The Food Network star known for semi-homemade cooking — and more recently as the live-in girlfriend of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — says the release this month of her 25th cookbook marks a turning point. She wants more time to focus on her eponymous magazine, as well as to write a home and gardening book.
"It's quite a milestone," Lee said of her new book, "Every Dish Delivers." ''Especially when you take into consideration that when I was out shopping my very first cookbook, everybody on the planet told me it wouldn't work. I'd sit in these meetings and say to people, 'Seriously? Have you been to Middle America? Do you know the American housewife?'"
Though she loves writing cookbooks, Lee said she prefers the immediacy of a magazine because it can better reflect the moment and season.
"I am completely and passionately dedicated and intimately involved with every line in the magazine. And I don't know a lot of people who are like that anymore," she said in a telephone interview. "When people go and put their dollars on the table, that's what they deserve. That's what they think they're buying and that's what you should be delivering to them."
Meanwhile, Lee is joining with fellow food celebrities Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and Martha Stewart to host her second World's Largest Bake Sale on May 1, an event that raises money for the New York food bank. The last one, held in 2011, raised more than $50,000 and made it into the record books as, yes, the world's largest bake sale.