Sugar With Your Cholesterol?

I do not watch television except the odd UConn women’s basketball game. Recently however I’ve been getting my nails done at a place that has a huge flat screen TV that is always tuned to the Food Network. I decided to make the twice-a-month investment to correct the ravages of the hand sanitizer and disinfecting soap at the hospital and the old paper with the high acid content that sucks the moisture out of my fingers and causes them to crack and bleed around the nails even in the summer.

Anyway, the shows and the ads have contributed greatly to my education. The first show featured two guys on a beach in the Caribbean with a crowd of vacationers on lounge chairs waiting for mango salsa and other stuff. Most of it looked good, but I missed the recipes, prep and even the name of the episode.

Next up, Paula Deen. The title of the show was “Apple a Day.” It should have been “Pork, Apples and Cholesterol.” She made a huge Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast. Followed by Grilled Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Sandwich with Roasted Red Onion Mayo. For that one she started with half-inch thick slices of bread, three huge slices of bacon that had already been cooked, two big squares of Cheddar and a few slices of apple. She buttered the bread on one side and on the other slathered the mayo that she blended with red onions previously roasted with olive oil. She topped that side of the bread with the cheese, bacon, and apples, added a second slice of mayo slathered bread (butter on the outside) and then grilled it. She did admit that the sandwich would feed two people. Actually it would probably give four people their RDA of cholesterol for the month.

A couple of weeks later I watched Ginia DeLaurentiis prepare “Little Late Night Suppers” on her “Every Day Italian.” These were healthier, though still not low-cal. The first was Foccacia Panino, made with tuna, provolone, and frisée. Creamy Artichoke Soup will become part of my repertoire, though I may cut back on the amount of cheese.

She made Baked Caprese Salad, a variation on classic tomato, basil and mozzarella salad that will join the repertoire. The only fat was a drizzle of olive oil.

But then she made Chocolate Macchiato. Now I knew that “macchiato” is mostly a punch line for jokes about Starbucks. What I did not know was that those devlish little drinks have enough fat and sugar to supply a whole day’s worth in one small cup. For four servings she put a shot of espresso in each of four mugs (using decaf ’cause it was late), added a 1 / 4 cup of heavy cream and a 1 /4 cup of chocolate liqueur to each, topped the works with whipped cream flavored with vanilla and powdered sugar and then sprinkled cocoa powder on top. That one I’ll skip.

But the queen of fat and sugar was the Barefoot Contessa. Her hot chocolate had whole milk and half-and-half, bittersweet and milk chocolate and sugar, along with espresso and vanilla or cinnamon. I decided that she was secretly trying to clog her hubby’s arteries. After I saw the rest of the “Welcome Home Breakfast,”  I decided she wasn’t even trying to keep it a secret.

The fruit crunch sundae was somewhat healthy with a homemade granola of rolled oats, sweetened coconut, almonds, layered with delicious looking pineapple, blueberries and strawberries, and plain yogurt. If one used nonfat yogurt and unsweetened coconut, this dish would be downright healthy. The peach bellinis would be OK too, as long as you didn’t plan to function for the rest of the day.

But the brioche – OMG! The recipe called for six eggs and a stick and half of butter. Even divided into 20 rolls, that’s a pile o’ fat. If I make these I’ll use the Epicurious recipe, which has only three eggs and a half-stick of butter. But I still doubt this is going to be on my must-bake list!

It’s funny that when I went to check the Food Network recipes on-line, each page ran an ad on how to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. My first step would be to stop watching the Food Network!

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