I’m a sucker for competition shows where ordinary people battle it out for a life-changing shot at their own TV series. And I’m a sucker for the Food Network. So I guess it’s not surprising that I have followed along with nearly every season of “The Next Food Network Star.” But only in season 5 did I choose a favorite in the first episode, root for her all the way through the show, and then get to cheer her on at the end.
That one contestant was fellow mom of many Melissa d’Arabian, whose life changed literally overnight from stay-at-home-mom of four daughters to the host of her own Food Network show, Ten Dollar Dinners (tune in weekdays at 1:30 PM EST).
I admired her pluck and energy, and also loved watching a “home cook” without formal training winning cooking challenges against seasoned chefs. When she won, I felt a little like I’d won, too. (Okay, maybe that was a sign that I’d gotten a bit too invested…)
But can you blame me? Melissa took something that she had to do – get dinner on the table for her growing family – and turned it into a passion and a career. Talk about inspiring.
So I was thrilled when Melissa agreed to chat with me about her experience and her new book! And she turned out to be just as warm, down-to-earth and interesting as I figured she would.
In this week’s episode of The Kitchen Hour Podcast, Melissa d’Arabian and I talk about:
- The realities of getting dinner on the table when you’re a busy working mom
- How to embrace your strengths as a mom and home manager
- Strategies for saving money and reducing waste
- Her new book Ten Dollar Dinners (which is jam-packed with tips and delicious, budget-friendly recipes like Melissa’s recipe for French Onion Soup