Sandra Lee »

5 QUESTIONS: Today’s Episode Of Semi-Homemade
Posted by Jillian Madison

    119 Responses

  1. GreenJeans says:

    That is gruesome! Jillian, fess that cocktail shaker real or photo shopped in? Apologies in advance if that is real.

    • missk says:

      I thought the shaker looked photoshopped in too!

    • SaraCVT says:

      Why do you think that? Considering the rest of the set, it seems like one of the more sane pieces there.

      • SaraCVT says:

        Maybe I just answered my own question.

      • GreenJeans says:

        LOL, It just looks odd (depth wise) compared to the glass on the same window sill. But I noticed there on the third picture as well. Still looking odd (depth wise) but what great attention to detail for a photoshop job. But considering she dragged every thing black and white onto the set except a piano it does make sense.

      • missk says:

        Maybe it just looks photoshopped because of the blue-screen nature outside the window.

    • Antony says:

      No, it’s real. I use one just like it at work, but it’s really more of a decoration. It’s great if someone orders 40 shots of something. That’s about it.

  2. Jenn says:

    OMG, I thought of Stevie Nicks when I saw this episode. Everything is so Gaudy and horrible. Why do they allow it? If she tried out for next food network star, she would never get her own show. Again I pose this question, who is she sleeping with at FN?

    • atdleft says:

      “If she tried out for next food network star, she would never get her own show.”

      Actually yes, she probably would. Need I remind you of this season’s NFNS contestants? But if you were to modify the statement to, “If Aunt Sandy were to try out for ‘Top Chef’, the Bravo execs would laugh as they turned her down”, I’d wholeheartedly agree with you. :-)

    • Ni says:

      She ‘used’ to bunk-up with the producer of Semi-Ho…look it up, they used to live together

  3. elvind says:

    and the answer to the fifth question lies in the first. she has to try that shaker a few times before she can actually put it on TV! … too bad that isn’t the same with some of her recipes :(

  4. Lollipop says:

    Wasn’t this the one where she cooked in that dressy black outfit and then said she was going to go change into something dressy and came back out in a similar black dress? Or maybe not, they all kinda ran together for me.

    • Jill (not Jillian) says:

      Not sure but I do know that Ina has done that…..cooks the meal in her black shent and goes up to change. At the party, she’s wearing another black shent but with softer collars.

      I’m with Question 4…..why is that candleabra so freaking huge and why is it sitting right there?

  5. emptysky1969 says:

    I am scared to see the tablescape! I still have another 20 minutes before it airs here

  6. atdleft says:

    Oh gawd, I’m LMAO! Should I even bother asking what Aunt Sandy was “cooking”?

    Btw, as soon as I stepped in the door (after a busy day followed by a flight home to Vegas), I cooked a molasses-orange pancake with orange syrup… And I made it ALL FROM SCRATCH! And tonight, I’m thinking of making some gnocchi. Now I did buy some pre-cut gnocchi at Trader Joe’s this morning, but everything I do with the sauce will be 100% homemade (from scratch). Take that, Aunt Sandy! ;-)

  7. Mac says:

    Great. Now I’m left with the theme from “The Addams Family” in my brain.

    Can’t wait to watch the full horror in 15 minutes.

  8. Jamie says:

    Trying to catch the elusive “goth” demographic.

  9. Maureen says:

    Jamie- I was just thinking the same thing, it’s Semi-Goth Talk w/ Sandra Lee!

  10. atdleft says:

    Oh gawd, she’s doing a “potato souffle” with a box of “mashed potato” flakes! Well, it’s not as bad as other things she’s done… But that really isn’t saying much.

    • Jillian says:

      Oh, no, the potato “souffle” is god awful. It is currently vying for the worst thing I have made for my blog: Semi-Edible ( plug: ). During our summer break my friend and I are making Sandra Lee recipes, because let’s face it, we all mock her but has anyone ever actually tried her food? Believe me, the “souffle” is gross. Actually, only 2 things have been edible thus far. Even her cocktails are gross!

