Happy Birthday to me

Gang,  This is the longest I’ve gone since a post.  It’s tough when you are in a mid life crisis, raising kids, family obligations, working, looking for more work, mourning your Food Network show, exercising, doing community work and resisting the worst President I’ve ever known.

It remind me of one of the my favorite signs from the women’s march. “ugh, Where Do I Start?”

I’m going to try and post something funny soon.  Right now I’ve been binge watching old videos from when my kids were super tiny.  They are now 8 and 11 and I’m already nostalgic for their younger selves.  So, I’ll leave you with one that has been on a loop here lately.  It’s something I made for Mark’s professional FB page years ago.  It’s so cute!!

Oh, and March 22nd is my birthday.  Thanks for being here!

what’s a matter with that ladies face?

4 days after surgery

4 days after surgery (photos nicely done by http://www.nylaportraits.com/)

 

 I had an eye job.  Let’s get that straight right from the start. I wasn’t beaten by my husband or in a car accident. I get that you might wince or feel empathetic pain looking at these photos but when they were taken a few days after my surgery I felt fine.  A little tired from the pain meds, but considering I had my face cut open, pretty good.

could have been in season 3 of Daphne Dishes!

could have been in season 3 of Daphne Dishes!

 

I had been thinking about doing this for a while.  I can see dwindling collagen and gravity were altering a few things on my face… and other places.   Finding out my show wasn’t renewed seemed like a good time.  Don’t need to be in front of the camera’s any time soon.  I’m not going to apologize or feel I have to justify it. In the grand scheme of things it’s not such a big deal.  In an age of self transformation from multiple piercing to transgender, who really cares about a middle aged lady fixing a saggy eyelid?

 

Yet, when women do it ( and men too) they hide.  Why?  I’m greatly influenced by my brief time living in Miami.  Miami is populated with lots of South Americans.  Maybe because Brazil is in the top 10 of countries with plastic surgery ( South Korea is number one)  Or maybe because Miami is a city you can reinvent yourself, but people walk around with some bruising.  People say, “oh, did you get the fat pocket surgery?  I’m thinking of doing that.”  It’s no big deal.

 

Why not be open?  People will judge me for it, but I judge the sloppy dressed lady behind me at the supermarket.  I cringe at  pierced septums, I fixate on mucus hanging from their hoop when they have a cold.  I’m startled when I see a neck tattoo.  So judge away.

While these pictures are a bit alarming I’m glad we took them because by the next day a lot of the bruising had receded.  Moms at school would remark, “It’s really gone down.”  and “I’ve never seen anyone out after surgery, everybody hides.” I’m outspoken and honest to a fault.  It’s gotten me in trouble.  A lot.  But, the flip side is this is my authentic self.  When my friend Cheryl sent me the photos she took she said, “they are vulnerable and funny, like you.”  I think it’s why comedy resonates with me.  I’ll make fun of myself before you can.  Funny people are famously a bit dark.  Yep. Think that’s true.  See my mangled face!  Bwahhh.

 

The question I get asked the most is ,”Did it hurt?”  A bit, but not much. I did it without general anesthesia.  Partly because I find recovering from that difficult, and partly because not doing it saved me $2,500.   I took two xanaxs, a vicodin, an antibiotic and a few minutes later as I was getting woozy my doctor started shooting me up with lidocaine around my eyes.  That kinda hurt, about like a botox shot feels on your forehead.  That was maybe 30 seconds, then I fell asleep.  When I woke up my husband was there ( I took a cab solo to the procedure, no use someone waiting around).  That was when I had the most pain.  I felt throbbing soreness around my eyes.  They gave me a pain pill and by the time I was in our car I felt nothing.  I slept propped up and my husband dutifully woke me up every 4 hours to give me the meds so I could stay ahead of the pain. He also woke me up at dinner time to give me a bowl of homemade Carbonara pasta.  My favorite!  “Hmm, this is good.” I ate a small bowl and passed out again.  By the next day I was feeling better.

