Food Network to the "Rescue"
Thursday, January 31, 2008 | posted by Mike
Remember the post about my ongoing quest with a certain pasta/pork/egg dish? Although it's been a long journey, that's part of the fun. In other words, I don't want Mario showing up at my front door and walking me through it. What's the fun in that? The real reward is in the discovery.
Maybe you don't feel the same way. Maybe you just want a meatloaf that isn't as dry as a block of styrafoam. Then here you go:
Beginning this March, Food Network’s new darling, Danny Boome, is “on call” responding to the pleas of viewers hoping to overcome personal culinary obstacles with his new series, Rescue Chef. These everyday cooks welcome problem-solving chef Boome into their homes and, most importantly, their kitchens. Boome offers simple, creative solutions and unique quick-fix ideas to save the day (and the meal)! Premiering Saturday, March 1st at 12pm ET/PT, the half-hour show infuses Food Network’s successful “In the Kitchen” daytime line-up with Boome’s outgoing personality and irresistible appeal.Hang in there...moist meatloaf is only a month away!
“Danny is a charismatic young chef who will charm viewers with his passion for cooking instruction and his energetic style in the kitchen,” said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Food Network. “Rescue Chef speaks to our viewers’ real-life cooking struggles, and Danny averts their kitchen crises with humor and flair.”
From The Big Apple to The Lone Star State, Boome will “rescue” viewers across America from culinary meltdown. Whether Danny’s helping a schoolteacher recreate her wedding’s short ribs recipe for an anniversary dinner or perfecting culinary delights like Grandma’s Mexican enchiladas, crispy southern fried chicken, and authentic Thai food – each episode will guarantee supper success. Danny also encourages recipe risk-tasking with inventive ingredients to give stale meals a fresh twist.
I know what you're thinking: Hey Mike...you didn't really put much effort into this post. You basically just posted the press release.
My response: Get of my back. I'm tired and Lost is back!
Labels: Danny Boome
Big Accolades for Everything Rachael Ray Site
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 | posted by Mike
We admit that we haven't been very good about plugging our foodie blog friends of late, but we are thrilled to be able to do it today. Anyone who enjoys Rachael Ray and her various shows should be a regular reader of Everything Rachael Ray, which is run by the AMAZING Madeline. (That's her over on the left...I'm sure she's thrilled I'm posting her photo.)
If you're not a regular reader, today is a good day to start, because she's about to get some fantastic and well-deserved recognition for the time, thought and devotion that she puts into a site that covers the latest news and provides helpful reviews of RR's recipes.
I was very excited to hear from Vicky Zhou, an author and writer who offers online dating advice. She is writing a book titled "The Top 500 Blogs," which covers topics ranging from online dating to technology, lifestyle, sports, music, health and love. The books aims to be a comprehensive list of the top 500 blogs.Like I said, Madeline deserves every bit of praise that she gets. Congrats!
The Top 500 Blogs will be available on Amazon and all bookstores by the end of 2008. Everything Rachael Ray will be included in the category of "Food & Cooking," so look out for that!
“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” Does the Garden State
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | posted by Mike
Although not particularly one of my favorite programs on Food Network, I do find myself tuning in to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives fairly often. One reason for this is because they feature novel dishes and restaurants with interesting back-stories. The other reason is because D, D & D is broadcast approximately six times a day.
Last night’s episode had a particular appeal to me, though, since it surveyed a few of the many diners that line the highways and byways of my home state, New Jersey. Diners are so plentiful in New Jersey that they can actually be used for geographic purposes. For example:
“Where do you live?”(This is also true of malls and Turnpike exits.)
“Near the Phily [sic] Diner.”
So the thing you have to understand is that, in order to profile the six or seven diners that they showed on the program, they may have actually passed a couple hundred other diners. And passing a diner on the way to another diner isn’t a rare occurrence, as diner loyalty can run deep.
I’ve never actually been to any of the diners shown on the program. I’ve driven past the Skylark a number of times, and I think NYC Bureau Chief Jessica frequented it from time to time before she moved to the big city. The one they showed in Hightstown is only a short distance from TVFF HQ, so that may require a road trip.
