoon I fell (story for another post) and headed to my orthopedist.  Crying, not from the pain, but from the frustration that I had blown my chance to do the shoot.  Bad news: my left wrist is fractured, good news: It’s not that bad, but I need a cast.  When I explained that in just eight days I’m supposed to shoot a video with Bobby Flay, my doctor says, “we can make it work and, I love Bobby Flay!”  With those words echoing in my head, his assistant put me in a cast that went from mid-hand to just before my elbow.  He asked me if I wanted to choose a color for my cast.  “Black,” I said.  The wrist felt fine all week and at my follow up appointment one week later the doctor said he was thrilled with how well I was healing and I could go into a splint that I could take off for the shoot the next day.  “Just be careful” he said “And say hi to Bobby for me”.  Since I’m right handed, I knew I’d be able to cook on camera, I gave myself a pep talk.  Still, I realized I had added an element to the situation that really raised the stakes.  Who doesn’t like a good kitchen drama?

The next day I woke up feeling great and headed to the shoot location in Los Angeles, a fun place called Hipcooks West.  I’d been there before when I met Michael Symon who, coincidentally is an Iron Chef along with Bobby Flay.  When I arrived I was escorted to my trailer and hung out.  Trailers are pretty much just mobile dressing rooms with a couch, make up table and bathroom.  I’m terrible at waiting and really wished I could go to the set and see what was happening.  Having worked in Hollywood all these years, I prepared myself for a lot of waiting around and brought something to read.  Surprisingly, time flew by and people from the Hellmann’s team came by to chat and I met with the director to go over the shoot.  Then there I was, unvelcro-ing the splint, walking into the kitchen and shaking hands with Bobby Flay!  Bobby is such a great guy.  Really interested in knowing about me and my blog.  I’m a fan of spicy food and told him about my mom being making tacos with sloppy joe mix when I was a kid.  Since we are both Irish-American from the East Coast, we commiserated about bland cooking.  Bobby said that was one of the main reasons he decided he needed to learn to cook.  Then we were off and cooking.  You’ll have to check back in a few weeks to find out exactly what we cooked, but, I assure you, you will want to the recipe.  It was so good and easy to make.  At the end of the shoot, Bobby gave me a signed copy of his cookbook, “Grill It!”, and told me we are family now.  Aw, shucks.  What a blast I had!  Stay tuned for the launch of The Hellmann’s Real Food Project and my online cooking debut.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lunchables – Roar & Score with Jeff Corwin of Animal Planet - Giveaway

lunchroarscore Congratulations to Heidi from Oregon, #39!  The winner as chosen by  Thanks to everyone for entering.

So, I was supposed to interview Jeff Corwin, best known as the star of The Jeff Corwin Experience on Animal Planet.  But, there was a timing issue and I wasn’t able to do it.  I was really bummed because Jeff grew up just aJeff Corwin few towns away from me in Massachusetts and lives there currently.  I figured I could throw that out at the beginning of the interview and we’d be practically related.  Maybe one day I’ll get the chance.  Here’s the cool thing though, the whole point of the interview was to announce a sweepstakes that might allow you to travel to Boston, MA and hang out with Jeff for three days!  The Lunch, Roar & Score Sweepstakes from Lunchables Lunch Combinations allows kids between ages 6-17 to enter for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Boston with their family where they’ll spend three days with Jeff Corwin, learning about their favorite animals. Entering is easy – simply log onto between now and May 3, 2010 and answer an animal-themed trivia question. Ten lucky winners and their families will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the New England Aquarium and Franklin Park Zoo as well as an exclusive welcome dinner with Jeff Corwin.  I love the New England Aquarium and the Franklin Park Zoo.  Those were the places I went for my elementary school field trips.  I wish Chip and Lulu were old enough to enter the sweepstakes.

Although I couldn’t interview Jeff, I did get a photo “shout out” to you all and a quote:  “My fascination with animals started when I was very young so I’m excited to help other kids discover their inner animal expert ,” said Jeff Corwin, animal enthusiast and star of the show, ‘Corwin Quest.’” “This sweepstakes offers families a unique chance to see the world of animals through my eyes. It’s an awesome opportunity.” Yes, this is an awesome opportunity.  Did I mention that I’m sad that Chip and Lulu are too young to enter?  My pal, Caryn, over at Rockin Mama got to interview Jeff, see her interview and write up here.

Here is another cool thing, Lunchables has generously provided a giveaway for one of my readers: a Lunchables’ Lunch, Roar & Score gift pack complete with Jeff’s new book and an Animal Planet “Growing Up Baby Animal Adventures” DVD set.  Here is how you enter: Contest period runs from Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at midnight (Pacific) until Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at midnight (Pacific). Enter by leaving a comment stating what your favorite animal is (have fun, be creative, your answer has no bearing on your chances of winning), and leave your e-mail address OR sign in to comments using your Blogger ID, make sure your Blogger profile is public and includes your e-mail address. If you don't leave a comment that includes your favorite animal and your e-mail address or public Blogger profile, your entry will be disqualified.  One entry per person.  I reserve the right to extend the contest period.  Winner must provide a US mailing address. At the end of the contest period, I will utilize to randomly choose a winner. Winner will be contacted by e-mail.  Winner has 72 hours to respond to my e-mail. If winner does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will go to the second place winner as decided by Good luck!

Monday, February 15, 2010


pretty_logo I’ve always been moderately disturbed by the world of child beauty pageants.  Not disturbed in the sense that I would, oh, do something like picket against it.  I just don’t get it.  I don’t get the whole world of it.  I’m a parent, but I can’t relate to child beauty pageant parents.  At.  All.  They live in a foreign land—and a land I don’t want to visit.  Yet, those things that freak you out, often intrigue you as well.  So, when “Pretty” the series was recommended to me as “a delightfully offensive new web series about the world of children’s beauty pageants”, I couldn’t wait to check it out.  The series premiered on February 1st and is online only in the form of webisodes.  The thing I love about webisodes is that they are short.  As a crazed mom, constantly pressed for time and with my attention in about 10 directions at once, 4.5 minutes is the perfect length for a show.

“Pretty” centers around Michael, a “Pageant Dad”, who is obsessed with his 5 year old daughter, Annette, competing in pageants.  It gets weirder: the daughter is played by a full grown woman, her mother is a professional smoker who is hot and heavy with her brother-in-law…And it gets weirder.  I’ve seen the first two episodes and am looking forward to more.  The 4.5 minutes are cleverly delivered and include pop culture references that kept me chuckling.  “Pretty” fits securely in the mockumentary category, one of my favorite genres.  It also reminds me a bit of The Office in feel as well as the fact that it is a series.
The press release states: “Pretty” is an online mockumentary series that's shamelessly offensive, completely hilarious and ready to take on the "Toddlers & Tiaras" and "Living Dolls" of the TV world. Season One of “Pretty” will include five original episodes, a three-part behind the scenes documentary and a blooper reel, with a planned rollout over February, March, and April 2010.  Viewers can check out photos, read the “Pretty” blog, view cast bios and much more on the series’ web site: