Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

‘The Great British Baking Show’ Will Help You Through The 2018 Garbage Fire (Decider)

June 30, 2018

This headline pretty much sums up how I feel about life. The world is literally crumbling around us. I’m horrified to be witnessing the destructive anti-human behavior of the vial Trump Administration and his Republican sellouts. So I fight when I can, work to keep food on my table, and laugh and love because these assholes are not going to take away my beautiful life. Part of my laughter and love comes from escaping to the movies – and television shows. My very favorite escape is The Great British Baking Show. Decider sums up my feelings perfectly,

But there’s one show that can always be counted on to be kind during even the most terrifying news stories. If you need a break from the waking nightmare that is 2018, you need to watch The Great British Baking Show.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood’s little baking show is just so nice… Each hour The Great British Baking Show shows another batch of normal, everyday people pursuing their dreams in between their day-to-day lives. They’re not trying to become the next best baker of all time. Some of the contestants don’t even seem interested in showing off. They just want to impress their baking idols, challenge themselves, and have some fun in the process. Plus there’s no mention of Donald Trump in any episode. In fact, the competition show is so far removed from Trump and politics as a whole, it sometimes feels like it exists in a completely separate, happier timeline. It’s wonderful.

Such a wonderful show. America’s Season 5 just started streaming for free on and their app.

Read more on Decider.



The Big Family Cooking Showdown

March 27, 2018

Netflix imported another British food competition show. This one, The Big Family Cooking Showdown pits one family against another cooking in the studio as well as preparing a meal in their home for the judges. One of its hosts is Great British Baking Show winner Nadiya Hussain along with television personality Zoë Ball, and judged by chef Giorgio Locatelli and cookery teacher Rosemary Shrager. It’s a sweet show. The families are endearing. It’s full of love and camaraderie. I just don’t think I need to keep watching it. 3 out of 5.

Nailed It!

March 13, 2018

Netflix new food contest show, Nailed It! showed so much promise in theory thanks to the inclusion of NYC chocolatier Jacques Torres. Unfortunately the fun of this show – taking regular people and making them attempt to recreate confection masterpieces loses its gleam due to tacky stunts from the show’s host Nicole Byer. To her credit, I’m sure she’s just following what the producers tell her to do. But the over-the-top, loud-mouthed antics rubbed me the wrong way. Some finesse would have gone a long way. I realize Nailed It! is a comedy show about the failures of baking. Turning down the LOL track would have helped the series succeed. 1 out of 5. Next.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

November 23, 2017

I certainly have many things to be thankful for this year – great friends, an amazing family, a supportive and loving non-partner/partner (my bex, Dennis), a fantastic job in a career that helps the disenfranchised and people at risk, wonderful co-workers, a healthy body that responds to exercise, doctors and medical staff who keep me humming after all these post AIDS crisis years, and a brand-new 7 year-old puppy girl who will come live with us on Saturday.

But this year has not been without struggle. Now more than ever it’s important I keep myself glass half full. There is so much to do if we are to make this country and our world a reflection of decency, kindness, love and inclusion.

Today is U.S. Thanksgiving. Many of you will be home with family and friends. I wish you a calm, happy, foodie day. And afterwards, if you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving movie, consider What’s Cooking. It’s very American and very ethnic. Which is very American. Now more than ever.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of the perfect Thanksgiving film: What’s Cooking.
What’s Cooking is currently streaming on Amazon with a Tribeca Shortlist subscription. Or rent it digitally for $3 from Amazon, Apple, or Vudu. Or get the DVD from Netflix or your library.

The Great British Baking Show: Season 4

August 6, 2017

What reality show makes you cry with happiness over the contestants? What reality show proves kindness trumps selfishness? What reality show makes me forget all the world’s problems for an hour each episode? Those are just a few of the marvelous things The Great British Baking Show does for me each time I watch. Season 4 exceeded all my expectations. More fun from the hosts and judges. More outstanding bakes from the diverse and cordial contestants. By the time the show got down to the top 5, it was anyone’s win. And through the final bake, any finalist could have snagged the crown, err cake stand. I thank my lucky stars for the break from the horrors of our current reality. Thank you to the creators and producers of The Great British Baking Show for giving us outstanding entertainment and hope for the human race. XOXO. 5 out of 5 for this classic reality television series.

Did you pick this season’s winner?


The Great British Baking Show Returns to PBS for a Fourth Season of Merriment in the Kitchen (PBS)

June 2, 2017

Hell yeah this summer’s going to be delicious! PBS just announced Season 4 of The British Baking Show beginning June 16. From PBS,

PBS announced today at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour that THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW will return for a fourth season on June 16, 2017, airing Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). This upcoming season is the BBC’s most recent season, which received the highest-ever viewership for the series. PBS also announced it has committed to a fifth season of the series that has previously aired on the BBC.

Read the full article on PBS.

Treme: Season 3 (take 2)

March 30, 2017

Just can’t get enough of New Awlins. Click on the image below and read my updated review of Treme: Season 3.

Treme: Season 2 (take 2)

March 23, 2017

Great revisiting my friends in the Treme. What a sleeper hit this David Simon (The Wire) show continues to be. Read Reel Charlie’s updated review by clicking on the image below.

The Great British Baking Show: Season 2 (U.K. Series 4)

March 4, 2017


Spoiler alert: I love my Great British Baking Show. Recently Netflix awarded us another season. Let’s call it U.S. 2 but it’s really original U.K. 4. No matter, we’re slowly getting the seasons. Season 2 was a bit quieter than the previous one airing in the U.S. (Nadia’s win). But I still loved it. Lots of focus, hard work, creativity and good sportsmanship. It all blends together for a whirlwind binge-worthy experience. The pool started with 13,000 entrants and ended with 13 contestants. The show narrowed down to all female by the semi-final. Definitely two of the three finalists were personal favorites. I won’t give away much more. I did love Kimberly and Glenn. Ok, and Frances,Howard, and Ali too. 4 out of 5 for this foodie delight!



The Great British Baking Show Season 3 Masterclass

December 7, 2016


What’s bound to satisfy our hunger for more The Great British Baking Show? Well start airing another couple of seasons over here in the U.S., PBS and Netflix, will ya’? Meanwhile, thank you PBS for airing Season 3’s Masterclass, a 5-part series featuring judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood baking to sheer perfection (to quote Mary B.) some of the most challenging and favorite recipes from the competition. You don’t have to be a star baker to love this show. A glass or wine or a cup of tea will do just fine while you sit back and allow your mouth to water profusely over these delectables. Four official episodes and one very special Christmas episode streaming now on the PBS app or online at A yummy 5 out of 5 for these master bakers.

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