      • Fia says:

        A year or two ago, before I really even watched Food Network, a friend of mine tried making Drunky Lee’s funnel cakes once. It looked like cat shit and tasted as bad as it looked. She even put bits in the litter box to take pictures.

      • atdleft says:

        “During our summer break my friend and I are making Sandra Lee recipes, because let’s face it, we all mock her but has anyone ever actually tried her food?”

        OH. MY. GAWD!

        Lordy help you. Yes, btw, I have tried some of her “suuupr smmmpl russipeez” in the past… And NONE so far have turned out even remotely edible, let alone appetizing. Again, I prefer making most of my food from scratch, so I have no need for her “Semi Homemade Sh*t”.

        And I guess that “potato souffle” is even worse than it looked on TV. Without a doubt, I won’t ever do that. Why bother with all that “Semi Homemade Sh*t” when I can just make a real souffle from scratch and make it taste as good as I really want it? Again, it’s my dear, fabulous Ina to the rescue with a yummy Roquefort Souffle recipe that actually sounds appetizing.

        Oh, and I caught “Top Chef” tonight. The challenge was school lunch, and the bottom teams were dinged for using too much sugar and fat, and not enough fresh veggies. Sound familiar? Yep, Aunt Sandy wouldn’t last very long on a real cooking show like that.

      • atdleft says:

        And want to see something REALLY SCARY? On some episodes, she even tries to hook the children on “IT’S COCKTAIL TIME!” When will the nightmare ever end?

      • iluvcupcakes says:

        LOL!!!! Love your blog! Was rolling at work!!!! Keep the “science experiments” comming!!

      • Barb says:

        I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to make anything she makes. One of the first times I saw her she made “buffalo wings.” She barbecued them, supposedly they would only take 15 minutes or so on the grill (I’ve never seen a wing cook that fast, ever, unless it was deep fried maybe) and she MIXED the blue cheese dressing with the hot sauce, and served it on the side of the wings. WTF? I was completely stunned and appalled. That was the same episode where she grilled some jalapenos stuffed with some crap, and again, they were supposed to cook in something like 10 minutes on the grill. What a dumbass she is.

      • Jillian says:

        iluvcupcakes- Thanks!

        Adtleft- Aunt Sandy doesn’t mess around with cocktail time, even if it is kiddie cocktail time. Yeah she can’t cook. Everything has either been super processed or super bland. Do you remember what you made of hers?

        Barb – yeah, I couldn’t imagine it either. A few years ago I hated her show. Then I started watching them for the shear entertainment of it and I always looked up the recipe reviews because I couldn’t believe people could possible make them, let alone like them. After a while of watching the same episodes over and over Liz and I decided we had to try them, despite the indigestion and messed up stomachs we knew would ensue (there have been quite a few). It’s been fun though…the cocktails (which haven’t been that great) make everything taste better after a while.

      • atdleft says:


        “Yeah she can’t cook. Everything has either been super processed or super bland. Do you remember what you made of hers?”

        I remember this hot mess of a gnocchi dish. It was just horrifying, though I learned to LOVE gnocchi dishes after I dumped this “russipe” and did my own sauce from scratch, starting with a roux then adding some milk, then crumbling in some good Gorgonzola or Roquefort and tossing in some sauteed Crimini Mushrooms (that I chopped and sauteed myself).

        And more recently, the crepes on the “Vury Churry” episode simply appalled and disgusted me. How is that even “cooking”? Needless to say, it tasted like crap. After I saw it again last week, I did my own strawberry crepes all from scratch. I cut and prepared both the strawberries and the crepes myself, and I made a chocolate sauce all on my own. (It’s easy… Again, start with the roux, add some milk or cream, toss in your favorite type of chocolate, and spice and sweeten as you please.) Of course, I preferred doing it on my own.

        Oh, and have you done the “New Orleans Shrimp Pizza” yet? Be prepared for the FAIL…

      • Jillian says:

        Adtleft: oh my god, gnocchi are one of my favorite foods and yes, they are so much better when homemade (or if you find a good Italian deli to buy some from). I should make that gnocchi dish just to see how horrible it is. Anything with a white alfredo sauce packet scares me!

        as so the cremini mushrooms that you chopped yourself, did it take 10 minutes like Aunt sandy swears in ?

