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Classic 30-Minute Meals: The All-Occasion Cookbook Hardcover – September 26, 2006


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Classic 30-Minute Meals: The All-Occasion Cookbook + Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats--A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook) + Week in a Day
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Isle Press (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891105302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891105302
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is my favorite Rachael Ray cookbook.
T. Corry
What if you just want a good sampling of her most popular 30-minute recipes?
Donald Mitchell
This is a great collection and very easy to follow.
D. A. Wade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Reed on December 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Classic 30 Minute Meals" is the latest offering from the prolific Rachael Ray. This is not a 'new' cookbook but a collection of some of her 'greatest hits' from her earlier books. If you have her original "30 Minute" books, then you won't need this one. However, if you want some of the best recipes and want to skip some of her "filler" material (repeats, variations on a theme), then this is the book for you.

There are complete menus (which I really like) for everday dinners, parties, datenights, and even kid chefs. As usual, these are standard Ray fare: pastas, tex-mex, burgers and lots o' chicken recipes. But overall, the menus are well balanced, easy to prepare and full of fresh ingredients. Although I am not crazy about "Rayspeak" (EVOO, Yum-O, etc.) I do like her ideas. Because I am a seasoned cook, I have been easily able to make her recipes in 30 minutes - but I realize that some of the ingredient lists are a bit much and the prep time will vary depending on your skills and tools. I respecially like the datenight menus as I am an empty nester and now it is just my hubby and myself. (The only complaint I have is that sometimes her portion sizes are rather large - there is no way that I can eat a half pound of meat! So, on occasion, I do have to adjust a bit.)

I would recommend this to someone who wants to venture into Ray's world but doesn't want to buy the entire collection.
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129 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Katy on December 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy Rachael Ray's cooking show because of its simplistic approach to cooking great food. Rachael is fun, very fun! But in contrast to her television program, her initial cookbooks were disappointing. Although her books had all her great recipes, I could never bring myself to buy them. They showed nothing of her personality in them. They lacked pictures and structure. Cooking and eating food is a sensual experience, and these books seemed boring; all of my senses were not stimulated - and I never bought them.

So I will admit I need pictures and gloss to get me excited about cooking! Watching her gets me excited about trying new things that I would have thought were complicated otherwise. This new book brings those things together: visuals of the food and pictures of Rachael cooking and simple recipes to follow. Plus, she throws in fun little notes. It's a book that finally reflects Rachael and her cooking. It contains the best of her recipes in one fantiatic book. If you've put off buying her book, this is the one to own.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a useful compilation of 30-minute meals from Rachael Ray. The book is nice and glossy, with a plentitude of pictures of Ms. Ray, from childhood to present that help to personalize the volume. As most readers know, she has had shows on television, featuring her cooking suggestions as well as a more recent talk show. But that is secondary. The primary task of any cookbook is to provide interesting and doable recipes. Let's take a look at what is within this book.

First, and this is something important to me, there are lots of recipes! Often, in fact, two to a page.

Second, there is quite a variety of recipes--from pizza (Puttanesca pizza) to other pasta dishes (Pasta al Forno) to meat dishes (e.g., maple-mustard pork chops with grilled apples) to vegetable dishes (Seared greens with red onion and vinegar) to deserts (Black-and-white ice cream sandwiches). And so on. Characteristics of her recipes include the liberal call for "evoo" (extra virgin olive oil). Also, she uses a wide array of herbs and spices that "spice up" the recipes nicely.

A couple quick examples. . . . "My Sister Ria's Lazy Chicken." This features boneless chicken breasts, evoo, thinly sliced potatoes, thinly sliced onions, crushed tomatoes, small zucchini thinly sliced, and accompanying elements, such as a "couple glugs" (ugh) of white wine, Montreal steak seasoning, basil, oregano, and Italian cheese (shredded). Key point: These are easy to acquire ingredients. The instructions are straightforward; this is a 30-minute dish that will satisfy. I have made this for my family, who are often picky in their tastes, and the end result was appreciated by all.

A simple dish for watching sporting events on TV. "Pigskin Potatoes.
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Format: Hardcover
I hear two views about Rachael Ray. Most people love her. A few people feel like all she does is open cans and toss in some tomatoes and onions to make a meal.

In both opinions, too little is focused on her recipes. In the beginning of her 30-minute cookbooks, you mostly got directions for how to add garlic and anchovies without offending your taste buds or those of your guests. She soon passed through that stage into showing legitimate time-saving ways to do typical American meals. From there, she began to consider classic recipes from many cuisines and find time-saving short-cuts that produced delicious meals.

To me, one of the delights of all her recipes is that she understands seasonings. Rachael Ray couldn't produce bland food if she tried! And her use of seasonings is imaginative, producing delightful variations to familiar combinations of flavors. Although as far as I can tell she doesn't have any Mexican relatives, Rachael really gets Mexican food. Although I adore Diana Kennedy's detailed, authentic recipes, I usually only have the time and patience for Rachael's way.

For the last few weeks, I've been checking out all of the Rachael Ray cookbooks and enjoying many fun, new tastes in my kitchen.

Rachael is so prolific that she produces recipes faster than many of her fans can begin using the newest ones. What if you just want a good sampling of her most popular 30-minute recipes? Well, this book is a great value for that purpose because it draws on so many others of her cookbooks.

Needless to say, this book cannot hope to replace Rachael Ray 365 for recipes and menus, but most people don't need that much variety.
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