Sandra Lee Would Love to Cook for Cher
By Denise Warner Posted Mar 25th 2010 06:00PM
In the third season of her second show, 'Sandra's Money Saving Meals,' Lee sets out to show you how to make good food on a budget.
Sandra chatted with PopEater about the upcoming episodes, exactly how she gets inspired and her passion project -- Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale.
"It was really important for me to launch off my third season with something that was meaningful that addressed something so timely," she explains.
If she could cook for anyone, who would it be? "Cher," she quickly replies.
And of course, we talk about cocktails.
Are you excited about the upcoming season?
I am very excited. It also kicks off with something that I'm very involved with and is very important to me. And I was fortunate to have everyone from Brook Johnson, the head of the Food Network, on down bless it and support it. That is, we're launching the third season with a Great American Bake Sale show. It's a bake sale show, but it's not just about sweets, it's also about savory baking, like ham and cheese pinwheels. So good.
Tell me a little bit about what you're trying to do with the bake sale.
The Great American Bake Sale is something that everyone and anyone can do. It's a national campaign for childhood hunger. It just kicked off this month. It is a six-month campaign; it will go until next fall. And what you do is you hold a bake sale in your community and then you donate the proceeds to Share Our Strength. You can go to ShareOurStrength.org for information. You can go for recipes. Basically, last year we had 12 million children in our country that were at a risk of hunger. This year, because of the economy, it's 17 million. This is our own country. We're not talking about third-world countries here, we're talking about America. So it was really important to me. I've been the spokesperson for Share Our Strength for three years. It was really important for me to launch off my third season with something that was meaningful that addressed something so timely. It was incredible to have the full support of the Food Network behind it. It was a dream and a blessing.
What kind of tips and meals can we expect this season?
Well, we just got done filming. This has been the best run for food and just for the show in general of any season that I've ever done – and I did eight seasons of 'Semi-Homemade.' It was a pleasure to go to work every single day. Everything was tight, all the prices were buttoned up, the recipes were genius. We went to work and laughed every day, all day long and just had a great time.
How do you create a money saving meal?
The first thing you need to do is figure out what your show theme is going to be. So if we're going to do all German food – what is the most popular German food that people like to make in the United States? And then we'll kind of break that down. We'll come up with recipes for that. For instance, we made spaetzle – which are basically dumplings. And what we did is we took the batter, and you need a big pot of boiling water. Then we took a colander – like a colander you use to shake out pasta. We put the colander above the boiling pot of water and you take the batter and pour it in, then you push it through and it makes these perfect, little, delicate, raindrop dumplings. And it cooks up in two minutes. Then you put them in a pan with a little bit of butter and they're genius. They're inexpensive and they're delicious.
It sounds like I could do it.
It's just, the recipes this season are the best I've ever done. The best I've ever eaten.
What's your favorite part of the show?
Do I dare I say cocktail time?
Please say cocktail time.
Well, we have two every single money saving show. One's a "mocktail." Drink responsibly! But it's something that the kids can practice their toasts -- you know, when they grow up? Being able to deliver a really beautiful toast is an art. Teaching them young what they are happy for, what they're grateful for, is fun. So the kids get to partake. The mocktail always come first – and they range from 30 cents to 50 cents a piece. And then [for] the cocktails, you normally add for say vodka or gin 43 cents. For a dark rum, it's 54 cents.
You can drink responsibly and inexpensively.
That's right. Stay at home. No driving.
What's your favorite cocktail?
Tough question. My favorite cocktail I ever had – I just had it. Down in Miami at the food and wine festival, we were out to dinner at a restaurant and this woman had a strawberry grass martini. It was unbelievable.
If you could cook for anyone, who would it be?
What would you make for Cher?
I think she'd like the spaetzle. And a big cocktail.
Any last thoughts?
'Semi-Homemade' is coming back this fall, too. Look for the relaunch of that.
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