Cooking with Love (2018 Hallmark Channel)


Cooking with Love

Stars: Ali Liebert & Brett Dalton

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Hardworking and optimistic television producer, Kelly, doesn’t have time for love. Along with her mentor Amanda, Kelly dives into another season of The Little Gourmet, a kids cooking show, when hot-headed Chef Stephen drops into Kelly’s life as a last-minute replacement host. As the two struggle to make peace and a successful show, they realize they have a lot more in common than they thought—a love of food, the kids they encounter, and each other.



Kelly is a reality show producer (we know this because she wears airport headphones) with a heart of gold. Oxymoron much? She is a people-pleaser and just the nicest person. I mean she works with kids on a kid cooking show, The Little Gourmet. When Chef Betty slips a disk in her back the production team is tasked with a finding a replacement. Instead of going with the sweet red-headed Canadian chef, they go with hot-headed Stephen Harris. Stephen throws spaghetti on a food critic at his restaurant, but he would be good for social media engagement!  

Stephen’s manager, Adam, comes to the restaurant to convince him to do the kids’ cooking show. It will improve his image because his book tour has been cancelled and restaurant is less popular than ever. This is his opportunity to show the world he isn’t such a bad guy!

On set, Stephen and Kelly don’t hit it off. He is a total diva and refuses to wear the chef Boyardee hat (A Toque!), only cooks with copper pans, and won’t talk with the kids off camera. Since things aren’t going so well, Kelly is assigned to babysit Stephen by Amanda, her lady boss (who is moving on to an executive position and this will be her last season on The Little Gourmet). It is also revealed that Jeremy, the new guy, is up for the lady boss’s job, superseding Kelly’s rank/experience.

At a farmers market, Stephen tries convince Kelly to elevate the menu with things like radicchio. She tells him he needs to connect with the kids, because they are chefs… just like him! So they make hamburgers and sloppy joes! He gets what he wants and radicchio is added to the show! Too bad, his personality isn’t. Kelly tells him to try smiling, but it is terrifying. He won’t even let the kids make mistakes (it is a reality show); he just takes over for them.

Stephen is creeply listening to Kelly as she talks to a kid contestant and then later reads her idea notebook. He tries to talk her into pitching an idea. Later, In a production meeting, Kelly pitches the dea of doing Hometowns… just like The Bachelor. Basically, they would film on location with the kid’s families. Jeremy doesn’t like it (he is a hater), but Amanda does and greenlights the idea!

On set at the firehouse, Kelly is HEAVILY being flirted with by a fireman (Rick) while Stephen jealously, watches on. Right before filming the big chili cook off, Cody (one of the kid contestants) decides he wants to quit the show. He is worried he will let his dad down. Stephen talks him down by sharing a personal story about the time her cooked a burnt turkey for his dad. Kelly is impressed and maybe even falling in love??? After a successful day of filming they call a truce.

Out of the kindness of his own heart, Stephen takes Kelly to the kitchen to cook. She admits she doesn’t really cook, I mean she DOES make a “mean tray of ice.” They cook a sexy pizza together, somehow without getting into a flour fight! While they’re cooking, we learn that Stephen was an army brat who moved around a lot growing up. Jeremy totally interrupts just as things are getting hot and heavy (and by hot and heavy I mean Stephen touches Kelly’s face). Then Jeremy steals Kelly’s idea notebook!!!!!!!!

In case you forgot, this is a Valentine’s Day movie. Stephen and Kelly both realize they don’t have plans and awkwardly agree to meet at Stephen’s restaurant on Valentine’s Day. It is not a date though, it is a work thing. Kelly’s co-worker helps her get ready, she was going to wear jeans and a sweater!!! (We do NOT get a getting ready montage, so that was disappointing.)

At Stephen’s restaurant, Kelly is in red dress. (I’d say it was sexy, but it was pretty conservative.) Over dinner, Stephen and Kelly share more about each other. We learn that Kelly’s mom passed away four years ago and worked with kids too. That is why Kelly is so good with kids, but she wants to do more—make a real difference. Later, on a stroll through the city, they eat chocolates that the kids made, Stephen buys her flowers (Yellow for friendship…), and they talk about relationships and love finding you when your ready for it. Stephen walks Kelly to her door and tells her that he is glad he is working with her on the show—instead of kissing her.     

Kelly makes a home cooked meal! (Spaghetti with meatballs and chocolate chip cookies.) This time we get a montage. Kelly calls Stephen to tell him the good news. They have witty banter and after hanging up Stephen receives a call from his manager. Chef Betty is back and Chef Stephen is out.

