I enjoy watching cooking shows on the Food Network when I have the time. Sometimes I get ideas or recipes from the shows. Sometimes I just enjoy watching good food prepared. I also think I've learned little tips and techniques from just watching how the TV chefs move and work in their kitchen.s
I like the concept of "30 Minute Meals" and I used to watch the show fairly often a few years ago when it coincided with my daughter's nap. I would feel a little frustrated though that the meals I was watching being prepared would take me way more than 30 minutes to prepare and clean up. Although I enjoyed the show, I wanted some real 30 minute meals! Since then, I've found some good, quick recipes that I like to make (some even from Rachael Ray) but I have also found other strategies (e.g., crockpot, making ahead, freezing, etc.) that help me make it through weeknight meals for my family.
Today's NY Times Food columnist has a good column about TV cooking vs. Real Cooking. Click on the link below for the full column.