        I just watched those cherry crepes and I don’t believe you can actually buy premade crepes…although I also didn’t think you could buy prechopped onions, and I recently learned you can. Those crepes were gross.

        The new orleans shrimp pizza actually sounds kind of good- I am sad it is horrible! The only really good/edible things we have made on the blog so far are her “Shrimp in Spicy Coconut Sauce” and “Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza.” I currently have her Chili fries in the oven and am going to make her Tex-Mex Chipotle Cheeseburgers…..oh and I just finished a Gin Plush…which was quite tasty if you like gin!

  11. Maitri says:

    #2- that is a fondue pot and the stickie-outie things are fondue forks.

  12. emptysky1969 says:

    Did anyone notice that the “vegetable oil” she used in the pan for her steak looked a lot like olive oil? Maybe all the black in the kitchen made the oil look darker?

  13. Teague says:

    This is just creepy.

  14. atdleft says:

    “IT’S COCKTAIL TIME!” And of course, it involves flavored vodka (this time, “raspberry”) and Cool Whip.

    Perfect to serve under that black “chandelabra” with those sheet music napkins.

    • Fia says:

      I had such a fit when she came out with the word “chandelabra.” I tweeted something about her thinking she’s freaking Rachael Ray or something.

  15. Gypsy says:

    That is just godawful…her kitchen has a kind of gaudy funeral home look to it.

  16. RalSteve says:

    I’d seen this episode before and was completely SHOCKED the first time I saw it. First, Sandra in the black cocktail dress in the kitchen with the black curtains, OMG! There are just so many things wrong with that. Then the hammer comes down….the tablescape! It looked like DEATH! Who in the world thought THAT looked elegant? It was so morbid looking it looked like something out of the Adams’ Family without the cobwebs! Sandra had clearly lost her mind. I don’t know what’s keeping her on the Food Network. She must be “doing” somebody really well. She’s a trainwreck!
    As far as I’m concerned, as long as Sandra Lee is on FN, the judges of The Next Food Network Star don’t have wiggle room to say a damn thing to anyone of the contestants. Seriously, what’s keeping this blond air-head on TV?

    • SaraCVT says:

      I instantly thought of Morticia when I saw this. She would have loved it!

    • SaraCVT says:

      “Sandra has clearly lost her mind.” I’m not sure she had one to begin with.

      • Ina Garten DaVida says:

        Yeah, I’m thinking that the loss of her mind is not worth making an insurance claim on…the value is less than her deductible.

    • atdleft says:

      “Seriously, what’s keeping this blond air-head on TV?”

      She sells sh*t. It’s really that plain & simple. She sells “cookbooks”. She sells “Big Ag” branded processed “foods”. She sells drinks. She sells Food Network. That’s all it’s about, and that’s why so many serious foodies (like moi) have lost so much respect for FN. As I’ve said before, I mostly watch FN these days for the unintentional laughs.

      With just a few exceptions (Chef Anne, Chef Alex, Alton, Ina, Bobby Flay) left, the rest of the “celebrity chefs” on FN are really all celebrity and no chef.

      • Ina Garten DaVida says:

        Semi-Ho with Sandra Lee: Brought to you by the good folks at Monsanto!

        “Monsanto…your tax dollars at work”

      • Barb says:

        Exactly. I once heard her say that it’s so much cheaper to buy a packet of something like taco seasoning, because then you don’t have to buy all of the individual spices. What I don’t think she understands (because I honestly think her IQ is about 85 or so) is that you’re paying a boatload of money for that mix, which probably has more salt than anything else. But I don’t think she’s capable of even understanding the general concepts of division or multiplication, so how would she understand the concept of making a profit by tricking people into paying big money for a couple of teaspoons of salt and a few chemicals thrown in?

      • cowpoke says:

        And you may spend 40 bucks on separate jars of spices,but you’ll have them for a year (or more). Cheaper in the long run and no chemicals or preservatives or huge amounts of salt.And you were being nice. Her IQ isn’t even in the double digits.

