"It goes together like that," says Lee, slapping her hands together for effect. "And she wasn't even embarrassed to say that she did it." Lee says she believes that her appeal speaks to the "evolution of the homemaker." "I think women today are so overwhelmed and overtaxed," she says, that they have little time to spend on complicated meals. Lee says she moved million of merchandise in 18 months after QVC hired her as on-screen talent."Everybody's happy, they think you're a genius, and you walk out with this masterpiece and get to take all the credit! She herself grew impatient with the time-intensive instruction at the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, Canada, where she studied briefly in the late 1990s. In 2003, she inaugurated her first Food Network show."More than anything now, I feel really lucky to have a relationship that's just mine and that I get to go home to, that's a safe haven, and that I have something that's not the whole world's too." On marriage speculation, Lee says, "I like being independent.
Meanwhile, she says, "I feel like I can handle my own, and I feel completely equal.""When and if that time comes up" to marry, Lee says, "we'll do it, but right now everything is just good." In their free time, they ride around on his Harley-Davidson.
Her cooking style is unapologetically user-friendly. Products like Jiffy corn-muffin mix, Cool Whip, and canned frosting are among the recommended ingredients.
Photographed by Douglas Friedman Opinionated celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has been scathing in his attacks on Lee, declaring a TV segment where she made a "Kwanzaa cake" out of packaged foods "eye searing." Lee, unfazed, says she doesn't think Bourdain actually believes what he says.
"If a song comes on in the grocery store — we love this song called "Fireflies"; it's just an enchanting, sweet song — we dance around with the cart.""I have fun when I get to take Michaela school-clothes shopping. And does she do all her lifestyle moves, the costumes and "tablescapes," at home as well as on television? She didn't campaign with him in his race for governor in 2010, and they appear together only occasionally at official events.
She explains their public shyness as a way of guarding their privacy.