 

Now, it’s not without problems.  Mostly because I’m taking an opiate for pain and I went cold turkey one day.  At that point the pain could be controlled with a little Advil, but I started to slip into Kurt Cobain like depression.  I called my husband who said, “Go take a half pill, you have to wean yourself.”  Which I did over the next few days.  Between the surgery and pills I was a bit more emotional than normal.  

I'm bruised, but still your wacky mom

I’m bruised, but still your wacky mom

I had prepped my kids that I was going to look like Frankenstein when I got home.  They were fascinated to see the stitches on my eyelids.  They are pretty grizzly looking at first.  The lower lids were artfully stitched up on my lash line so they were unrecognizable. The uppers, yikes! My kids liked helping with my cold compresses the first few days, and later the warm ones.  They let me sleep the first two days.  Then they wanted mom on the go again bruised or not.  Kids roll with it.

 

call me crazy, but I love this picture

call me crazy, but I love this picture

I hear,  “ I didn’t think you needed this.”  Well, thanks friend/family/dude at gas station.  That’s kinder than saying “I wondered when you were going to tighten that up!”  But, I didn’t do it for anyone else.  I did it for me. My own selfish, self centered, vain self.    It got to the point that when I put on liquid eye liner on my top lid it would end up near my eyebrows as my drooping lid would fall and catch it. When I smiled a ridge of flesh like a caterpillar was forming under my eyes, especially my right one. It bugged me.  So, the doctor removed some skin at the bottom and artfully stitched me up on my lower lash line.  Very well done.  Harder and longer to heal is the upper lids.  A month later all bruising is gone, but I still have flesh bumps on my lid where the stitches were.  They say it can take 6 months for the swelling to completely go away and for it to settle.  I hope so, because of after the hassle and expense of this I do want to look refreshed. That’s why I thought I needed this.

 

I get the resistance, but  I didn’t think that pretty girl at the sandwich shop should have put that large tattoo on her shoulder and gauges in her ears, but she didn’t ask me.  

no make up?, that's just the start

no make up?, that’s just the start

Don’t worry I tell friends, I’m not going to become the cat lady and change the plane of my face and have puffy lips.  At some point, I will go gently into the aging process, a lineless 80 year old might be unnerving.  But for right now I just want to look a smidge more like the lady I’ve been staring at for years.   I’m not justifying, I’m explaining and I want to support anyone who has done this or wants to.  If you saved your acorns to do it, good for you. We all have our reasons, and they are our own.

Sum recipes, sum changes

I keep thinking, well I USED to be on Food Network.  but, guess I’m still on cause my episode Sum Sum Summertime is on tomorrow.  It’s got some tasty stuff on it.  Chorizo sliders, chorizo slidersfish tacos… rock it!!  All recipes HERE

 

But, since I NOT filming new shows…right now, something else is cooking.. so to speak.  Me.

If this light was always on my I wouldn't have needed an eye job.  And by "need" I mean want.

If this light was always on my I wouldn’t have needed an eye job. And by “need” I mean want.

I’m laying low.. literally I am finally getting my long awaited eye job!  I’ve been wanting one for a long time and I’m not going to that BS of disappearing for two weeks and everyone says, “did you get bangs?  What’s different?”  I’ve been saving my acorns for this for a while and it’s a big middle-aged present to myself. But, I will not be laying low for long.  Oh, no.  I’m not hiding.  Just resting.

So, I’m feeling all Brian Wilson, on my back, on pain killers while my Chef husband hand feeds me home made pasta Carbonara ( for reals).  I’m feeling like maybe I’ll get my own pet sounds out of this.  Need to shut my eyes and rest, but soon enough I’ll show it all to you Fuchsia bruises and all!

As much as I hate when skinny celebs say “yes, I eat burritos and ice cream”, I’m not going lie about this.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all fish lips, change the planes of my face, just got a little “redundant skin” that has been bugging me  on my lids and a bit of “crepe” under.  I know gravity is not going to make better.   NO cheek implants, no over arched eyebrows.  But let’s say I did go all Mickey Rourke, whose to call it?  You know what, gender reassignment, tattoos, piercing, hair extension where is the limit?  Body as art, body as self-expression?  Or maybe just as simple as mom who recently discovered her own body, her own sexual self and is tossing out the granny gowns and doing something for herself.

