Stay-at-home mom with 4 daughters Melissa d’Arabian (who recently moved from Keller, Texas to Kirkland, Wash.) was crowned The Next Food Network Star on Sunday’s season five finale of the hit reality series. The finale smashed all records for Food Network, becoming the highest-rated, most-watched telecast in its history. Over 32 million people watched the show throughout the season as well!
Melissa will debut her brand-new cooking show THIS Sunday at 12:30pm ET/PT on Food Network. Ten Dollar Dinners will feature Melissa’s useful tips, tricks, techniques and recipes to making high-end food for a fraction of the cost with tried-and-true recipes she has made for her family, relatable stories, and unbelievable ideas on saving money yet serving food that will wow the family, guests, etc. This is how Melissa lives her life at home with her husband and four young daughters. She has been able to slash her weekly budget for food and all household items to $175, and she would love to share this all with you.
From the Food Network Website:
On her daytime cooking series, season five winner of The Next Food Network Star and stay-at-home mom, Melissa d’Arabian, shows viewers how to incorporate creative and tasty meals into their budgets by sharing her tried-and-true recipes. With countless tips to save time and money in the kitchen, she keeps her $10 promise in every episode: four people, ten bucks, infinite possibilities. From approachable Parisian and Moroccan menus to sophisticated upgrades for everyday chicken and pork, Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian demonstrates home cooking at its finest.
I had the privilege of speaking with Melissa on the phone yesterday, along with several other mommy bloggers. The interview was tons of fun, and I learned all sorts of things about Melissa – and about a few of the other bloggers in on the interview.
One thing that Melissa kept saying over and over is that she plans to use her own experiences in her show – experiences as a career woman, a working mom, and a stay at home mom. I’m excited to see how all of these play into her show.
Another topic we discussed was her “No thank you bite” rule that she has in her house. It’s very similar to a rule that I have in my house: Kids must take one bite of everything on their plate. If they don’t like it, they say “No thank you” and that’s that. I have the same rule, here. My parents were part of the “Clean Plate Club,” but having issues with food myself, I don’t want to force feed my kids. There are always days when we’re not hungry, and that’s ok. Kids are the same way. By asking them to take one bite, it allows them to try new tastes and textures. And, who knows? They may just end up loving it!
Also, when doing the “No thank you bite” rule, if your kids refuse everything all the time, make sure you’re also serving something you know they like and you know they’ll eat. If they still don’t want to eat but end up hungry later, offer up a piece of whole grain toast instead of the cookies, chips, or ice cream that they may be asking for.
She also offered up lots of tips for getting all of your kids involved with the cooking – something I love doing with my crew. The boys may be kneeding the dough for me, I’ll have Lucy helping me measure out the milk (or whatever), and Ashley stirring the food in the pot. They love to participate. It makes them feel independent and proud to help, and I enjoy having them in the kitchen with me.
Before I close, here’s a recipe from Melissa. I love this recipe because it uses 5 ingredients that I have on hand, and it’s super easy to follow!
Perfect Crisp Potatoes
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the potato cubes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the water, stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Steam the potatoes until the water evaporates, about 3 or 4 more minutes. (Every 1 to 2 minutes, open the lid long enough to stir the potatoes so they don’t stick.) Lower the heat to medium, and saute another 1 to 2 minutes until all traces of water are gone. Toss in the butter and stir to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the potatoes are crisp and browned to your liking, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on how dark you want them. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and serve.
Easy peasy, right? My kids will love this!
So, remember – Melissa’s new show premiers this Sunday, (TOMORROW!), at 12:30pm ET/PT on Food Network. Be sure to tune in! I can’t wait to see what Melissa helps us cook up!