As a self proclaimed homebody who doesn't like to travel, the Food Network has been a Godsend when I'm away because, no matter where I go, I instantly feel more at home while Bobby Flay is at the grill or one of the Iron Chefs makes ice cream.
Something about the whole thing comforts me, and perhaps, the most soothing personality of all is Ina Garten. As I lie in my hotel room, the TV set to timer, I can drift off peacefully knowing all is right with the world while Garten whips up a coconut cream cake and utters "How easy is that?"
So imagine my surprise when scoping out some gossip for last week's dish to discover our Barefoot Contessa has layed her diss down on a well known Hollywood celebrity and a sick little boy!
I'll start with the celebrity.
But Garten, who claims she only ever invites close personal friends to be guests on The Barefoot Contessa, sent word that this wouldn't be happening any time soon.
In the January 2010 issue of W magazine Garner good naturedly jokes: “I felt like, What are you saying? That we’re not friends? I know everything about you!”
But it was Garten's diss of a 6 year old boy diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia that had nobody joking.
According to the reports, the boy watched Garten with his mother and asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation if it would be possible meet her.
I'm imagining her comforting quality must have had the same effect on him as it did on me and I would have thought, given his age and the circumstances, that this would be an automatic yes - but not so much.
The boy and his family were told that Garten was too busy to fulfill his wish and even though they said they would wait, they were given a definitive no shortly thereafter.
Although the "too busy" excuse doesn't ring quite true to me, I also hesitate to rush to judgement about anyone and wonder out loud if there might have been other reasons that could have precipitated this decision. Has Garten had bad experiences with cancer/sick children/hospitals? Or, is she as out of touch and heartless as this has made her seem?
The negative publicity, however, was bad enough to nudge her to change her mind and she is reported to have invited the boy to be a guest on her show (breaking her close personal friend rule) after all. But the boy and his family have declined. They have "moved on" and are now hoping for a swim with dolphins.
In other news, I've recreated a favourite appetizer and cocktail combination that I often have when I'm out of town on business: Sweet Spicy Chili Garlic Thai Wings and Red Shoe Martinis.
Enjoy today's step by step video!
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Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer
with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe
developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay
believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and
ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of
all levels can accomplish.
Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.