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Semi-Ho Test Kitchen

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Ever actually MADE anything from this show? My friends and I once made the Kwanzaa cake as a joke for a girls night. It was edible? Not good though.  Also we couldn't find any "acorns" (corn nuts) so it wasn't really screen accurate.

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Yes. I tried one of her recipes where you used packaged chocolate cake mix to make cookies. It was a disaster. The cookies all ran together, so I transfered them to a 9" x 13" cake pan to try to salvage them.  I baked it for two or more hours and it still wasn't done in the middle. I ended up throwing it out.

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The internet is full of recipes for cake mix cookies & a co-worker used to bring really good chocolate ones to potlucks all the time.  But leave it to Aunt Sandy to botch something so simple that even little Brycer could probably do it right.   

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I frequently make cookies from cake mix, and it turns out a lot better than Sandy's russipee apparently did.  And she hosted several different "cooking" shows?  BAH.  I'm sometimes tempted to try one of her russipees, but the thought makes me a little nervous.  If I ever do, it might be something relatively safe, like a kiddie cocktail or something else where I don't have to risk my stove or oven.  I'm not sure I want to make something where the most likely result is having to throw it all out though.  I have a feeling I'll cave in at some point though.

I'm still trying to figure out how it's possible to bake cookies for over two hours and they're still not done.  I guess just about anything is possible with SLop. :P

Edited by ragstoriches

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I'm deadly serious. First the cookies all spread together, so we decided to dump the mess into a 9" x 13" pan and bake it like a cake. We baked it for two hours and it was still wet and raw in the middle. My boyfriend at the time, who would eat everything and never throw anything away, even threw in the towel. Maybe we misread the recipe.

Another dud is using the packet from macaroni and cheese mix to combine with butter and spread on corn on the cob.  Blecch...

However, one recipe of SLOP's that turned out well and that I like is the one for caramel covered pumpkin seeds. (It was from that one Halloween special that included Tyler Florence.) Yes, you use jarred ice cream sauce, but they really turned out to be quite yummy. 

I remember taking it to work and when I told fellow foodies that it was a Sandra Lee recipe, I saw hands slowly recoiling in horror from the serving dish!  LOL!  More for ME later... 

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I remember taking it to work and when I told fellow foodies that it was a Sandra Lee recipe, I saw hands slowly recoiling in horror from the serving dish!  LOL!  More for ME later...

 

Bringing a Sandra Lee concoction to work and being the only one to eat it?  Do they think you're a Fandra now? :P

Yeah, probably even SLop occasionally manages to hit on a decent russipee.  I think it might feel weird making a SLoppy concoction for anything other than Test Kitchen purposes though.  Like I'm only one step away from decorating the kitchen with her tacky plastic "Sandra" gadgets.  But that's just me.

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I was always kind of inspired by the fact that her food looked pretty good, even when you knew it would taste horrible. But you could always fix something edible that looked similar, so she was good for sparking those kinds of thoughts.

Remember the time she iced some cookies with white chocolate from a plastic baggie with the tip cut off? She actually held the bag with both hands and leaned her entire body over the countertop and swayed from side-to-side, drizzling on the chocolate. I liked how the finished cookies looked, so I made some from a superior recipe, then I drizzled the melted chocolate on by just moving my arm from side-to-side, not my entire body. That's as close I have ever come to actually making something semi-ho.

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The first time I ever saw a Semi-Ho show was at Xmas years back, and because I didn't know any better I was thrilled to see a bunch of shortcuts for Xmas cookies. Oh my god. The candy cane cookies tasted so strongly of the red food dye (took an entire bottle) that they were inedible. Pretty sure there was a russipee involving eggnog that tasted nothing like eggnog. So those "time-saving russipees for the way we cook today" ended up wasting an entire evening of my precious holiday baking schedule. I have had a hate-on for this woman ever since.

The only good thing about Sandra is that I can threaten my husband with her meatloaf. The one she baked on a sheet pan and it came out looking like a misshapen log of poo with liquid oozing out? He has never recovered from that episode.

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I remember that meatloaf/vomiting elephant turd.  I saw it on Youtube long before seeing the actual episode.  Apparently I couldn't get enough of the horror because I kept on watching it in disbelief.  I still refuse to believe Sandy wasn't secretly horrified after she took it out of the oven.

Then there was her slow-kukker meatloaf (anyone remember THAT one?).  I never really recovered from that one either.  She kept adding ingredient after ingredient, things that would never occur to me to put in meatloaf, like canned cheese soup and hash browns.  Then the finished product reminded me of some gelatinous mass when she sliced into it.

Aunt Sandy should be kept far, far away from meatloaf.

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Oh my god, her and those cans of gloppy cheese soup! It goes in meatloaf, chip dip, casseroles... I could swear she used it to braise a roast, but that may have been a tablescape-induced hallucination. I love when she makes something in the slow kukker and when it comes out she says "Look at how tender that is". Tender = mush.

Plus: canned white sauce. Is that even a thing? I have never, ever seen bechamel in a can. I must be hanging out at the wrong supermarkets.

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Also bechamel is about the easiest thing to make! It takes less time to make a good home made bechamel than to open a can and heat one up (if that even exists because I've never seen it either). I just will never understand most of her Semi-ho crap. I mean I'm all for shortcuts like say using wonton wrappers to make cups for an appitizer of spinach artichoke dip, but that's about as semi-ho as I get. The dip would still be homemade. That type of thing. Or like store bought filo or puff pastry rather than making it yourself but then the filling is homemade. I don't know. Her stuff always seemed to be way more labor intensive than needed too.

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This is my all-time favorite crazy Sandra Lee innovation: Thanksgiving in One Pot.

Boxed cornbread stuffing mix, canned chicken broth, butter, frozen green beans, frozen pearl onions, salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, a whole boneless skinless turkey breast, canned sweet potatoes, condensed cream of mushroom soup, white wine, and a packet turkey gravy mix  - layer it all in the slow cooker, cook on low for five hours, let your family know what you really think of them and their expectations that you should prepare their Thanksgiving dinner
 

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This is my all-time favorite crazy Sandra Lee innovation: Thanksgiving in One Pot.

Boxed cornbread stuffing mix, canned chicken broth, butter, frozen green beans, frozen pearl onions, salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, a whole boneless skinless turkey breast, canned sweet potatoes, condensed cream of mushroom soup, white wine, and a packet turkey gravy mix  - layer it all in the slow cooker, cook on low for five hours, let your family know what you really think of them and their expectations that you should prepare their Thanksgiving dinner

 

I need to remember this for next Thanksgiving - sigh, someone else needs to do a holiday dinner once in a while. I have 30 coming for Easter.

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cheekybones, if you serve them an Aunt Sandy special holiday meal, they'll probably never bother you again.

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I've become convinced some of the people who were writing recipes for her came up with atrocious recipes just to see what kind of crap she would pay money for.

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I've become convinced some of the people who were writing recipes for her came up with atrocious recipes just to see what kind of crap she would pay money for.

Yes! I'm also convinced the crew and producers are laughing their asses off. Hence, why no one has corrected her on tuh-zeekee sauce and peace da resistance. Expresso.

One Pot Thanksgiving sounds like something a couple of college kids would concoct when they're stuck on campus for the holiday. I would give them A for effort. I give Aunt Sandy F for FAIL.

ETA: Did anyone else get an ad for cake decorating classes in this thread? Grandma Lorraine lives!

Edited by glowlights

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No, but I got an ad for online cake ordering.

Is the One Pot Thanksgiving an actual Sandy russipee?  I thought you made it up as something that Sandy might actually make.

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No, Thanksgiving in a Pot is an actual Sandra Lee recipe. She demonstrated it on Good Morning America and the recipe is printed in one of her slow cooker cookbooks. Nobody could make this stuff up - with Aunt Sandy, truth is always stranger than fiction.

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And Sandy will be up there serving it (taking after Gramma Lorraine, who she claims worked in a cafeteria, or was it Dicey?), wearing a hair net and smoking a cigarette, plopping it on your tray (the slop, not the cigarette) and telling you to just eat it already.  And she'll have a giant mole.

Edited by ragstoriches
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I've become convinced some of the people who were writing recipes for her came up with atrocious recipes just to see what kind of crap she would pay money for

I'm picturing them starting at the Gallery of Regrettable Food, non-Sandra cocktails in hand, challenging each other to come up with something worse.

