December 8, 2014 by Susan Murray
This past week I was honored to act as spokesperson for the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association promoting our Holiday Shopping Package on both the local Asheville ABC affiliate and Fox Carolina Morning in Charlotte. The hook was that I was invited onto the programs to demonstrate some holiday cooking tips and recipes. So I had to channel my inner Food Network Star as well as my Public Speaking Personna.
It was really, really dark at 4 AM on Monday when I left the Carolina Bed & Breakfast to do my first appearance on WLOS Asheville. I had prepared for two three minute segments: one on a quick method of decorating cookies, mince pies or cakes, and one on packaging cookies as gifts. The night before I had carefully collected everything I thought I would need on a tray. Thinking that it was better to be sure that I had everything, I assumed the studio would provide nothing. (Good call).
Christine, one of the publicists for the Association, had met with me a few days earlier and given me some basic advice and suggestions. One of the best things she told me was not to worry about the camera. Look at what you are doing and talk to the presenter. We discussed what I would do and a few of the points about the Association and the package which I should try to get into the conversation. All of this was running through my mind as I drove through the wonderfully empty streets.
Christine met me at the Studio, thank goodness! There are not a lot of people working at the Studio at that hour and we arrived to find the door locked and no one in sight. As I watched my short fifteen minute prep time dwindle away, Christine assured me that this had happened before and she had a cellphone number for the Producer. But what it meant in actual terms was that I no sooner got in the door than I was setting up for the first segment and on live TV!
It went by so fast. The presenters had obviously been well-briefed and while I was expecting to give a cookie demo they were more interested in talking about the package. This is the exact opposite of what I would find on the following Saturday when the presenters could not have cared less about the package and only wanted to cook!
In some ways the segments I did at the station in Asheville served as a rehearsal for the much more complicated and longer segments I would be doing in Charlotte. There the producers wanted two recipes with each one strung out over two segments. I was making small bites and there wasn’t really enough to fill two segments each so I had to think of extra steps and tips to fill the time. Charlotte was a bigger studio with a bigger set including a kitchen. I had brought all of my own things because, once again, I wasn’t expecting anything much. I have to say I was really surprised that the one useful thing they did have was a set of good knives!myfoxcarolinas.com
Once again it went by really fast. Part of me wishes there was a funny mistake for me to tell you about but the bigger part of me is very grateful that there was not!
SWEET POTATO NACHOS
Carolina Bed & Breakfast
2-3 small Sweet Potatoes
½ cup finely grated Cheddar Cheese
1 tart Apple finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped dried Cranberries
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the sweet potatoes into ¼ inch thick rounds and toss them in olive oil and salt. Arrange on a roasting tray and roast for 15-20 minutes until soft and cooked through. Remove and let cool. Can be done ahead.
2) In a small bowl mix together the chopped apple and cranberry. Line a roasting tray with foil and spray with cooking spray. Arrange sweet potato chips on the tray and top each chip with a mound of apple-cranberry mixture. Top with grated cheese. Place chips in a 350 degree oven and heat until cheese is melted and bubbling.
3) Arrange chips on a serving platter and top each one with a small candied jalapeno.
Makes approximately 12-20 chips