Saturdays at 9am/8c and Weekdays at 3:30pm/2:30c
The idea of this show is to make one meal as "ultimate" as it can get. He's done so many meals that I have bookmarked. The ingredients are not that hard to find, and if he goes for something extravagant, he normally tells you a more affordable or easily found alternative. The downside to this show is sometimes the cooking is intense, meaning you have to watch the food & stay in the kitchen. Not always that good for a college student. But for weekend meals or having friends over for a nice dinner, this guy is awesome.
Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten
Saturdays at 1:30pm/12:30c and Sundays at 10am/9c
My sister doesn't like this show much because Ina Garten tends to have a monotone voice, which puts my sister to sleep, but I really enjoy her recipes. The ingredients for the majority of the recipes of this store can be found easily and aren't expensive. Plus she makes goodies like homemade jams & hot chocolate, things that are extra special when you make them at home. However, some of her recipes are a bit on the rich side.
Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee
Sundays at 12pm/11c and Weekdays at 4pm/3c
The premise of the show uses store bought ingredients & some fresh ingredients to make a dish all your own. This is honestly my favorite food network show because everything is easy to find and easy to put together! I've made some recipes from her before and it turned out wonderful!
At Home with Paula Deen
The Queen of the south. God knows most of her recipes aren't for the health conscious, but many of them look & taste amazing. She has about 3 shows on food network. Not going to lie, sometimes her southern accent is a bit grating, but she's much more entertaining to watch than Rachel Ray. I haven't tried any of her recipes, although I have a few bookmarked. I'm very scared of the calories! She has done some wonderful episodes for budget oriented families and quite a bit on leftovers.
Saturdays at 7am/6c and Tuesday thru Friday at 4:30pm/3:30c
I'll admit sometimes her show is just a little too Italian-- using meats I've never heard of and ingredients I would have to go to a little Italian store to get. But, she has some fabulous ideas for something different and fun for the family. The homemade Gnocchi I made was inspired by her recipe. I also have about 10 recipes saved from her that I'm waiting to do.
Other Mentions: I don't really look for these shows. Sometimes I'll watch if the food looks interesting, other times I'll just change the channel
- Guy Fieri of Guy's Big Bite, Diners & Drives, And some new show... I very much enjoy him but he cooks a lot of red meat and has a large Mexican influence in his cooking. Not a problem with me, but if the entire episode is skirt steak and sides I don't eat--no thanks.
- Robin Cook of 15 minute meals. She's alright. Kinda plain and boring. The one recipe I made from her was really bland and boring (was suppose to be buffalo chicken). But she caters to people who don't have/want a lot of cooking time.