 

To be continued…

 

Daphne Dishes…no more

Dear everyone who has ever been nice to me.  Last week I found out that Daphne Dishes is NOT getting a 3rd season on Food Network.  I am, of course, super bummed.  The ratings were good, but the daytime programming is very competitive, tight on their schedule.  They have been very kind and say they would like to find another place for me, but it won’t be this show.

Setting up a shot

Setting up a shot

I loved working with everyone on the show.  I can’t say it was a dream come true because I never would have that that 1) Food Network would ask me to do my own show 2) it was my own show 3) I could do it from my OWN home with with my Own kids.  I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

working with my kids was the be

working with my kids was the best

I worked really hard on the recipes and tried to give it my best even though I shot most of the episodes when I was either reeling from my brother’s suicide ( season 1) or done in by C diff ( season 2).  Craig Anderson at Concentric was more than a producer, but a dear family friend.  The whole crew was.

Craig directs the kids

Craig directs the kids

David, food stylist, a sweetie and also works on Pioneer Woman's show.

David, food stylist, a sweetie and also works on Pioneer Woman’s show.

 

My first priority was making sure my kids were well taken care of and they were.  Even when I was in NYC last year and met with the heads of the network and Harriet Siew who found me ( Thanks Harriet).  Rex and Vivien were with me and they were giving them things to take and play with.  Everyone should feel so welcome with their kids in a workplace!

such pros!

such pros!

I would have loved to tell more funny stories, to make more food,

my pea soup

my pea soup

to impart more things I’ve learned as a home chef with some professional experience and influence, and a very supportive chef husband!

Thank you for watching.

 

sweet ’16

Happy New Year!!

Resolution easy to keep:  DVR the reruns of my show “Daphne Dishes” on Food Network starting Jan 2nd, Saturday 8am.

Hello New Year!  before shooting a scene on Daphne Dishes

Hello New Year! before shooting a scene on Daphne Dishes

Check it out, pleeze and got to the site and find recipes you might like HERE

Before I get out of town taping a cooking segment on the always delightful Home and Family on Hallmark channel.  Airs Jan 4th

If if does well again I might get a 3rd season which will keep me from having that mid life crisis that I have on my “maybe To do” list.

I’m breaking out a bit and taking my first ever, trip for me for no real concrete reason ( work, wedding) and going out of town with a bestie.  I was so nervous about leaving children and husband, but once I announced that I wanted to do this they all seemed pretty non plussed.  So, goes to show you limitations are so often OUR OWN creation.  I hope I can retain this lesson for 2016 and breakout out more in other areas of my life as well.

Have a great 2016!!

volunteering at school lunch

So, When Viv was first in Kindergarten I volunteered, but as this video shows it didn’t quite go as I had planned.  I tired a few more times, but it always seemed to be school lunch time just as Rex fell asleep so I’d be looking for parking right outside of the school when he would nod off.  I test the mom in charge, “Sorry, can’t do it, Rex asleep.”  An unreliable volunteer, what are the chances?

So, last year when Rex started Kindergarten I started again.  Daphne Dishes.. up food.  There is a lot of running back and forth so I always get a lot of steps for the day.  I learn a lot, not so much about my kids, but which kid is going to flip out if I make him/her take the required veggie/ fruit.  How anyone below 3rd grade can’t be asked a complex question like, “with cheese, or without?”  Sometimes I’m standing there in my hair net thinking, you know, I host a Food Network show?  But, no one cares.  They just want another glass of milk.

The sweep up at the end of the shift is the worse.  Mashed food on the ground.  invariably piled high in the trash cans big chunks of the fruit and veggies we made the kids take (federal law).

