Rachel Ray’s 3o Minute Get Real Meals

I distinctly remember restocking knives at Williams-Sonoma when I noticed a greater number of santoku knives in the box. I generally recommended to knife-interested customers the holy trio of knives – 8 inch chef, a paring knife, and a serrated bread/tomato knife. And then the customers started coming in – do you have that knife that Rachel Ray keeps talking about? Of course, the santoku knife has a long tradition in Japanese history (and it’s a pretty great knife) but there is an argument that Rachel Ray popularized the knife for home cooks during her Food Network period. (That was before she developed her own talk show, magazine, and product lines.) Her catch phrases – particularly EVOO – was even admitted to the Oxford American College Dictionary in 2007. Since I worked at Williams-Sonoma from Christmas 2001 to Christmas 2006, I have several of her books from that era of my life. And I probably haven’t opened them since.

30 minute meals – and lower carb ones. That seems to be where I’m at right now, so this book is the winner of the week. I can’t remember exactly when I picked this cookbook up, but according to the sticker on the back, apparently I bought it at Best Buy. Best Buy? What can I say – the cookbook case is my siren. Let’s see if this book still deserves a spot on the shelf.

The Recipes
Caesar Salad to Go
Ham and Cheese Mini Frittatas
Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Sliced Pork Saltimbocca with Spinach and Arugula Salad
Mini Cheeseburger Salad/Turkey Club Salad with Avocado Dressing combo (I originally planned for the club salad, but decided to surprise the kids with the mini cheeseburgers instead. I was a good call – I just blended the two salads together and used the avocado dressing.)
Sunday Morning Salmon Hold-the-Bagel Scrambles
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The Big Burger Book

Summertime means burgers. And my family LOVES hamburgers. So I thought it would be perfect to do the burger book right before Memorial Day weekend – the official kick off for summer. The kids were thrilled. They thought that meant cheeseburgers every day. Preferably with a free toy. Little did they know what I was really going to do!

I picked up this cookbook about 10 years ago when my brother was living with me in Kansas City. My brother loves burgers. He’s made a science around making the perfect burger. And since I can’t beat him with the classics, I thought I’d defeat him with creativity. When I saw this book on the $5 table at Barnes and Noble, it was a no brainer. But I really didn’t capitalize on the book until this week – it sat dormant on the shelf. Ready to see how it (or me!) performed?

The Recipes
Classic Beef Burgers
Kick-Ass Ketchup
Chicken Satay Burgers with Peanut Sauce
Spicy Cucumber Salad
Sloppy Joes
Mushroom Goat Cheese Burgers
Sun Dried Tomato Chutney
Honey Whole Wheat with Seeds
Hellenic Lamb Burgers
Eggplant Feta Salad  Continue reading