By Seth Arenstein If laughter is the best medicine and you’re supposed to feed a cold, then we recommend purchasing Cable Cooks 2, The Inside Dish. The 232 pages of Cable Positive’s fundraiser cookbook are filled with laughs and good culinary ideas. Of course, not all the recipes pass medical muster. For example, Rainbow’s Gregg Hill amends a note to his recipe for "Uncle Johnny’s OK Chili" that reads: "for flavor, throw in an old, rusty license plate from a state like Oklahoma or Texas." And in this calorie-conscious environment, we question how editors Michele James and Thomas Dima let PK Network president Pat Kehoe’s "Stress Ender Smoothie" slip through, with its 4 scoops of French vanilla ice cream, 1 cup Baileys Irish Cream, 1/2 cup of cream, 1/2 cup of vodka, 4 mint sprigs and 2 cups of "all the stress you’ve built up during the day." Kehoe redeems herself by noting: "if it’s really been a rough day, serve with 2 Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bars that you picked up at the all-night deli on the way home from work." On the other hand, Charter’s Marc Nathanson contributes "David’s No-Carb Pancakes" filled with ricotta cheese. Beyond the medicinal aspects, this book exceeds mortal cookbooks. It’s inquisitive, providing an inside look at what’s inside some of cable’s titans, at least those who answered the editors’ questionnaire. Who knew Rainbow’s Josh Sapan bleeds Twizzlers? CAB’s Sean Cunningham was raised on Italian food? Or that when CableLabs’ Dr. Richard Green says he’s "platform agnostic" he means that he’d eat chocolate served on fine china or paper plates? It also answers, or tries to, an age-old conundrum that’s plagued great minds for decades: Who’s cable’s most extravagant winer-diner? Just before his garlicky Shrimp Etouffee recipe, Discovery’s Bill Goodwyn dishes: "Fox’s Lindsay Gardner and ESPN’s Sean Bratches…with those license fees, they should be." For all its excellence, the book is not omniscient. It leaves questions unanswered. Among them: Can former Food Network chief Judy Girard cook? The recipe she submitted is for her mother’s Welsh cookies of buttermilk, dried currants and finely grated orange zest. Authorial authenticity is ignored repeatedly. Did Hugh Hefner write the pot roast recipe that bears his name? There can be no doubt, however, as to the source (or sauce) of Oxygen’s Sue Johanson’s appropriately titled "Sex in a Pan," which includes cream cheese, chocolate pudding, baker’s chocolate, pecans, Cool Whip and butter. While most of the recipes are quick, Lauren Zalaznick’s instructions for "Kool Gherks" rival a James Michener novel for length. Before her cable days, Zalaznick was chef d’cuisine at Trio Restaurant in New York, where her culinary masterpieces were often met with cries of "Bravo!" Ah, the ironies of the cable life.

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