04/25/2011 03:13 pm ET | Updated Jun 25, 2011

Sandra Lee On Criticism: 'I'm Making Life Better'

She's all smiles on TV, but Sandra Lee has harsh words for those who disparage her "Semi-Homemade" cooking.

The Food Network star, author of 23 cookbooks and first-girlfriend of New York painted criticism of her food as elitist, and out of touch with families stretched for time and money.

"I think everyone needs to lighten up," Lee told the Daily News. "Our job is to serve the overextended homemakers, our job is to make their life better."

The live-in girlfriend of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said foodies attack her recipes because they're not all made from scratch, but she insists she doesn't just know how to cook out of a can.

"The food world is something I know, and something I know top to bottom," Lee said. "People think I just know how to open a box or can. For the food purist, that's bad, and from homemakers, that's applauded."

Gothamist notes that even Cuomo's mother is not a fan of Lee's lasagna, reportedly the governor's favorite, which includes cottage cheese and canned tomato soup.

Lee insists her mission is simple. "I take great pride in offering solutions in making life better. The day I'm not making life better is the day I need to retire."

The Money Saving Meals host has also had to endure criticism about she and Cuomo's unwed living situation. A Catholic professor insisted the governor should not receive communion because he's living in sin.

Lee has said she and Cuomo might get married someday, but they're in no rush.