A Rachael Ray Kind of Day

As some of you know, I will have my 3-5 minutes of fame on the Rachael Ray show this coming January 2nd.  Since many of you have asked to hear how all this came about, I thought I would share with you the back story, photos from my video shoot and the recipe of what I prepared for Rachael….

~The Back Story~

When Dave and I first moved into 402 Rusk, I needed a way to cope with the stress of living in a fixer-upper.

So I started a blog.

I also emailed a lot of HGTV programs asking to be a guest on their show.  (Can you say “free home makeover, please??”)

And since I was having to be creative with my cooking due to the lack of a stove, I also emailed The Rachael Ray Show.  (She seems to like creative cookers.)

But I didn’t hear from anyone…until 3 weeks ago when I got a call from a producer at The Rachael Ray Show asking if I would be interested in participating in a video cooking project.  (You will have to watch the show to see what the cooking project is all about!)

I said, “Yeahuh!!!”

Then she asked if I could have my video mailed by the next day.

Then I said, “Yyyeahuh???”

And so I accepted the potentially daunting but highly promising challenge.

Thankfully, I work for a film company, and when I told my boss about the phone call she got so excited that she gave me the rest of the day to plan my script and said we would close the office the next day to shoot the video.

(Note to self: Dedicate firstborn to boss.)

As if the video project wasn’t enough, Dave and I were due to host some traveling musicians in our home that very night!

Thankfully, all went smoothly and Kelly McRae and her talented posse put on a wonderful show for Dave’s birthday!  Afterwards I discovered that Kelly used to work in Brooklyn at an internet marketing firm whose biggest client was The Rachael Ray Show!!

Further proof that it truly IS a small world.

~End of Back Story~

So now that you know the back story, here is what took place on the day of shooting!

At 8 am, I went downstairs to prepare breakfast and wound up making a whole bunch of noise, waking our guest who was sound asleep on the couch.

At 8:15 am, I decided I needed a larger roast.

At 8:30 am, Dave went hunting at the grocery store and shot the biggest rump roast he could find before carrying it home to his panicked wife.

At 9 am, my friend Erica arrived to do my makeup.

At 9 am, the film “crew” arrived.

At 9 am, Dave asked what temperature the cinnamon rolls needed to be baked at.

At 9 am, Erica said we needed to go on a foundation/blush/lip gloss run to Dollar General stat!

At 9 am, I realized I had forgotten to make the coffee.

At 9 am, I prepared what was probably the worst pot of coffee I have ever made in my entire life.

At 9:30, my make-up and, more importantly, my cinnamon rolls were done.

At 9:35, my boss and coworker decided to shoot an informal interview with the musicians while we ate breakfast.

At 10 am, I left the table to get dressed.

At 10:15, we all got to work on the video…

Video equipment = instant clutter

Even though my kitchen was already clean and orderly, it still took 30 minutes to get it “camera ready.”  #cameraguysarepicky

Remember to look at the camera, Leilani!

Meet “Rach”: my solution for remembering to look at the camera.

That’s better.

It was my coworker’s idea to prep everything three-quarters of the way to assure smoother transitions.

It was my idea to leave all of my dirty utensils in a big pile on the counter.

The final product: Slow Roasted Beef with Tomato Rosemary Gravy

Recipe Tweak: Instead of including the Yukon gold potatoes in the roast, I mashed them with butter and sour cream.


(Extreme Gravy Close-Up)

The money shot.

Flashing my “but-I-AM-smiling” smile!

Can YOU spot Rach?

At 6:30 pm, we finally called it a day.  So while everybody else loaded up the equipment, I plopped down in a chair…

…I don’t remember what happened after that.


If you find yourself craving roast right now, try out the recipe I prepared that day!

Rachael Ray’s Slow Roasted Beef with Tomato Rosemary Gravy

*3-4 lb. boneless beef round roast (I used rump roast)

*4 carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise in half

*4 celery stalks, cut on a bias in thirds

*2 onions, quartered with root end attached

*1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes (I omitted these and made mashed potatoes instead)

*1/2 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

*Salt and pepper

*2 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning

*2 tablespoons butter

*2 shallots, chopped

*3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

*1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

*2 tablespoons tomato paste

*About 1/2 cup white wine

*2 tablespoons flour

*1 cup beef stock, plus a splash

*About 1/2 cup white wine

Remove roast from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

Liberally coat carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes with EVOO, salt and pepper, and place in the bottom of a cast-iron skillet.

Season the roast evenly with Montreal steak seasoning, place in the skillet, fat side up, on top of the veggies. Drizzle with some EVOO, about 4 tablespoons.

For a 3 to 4 pound round roast, roast meat for 30 minutes at 500 degrees; turn the oven off but leave door closed. Let the meat rest in oven for 2 1/2 hours. For a 4 to 5 pound roast, roast meat for 45 minutes at 500ºF; let rest for 2 1/2 hours. For larger roasts, roast about 7 minutes per pound at 500ºF and let the meat rest for 2 1/2 hours, if you want rare to medium-rare in doneness; 10 minutes per pound for medium to medium-well in doneness. After the time has completed, remove it from the oven and let it rest on a carving board for about 10-15 minutes.

Recipe Tweak: For a more fall-apart roast, pat roast dry and rub with olive oil and Montreal Seasoning.  Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Sear roast on all sides.  Remove roast to a plate and place veggies on the bottom of the skillet.  Toss veggies with oil, salt and pepper as above.  Set roast on top of veggies and cover skillet with foil.  Roast in oven 3-4 hours at 300 degrees until meat is tender and falling apart.

When roast and veggies are done cooking, remove from skillet and set aside on a large platter.  Tent with foil to keep warm.

Now to make the gravy!

Heat EVOO and butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add 2 shallots, finely chopped, 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and about a tablespoon of rosemary, finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and then stir. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour into the pan and stir a minute more. Degalze the pan with 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Add in 1 cup of beef stock and any juices from plate holding roast. More liquid may be added to loosen the sauce.

To serve, slice the roast against the grain and serve with veggies and gravy.


Watch me in action January 2, 2012 on The Rachael Show which airs on NBC!

Check showtimes for your area here!


7 thoughts on “A Rachael Ray Kind of Day

  1. How are you supposed to chop garlic and look at the camera? I almost cut my thumb off peeling a potato on Thanksgiving. And I was looking at the potato!

  2. loved this entry! i loved your outfits in every picture, loved your makeup, loved your scarf (just made one very similary to it), loved the shots of what i could see of your house, loved the food (wish i could eat it)


    • Awe! Thanks Em! I loved all of it, too. Especially the make-up. But I cannot seem to reproduce the look without resembling a cheap hooker. haha

  3. Just found out about this as I do not read face book every day. Loved reading every detail and cannot wait to see you in action.

    • You can subscribe to my blog and updates will be sent via your email. Just click the “Subscribe” button on any of my entries.:)

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