Any real New Jersey diner expert will tell you that there are two major geographic categories, and that the categories fall on either side of a line that runs horizontally through the center of the state, not far from TVFF HQ. That line, which could also be said to divide North and South Jersey or the New York media market from the Philadelphia media market, is revealed by a an extremely simple test:
Does the menu include scrapple? If so, you’re likely south of Interstate 195.
Here’s the thing about diners, though. D, D & D often profiles diners that specialize in dinner and lunch entrees. But for me, diners have always been – and will likely always be – about breakfast. I usually can’t be bothered to even look at the other pages of the menu, regardless of the time of day. Why is that? Is it some sort of generational thing? Has the explosion in dining options (ethnic food, casual dining) taken away the appeal and novelty of a restaurant where you could get a meatloaf, a chicken pot-pie or a plate of spaghetti Bolognese?
For me, diners are probably always going to be about breakfast. So what makes one diner better than another? For me, it’s the hash browns. Can they get the right combination of fluffy white potato with crunchy brown crust?
If they can’t, that’s a deal breaker. And in New Jersey, the next diner is just a short drive away.
Monday, January 28, 2008 | posted by Mike
...and not even Tyler's Ultimate Chicken Soup would help me get a post together.
I'll try again tomorrow. Sorry!
The Ongoing Appeal of Colombe Jacobson-Derstine
Thursday, January 24, 2008 | posted by Mike
Regular readers of the site know that I have a bit of a "like/hate" relationship with reality competition shows. They're kind of like candy...you know they're not good for you, but you end up binging on them anyway.
A perfect example of this is the debut last night of Fox's Moment of Truth. I'm not sure if I like the show or not, but I am pretty certain that the presence of a lie detector game show on network television is one of the signs of the apocalypse.
So, just as with candy, I like to quickly move on from my reality competition show experience, with nothing but a little extra weight around the mid-section to show for it. I don't really expect or particularly want these folks to hang around, have careers and otherwise take up space in my increasingly limited attention span. But hey, that's just me. Millions of American Idol winner CD buyers obviously disagree.
With all this in mind, I find it funny that -- every few days or so -- we get a noticeable spurt of people who search Google for Next Food Network Star contestant Colombe Jacobson-Derstine and then visit TV Food Fan. They usually all visit within a half hour period, and all they are Googling is her name.
You may remember that we did a post about her non-NFNS resume when she was eliminated, so we know that she had some other irons in the fire. I'm assuming those other activities have something to do with it, but I can't figure it out.
You guys have to help me with this one:
If you're visiting this site as a result of a Google Search of "Colombe Jacobson-Derstine": Please leave a note in the comments or drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know why you went looking for this information. Was it a movie you saw? I have to know!
If you are Colombe Jacobson-Derstine: Congratulations, you've officially beat the odds and lasted longer than your allotted 15 minutes of fame! This is something to be proud of...after all, nobody's searching for "JAG" anymore.
Labels: The Next Food Network Star
Check Out the New Top Chef Contestants
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 | posted by Mike
Does it ever seem that, when it comes to reality shows, there's just an endless cycle of new "seasons?" Mrs. TVFF watches that America's Next Top Tyra Banks Ego Trip and I swear that they've run about 14 "seasons" during the past six years.
I guess that, if the show is at least good, a new season is worthy of some anticipation. And so, with another Top Chef on the way, it's time to look forward.
Fortunately, the folks at yumsugar have a slideshow of all of this season's contestants, so you can get the lay of the land. This year features the usual assortment of tough guys who will likely get into an argument, cute chefs who stick around much longer than their talent can justify and the obligatory faux-hawk or two.
The end of the slideshow also lets us know that we'll be getting Tom, Padma, Gail and Ted back this season.
Fun stuff. The new season, its fourth, debuts on March 12.
Labels: Top Chef
That's No Way to Become a Lifestyle Guru
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 | posted by Mike
You'll remember that, last week, we linked to a story about Rachael Ray allegedly going crazy and trashing Dunkin Donuts during a photo shoot? She says: "Not so fast." She's telling OK! magazine (the credibility is evident in the exclamation point) that it was:
"Ridiculous," she said when asked about the scurrilous rumor. "It's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous." OK, Rach. Here's some free advice for you. Everyone has been comparing you to various other lifestyle gurus. I think you know to whom I'm alluding.
You've done a very good job of building your brand, making yourself attractive to a wide variety of viewers and diversifying your business into a number of different areas. That's fantastic.
