5 Life Lessons from Paula Deen
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Let Queen Paula tell it like it is
Deen is always willing to share her words of wisdom.
Paula Deen has seen a lot in her lifetime. Here are five of her finest gems:
Life Lesson #1:
“Onions and bacon cooking up just makes your kitchen smell so good. In fact, one day I'm going to come up with a room deodorizer that smells like bacon and onions. It's a fabulous smell.”
Life Lesson #2:
“I don't want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies.”
Life Lesson #3:
“You don't want to make a steady diet of just lettuce. You don't want to make a steady diet of fried chicken.”
Life Lesson #4:
“I figure it's almost like a balance. We're eating these wonderful collard greens and turnip greens which are so medicinally good for you and, OK, so what if it has a little ham hock in it?”
Life Lesson #5:
“I will never use a substitute for butter. Margarine is one molecule away from eating plastic. If I'm going to eat that type of food, it's going to be the real deal.”
How to Make Your Very Own Paula Deen House Seasoning
I love making homemade seasoning mixes! It never dawned on me until a couple of years ago that it is so much cheaper and simpler just to make them from scratch at home! One of my favorite &ldquogo-to&rdquo seasonings is Paula Deen House Seasoning.
If your Memorial Day cookout gets rained out, try Jamie's Cheeseburgers in Puff Pastry in your air fryer: https://www.pauladeen.com/recipe/air-fryer-jamies-cheeseburgers-in-puff-pastry/
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5 Life Lessons from Paula Deen - Recipes
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Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients• 1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
DirectionsPreheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat.
Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and roast for an additional hour. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while it rests.
*Our family loves this meal--even my kids gobble it up. It would make a great Christmas dinner, too, served with homemade cranberry sauce and fresh green beans--YUM!!
*Updated to include Crock Pot Method (1-15-13)
I have found that this same recipe works wonders in the crock pot! Instead of a pork tenderloin, I use a pork roast. Even if it isn't exactly 4 lbs. I use the same amounts of spices, herbs, and oil. Sometimes I put the meat in the crock pot all by itself, but this last time, I added potatoes and carrots.
What Business Execs Can Learn From the Paula Deen Scandal
Take one outspoken personality presiding over her own media and culinary empire. Add a pesky lawsuit by a disgruntled ex-employee. Allow time to simmer, under the cross-examination of a videotaped deposition. When the mix boils over with damaging admissions of racial insensitivity, liberally sprinkle the results across media outlets nationwide. Such was the recipe for the meltdown of the Southern-style cooking empire of Paula Deen in the wake of admissions that she had used racial slurs.
The situation came to light in a lawsuit brought by former employee Lisa Jackson in Georgia federal court against Deen, her company Paula Deen Enterprises, and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers, over alleged sexual harassment and racial discrimination at Deen’s Savannah restaurants, Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House and The Lady and Sons. As word spread of Deen’s use of the racial epithets and apparent tolerance of her brother’s alleged racism and sexism, the folksy Southern chef’s brand became radioactive. Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.’s Food Network, which once aired three different shows featuring Deen, ended its 11-year relationship with the celebrity chef. Caesars Entertainment Corp., which operates Deen-branded restaurants in four of its casinos, also severed its ties to Deen.
Retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, J.C. Penney, Sears, and Walgreens, as well as home shopping network QVC—all of which carried Deen’s popular cookware and kitchenware product lines—likewise announced they were ending their relationship with Deen. Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, which used Deen as a pitchwoman for its diabetes drug, announced that it had “mutually agreed” with Deen to “suspend our patient education activities for now.” Smithfield Foods, which carried a line of Paula Deen-branded hams, dropped the embattled chef as well. Even her publisher, Ballantine Books, which saw sales of Deen’s cookbooks spike at the height of the scandal, canceled the multi-book deal it announced only last year with the woman who inspired new interest in butter-drenched homestyle cooking.
All told, Deen’s admission about using the n-word has cost a pretty penny for the woman who Forbes says made $17 million in 2012 alone. (The Food Network deal reportedly accounted for $2.5 million annually, while the Novo Nordisk endorsement paid Deen at least $2 million a year)
What specifically led to the implosion of Deen’s brand, how could it have been prevented or at least minimized, and what lessons can c-level executives learn from the scandal?
It all began with Deen’s deposition in a case that centered on her brother, the “Bubba” of Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, and his alleged misconduct while at the restaurant’s helm. The lawsuit paints Hiers as a crude person, prone to showing up at work drunk, using racial slurs, and viewing pornography at work and showing it to female employees. Deen’s “blood is thicker than water” approach to such misconduct, and apparent tolerance of it, led to the deposition’s most damning testimony from the 66-year-old chef-turned-entrepreneur. Deen testified that she never asked her brother about the truth of the allegations made against him, and that she distrusted the results of a consulting firm’s investigation that validated the complaints, saying that the firm had been “deceived” by people with “evil motives” (like Lisa Jackson, the plaintiff in the ensuing lawsuit, which was recently settled out of court). In the deposition, Deen gave the impression of excusing the porn viewing and crude sexual humor in the workplace, saying “It’s just men being men” and “I can imagine several men in my life that would have said something similar.”
But what ignited the firestorm of controversy was Deen’s admission to having used the n-word in the past, even as she acknowledged “that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ’60s in the South.” Deen tried unsuccessfully to distinguish between use of the n-word “in a mean way” in contrast to more benign ways, such as humor or what “black people say to each other.” Deen was reluctant to condemn the use of such slurs in jokes, saying “Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. … They usually target, though, a group. Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don’t know—I just don’t know what to say. I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.” In addition to the controversy brought on by the testimony itself were subsequent revelations by current and former Deen employees about Deen’s plans for an antebellum plantation-style wedding, and others being asked to wear “Aunt Jemima”-style clothing at one of Deen’s restaurants.
FAILING TO PREPARE
Although some media accounts have referred to Deen being “forced to open up” during the deposition about the use of racial slurs, reading the testimony itself reveals that many of Deen’s damaging admissions came not while responding to a specific question, but while volunteering information and going off on rambling tangents instead. Was it a case of poor representation? Deen’s lawyer during the deposition, William P. Franklin Jr. of Savannah’s Oliver Maner LLP, is a well-respected attorney, but one whose practice focuses more on medical malpractice defense than on employment litigation. In the deposition’s ugly aftermath, Deen and her businesses made a very public change of counsel, switching to the national firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
Having a lawyer with the necessary background and experience in a specialized area of law is certainly one lesson that can be drawn from the Deen debacle. But an even bigger takeaway is the need for preparation for a deposition like this—and not necessarily just with the lawyers. Dallas media relations expert David Margulies of Margulies Communications Group says that the questions Deen was asked were “predictable, considering the nature of the case. She could have been prepared to answer [them].” A key part, Margulies says, is not just anticipating particular questions, but making sure that “the person being deposed fully understands the purpose of a deposition. It is not the time to argue your case.”
Longtime jury consultant Alison Bennett of Dallas’ Bloom Strategic Consulting agrees. “I take time to address common misperceptions about depositions, including the executive’s true role at the deposition. Executives who believe it is their responsibility to ‘win the case’ often try to advocate and explain during answers, so this misperception needs to be addressed up front. C-level executives are usually highly competitive. They need to understand they cannot win a deposition, only lose it.” Too much advocating and explaining, says Bennett, “leads to trouble, as it did at Paula Deen’s deposition.”
Bennett goes over key communication strategies with her clients, including “how to recognize questions that are traps, and how to answer questions with precision, one question at a time”—an approach that Bennett explains may sound deceptively simple, but which actually “runs contrary to the way we communicate in everyday life.” Preparation like this, according to Bennett, enables the truth to be communicated “without creating a career-ending sound bite in the process. In Deen’s deposition, some of the most difficult questions originated after she gave a long, overreaching response to another question.”
Preparation for a deposition involves many elements beyond grasping the purpose of the deposition, anticipating what might be asked, and understanding how best to respond. For example, Bennett points out, getting Deen’s view of the allegations, “including her personal definition and understanding of what constitutes racial discrimination or sexual harassment, could have yielded critical, strategy-changing information before the deposition.” Getting a sense of where Deen stood on the key issues, in other words, could have given her lawyers options for her preparation, including putting greater emphasis on cultural sensitivities. Prominent employment lawyer Michael Maslanka, managing partner for the Dallas office of national employment firm Constangy Brooks & Smith LLP, cautions that “you can’t change the facts, but you can change the story. Context matters and it matters a lot. But you can only be ready to do so if you know the bad stuff up front.”
If scandalous admissions do come out, the issue of damage control becomes paramount. “I would have recommended Paula Deen immediately issue a news release acknowledging the question and her answer, offering a sincere and heartfelt apology,” says David Margulies. By releasing negative news first, Margulies explains, “you have a better opportunity to control the message.”
Deen’s early reaction to the widening scandal included backing out of an interview on the Today show, and posting a professionally produced apology on YouTube before pulling it and replacing it with a self-produced plea for forgiveness in which she again apologized.
As the devastating fallout from Deen’s deposition continues, valuable lessons emerge for C-suite denizens facing depositions themselves. Developing effective, truthful answers requires preparation, and frequently that preparation involves not only legal counsel but communications specialists as well. In the digital age, when embarrassing revelations gain a life of their own and go viral on YouTube and brands can be damaged or even destroyed with the speed of a search engine, it’s more important than ever to align truthful answers with overall legal strategy and avoid being blindsided by an unexpected deposition question.
Paula Deen’s Goulash (the best EVER)
This really is the absolute BEST goulash I’ve ever had. It is really simple, and is even better reheated. My 4 year old actually ate it, and anyone who knows him knows that he is a SUPER picky eater.
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 cups water
- 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (I didn't use this)
- 3 bay leaves (I didn't use this either)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Paula Deen's House Seasoning (Again, didn't use this in mine)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked)
- *I added garlic powder, seasoning salt, and a little pepper to mine.
- In large pot, cook ground beef over medium heat until browned, spoon off any extra grease.
- Add onion and garlic, saute until transparent.
- Add 3 cups of water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, all seasonings, soy sauce, and bay leaves (if you choose to use them). Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add macaroni and allow to simmer an additional 20 minutes or until tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.
*Some people have complained that the recipe is too salty. I like salty food, and I didn’t think so. You might adjust the salt the recipe calls for if you are sensitive to salt.
I started this blog a few years back for a place to share my favorite things.. recipes, my love of photography, traveling, my crazy randomness, etc. I had no idea that it would turn into something that so many people would take interest in. For everyone stopping by, I truly thank you. Thank you, thank you. I love reading all of the comments on my posts.. and under this recipe.. the additions made, the way some of you make yours that differs from this one.. all the different names you grew up calling it. 99% of the comments have been nice.. The thing that does surprise me, although I guess it really shouldn’t.. are all of the hateful comments. I have been flogged in numerous comments for this not being ‘true Hungarian goulash’. I don’t think I ever claimed that it was. It is a recipe that I posted on my blog because I made it for my family and we liked it. I’ve got a tough skin, so the hateful comments don’t bother me. If you need to vent your frustrations about how I’m personally insulting anyone who happens to be Hungarian, then by all means do so… but, if you would rather use your time in a more productive way, you can Google ‘Hungarian Goulash’ and find a more suitable recipe.
How does Deen prepare her "Uncle Bubba's Wings?" You guessed it, they're fried, but not before being drenched in hot sauce. And the Buffalo sauce she provides for dipping contains 8 tablespoons of butter, plus more hot sauce. While hot sauce is a tasty condiment and a great way to add flavor, its sodium count can really add up when eaten in large quantities (it has about 30 mg of sodium per teaspoon). The latest government dietary guidelines recommend that people with diabetes eat no more than 1500 milligrams of sodium a day (that's about half a teaspoon of salt). Our Polynesian glazed chicken wings are just as toothsome and have only 74 mg of sodium per serving.
Life is too short to not enjoy a sweet treat every now and then. I learned the art of candy makin’ from my mama, and it’s not a skill that everyone has. I’m glad I was blessed with it! Candy makin’ really is a science of sorts, but don’t let that intimidate you. Honestly, it always was my favorite kind of science.
Of course some candies, like 5-Minute Fudge, are easier to make than others, like Pecan Brittle, but it’s always fun to make regardless. And when it comes out just right, there’s nothin’ sweeter!
While my grandkids love eating their fruits and vegetables, they also love when their Guinny spends an afternoon in the kitchen makin’ all sorts of candy confections. Those boys don’t realize how lucky they are! They can eat all sorts of sweets, and burn them all off in no time with all their playing and fidgeting. But even though I don’t have the metabolism that they do, I still can’t help myself from snackin’ on a piece or two.
Enjoy some of my favorite homemade candies yourself with these delicious recipes!
In a Dutch oven , saute the ground beef and ground turkey over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Break up meat while sauteing spoon off any grease . Add the onions to the pot and saute until they are tender about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce , House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the elbow macaroni , stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.
Those divorce rumors about Paula Deen and her husband aren't true
A few years after their marriage was rocked by the alleged cheating scandal, Paula Deen fueled divorce rumors even more. In 2015, she gifted the deed to her and her husband Michael Groover's shared house in Wilmington Island, Georgia to Groover. According to court documents (via Daily Mail), the transfer was "for and in consideration of her natural love and affection for her husband," but on April 8, 2016, she took it back.
The house, which the couple had been living in together since they were married in 2004, was solely in Groover's name, but Deen said that this transfer was a mistake and "delivered by error and [a] misunderstanding between her and her husband." She canceled the original deed transfer so that now Groover is not the sole owner of the home.
When this news broke, everyone assumed that it was evidence of a divorce stemming from Groover's alleged cheating three years earlier. However, those rumors were later called into question, as the agreement was mutual and Groover signed the papers willingly and happily.
While it isn't clear exactly why the deed transfer was canceled (or why it happened in the first place), it was not the beginning of the end. In fact, the couple celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in 2019, and are looking forward to many more years together.