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Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats--A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook) Paperback – November 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Food Network darling Ray wants home cooks to become more "instinctual," and this assortment of quick meals is expansive enough to encourage even novices to wing it. The author hopes readers cook their way through the entire book; to that end, she organizes the recipes not by course or main ingredient (though there are indexes), but by number. The organization takes some getting used to. Helpful but occasionally jarring "tidbits" pop up everywhere, and many "recipes" make more than one dish, so cooking just one requires a fair amount of reading. For example, number 16 encompasses "Oregon-Style Pork Chops with Pinot Noir and Cranberries; Oregon Hash with Wild Mushrooms, Greens, Beets, Hazelnuts, and Blue Cheese; [and] Charred Whole-Grain Bread with Butter and Chives." Readers making just the hash must read around the instructions for the other two dishes. Still, the recipes are great. They vary in technique and ethnicity, and many give instructions on expanding the dish (after making Spicy Shrimp and Penne with Puttanesca Sauce, for example, "now try" omitting the olives and capers, swapping linguine for the penne, reducing the number of shrimp, and adding lump crab meat and mussels to make Frutti di Mare and Linguine). As Ray would say, "Yummo." (Nov.)
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About the Author
Rachael Ray appears daily on the Food Network as host of 30-Minute Meals, $40 a Day, and Inside Dish. She is the author of nine best-selling cookbooks, most recently 30–Minute Get Real Meals. Rachael lives in the Adirondacks.
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Top Customer Reviews
While many of the recipes are Italian or Italian influenced, reflecting Rachael's heritage, with Tex-Mex following closely behind, there are also Spanish, Cuban, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, French, Cajun, Greek, German, and Carribbean influenced recipes as well. There is also plenty of "American" fare as well, although there are fewer traditional "comfort food" dishes in this book than there are in some of her other collections. The subtitle of the book is a hint at that. It truly is "a year of deliciously different dinners." And, after several years of watching Rachael's show regularly and making many, many of her recipes, I find that I can come close to the 30 minute mark in completing the meals, especially after the first time making a particular recipe.
As for pictures, if you are familiar with buying cookbooks, you realize that you trade off photographs for affordability. If this book were full of glossy photos of the food, it would probably have a list price of at least $40. I don't know of anywhere else you can find such a large and diverse collection of recipes for so little money.
My busy schedule is no longer an excuse to be in a cooking rut! This is a nice book full of clever ideas. I immediately sat down and skimmed through it, looking for recipes that would appeal to my family (I like the little check boxes next to each recipe that allow you to mark off the ones you want to try and the ones that are a 'keeper'). So far, everything I've cooked from this book is a 'keeper'! There are not that many convenience foods featured - simply real food. We've enjoyed the Rosemary-Orange Pork Chops with Lemon-Butter Broccolini, Chicken in Mustard Sauce with Asparagras, Ricotta Pasta with Grape Tomatoes Peas and Basil - and more.
One of the highlights of this book is the 'master recipes' - which can then be changed to create a 'new recipe' by altering ingredients. Although this may appear like a cheater's way to get in a few recipes, it truly helps to inspire creativity in the kitchen. And yes - the food CAN be done and on the table in 30 minutes! I've had no problem with the time factor at all. How nice to be able to have good quality food, imaginative combinations and new ideas for those of us who are rushed but still want to eat well.
On a side note: The industrious Miss Ray has just come out with a magazine, which I had picked up before I bought this book. This magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray, is simply amazing. Every single thing that I have cooked out of this magazine has been unbelievably good. My son thought that the Chicken Curry recipe was the best he had ever tasted! I really recommend that you check out the magazine in addition to her other offerings.
I have a couple of problems with the book. Not enough pictures for me, but thats a personal problem and I will deal with it. Half of the meals took longer than 30 minutes to prepare, one took 55 minutes. Oh well, maybe I am a slow reader?
Those two problems are not major enough to have me downgrade my 5 star rating, the quality and great taste of all the recipes I have tried so far more than outweigh those items.
Its a great book and I believe you will be happy if you add it to your collection.