 

Labor day fun

I hope you got to watch the Season Finale of Daphne Dishes.  Backyard Camping.  Check out recipes here.  It was great to make the 13 episodes for season 2 and I worked with such lovely people.  Everyone was super kind and supportive of my kids which is was my first priority.

crew photo

crew photo

 

shooting Daphne Dishes

shooting Daphne Dishes

 

friend and Production assistant takes my kids to school

friend and Production assistant takes my kids to school

My kids are good sports about having a wacky mom who has a camera enter their home at regular intervals.  First for Coolmom and Momversation and now Daphne Dishes.  They are use to people being in our home and are happy to see them when they return.

kitchen crew Daphne Dishes

kitchen crew Daphne Dishes

You can’t do this alone!  Food Producer Tim Macklin, Food stylist David Domedion ( who also works with Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond), Food stylist Sarah Blair.  They make the food look pretty for beauties and help me figure out how to make things look better, taste better from my original idea.  For example: I make something and it’s not quite right to me.  We all stick our spoons in it, “needs more honey, needs a bit of lime juice, no, I think it’s fine, etc”  While the camera folk are standing around waiting for us to make up our mind.  We had a tight schedule for season 2 and Mark was busy with Bombo opening so Sarah and I worked form 10 to 8 every day a for a week before shooting testing recipes.  Some were not finalized till we were on set.  Tim always let Rex play a game on his phone when he asked.  Sarah was very motherly to the kids.  Nice people.

I like to work with people I’ve worked with before.  So our second camera was Chung Ming Huang, who shot some of my best Cool mom Vids and even made a cameo once

Make up  and hair artist Crystal Bernal ( oh I wish I could the braids she can do) and Brittany Merideth, stylist Lauren Francis.  I worked with them all at TV Guide Channel.  Lauren has dressed me, skinny, fat, pregnant, not pregnant, crying after my dad’s death, inbetween nursing.  She is unflappable and always sees me prettier than I see myself.  Which is nice when you are getting naked in front of people! Lauren always let Vivien be her assistant when she came home from school.  Viv has an eye!  Vivien hates getting her hair cut, but one day she allowed Crystal to give her a trim.

with stylist Lauren Francis

with stylist Lauren Francis..I’m doing my mean look

 

 

 

producer of daphne dishes

 

Our super sweet producer Craig Anderson of Concentric.  He took us out to dinner the day we shot our last shot for Season 2.  Food Network had me meet a few producers when we were figuring out this show and I picked Craig.  He has a very warm vibe, he is a dad and was gentle with all of us as he helped me loosen up and be myself doing the hardest hosting I’ve ever done.  Cooking and talk to camera is more difficult than it looks!

typical exchange when we worked on the pilot

“what are you doing?”

“stirring”

“Why?”

“so it blends, so it doesn’t burn”

“Say that to camera”

“Ok”

“smile when you talk”

“Oh”

“does this make you think of something.”

“um.. um “

“did your mom make you this?”

“Oh, no she never made she would make..”

“Okay, tell us that story.”

“Ok”

“smile”

I do my thing

Craig, “That was great!”

Me: “it was?”

 

impossible to get a screen grab where I don't look crazy. Hazards of an expressive nature

impossible to get a screen grab where I don’t look crazy. Hazards of an expressive nature

So, obviously I hope we are back for more.  I have lot’s of recipes riffing off stuff I tasted in Europe and just fooling around as I slowly got my colon back in order.  Thanks to all the folks who watch and gave us nice tweets and such.  Keep going back and look up recipes.  I know I do!   If you missed any the shows are on itunes.

For those of you who are just finding my site through the show here is one of my more successful and madcap videos.  It’s sort of  food.. muffin.. except, not.  Happy cooking.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=92B2I1jHBKk

The Mayor comes to dinner

I can’t even say, “guess who?”

I’m SUPER excited to share that the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti will be joining me this Sunday on Daphne Dishes.  As some of you know we ( more Mark) has known his family for years.  I volunteered a ton on his campaign.  His parents, wife, daughter, all lovely, warm down to earth people.

Gil, Mark, Sukey, Amy, da mayor, me

Gil, Mark, Sukey, Amy, da mayor, me

So when Daphne Dishes got picked up for a second season I thought.. oh, dream guest list!!  When I approached I said I wanted it to be about the incredible diversity of food that is available in LA and how it inspires me in the kitchen.  Well, they got that pitch, The Garcetti’s are big booster of LA’s food scene, high brow and everything in between.  It was VERY hard to decide what to make. Not just because I had to make the Mayor a great meal, but because LA has So Many influencers it’s hard to narrow down for a 22 minutes.. or whatever it is …show.