  17. mojito-bandito says:

    Looks like she raided Elvira’s kitchen!!

  18. Michael says:

    Better question: How many cocktails were consumed before decorating that kitchen. Oy, it’s awful!!

  19. CincyMom says:

    Please! Stevie Nicks would NEVER wear anything so gauche!

    • atdleft says:

      OMG, that’s SO TRUE! Stevie Nicks knows better. And she’s just awesome. :-D

      • Jenn says:

        Stevie Nicks wore horrible things. I got to see her in person many a times (at her home) But she wouldn’t wear wanna be funeral parlor decor.
        Stevie Nicks is really out there and some would say a bit crazy. She carries dolls and their cribs pretty much everywhere she goes.

  20. BCA says:

    I agree with CincyMom, but even if Stevie Nicks did wear something like that, it would still look better on her.

  21. dennylou says:

    I didn’t know Michael’s had a goth section. As I was scrolling through the pictures I kept hearing creepy organ music in my head.

  22. Scruffy says:

    I feel sorry for the state of New York. She could have influence on their government? Yikes.

  23. anjarew says:

    I noticed that Jillian never says anything bad about Robert Irvine. He may be the only chef on FN that has immunity.

    • SaraCVT says:

      In “The FNH Drinking Game” (February 25, 2010), there was 1 drink posted for every time Robert Irvine yelled at someone. In a post having to do with creepy fans emailing in (December 18, 2009), Jillian said he was “an authoritative, rude, abrasive liar.” So, no, he doesn’t have immunity, although I admit he gets off light. Maybe he gets the little said about it because there so little to be commented on–a comment in itself.

    • Aubie says:

      don’t forget our favorite Alton Brown – he’s too cool to humor.

    • Flyingroo says:

      He’s not that visible like the other “chefs”, he doesn’t sell anything and he knows how to cook really well – so with the exception of being abrasive and a big mouth there is not much to say about him.

      • Barb says:

        I think it’s because his show has almost no content. He gets a bunch of crap and tools that don’t work, he yells, and then miraculously everyone loves what he puts out. There’s no actual cooking instruction or demonstration on his show.

  24. It looks like a funeral parlor puked.

  25. GreenJeans says:

    She’s creepy and she’s kooky
    Delirious and spooky
    The food is really ooky
    She’s FN’s Sandra Lee

    Her tablescapes a screa-um
    When viewers tune in to see’em
    Drinks? More than her you’ll need ‘em.
    Watching Sandra Lee

    So grab your cottage cheese & Campbells
    Any thing else you can assemble
    Vanilla extract and canned frosting
    And cook like Sandra Lee.

  26. MASCAR-PONAY says:


  27. Lizzy says:

    I totally watched this episode today. My boyfriend walked in, said “is this bitch for real” and left.

  28. pita1213 says:

    I am actually sad I missed this episode today. Not because I might have missed something good but because I missed the train wreck. WTF did they find a cardboard cut out candelabra? I swear it looks like it was cut out of cardboard or plywood. Is there a chandelier over the sink? The fondue pot and forks looks like a bowl full of sex toys.
    Even the kids at Hot Topic would gag at the set. I can’t imagine what the tablescape looked like.
    How many KA mixers does this woman have?

    • SaraCVT says:

      I was waiting for someone to say that about the fondue pot. I was thinking it, but wasn’t sure if it was just that my mind is perverted…

  29. VirgoPixie says:

    I just want to know how many people died attempting to consume the food she made. Looks like she’s holding a funeral service for the brave souls that did.

  30. Zorat says:

    Jillian, I know you’re doing an ugly tablescape list, but you should do an ugly Semi-homemade kitchen list too. And this one is definitely in the top five. Icky.

  31. Damien says:

    That was probably one of the most creepiest sets I have ever seen on her show.

  32. Jerry says:

    I’d do her.

  33. june says:

    Good to see so much time and money wasted on the props for her ridiculous show when people are starving out there.

