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30-Minute Meals Paperback – July 20, 1999
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About the Author
Rachael Ray is host of the Food Network shows 30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, Worst Cooks in America, and Week in a Day. She is also the star of the syndicated talk show Rachael Ray. Rachael has authored over twenty cookbooks and is the founder and editorial director of the magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray. Her non-profit organization, Yum-o!, was founded in 2006.
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Now for the minuses-- 1) unlike the show, recipes are not grouped together with a main dish, side and a dessert/drink. This is rectified in the sequel, but it is not easy to always pick dishes that can be cooked at the same time and still finish in 30 minutes. 2) no pictures! I like pictures of the finished product. Not a biggie, but it bugged me. 3) I like the "pinch of this" and "dash of that" style of cooking. If you *have* to have precise measurements, this may not be your book. 4) I am a profecient cook, yet many of the dishes are really 40 minute meals for me. If you're a fast chopper and can multi-task, you may get these meals done in 30 minutes on the first try. Otherwise... plan for a little extra time.
This is not a book for an advanced chef, it is simple food and it makes no pretensions to anything else. However, if you have a new cook in the family, or you are looking for new ideas for weeknight meals, I highly recommend this book. Ideal for your niece or nephew's first apartment!
Cooking definitely isn't a passion of mine, so the quickest and easiest recipes are the ones that appeal to me most. However, without pictures of the finished product, I found it hard to choose recipes, because firstly, I want to see what I'm getting, and secondly, I really like seeing if my creation kinda looks similar to the professional one.
One of my problems was getting some of the basic ingredients - there are a lot of capers and anchovies required - but people living in the USA shouldn't have a problem. A lack of the various deli items and cheeses as well as the specialty bottled sauces made half the recipes impossible without substitution, but again, if you have these things close at hand you should do fine.
The recipes are easy to follow, even though I noticed that one of them omitted to tell you when to put in a certain key ingredient, and they have cute names - nothing highbrow here. I don't need step by step pictures, but some finished food shots would have made all the difference for me.
Okay for experienced cooks looking for some quick recipes, but a bit underwhelming for beginners.
Amanda Richards, June 12, 2005
The layout of the book reads like a menu, which can be helpful when you are planning an entire night of meals (like her tv show). However, it is also fairly easy to pick one recipe from each section to mix and match. Her lack of good desserts is understandable b/c she states that she was never a baker, but the ones that are in here are great for last minute endings to her meals. Great for a novice cook!