Betty Exclusive: Sandra Lee
Sandra Lee on her skin, relationship and doing it all
-Francine Segan, Betty Food+Home Editor
We love Sandra Lee and all of her great Semi-Homemade recipes. Now she’s launching a new daytime cooking series, Sandra’s Money Saving Meals, on the Food Network. And with this economy, it’s sure to be a big hit just like everything else she does.
I recently caught up with Sandra to talk about her career, her philosphies, and even a bit about her personal life.
Francine: How do you manage to do it all – TV show, cookbooks, magazine, etc.?
Sandra Lee: I always try to look at the big picture when I set out on a new endeavor and surround myself with a positive, strong team of people. For the past 16 years, I have focused on building the Semi-Homemade brand that was always meant to give anyone who was over-extended a new accessible and attainable way of doing things that seemed out of reach.
Francine: What was the inspiration behind your Semi-Homemade philosophy?
Sandra Lee: My grandmother Lorraine spent several years raising me. She is my true inspiration for Semi-Homemade. My grandmother’s mouthwatering made-from-scratch creations and frugal ways in the kitchen provided a foundation for teaching cooking techniques and shortcuts that saved our family money and time.
Raising myself and caring for my brothers and sisters allowed me the benefit of a lot of information that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. I had to be frugal, thoughtful, resourceful. The skills I learned as a child are the foundation for my career. I would not change anything.
Francine: You have glowing skin and are in such great shape. What do you eat to stay so slim & healthy looking?
Sandra Lee: Oh honey, thank you for the compliment. Since I am always on the run, it is important to have a large bottle of water in hand at all times. For my skin, I love moisturizing products and lotion. It is the perfect skin refresher when traveling.
When I want to splurge, Mexican food is my absolute favorite. But if I am on a health-kick, I try to make sure that my servings are the proper size. Late at night, when you want to snack try Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn – it’s light and fills you up.
Francine: Celeb name drop a little for us Bettys. What was it like to be on Ellen’s show? Tyra’s show?
Sandra Lee: I have been fortunate to meet and work with many talented people in the culinary world, entertainment business and through my philanthropic work with a variety of organizations.
Ellen and Trya are both strong, smart women, and I admire their ability to relate to viewers across America with a beautiful heart and great sense of humor. On Tyra, we pulled a young woman out of the audience to have her confront her “fear of cooking”. It is in those moments, when I can truly say, I love my job.
Francine: Are you married? Dating? What do you recommend we feed our men?
Sandra Lee: Yes, I’m in a wonderful relationship. If you ladies want to impress a new date, your husband or boyfriend, I recommend a meat-and-vegetable combination. In my book Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Money Saving Meals there is a recipe for lamb that is full of flavor and super simple to make or if your guy loves the grill try a Teriyaki-Beer Skirt Steak.
Photo: Daniel Root Photography, LLC