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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

rachel ray magazine

Rachael Ray, well on her way to challenging Martha Stewart for the mother-of-all-media title, has just added magazines to her portfolio. Every Day With Rachael Ray ($3.99), a bimonthly from Reader's Digest, is chock-full of the perkiness and cooking slang — yes, EVOO is everywhere — that's endeared her to so many Food Network viewers and enraged so many others who like their extra-virgin olive oil spelled out. Those who appreciate a chatty, unintimidating walk through holiday cooking tasks and suggestions for easing weeknight dinners will probably want to check out the magazine.

The November/December issue promises stress-free holidays, with Ray's 5-Minute Fudge Wreath for kids to make (yes, it's delish!) and roasted turkey served with pumpkin seed pesto rather than gravy (less stress, remember?). Other features include travel stories on New York (Ray's favorite spots, of course), a diary of Ray's day, a look inside Whoopi Goldberg's refrigerator and beer suggestions for Thanksgiving.

Not enough Ray? Keep an eye out for "Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats" (Clarkson Potter, $20), a new cookbook with dinner recipes for each night of the year. Every day with Rachael Ray, indeed.

Turkey and gravy with serious pluck

Alton Brown demystifies gravy-making in the November Bon Appetit ($3.99). Elsewhere, chef Tom Colicchio of New York's Gramercy Tavern offers what's billed as the ultimate turkey (it's coated with an herb butter and is always fresh, never frozen). Gourmet ($3.99) also promises the perfect turkey (in a Cook's Illustrated mood, the writer roasts 40 birds and concludes that blasting it at 450 degrees, with just salt and pepper, and no fat coating the skin, is the secret). And there's a peek inside editor Ruth Reichl's new kitchen, with panoramic mountain views and, a photo caption notes, what might possibly be too much storage. New and Now can't relate.

The kids will be doubly tickled with Emeril guest

Preschoolers love Elmo. Children love Emeril. So who can resist a show pairing these kid magnets? As Food Network wraps up its Cook With Your Kids Week, it's airing "Emeril and Elmo's Healthy Start" at 8 p.m. Friday. Telly Monster takes over the drum set, Emeril works a little red into every dish to make Elmo happy, and viewers get some easy-to-digest lessons on eating right and working a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into meals. Dishes prepared include a smoothie, pasta primavera, turkey meatloaf and strawberry shortcake.

She's everywhere, she's everywhere!

It's going to be hard to escape Martha Stewart this holiday season. The mother of all media is out with a CD boxed set of favorite holiday tunes and a baking cookbook, as well as DVDs on holiday cooking, crafting and entertaining; family dinners; and, in December, baking, pegged to the new "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook" (Clarkson Potter, $40). And, of course, the magazines.

The DVD set "Martha's Holidays 2005" (Warner Home Video, $39.98) is a compilation from her TV shows, with generous helpings of Thanksgiving recipes, kids' crafts, gift-wrapping ideas and tabletop decorations. The set includes three discs: "Martha's Classic Thanksgiving," "Martha's Homemade Holidays" and "Martha's New Year's Celebration."

It's an interesting parade of Stewart and guests over the years, with a nice variety of approachable turkey and stuffing recipes and creative decorating ideas as well as the usual eye-rolling assortment of crafts, like the candy wreath suggested for a teacher gift, which takes up to an hour to finish and requires hundreds of pieces of individually wrapped hard candies.

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rachel ray 30 minute meal

rachel ray 30 minute meal

Rachael Ray is a love-her or hate-her kind of personality. Millions adore her quirkiness and down-to-earth style. Others, including many celebrity chefs and food writers, heap criticism upon her. Entire blogs are devoted to slamming the self-proclaimed Anti-Martha Stewart.

It’s easy to dismiss Rachael as an amateur chef. She uses boxed ingredients, she hates specialty foods in recipes, her food often has silly nicknames, and she uses abbreviations like EVOO for extra-virgin olive oil. She giggles when she cooks and makes juvenile comments. What her critics don’t understand is that Rachael is entertaining and that’s what people want.

One of 30 Minute Meal's trademark pieces is that Rachel collects all the ingrediants she needs for a dish from her "pantry" in one bowl and then brings in to the island workspace. I think this was originally meant to be a comical item because its really silly since her "pantry" is three feet away from her workspace.

Well, I'm sure the restaurants that are featured are in it for the publicity. What good would it do them to have hours of their business interrupted by their filming only to have her say that she doesn't like it? Of course she's going to say it's good! Also, the target demo of $40 a day are not exactly the kind of people who are risky and would venture anywhere too dirty or far off the beaten path.

As far as tipping, I read in one of her books that she has gotten many complaints about the low tips she leaves and she says the only reason they do it is because they have to stick to 40 a day. Apparently, off camera the crew leaves more money. And helps her with the food.

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