Kelly immediately goes to the restaurant to invite Stephen to the taping of the grand finale, but he is flying out to LA for a new show he got to cross promote his new cookbook. He thanks her for everything because none of these new opportunities would be happening if it wasn’t for her.

Back at work, Kelly walks into a meeting where Jeremy is successfully pitching her ideas from the idea notebook. Kelly confronts Jeremy in the hallway; he denies everything and tells her that if she had the same ideas that she should have shared them sooner. Defeated and alone, Kelly receives a thank you card (A Hallmark Card, of course) from Tommy the first winner of The Little Gourmet.

At the grand finale, Stephen stops by (I thought he had a flight to LA??) to tell Kelly that he is offering an apprenticeship at his restaurant to the winner. While filming the LIVE episode, Chef Betty throws her back out picking up some peppers. (Seriously!) Kelly chases after Stephen to get him to host the show. Chef Becca wins! (Rightly so, because she shared her chocolate with Cody, who forgot to grab his.)

Jeremy’s sneaky notebook stealing gets found out and Kelly gets the rightful credit and the promotion! Kelly tells Stephen about her promotion and he tells her that he is turning down the LA gig to stay in town. He could say goodbye to New York, but not Kelly. He gives her a single rose and they kiss.

Side Note

Ali Liebert’s first starring Hallmark role was A Gift to Remember. (She has played the best friend role in MANY MANY TV Movies.)

Cooking Fact? “A julienne cut is ⅛ inch cut no more, no less!”

I didn’t hate the kids in this one, I guess child actors are better when they aren’t obsessed with Santa and snow.

First Hallmark movie I’ve seen where the girl gets the guy, promotion, AND he changes HIS plans to fit into her life.

Overall rating

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️  (4 Hearts)

🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

February TV Movie Guide (Hallmark & Lifetime)

Get ready for THREE Valentine’s Day offerings from Hallmark this year. Plus Lifetime is offering up a Simon Biles bio pic, just in time for the Olympics!

We will be covering them all in Season 2 of the podcast! (Starting Feb 8th.)

My Secret Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.15.56 AM.png

Premieres: Saturday, February 3 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Lacey Chabert and Andrew Walker

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

A young woman takes advice from the chalkboard notes that her mysterious house rental tenant leaves when a slick sales rep arrives with plans to buy her family’s prized winery!


Two of my FAVORITE Hallmark actors together in one movie?!?! Also, they are in a winery?!?!?  “Pour it Up”


Simone Biles: Courage to Soar (Lifetime)


Premieres: Saturday, February 3 8/7c (on Lifetime)

Stars: Jeanté Godlock, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Julius Tennon

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Based on her book, Courage To Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, the biopic follows Simone Biles through her sacrifices and hard work that lead her to win 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and cemented her stake as one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. Biles’ journey from foster care to the Olympic podium is full of life experiences that serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream.


I was extremely excited for a gymnastics Lifetime Movie, especially if it is about Olympic GOLD medalist, Simone Biles. (Who is currently training for Tokyo 2020.)  However, with the Larry Nasser scandal I’m not sure Lifetime will handle the topic with tact or even at all. “Let it Breathe”

Very, Very, Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Saturday, February 10 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Danica McKellar, Cameron Mathison, and Damon Runyan

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Helen, a kind hearted and shy florist, meets the perfect man at a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball she enlists the help of her best friend Henry to track him down only to find that her perfect man may already be right in front of her.


So, this is reverse Cinderella? I’m here for that! That candelabra in this picture is gaudy as hell! (And is that repurposed Christmas decorations? No, Hallmark!) I’m going to have to “Put a cork in it.”

Cooking with Love (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.41.55 AM.pngPremieres: Sunday February 11 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Ali Liebert & Brett Dalton

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Optimistic and cheerful TV producer, Kelly, doesn’t have time for love. Bad boy celebrity chef, Stephen, doesn’t have time for anything besides cooking. Fun with a side of love ensues as Kelly and Stephen are paired on a children’s cooking show.


I liked Ali Liebert in A Gift to Remember. Will I like her is she is not playing the Sandra Bullock role in While You Were Sleeping? “Let it Breathe”

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

A Gift to Remember (2017 Hallmark Channel)


A Gift to Remember

Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie! 