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've become convinced some of the people who were writing recipes for her came up with atrocious recipes just to see what kind of crap she would pay money for

At least one of her paid staff, Denise Rinaldo, made pretty much exactly this claim about  four years ago.  It's been removed from The Huffington Post archive, but this seems to be it:

http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=9950485#page:showThread,9950485

She says she's the one that came up with the infamous Kwanzaa Cake.

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To be fair to Aunt Sandy, most tv chefs have consultants who come up with recipes for them, or ideas for russipees. But the theme for Aunt Sandy's show gives them the chance to have some... fun.

 

Yesterday I watched the episode where she makes dim sum with canned biscuit dough. Glistening, soggy steamed biscuit dough. *gag*

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I'll confess I've made soup the day after Thanksgiving using lots of crazy leftovers, and it probably wasn't too dissimilar to Sandy's Thanksgiving-in-a-Pot. But I used no seasoning packets, gravy mix, or cream of mushroom soup, and it also wasn't the main holiday meal!

 

I tried to bait her by writing out a Hotdog Nacho recipe once in one of the TWOP threads, but no one bit; it never appeared on the show.

Edited by Tabbygirl521

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I have to admit that Aunt Sandy's turkey burger recipe is now part of my menu rotation.  I blame my husband for that, as he liked her arussippe better than my version made with real ingredients, but I don't faithfully follow Sandy's recipe now when I make them.  I console myself with the thought that even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.

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*looks at turkey burger ingredients*

 

There's no way that thing is good.  No way.  Right?  I know some ingredients that might seem gross together are actually good, but this...  No.  I refuse to entertain the idea that it's anything other than nasty.

 

Maybe if it weren't a SLop russipee...  Nah.

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ragstoriches, with the changes to the arussipee that I have made, it actually is not bad.  So here goes my faux fandra review:

 

I made this for my family and they just love it!  However, I did make a few changes to the recipe.  I added about 1/4 cup grated onion and one clove of garlic which I also grated.  I added about 1/8 cup bread crumbs, and 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper instead of the poultry seasoning.  I also added a squeeze of dijon mustard to the meat mixture and cut back the maple syrup to just a teaspoon.  I left out the bacon bits and I skipped the maple dijon sauce*.  Other than that, I made it exactly like Sandra Lee!

 

*Okay, I do make a bit of the sauce for my husband because he likes it, but he's the only one who does.

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I prefer to think she comes up with the russipees when she's drunk.  It would explain a lot, don't you think?

 

And when is she not?

I'd imagine her cocktail recipes are probably the most reliable recipes from the show for just that reason.  I think she's way more interested in cocktails than in any kind of food. Just leave out the eye-poking garnish and  I'd guess they're no worse than any other sugary cocktail.   Has anyone ever made any of her drinks?

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I've joked about it plenty, but I've never actually made any of her cocktails. I even have a tiny bottle of Goldschläger that my husband bought as a joke. I guess I could whip up a Golden Glory, except that, in addition to the cinnamon schnapps, it also contains sparkling cider, ginger ale, and vanilla vodka. I can't imagine how sweet it would be!

 

One hilarious thing about her cocktails - she generally uses fresh fruit in the cocktails, while she often uses stuff like bottled lemon juice in her food. It's very easy to see where SLop's priorities are.

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I didn't realize that the Thanksgiving in One Pot was an actual Semi-Ho recipe, but I haven't seen every episode.  The description kind of reminds me of a segment on Guy's 'Diners, Driveins, and Dives' show where he visited a place (in a college town, IIRC) where they made a 'Thanksgiving Dinner' waffle dish.  It was a large waffle made of stuffing, topped with sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry relish.  I'm a little ashamed to say that it actually sounded and looked pretty tasty (but I love sweet and savory together, so that was probably the reason). 

 

I guess the closest I've come to Semi-Ho cooking is that I'll occasionally use a boxed cake mix or bagged cookie mix as a base for a recipe.  However, the rest of the ingredients are always 'good' (like fresh fruit, nuts, good chocolate, real whipped cream, etc.).  I would prefer making the cake/cookies from scratch, but I don't always have time.

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One hilarious thing about her cocktails - she generally uses fresh fruit in the cocktails, while she often uses stuff like bottled lemon juice in her food. It's very easy to see where SLop's priorities are.

Yes, exactly.  That's just why I think the cocktail recipes are probably not so bad.

 

I guess the closest I've come to Semi-Ho cooking is that I'll occasionally use a boxed cake mix or bagged cookie mix as a base for a recipe.

I don't think there's anything wrong with using pantry ingredients along with fresh ingredients.  Hell, tomatoes are only in season for a really brief time - and the rest of the year we use canned tomatoes. So  what?  The weird thing on this show is that her pantry shortcuts so often end up being harder than doing it from scratch - the one I always remember was the one where she improvised a chocolate frosting from a can of vanilla frosting and a can of Nestle's powdered Quik .  Jeez! What a terrible idea!  Hershey's syrup or something would have been better - it would have mixed into the canned frosting at least, and not stayed powdery and grainy the way I guarantee the powdered cocoa mix would.  It would really have been easier to make the chocolate buttercream from scratch or to go out and buy canned chocolate frosting than trying to make do with her weird-ass substitutions.  Something like that would only make sense in a bomb shelter.

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I don't think there's anything wrong with using pantry ingredients along with fresh ingredients.

 

I don't either. One of the things (among many) that I always found so frustrating about this mess was that the concept isn't a bad one, it just became mutated in her vanilla vodka soaked brain.

 

There were so many times where she added a semi-ho ingredient when it wasn't necessary. One of the most memorable was when she was making a roast; she had vegetables, stock, red wine and a seasoning pack ( I wouldn't use it, but pretty low on the offensive meter where this show is concerned) then, for no reason at all, she slathered the top with cream of something soup.

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Not to mention that awful slow-kukker meatloaf, where she added a buttload of ingredients that didn't even need to be in there.

 

Aunt Sandy, Queen of Unnecessary Ingredients.

 

Of  course people have been taking cooking shortcuts forever, using things from their very own pantries, and going to the grocery store for as long as there have been grocery stores, but SLop acts like she invented the entire concept herself, which I guess would be whenever she ditched Cordon Bleu.

Edited by ragstoriches
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The first time I ever saw a Semi-Ho show was at Xmas years back, and because I didn't know any better I was thrilled to see a bunch of shortcuts for Xmas cookies. Oh my god. The candy cane cookies tasted so strongly of the red food dye (took an entire bottle) that they were inedible. Pretty sure there was a russipee involving eggnog that tasted nothing like eggnog. So those "time-saving russipees for the way we cook today" ended up wasting an entire evening of my precious holiday baking schedule. I have had a hate-on for this woman ever since.

The only good thing about Sandra is that I can threaten my husband with her meatloaf. The one she baked on a sheet pan and it came out looking like a misshapen log of poo with liquid oozing out? He has never recovered from that episode.

Neither has mine! (he's an actual chef) He was in disbelief and asked me, how did she get a cooking show?

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And Sandy will be up there serving it (taking after Gramma Lorraine, who she claims worked in a cafeteria, or was it Dicey?), wearing a hair net and smoking a cigarette, plopping it on your tray (the slop, not the cigarette) and telling you to just eat it already.  And she'll have a giant mole.

I think I'd rather eat the cigarette :)

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Oh, my God, I googled that meatloaf recipe and I think the picture is enough to give me nightmares! Love the ingredient list - 12 items and everything except the meat and an egg is from a can or a box. I would love to see the sodium count for that recipe.

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The first time I ever saw a Semi-Ho show was at Xmas years back, and because I didn't know any better I was thrilled to see a bunch of shortcuts for Xmas cookies. Oh my god. The candy cane cookies tasted so strongly of the red food dye (took an entire bottle) that they were inedible.

The only good thing about Sandra is that I can threaten my husband with her meatloaf. The one she baked on a sheet pan and it came out looking like a misshapen log of poo with liquid oozing out? He has never recovered from that episode.

Liquid food dye is like that. I'm a pro baker so I have made everything from bread to French macarons and know the horrors of food dye. I tried to make a red velvet cake, was crushed for time so didn't order the gel food coloring like I should. It totally ruined the flavor and did something off to the batter. I feel your pain.

I hope he wasn't too traumatized, poor man? I'm a vegetarian, but the image your words painted terrified even myself. Meatloaf should be firm and golden and juicy, not suppurating like an old wound, misshapen and half decomposed. The only thing this chick knows how to make is anything with alcohol in it. I'm waiting for her to break down and make a big pitcher of Purple Drank.

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