Fourth of July is upon us, and so Aunt Sandy took some time to talk with me about the holiday and a bit more. From explaining why the fourth is her favorite holiday weekend (her birthday is the 3rd of July, why wouldn’t it be?), to where she learned to grill (a summer job at the Ramada Inn during her college days), and of course Sandra treats us to a yummy fourth menu.
SECRETARY CONFIDENTIAL: SHOSHAM wrote in with this question: “If you could only splurge on one thing for your own July 4th party, which would it be: Food, Decorations, or Cocktails?”
SANDRA LEE: I’m thinking…that has got to be the hardest question anyone could ask me! Oh man, that’s like choosing your favorite child.
SC: So, is the answer D) All of the above?
SL: Yes, yes it is…. I have to say D) All of the above. It’s my birthday, so I get a pass, right?
SC: ROBIN wants to know, being that “saving money is the primary focus of [Sandra's Money Saving Meals], where do you look for inspiration when creating your dishes?”
SL: Family favorites, first and foremost! I look at things that people love and already have in their pantry. I talk with the groceries about what the top sold items are, so I pretty much have an idea as to what people are buying.
SC: If you could swap shows with anyone on Food Network for a day, which show would you most want to guest host and why?
SL: There are so many great programs it’s hard to choose, but if I have to choose one, I’d choose to guest host Guy Fieri’s show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We met at South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and he reminds me of a bad, younger brother and I think I can show him a thing or two. We’d have so much fun together.
SC: FN Dish reader, Christy, wrote in asking for your help: Christy is having a bunch of ladies come over for a very quick July 4th party. She doesn’t want to spend more time preparing food than partying. What can Christy prepare that’s both quick, easy, and affordable – and isn’t your plain ole chips and salsa?
SL: Well, when entertaining at home, you certainly want to spend less time slaving away in the kitchen and more time with your guests. I like to keep things Semi-Homemade, and for a money-saving meal with your girlfriends this Independence Day I’d suggest using one product multiple ways. Use the pre-made premium cocktail Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita. In one bottle you have the perfect amount of lime, Jose Cuervo Tequila and Grand Marnier, so you don’t have to buy more than you need. I’d rim a glass with salt, fill it with ice, pour Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita over the top, add a wedge of fresh lime, and you will look like a mixologist. Plus, you will use this same product to marinate your Golden Margarita Chicken. Marinating meat with any type of alcohol will decrease the time in which it needs to marinade by 1/4 the time. Pair that with some rice and steamed vegetables and you have a lovely meal that your guests will love – and it will seem as though you made it all from scratch!
SC: Here’s a question from FoodNetworkFans via Twitter, “Have you considered doing an in-store grocery shopping segment” on Money Saving Meals?
SL: Yes, that is something I’d love to do. The challenge is getting a shout out to the grocery store in advance, and making sure you can get in there to do a day or two of shooting. Also, my show is only a 30-minute show, so we need to do the cooking too. But I’d love to do that! We are exploring it. Who knows, maybe it will be an episode for The FN Dish?
This Sunday’s episode of Sandra’s Money Saving Meals ls is all about July 4th, so be sure to watch at 12pm/8c .