Stars: Ali Liebert, Peter Porte

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Darcy’s lifelong love of reading has led her to the perfect job, working in a small Manhattan bookstore. A insists on being swept off her feet. One day, while bicycling to work, Darcy crashes into Adrian, a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. Knocked unconscious, he’s rushed to the hospital where he falls into a coma. Deeply shaken, the guilt-ridden Darcy takes the dog home, waiting to reunite him with his owner. As she learns more about Aidan — a world-traveler, a devoted man of letters — Darcy realizes he could be the one she has been waiting for. That is, until he comes to and Darcy discovers she has created a fictional world for a very real man. Will she still fall in love?


Darcy works at a bookstore in Philly, finds her adventures in books, and rides her bike while wearing a helmet. (She is so square.) Apparently, there are two bookstores in town and Books, Books, Books has stolen Darcy’s Christmas Eve at Chauhers. While leaving the bookstore with her STUPID helmet on, Darcy sees a handsome man and his dog in the window. Instead of asking for his number, she goes home to read a new book, make origami all night, and be forever alone.

The store owner in retiring and looking for a replacement. Darcy loves books and could be a great store manager. Too bad she can’t get her parent’s advice before taking on the new job (they are dead, car crash), so, instead, she confides in her Landlady, Ms. Henley, who is WAY more than just a Landlady. We then flash to the handsome stranger who is reading the same new book that Darcy was reading and has a mysterious gift.

After Darcy oversleeps in her comfy chair, she has to rush to get to work. The handsome stranger is taking his dog (Bailey) for a walk before his big trip. Avoiding a car, Darcy runs into the handsome stranger head on. He is taken to the hospital and Darcy is left with Bentley and Christmas cards, but not the handsome stranger’s wallet with identification. That gets washed down the a sewer drain by a mysterious flood! At the hospital we find out the handsome stranger is in a coma!

Using her Nancy Drew skills, Darcy finds the return address for the handsome stranger’s house and goes to his nice-ass apartment. They find a business card; he works in PR and his name is William A. Anderson. The handsome stranger awakens and doesn’t remember anything, except his dog’s name.

In the hospital, Darcy comes clean. She admits to causing the accident, breaking into his apartment, and even staring creepily at him through the window of her bookstore. She agrees to watch Bailey and help him gain his memory back. While retrieving items from William’s apartment, Ms. Henley “accidently” open the mysteries gift and it is an engagement ring!!!! When Darcy brings his items she jumps right to the chase and shows him the engagement ring and the picture of his potential girlfriend. (Sandra Bullock would NEVER!)

Ms. Henley is also a detective (with a past!) she was a featured dancer in the NYC ballet and recognizes where the potential girlfriend’s photo was taken. It was in New York and she has a dancer’s build. Darcy is determined to figure this out and plan a trip to New York. Once in New York, Darcy gives a rousing Christmas Magic speech to the dance studio owner, and finds out that the potential girlfriend is a dancer on tour, Melanie Porter.

Nurse Nancy takes William out on the town and he gets more information about the mystery and Darcy’s open manager position at the bookstore . Darcy, AGAIN, tells William all the info she gets from the city and William tells her that he appreciates her tenacity and confidence. He brings up the bookstore job and encourages her to take a chance.

Once William is released from the hospital, he and Darcy decided to decorate his house because he loves Christmas…and can’t remember why he wouldn’t decorate. Then they make gingerbread while listening to sultry-jazz Christmas music. He then gets a memory flash: he was an art teacher for 3rd to 5th graders, he remembers how to dance, and is manic with joy.

TWIST! A man comes into the apartment and it turns out William Anderson is not our mystery man, he is Aiden Harris from Akron, Ohio!! He was only in town to get his mother’s ring, While they are solving the mystery, Darcy realizes that Aiden will have to go back to Ohio, and she will have to let go and find himself.

Inspired to make more of herself, Darcy asks to be considered for the manager position. Her boss wholeheartedly supports her and promotes her on the spot!  Aiden is back in Ohio and we are left in suspense while he embraces a little girl shouts “SARAH! I REMEMBER!!!” and a brown-haired woman looms in the background  

At the bookstore, the Christmas Eve event is going off without a hitch. Everything is perfect, if only Aiden was there to share it with her. During a Q&A with the famous author, Aiden shows up with his dad, niece, and SISTER (not potential girlfriend). Out front of the store, the two reintroduce themselves to each other. He is considering a move for the right person… They kiss while Amy Grant Christmas swells.

Side Note

POC Alert: John is Darcy’s co-worker and her landlady (who LOVES christmas) and LUIGI the Italian…

Darcy’s only friend is the Landlady and her co-workers.

Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄🎄(4 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷(2 glasses of wine required)


*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC