5 Best HGTV Shows And Their Food Network Counterparts

5 Best HGTV Shows And Their Food Network Counterparts

It's about to get feisty in here...
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If you are anything like me, a college kid with no life other than your close-knit group of friends and food, you went home over spring break and your favorite part was being able to alternate between HGTV and Food NEtwork with the click of a button. Now I know how lame that sounds but honestly, this is the sign of adulthood; when you start relating to (or in my case, yelling at) the people on these shows and you've watched so many episodes that you could redesign your boyfriend's apartment with 5 minutes and a piece of paper, or add paprika to your friend's pasta dish and Voila(!) , it is that much better.

1. "Property Brothers"

Counterpart: "I'll Have What Phil's Having"

Watching these two shows, you know that you are in for a dose of sarcastic, goofy humor. "Property Brothers" is always entertaining because you get twins that do two different sides of the housing business, yet they work so well together that it lets you know that the sarcasm is simply communication and not a jaunt or jab. With "I'll Have What Phil's Having", Phil Rosenthal, the creator of "Everyone Loves Raymond", takes you on a journey through some of the most gorgeous places in the world to simply indulge in the pleasure of good food. Again, there is always light-hearted sarcasm and humor that makes the show that much enjoyable. These two certainly make a good pair.

2. "Fixer Upper"

Counterpart: "Drive-Ins, Diners, and Dives"

"Fixer Upper" and "Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives" offer a little more of a down-home, modern country feel that makes you nostalgic about all of the things you grew up with. Especially for Southerners and middle-of-the-countriers, these shows offer a light-hearted, family theme. Chip and Joanna never fail to make you feel like you could do anything and everything to improve your home, and makes any dilapidated house feel like you are stepping into a Mediterranean villa in the middle of Texas. Guy Fieri's "Drive-Ins, Diners, and Dives" makes the statement, "This isn't your grandmother's diner". With all of the crazy amazing dishes that he discovers, they are in some pretty unlikely places that certainly reflect your hometown and the one dish that it is famous for.

3. "House Hunters (International)"

Counterpart: "Cupcake (Cake) Wars"

These two are a happy medium to on the scale of Relaxing to Fiery. They compliment each other nicely because they both have that little edge of competition or struggle, while also not getting too stressed out. "Cupcake Wars" offers a low-key competition to bake flavorful imaginative cupcakes with specific ingredients for pre-determined events that also end in 1,000 cupcakes. So while there is a competition, it is an extremely colorful show that certainly catches the eye, while also remaining interesting to view as a baking show. "House Hunters: International" is again an awesome show because of the locales and the culture that is presented in the show. The people or person looking to buy generally has an idea of what they want that is then enhanced only through seeing various places. I highly recommend this duo as a dinner and dessert combo.

4. "Beach Front Bargain Hunt" (or Lake Front)

Counterpart: "Beat Bobby Flay"

Something about these two shows as a couple just spoke to me. "Beat Bobby Flay" is a pretty light-hearted competition show and takes some of the edges off of competition cooking shows because the competitor is only cooking against master chef Bobby Flay and not 3 or 4 other competitors that must be beaten out through rounds of competition. "Beach Front Bargain Hunt" is again a slower, more focused house hunting show where the needs of the couple are generally more in sync. The entertainment comes from the exotic or national locations that the couples wish to live and the places that they look at. As a beach lover myself, I love to pretend I am house-hunting along with them and as an aspiring amateur cook, I believe that I cannot beat Bobby Flay... but it's still fun to pretend.

5. "Love It Or List It"

Counterpart: "Chopped"

This is probably the most competitive pair in this list. You know you are in for a wild ride where someone is probably going to get their feelings hurt. "Love It Or List It" features partners that fight to the death to either renovate the star families house (Love it) or to sell their house and find a better one for the family (List It). It gets pretty heated as the parents or the main couple of the household generally disagree on what to do and the suspense of who wins out is almost unbearable. Following the same vein, "Chopped" puts master and amateur chefs pitted against each other to see who wins out and who's dish gets placed on the chopping block. With beautiful and flavorful dishes being presented, it certainly is a competition that is fierce and full of energy.

So that's it! Those are my HGTV and Food Networkdream team pairings. Together, they will help college students everywhere to aspire to be successful home-makers, while also maintaing a little banter and fire in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: Business Wire

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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