Then what you’ll do is you’ll roll that half a pound of meat into little tiny meatballs, sauté them off and you make spaghetti and meatballs and this will be $1.00 or so per serving and you have around two recipes. So what you did the night before you’ve invested without spending any extra time and you’ve cut your time in more than half and you’ve cut your budget in more than half for the round two recipe. Every show will start with a main course then we’ll go to a round two then we’ll do a second main course then we’ll flip to an exclusive web recipe on FoodNetwork.com for the second round two recipe. Then we’ll have something fun like a dessert. We might take biscuits and we might take a little bottle cap and punch out the center of the biscuits so you have donuts and little donut rounds and you make your own glaze out of powdered sugar and apple juice. You make your own homemade donuts for dessert…just little smart things utilizing other things you already have in your pantry which is a great way to save money or things that when you’re shopping that you can get easily and that everybody loves.
If Semi-Homemade is based on the 70/30 philosophy, 70% store bought ready-made plus 30% fresh ingredients, Money Saving Meals is based on a different philosophy. Fifty percent of what we are doing is completely from scratch, fifty percent of the show is going to be convenience pre-made products so we will determine if you are going to use a convenience pre-made product depending on how much time it takes you to make if from scratch and either how much money you are saving or spending for that. Most meal have what we call the triple A factor. First and foremost the food has to be aspirational, has to be something you are proud to put on the table, something you are happy to feed your family and something that they love and that looks beautiful. The second main factor is going to be attainable; you have to be able to find it anywhere and everywhere. Aspirational, attainable and then affordable so the triple A factor is what Money Making Meals is based on. When you watch this show you’re going to be blown away by not just the content but how much content we’re able to get into every show and how many options the viewer has to make decisions for themselves about where they wanna save time and where they wanna save money. That’s Money Saving Meals! I hope you watch, it air’s May 10 on the Food Network.
EM: Could you talk a little bit about the Share Our Strength organization and your involvement with the program?
SL: Share Our Strength is a national organization that feeds and to help feed every year the over 12 million children in our country that are at risk for hunger every single day. A lot of people know at this point because of my testimony that I was a child that was raised on welfare and food stamps. I know what it’s like to wonder and worry about food. It’s one of the reasons why I know how to shop, I know how to shop with coupons; I know how to shop value. I know how to make something out of nothing. It has really served me as a gift to be able to do that. When Share Our Strength approached me through the Food Network to be their spokes person for the Great American Bake Sale, it was absolutely my pleasure because I could speak from the heart about how important it is to support these children. Unlike the adults, children can’t go out and get a job even if the job is only minimum wage. Unlike adults they have absolutely no control over their environment or their situation and being responsible adults, the children in the United States should be our first priority even if they are not your children the children of the United States are all our children. We should all pitch in to help them. The food banks are suffering, their donations are down. It’s more important than ever to bring awareness of the need within our very own country because a lot of people don’t realize that we even have it.
So I do work a great deal with Share Our Strength, I am the spokes person for the Great American Bake Sale. I’m one of the girls on the network, probably one of the only girls that have two dessert books that have baking in them. I do exclusive recipes for the Great American Bake sale. Many of my other books have baking sections in them and its fun! I have Brilliant Bakes in my magazine too and I always call out a charity of the issue. There will always be in every issue of my magazine, it’s called in community and that is a place where you can find out more about what is going on in your own community and what’s going on national here in the United States and that doesn’t mean donating your own money. It could be volunteering extra time. It’s a very important cause. If you think about 12.3 million children that need to be fed every single day in this country that’s pretty extraordinary.
For additional information about how you can help the Share Our Strength organization visit their website http://www.strength.org
Interview by Tiffany N. D’Emidio