But the problem is that you can never truly be considered a "domestic diva" until you turn on your underlings and enact a reign of terror over all that exist within your sphere of influence.
So get on it. Smack around a gofer. Browbeat a sponsor. Throw a cell phone at a PA's head.
Do SOMETHING...or you can kiss good-by your ticket to mega-riches and a 10-month stint in minimum security prison.
Labels: Rachael Ray
Mario Batali, Paparazzo?
Sunday, January 20, 2008 | posted by Mike
We have to give credit for this post to Mrs. TVFF, the resident celebrity gossip fan in the family, who found the post on Defamer.
You all know that Mario has been collaborating with Gwyneth Paltrow on that upcoming Spanish food/travel show, but now he's apparently passing along details of Gwyneth's recent "mystery ailment" to US Magazine.
Gwyneth Paltrow was taken to New York's Mount Sinai Hospital Monday for "a little gastrointestinal situation," her pal, chef Mario Batali, told Usmagazine.com.
"It's now been straightened out," he said at the grand opening of The Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas Thursday. "She's [doing] great."
OK...maybe he doesn't quite qualify as a gossip maven on par with the folks you see on E!, but he sure does like to talk to the press. If this whole "cooking" thing doesn't work out for him...look out Perez Hilton!
Labels: Mario Batali
The Perfect Carbonara
Thursday, January 17, 2008 | posted by Mike
I hope you'll excuse me if today's post is a little bit more "food" and a little bit less "TV" than usual.
The folks over at Grub Street brought us word that today, January 17th, is International Day of Italian Cuisine. In order to celebrate the occasion, the sponsoring organization has issued a challenge to a number of chefs to make an "authentic" carbonara.
I'm going to assume that you have some familiarity with pasta carbonara, or at least some bastardized version of it. You can find said "authentic" recipe in PDF format here. The recipe has a number of additional notes, including:
In case you haven't already guessed, spaghetti carbonara may very well me my favorite dish in the world. It's also my white whale, having tried a dozen or more recipes without ever having it been "perfect." I've been getting closer and closer, and I do think that I can now consistently execute it very well. But "very well" is different than "perfectly," and that's what I'm shooting for here.
- You cannot make a Carbonara with pre-cooked pasta
- Cream is not an option but a gimmick, avoid it
- Make sure the plate or bowl is hot
- Do not overcook the egg, otherwise you will make spaghetti with scrambled egg.
The thing to note, and the reason you may be mistaken if you think you're a carbonara veteran, is the second bullet above. This is the sine qua non of authentic carbonara, and the factor that makes the whole process so tricky, since you're walking the tightrope between the egg's creamy coagulation and its soft-scrambled failure. The cream may better prevent it from going too solid, but it's cheating, and what's the sport in that? (As an aside, going straight to scrambled, while not optimal, still provides a tasty dish. Don't toss it in the garbage if this happens to you!)
The recipe that I've been working from lately has been Mario Batali's, although with one major difference. He reserves the egg yolks, dresses and plates the pasta and then puts the yolk on top, letting the diner break it. I've never been able to go that route (or get Mrs. TVFF to let me serve it that way), so I beat the whole eggs and dress the pasta in the pan.
Good news: I'm having pasta for dinner tonight. Bad news: It's not carbonara. However, this has encouraged me to give it another go in the very near future. Be sure to let us know if you give it a try, or if this dish is one of your favorites.
Bonus Fun Fact: Tom Cruise's carbonara recipe looks pretty legit!
Crumbs - 1/16/08
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 | posted by Mike
Crumbs...remember them? I know, it's been a while.
Jamie Oliver Chicken Show Available on YouTube
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 | posted by Mike
Sometimes TV shows are available in crystal-clear online video.
And sometimes they're recorded by someone in their den and posted to You Tube.
In this case, the latter is true. I haven't been able to find an online version of the controversial Jamie Oliver chicken special from last week, but you can work your way through something like fourteen separate (due to You Tube's size restrictions) videos at this person's profile.
If you have some time on your hands and are so inclined. Have at it.
Labels: Jamie Oliver
What's that Beeping?
Monday, January 14, 2008 | posted by Mike
This shouldn't come as a shock to any of you, but every once in a while, it's good to take a step back and think about the million little ways life has changed over the past few years. After all, a site like TV Food Fan wouldn't have even existed ten years ago. And that was after the initial maturation of the web into a communications/entertainment/information vehicle.
But the one change that may be most pervasive and may have had the biggest impact on each of us is the proliferation of electronic devices that we now own around the house and which we keep on our person. Think about it...cell phones, PDAs, iPods, laptops -- and those are just the ones you carry with you. Add to that all of the devices like desktop computers, DVRs, digital thermostats and wireless routers and you can see that you can't walk more than five feet without encountering one of them.
And, so, it wasn't terribly surprising to me thatI was sitting upstairs at the desktop computer in TVFF HQ when I heard a faint but distinct and regularly-spaced beeping. As we all know, that kind of beeping is usually emitted by one of those electronic devices when it has received a message, run low on batteries or something of that nature. Usually, I'll hear it and dig around to find out that my cell needs to be plugged in or that the furnace filter needs to be replaced (which it does...something else to do this weekend). But this beeping was one that wasn't familiar to me, so I assumed it was one of Mrs. TVFF's devices and ignored it.
After about ten minutes of the sound, Mrs. TVFF came walking up the stairs and I turned around to ask her about it.
"What is that beeping? Is something running out of power?"It's not a surprise that Gordon Ramsay curses. It's also not a surprise that he curses a lot. What shocked me is that he curses so regularly and consistently that I actually thought it was the clockwork-like beeping of a cell phone.
"No, not that I know of."
"Listen...can you hear it?" [Beep]
"Oh, that. I'm watching Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. That's them bleeping whenever he curses."
That takes talent.
Labels: Gordon Ramsay
Food Network on the iPhone
Thursday, January 10, 2008 | posted by Mike
Do you have an iPhone?
Yeah, me neither.
(Although I am considering an iMac as my next desktop. Just think of the ultra-cool TVFF video podcasts that could be coming your way!!! Donations to the iMac Fund or e-mails begging me not to do a video podcast can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Anyway, those of you who do have an iPhone now have another good reason to fire up the web browser thanks to a specially-designed Food Network site that's optimized for viewing on an iPhone. There is a write-up about the site over at "iPhone, Therefore I Blog."
It's pretty good and it's for iPhone and iPod Touch users. The site features recipes, tips and instructional videos.
What might you find? Things that sound pretty darn good right about now, including recipes for 4 cheese stuffed shells, 30-minute Turkey chili and stove top mac-n-cheese.
You know that the big thing these days is a site that stands out for iPhone users. The Food Network's foray into the world of i doesn't disappoint.
You actually don't need an iPhone to see the site, which is available in at iphone.foodnetwork.com, but the links don't seem to work in Internet Explorer (it looks fine if you're surfing with Firefox like me).
I know by looking at TVFF's stats that we've had a small number of iPhone users access the site. If you do check it out on the iPhone, leave us a comment or drop us an e-mail telling your impressions.
Labels: Food Network
Jamie Oliver Kills Chicken in Front of Studio Audience
Wednesday, January 09, 2008 | posted by Mike
First off, let me say that the two programs featuring Jamie Oliver this weekend on Food Network were very good. The Iron Chef America episode was a fun and entertaining as we expected, and the new show was smart and captured all of the usual Jamie Oliver passion for food. The notebook-doodle transitions were clever, and The Official Dad of TVFF will be happy to know that he gives Fahrenheit numbers in addition to Celsius.
Just a note for TVFF regulars...going forward, we won't be posting ex post facto formal reviews of shows. It's kind of pointless, since you can just tune in and see it at the same time as us. When we have a chance to get our hands on a screener and give you a preview of an upcoming show, we'll do that. Of course, we will keep giving you general and specific reactions to new and continuing shows and will cover any and all news and surprises as they happen.
OK...to the issue at hand.
Why would an internationally-known chef electrocute and then drain the blood of a chicken in front of horrified onlookers and then broadcast the whole thing on national television? Apparently, to prove a point about animal cruelty.
Jamie Oliver, the television chef, electrocuted a chicken and drained its blood in front of a television studio audience as part of his campaign to highlight Britain's poultry industry.
The chef carried out his demonstration to show how the vast majority of chickens in this country are slaughtered.
In another scene, he shows a clutch of males chicks who are unsuitable for the egg industry being suffocated in an oxygen-starved chamber.
Oliver hopes that the distressing images will persuade people to stop buying battery-reared chickens - the preferred choice for most consumers in the UK - and encourage supermarkets to pay farmers more for ethically-reared ones.
The special is slated to be aired this Friday in the UK, and will include additional information about chicken farming. Oliver's activism is well known, including his crusade against unhealthy food served in schools and his founding of the Fifteen program.Despite the fact that he is doing this in the service of improving animal treatment, he has caught flak from the RSPCA.
The way animals are raised and processed has obviously been a topic of much discussion of late. Although this demonstration is an extreme and intense (and possibly manipulative) confrontation of the consumer, the distance between source and shopper has come to mean that we don't have to think about the "gory details" associated with animal handling.
Regardless of your thoughts on the feelings of the animals, this lack of connection to the handling and processing of the food we eat certainly opens us up to potential dangers that may result. Perhaps being a little more knowledgeable about the products we eat is a good thing, even if it's uncomfortable.
Labels: Jamie Oliver
Meet the Neelys
Tuesday, January 08, 2008 | posted by Mike
Actually, if you've been hanging around TVFF for a while, you already have!
Yes, we did a little write-up about the Neely family back in May when they were featured on Paula Deen's show. Well, now they have their own program and the premier is rapidly approaching, as you can see from the release below.
Food Network devotes a LOT of time to barbecue, usually during travel shows and the like. So it looks like we can add the Neelys to Paula for the go-to source of all of your Southern food needs.
Pat and Gina Neely own and operate some of the most devilishly delicious BBQ restaurants in Tennessee. Beginning this February, the dynamic couple will share the secrets behind their tastiest dishes on their new series, Down Home with the Neelys. Premiering Saturday, February 2nd at 11am ET/PT, the half-hour show joins Food Network’s daytime line-up and peeks into the lives (and kitchen) of the south’s most fun-loving cooking couple!
“Pat and Gina Neely bring an energetic joy to cooking and a high-spirited playfulness to their relationship. Their kitchen is one of the most fun that I've ever been in," said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Food Network. “Our viewers will also love that their delicious down home recipes are super-easy to recreate at home”
By day, Pat and Gina Neely create and serve delicious barbeque fare to customers across several locations. But when they are relaxing at home in Memphis, they love to create tasty dishes that their whole family can enjoy. On Down Home with the Neelys, Pat and Gina share their secrets with Food Network viewers, from their most requested restaurant dishes to their tastiest family-friendly recipes. Whether making barbeque spaghetti, lip-smacking ribs or a decadent Strawberry Shortcut Cake, the Neelys will provide delicious and easy recipes that the entire family will enjoy!
As co-owners of Neely’s Bar-B-Que, Patrick and Gina Neely have turned their family restaurant into one of the most successful barbeque restaurants in the south, appearing on national television with Al Roker, Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, the Today show and Good Morning America. Pat and his brothers launched the first restaurant in 1988, and now the family has two locations in Memphis, one in Nashville and several concessions in the Memphis FedEx Forum. High school sweethearts in the 1980s, Gina and Pat reunited at their 10-year high school reunion, were married in 1994 and have two daughters.
Labels: The Neelys
Bourdain on "A Cook's Tour" Re-Airings
Monday, January 07, 2008 | posted by Mike
Well, with the eventful return of A Cook's Tour to the Food Network, the most pressing question in my mind was what the man himself had to say about the whole situation. Things were oddly quiet for a while.
That just changed.
In a post dated Friday, January 4th on his Travel Channel blog, Anthony Bourdain weighted in with his reaction to the news that the Network was going to begin re-airing old episodes of his series. What did he think?
Why - after all these years - would they put my old episodes back on the air? The damn things were filmed in 2000 and 2001!! They have nothing newer, or fresher or better - after all that time - than my first, stumbling, nascent attempts at making travel/food television? They don't have any material from anyone else - like from someone who doesn't make constant rude and obscene suggestions about their stable of "stars?" Surely they haven't reached so far down the bottom of the archives as to want ME back?!Well, that was...uncomfortable.
This was like being unexpectedly groped and publicly slipped the tongue by the ugliest girl at the prom. You're flattered by the attention - but frankly ... embarrassed. And the timing seemed suspicious. As I ordered two more and then a third Mai Tai, paranoia began to set in.