When I was working on Eric’s campaign was when this show was being talked about, developed, slowly, slowly.  I would periodically update him on it and he was always excited to hear about it. I  clearly remember one day I was sitting in his kitchen calling voters and he had come home from an event.  Amy was calling from the living room, many volunteers strewn around the place and I popped my head up and said, “Eric, Food Network says they are going to do a pilot with me.”  He high fived me and wanted to hear more.  Well, cut to second season and he and his family remember their friend.  I really appreciate the support and since he is a very busy guy we said whenever you can fit us in we will make it happen.  It ended up being at 8:30am in the morning. But, you know what it worked!  We all enjoyed the meal and Amy and I are making plans for them to come over again when they have more time and I’ll make them the same meal, but without the camera’s.

He and his parents are from LA, so they all have memories of their favorite foods from growing up here.  Gil talked about going to Grand Central Market with mom when he was a little boy. Of course, that’s where Mark’s Bombo is now.  That’s where I  shopped for the food to make a great LA centric meal for LA’s number one fan.  desert for garcetti

 

Watch the show and tell me what your faves are.  I concluded the meal with a Very Berry LA Tart!

 

Home Ec

One of the funnest parts of shooting my show is getting friends and family in on the action.  Today my first cousin, once removed Kelsie joined me.kelsie piini

testing out my tofu before we shot

testing out my tofu before we shot

The subject was cooking healthy, cheap and easy for college, but then it became cheap, healthy, easy for anyone.

Kelsie is a theater arts major in Riverside so I thought she would be game.  Her singing here.  I really want to help people get over there fear of the kitchen. She is already ahead of me in college, She has pretty hair.  I went through a mullet phase.

Sal Marino, a great chef and friend helped me figure out how to do a version of his AMAZING pea soup.

testing my pea soup

testing my pea soup

No pea soup is better than his.  If you come to LA go  to Il Grano and have it.  My version is made with frozen peas and is very good, if you’ve never had his you would think it ‘s the best, so maybe don’t have his, because then mine is for sure 2nd best.

 

Before we tape the show I spend a lot of time testing recipes.  I have an idea in my head and sometimes it takes several tries to get it right, or I have to scrap it and do something else.  Sometimes it’s good right away.   An hour with Sal and this pea soup was perfect.

 

Next week I riff off the foods of Bombo for Steam Power.  If I seem low energy my as yet undiagnosed C – diff was kicking my ass .. literally.  But, I always have the sweetest people around me helping through!

with director of photography Chris Bierlein

with director of photography Chris Bierlein.  Hang on Chris, I have to run to the bathroom…again.

taking a break in filming

taking a break in filming

green tea

Jerry, our PA, goes to get afternoon fuel

More Green Tea please, thanks

Daphne Dishes RETURNS

Second season baby!

 

That’s right, I’m back!!  More recipes, more kid hi jinx, more tips and tricks from the kitchen.   I’m super chuffed that Daphne Dishes

selfie on set

selfie on set

is returning to the Food Network this Sunday at 11:30am.  I will be live tweeting PST from my screening party. @daphbrog

First Episode is fun.  We do a back yard movie night.  Culver Crest Chicken! culver crest chicken Oh, yeah.  Find out the secret (ground fennel seeds), why I named it that, oh so much.   I’ve long wanted to have a movie night in my backyard and finally get to. It’s so much easier when  PA goes to pick up the equipment.  If only life was always like that. Although I don’t miss the bender board that blanketed the floors of my house while we shot.  Note cardboard and blue tape below.  Little known fact, cardboard floors don’t feel great on bare feet.

producer Craig attempts to direct Rex and Vivien.  Good luck

producer Craig attempts to direct Rex and Vivien. Good luck

Some sweet friends came on the show and Vivien and two of her best friends make their own movie.  All their own idea.  Watch out Sundance. These first 3 shows my gut hadn’t turned on me yet, so I’m happy but chubbier cheeked.  I’ll be interested to see if we can detect changes throughout the season.   I hope you like it.