February 6, 2014

My Greatest Adventure – Part One

So, the most amazing thing that could ever happen to me… happened.

And I couldn't tell you about it.

Until now.

I’m going to try to tell you the story of my greatest adventure ever. But I’m going to have to do it in segments because I can’t tell you everything just yet. But I will. Soon. By the end of spring you’ll know the whole story as I am able to share it with you. I promise this will make more sense as we go.

On November 5, 2013 I received an email from a casting producer working with Food Network who wanted to talk to me about being part of the cast for a new series! I didn't see the email until a few days later and almost choked on my bologna sandwich when I read it. Holy Mother of God is this real? It’s been days since she sent this, what if they've moved on and I missed my chance because my stupid phone doesn't like my aol app and didn't tell me I had any email. Is this real? Is someone pranking me?

I immediately sent a response. And then read over what I had hastily written to see it was chocked full of grammatical errors and sounded as desperate as a back ally meth head. Awesome.

And then I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

While I waited I totally reverted into a teenage girl and bent the internet over backwards trying to validate this thing.

Googled the phone number on the producer’s email signature. It’s an LA number. OHMUHGAH.

Googled the producer’s name. She’s real. She has her very own listing on IMDb which lists her other projects like Survivor, The Great Food Truck Race and The Amazing Race. OHMUHGAH.

Googled prank tv shows to see if there was one that would fit this scenario. Found none. OHMUHGAH.

And then I got a response.

My phone rang at 6:45PM on a Friday afternoon as me and my entire family were finishing up supper at Bojangles. Because I’d become a stalker and memorized her phone number, I knew who was calling. I practically knocked the table over in Bojangles, ditched Husband with the kids and flew out to the parking lot to sit in the car to take the call. Half way through the call, my brood finished eating and came out to the car. I immediately locked all the doors, leaving them all stranded in the parking lot, closed my eyes so I wouldn't get distracted by them trying to talk through the windows and finished the call. It was raining. Not my best moment.

The concept of the show was explained to me and thus began the three-week whirlwind of demo tapes, phone calls, emails and Skype interviews. And also my new favorite thing to say to my friends, I missed that because I was skyping with LA... Oh, I can’t, I've got to skype with LA... Did I mention I was skyping with LA? Ha! I didn't even know how to set it up when I had to do it the first time.

And then I was told the infamous last words… “we’ll be in touch”

And I waited.

And I waited some more.

And then I waited some more.

Then on December 2, 2013 I got a quick phone call that went something like this, “Hi, this is so-and-so, working with Food Network. I just wanted to confirm that you would be able to be in New York from December 11-22 and ask which airport you would like to fly out of.”

Wha??

And then my mama brain kicked in and I started thinking about how completely insane this would be. Um. That’s like next week. I have kids. And a job. And no vacation time left in the year. The girls have their first competition next weekend. They've trained all year for this. I've never missed one. I have to get ready for Christmas. I can’t take that much time off without pay. Brutus has his holiday program at school. Who’s going to buy all the Christmas presents? How will the kids get to school? Who fill fix Angel Baby’s hair every morning?

And then I said the thing I never thought I’d say. I told Food Network I’d have to think about it.

I presented my case to Husband and told him all the reasons this wouldn't work and that I thought I’d have to decline. And he looked at me and said the most amazing thing he’s ever said to me. He said, “You’re doing this. You deserve this. You are amazing and the world needs to see it. You do everything for everyone else and now you get to go do something for yourself. We’ll figure it out. This is your dream. You. Are. Doing. This.”

So, on Wednesday, December 11th I left my job (had to take a temporary leave of absence - yikes!) and my family, kissed my husband goodbye and flew to New York to go chase my dream.

Stay tuned for the next part of the story! The show is called America's Best Cook and it's unlike anything you've ever seen on Food Network before and it's going to be amazing!

They should start running promos for it soon so I decided to tell you what I can in case I end up in one of the commercials and you say, "Hey, isn't that the chick with that recipe blog?"

Show premiers April 13 at 9:00 EST






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59 comments:

  1. Lisa in Los AngelesFebruary 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Congrats! Good luck!

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  2. Your hubby is amazeballs....I cried....just now in my cubical....it is possible that my co-workers are now convinced I am certifiably nuts ��

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    1. Ha Melissa, made me cry too. My kids Polly owner what t s wrong with mommy. Lol

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  3. happy for you.......you go girl

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  4. I just knew it was something like this! So excited!

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  5. Awesome!!!!! So happy for you!!! Those of us that have followed you for some time now can say they knew you when! :) I will definitely keep my eyes out for it, I can't wait! ~Diane

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  6. I had goosebumps when I finished reading this! Wow!! and Wow!!! again!! So thrilled for you!!

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  7. How exciting!!! I can't wait to hear the rest of your story!!

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  8. Congrats! It will be lovely to see you on TV!!

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  9. Your blog is my favorite...I know you will do well. Your story made me cry. You're a great writer too! Congratulations!!

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  10. I told you from the first time that I wrote to you, that I was your newest stalker.... NOW I can pretty much say I knew you when....LOL
    Before you were all big and famous on the FOOD NETWORK and all! WOW. This is EPIC and I only know you from your blog. As much as I like... no let me rephrase that. LOVE your recipes and your sense of humor I know this show is going to be such a hit. (How can it not be?)
    I can't wait to hear more and then set the DVR to be sure not to miss it.
    BEST OF LUCK TO YOU.... You will be AMAZING!!!

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    1. and you looked phenomenal!!!

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  11. Soooo happy for you, ,,,,, I've always thought that you should be on Food Network,,,, , be great! Can't wait to see you there !

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  12. Congrats - and LOVE the shirt you're wearing in the pic! Can't wait to see what's coming next for you - Food Network is one of my favorite channels out of the bazillion we have (with nothing on mind you - who knows what we ever did with only 3-5 channels before cable/sattalite - LOL?!) so I'm sure to catch it! : )
    Michelle B

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  13. OMG! So happy for you and can't wait to hear more details. I read your blog everyday and never comment!!!

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  14. So happy for you and I can't wait to see what the new show is and how amazing you will be on it! Kudos to hubby as well! He's just as amazing for letting you do this with his full support!

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  15. Sounds like so much fun, and you will be good at it!!!! Enjoy every minute!!!!

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  16. I thought so!!! Yay!!! Congratulations, you crack me up all the time. What an amazing husband you have, enjoy and have a great time!

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  17. First off a big fat Congratulations I have so happy for you. Next no joke I actually had tears welling up when I read what your husband said, good man, keep him. I can not wait to read about your exciting adventure and watch the show. Enjoy every minute.

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  18. Thrilled for you and can't wait to see it!

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  19. Congratulation!!!!!! Hope all your dreams come true.

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  20. Hi Mandy! Wow! You're a celebrity! Just like that! Where's the box of Kleenex? I'm so happy a Southern girl is going to be on Food Network again! Prayers that all will go well with your future! Blessings from Bama!

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  21. Squeeeeeee!!!! So very happy for you!!! Been lurking here for awhile, and just knew it was a matter of time! Don't forget us little people!!!

    Jen in OK

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  22. Congratulations... You really deserve this opportunity. I'm glad I have been following you. just goes to prove you have validated Southern cooking and the way Grandma used to do it. Can't say CONGRATULATIONS enough.

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  23. Awesome for you!!!! I just started to follow your food blog and you are hilarious. Please don't let them change the way you :)

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  24. I meant to say don't let them change you.

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  25. absolutely AMAZING. SO HAPPY FOR YOU! :)

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  26. Mandy I'm so excited for you and can't wait to see the show..Congratulations! I was called to audition for Chopped at the NY office 1 1/2 years ago and my thoughts sounded exactly like yours. I'm glad you decided to take the chance!

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  27. Great! I think you are hilarious, and so much in the real world. I've been reading your blog and following you on p interest for a couple of years. Cannot wait to watch you on TV. You deserve it.

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  28. Way to go girl!!! Have a blast and don't forget to blog! We would miss hearing from you when you are famous!

    Lisa in Fort Worth

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  29. Yay! Yay! Yay for you!
    Love reading your blog and have tried many of your delish recipes!

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  30. Congratulations Mandy! What a great husband and family you have. Looking forward to seeing you on Food Network!

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  31. Congratulations and what a wonderful opportunity!

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  32. Tears in my eyes... Awesomeness! Hope we get it on FN Canada. :)

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  33. OMGosh!!!!! I am so excited for you I can barely type!!!!! Can't wait til we see you on TV....sweet!

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  34. I don't even know the end of your story but I am rooting for you all the way. I love your blog and think you'd be amazing on a show. Good luck!!!

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  35. I just found your blog and this story brought tears to my eyes. Your husband is amazing for supporting your dream and telling you to chase it. Mine would (and has) told me to do the same! Good luck!

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  36. Stop it!!! Seriously?? How fabulous for you and I can't wait to see it on tv!!!! Good luck and keep us up to date!

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  37. That is so exciting! I love that your husband went beyond being supportive to even PUSHING you to do it. That's a good man.

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  38. How fabulously wonderful!!! Congrats! Can't wait to see you on the Tube!
    ~Peggy

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  39. FANTASTIC!!!
    WTG Mandy, wishing you all the best!!
    I can't wait to read some more of your awesome story. :-)
    You look so natural in your picture....woohoo!!
    Have you seen any of the Food Network stars yet?!

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  40. OHMUHGAH! Congratulations! Love your blog! Good luck and God bless your husband!

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  41. Mandy - Congrats! You are by far one of my Favorite bloggers! Love your site & recipes. Your family is proud of you - as are all of us. Go get um! Food Network will be lucky to get u!

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  42. You are living my dream! Good luck and keep us all posted

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  43. Yippee!! I am so very excited for you and for me as I'm addicted to the Food Network. But seriously, there are so many food blogs out there that have recipes that either taste terrible or just plain don't turn out. I can always count on yours tasting so yummy, and they are easy to make. You deserve this!!

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  44. I just found your blog and love it. Congratulations! Your recipes are amazing and I know you'll do great things!

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  45. Congrats and good luck. I just love the food network and can't wait to see you :-)

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  46. Yaaaay! Congrats to you and your family on this amazing opportunity! I absolutely love your blog. As a fellow Southerner I love my comfort food & southern classics, so your blog is just heavenly to me. I am so happy for you and hope that you continue to follow your dreams - you deserve it! Best wishes!

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  47. WOW! Now don't get the big head and forget about all us little people (okay all us chunky women) who have subscribed for so long and laughed at your antics and how you deal with the problems we all face. Some of your recipes are from my childhood and others have found a place in the recipe box and will be used for a long time to come. Looking forward to seeing you on the tee vee and hope you make enough money to send all of them onions to college! Good luck! Julia Anderson

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  48. Congrats!! I can see you with your own show, your personality rocks!!

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  49. Congrats! That's so exciting!

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  50. EEEEKKKKKK!!!!
    SO VERY EXCITED FOR YOU!
    I love, love, love your blog! I'm a huge fan! (fb fan as well).
    You are my go-to-girl for ah-mah-zing recipes.
    Thank you and good luck! Hope to see your face soon!

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  51. You go Southern girl!!!

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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