This was the thing that was always in the back of my mind when I heard they were going to rebroadcast the show. They had to know that Bourdain was going to come out with guns blazing. Why open yourself to the criticism? I would have loved to have been a fly on the FN wall during the cost/benefit discussion of re-airing the show.
The rest of the post covers the Cook's Tour situation, as well as his deconstruction of the New York Times article on the state of the Network. He doesn't bring a whole lot more to that conversation than what was already being thrown around by the snarkier corners of the commentariat, but we'll forgive him his lack of timeliness -- if we were in Hawaii, we wouldn't be posting, either.
Labels: Anthony Bourdain
Three More Years of Alton, Mon!
Friday, January 04, 2008 | posted by Mike
Good news for all of you Alton Brown fans out there. Food Network has re-signed the Scourge of the Unitasker (official TVFF nickname for AB from now on) to three more years.
I'm going to go ahead and apologize for the link above to the story on the patently ridiculous Fox Business site, but the news alert reached my inbox and I haven't been able to get my hands on the original press release.
According to the release:
And, if that wasn't good enough news for you, we'll be getting another installment in the Feasting on series, and this time he's hitting the islands.
"We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with Alton and look forward to creating compelling programs with him," said Johnson. "Good Eats launched in 1999, its popularity and that of Alton is a testament to the creativity and longevity of our talent and programming."
"Food Network is my home and I am staying home," said Brown. "I'm looking forward to producing more and varied shows with the network and am especially excited about Feasting on Waves, which will bring a whole new perspective to food."
Feasting on Waves, premiering summer 2008, will feature Alton Brown trading the road for the waves to explore the people, cultures and food of the Caribbean. He will uncover the real mom and pop restaurants and food stands, cook on the boat, dive, fish, whatever it takes to find interesting edibles outside of the resorts. From the deck of a boat, it's a modern day pirate's tale searching out history, cuisines and stories.My only concern: Will he be taking the motorcycle on the boat with him?
UPDATE: The folks at FN have sent along the release (see, I told you they were good to us bloggers!), thus relieving me of my need to link to Fox Business. The quotes above capture most of the info, but it also included the top-level details, which peg Feasting a Summer '08 premier.
Food Network and Alton Brown have agreed to a three-year deal, it was announced today by Brooke Johnson, President, Food Network. In 2008, he will produce new seasons of the popular Good Eats and Iron Chef America, as well as assorted specials. In addition, Brown will produce a new season of limited series Feasting on Asphalt, titled Feasting on Waves, premiering in summer 2008. Additional terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. Food Network is a part of Scripps Networks, owned by the Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP).
Labels: Alton Brown, Food Network
Was Santa Good to You?
Wednesday, January 02, 2008 | posted by Mike
Please forgive us if we take a couple of days to get back in the swing of things. We were working hard over the holidays, as evidenced by our posts below. Check them out if you weren't stopping by regularly over the past week or so.
I hope that everyone out there had a merry and festive holiday season. Despite some fast-moving stomach flu activity in the TVFF household, it was fun.
So...the question of the hour...were you gifted with any food TV-related items this year? Any cookbooks, DVDs or kitchen gadgets?
I got one! My brother- and sister-in-law got me a bit of a "do it yourself" pizza set, with a fantastic OXO pizza cutter and a Mario Batali pizza peel (which you can see up there on the right). It's collapsible for easy storage and the main part is thin metal, so it slides nicely under the pizza. I tried it out on a frozen pizza that I made in the oven last week and I already love it.
Of course, with this cool new gear, I can't just make frozen pizza! That's why I'm going to be making a run to the local home and hardware store for some unglazed quarry tiles, which Alton Brown will tell you are perfect pizza stones for your oven and at a fraction of the price of the stones you find in kitchen stores. I'll be sure to give you an update once I have Chez TVFF Pizza Palace up and running. (This will also let me relive my prior pizza-making experience, which was done in between donning a large rodent outfit.)
My New Year's Resolution is to do more to encourage comments on the site, so let us know if you got a food TV item under the tree (or Menorah!). Perhaps a cool non-TV food item, such as that set of Le Creuset that you've been pining over forever (sorry, that's me). Whatever it is, let us know.