  34. Fia says:

    The funny thing was that the filet mignon actually didn’t sound/look too terrible… although I admit I had a hard time wrapping my head around the balsamic onions. I can only imagine eating that dish is like biting into heartburn. The kitchen and tablescape were every bit as horrid as the other commenters have pointed out — I’m pretty sure she raided a Halloween store for her “chandelabra.” (Sandy, put down the vodka bottle for a second and listen up: Making up your own portmanteau words is not cute. It’s not cute when RayRay does it, and it’s not cute when you do it.)

    You’re right, though, I definitely have some questions. For instance, does putting cut fruit in water with uncut lemons actually do anything for them? I though the acid in lemon juice was what kept fruit from oxidizing. Huh.

    Still, in spite of the goth-inspired eyesore, she seemed oddly lucid to me (at least at the beginning of the episode, when I was still paying closer attention.) But Cool Whip in/on a cocktail? Really?!

    My biggest question was “What’s with the history lesson?”

  35. SaraCVT says:

    I just noticed–looking at Aunt Sandy for the first time, there are so many other wonderful things to stare at–in the first picture, her cheekbones appear as if they’re about to pop out of her face. Still got the warranty from your plastic surgeon, dear?

  36. Chloe says:

    The tablescape, it started
    With some stuff that looks retarded
    When the guests saw it, they darted
    The Sandy family


  37. Alexis says:

    Why so emo Sandy? Run out of booze too early?

  38. Chris says:

    Don`t you think that one of the directors, cameramen, boom operators, SOMEONE who was not on camera would have just shouted “This is just soooo fucking wrong and we can`t do this to the viewing public!” and stopped this gothic train wreck from ever happening! Where is the humanity, I ask you?

    • GreenJeans says:

      I was thinking the same thing…but I guess in this economy they are just keeping their opinions to themselves and collecting their pay check.

  39. Lisa Lapier says:

    This is just disturbing…what the HELL is wrong with this chick?! And she may very well end up being the “first lady” of New York State. Egads…time to move

  40. Di says:

    This has got to be one of her strangest schemes.
    Wonder what is the black fluid in the wine glasses?
    And I just noticed the cheap white plastic dish rack – as if someone would actual utilize such a kitchen!

    Kitchen GaGa

    • SaraCVT says:

      Oh, no, the glass is actually black itself. I had some at my wedding that were like that, only they were cobalt blue where hers are black. It’s the kind of thing you think is cool when you’re in your 20s.

  41. Roger says:

    I feel all oogie inside.

  42. cowpoke says:

    Which do you think is more frightening? Sandra Lee and her disaster of a show from beginning to end OR the people who watch her and just love her and her recipes and the decorating? She has true fans out there because when you leave any negative review on FN they come out of the woodwork and defend her to the death. They scare me. I am banned from FN. I got a little carried away on the tie dyed cupcakes and my review was omitted but not before people came to her defense about how wonderful she is and the recipe was amazing.These people think that opening a box of cake mix and a can of frosting while matching your curtains and mixer is just amazing!It’s frightening.

  43. Julie says:

    Sandra Lee’s constant changing of her kitchen decor is totally fucking ridiculous. Do you know anyone that changes their kitchen and “table scape” with every meal and then matches their outfit to it?. Ummmm….no….and who the hell thought that this was a good idea anyway? They deserve the Medal of Fucking Stupidity!! I’m sorry, but shit! I’d better stop…I need time to take my curtains down before dinner.

  44. Spork-no-more says:

    Why doesn’t she just create a theme of “train wreck” and be done with it? Just think what a ‘tablescrape’ she could come up with. After cocktail time, she could throw herself under a real train. Please God, make it so……

  45. binpink says:

    Some of this stuff reminds me of stuff Hobby Lobby sells. I bet she loves that place.

  46. Chloe says:

    We were watching this today on the DVR, and my four year old sister looked me in the eye and said, “Chloe, please don’t cook those things. They look yucky.” I almost peed my pants laughing.

  47. merijoe says:

    It looks like the Adam’s family house

  48. Dave says:

    Sandra, you have my deepest sympathies in your time of mourning. I hope you can find it in yourself to overcome your loss and, in time, heal the pain by killing your set decorator, Uncle Fester.

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