I Heart Rachael Ray

So, as promised, here is my review of my attempt at making two soup recipes from the Rachael Ray “Look & Cook” cookbook Dave gave me for Christmas. Again, I want to stress this is my review of how the recipes worked for me, I would not be so bold as to review or critique a cookbook. That’s what publishers and paid critics are for. But hey, if any publishers are hiring…

But a little background: Rachael Ray is my girl. I’ve been a fan since “$40 a Day” aired on The Food Network. Grandpa Chuck and I would watch it together sometimes. It started my obsession with Montreal bagels. Oh Montreal. I love you and your bagels. Mmmmmm…sorry, where was I? 

Oh yes, my girl Rach. I don’t understand the hate she gets sometimes. She’s fun, she’s loud, she’s quirky, and she is the first to say she’s not a chef (got that, Anthony Bourdain?). She’s shown the lowly masses, such as myself, that we can cook at home too! I don’t think there has been anyone since the great Julia Child that has done so much for home cooks. I know Julia was a trained chef, but she knew the people buying her books and watching her show were not. 

I currently have four of Rachael’s cookbooks. Most recipes I try have come from her books. “Look & Cook” is the newest and shiniest so it gets my attention right now. Sunday I made Cure a Cold Spring Chicken Soup, and today I made Cherry Tomato and Ravioli Soup.

For the chicken soup, I subbed orzo pasta for the egg noodles. I’m not a big fan of big noodles in my soup, Pho and ramen excepted. Dave and I enjoyed it, especially the lemon juice and lemon zest added. It was reminiscent of a Greek lemon-chicken soup. However, Dave recommended that I let the soup simmer while covered, so less liquid evaporates. For a recipe that is supposed to serve four, I have leftovers for three meals. So I declare it a success! 

The ravioli soup was our favorite of the two. I subbed large cheese ravioli for the smaller ravioli the recipe calls for. Dave really enjoyed that, but to compare, I’ll use smaller ravioli next time. Oh and more basil. Because more basil is never a bad thing. Dave liked this one so much I only have a small serving leftover, perfect for dinner for me. Also a definite success. 

During the week our schedules are so different that we rarely eat together. So in my quest to cook at home more, I try to cook for leftovers. That way when I’m home at 7:30 each night, I have something quick and healthy. 

This weekend I will try another dessert from “Cookies & Cups,” and a meal from Cooking Light’s “Power Foods for Diabetics.” That one is a gift from Dave’s mom, Susan. She knows I love cookbooks and magazines. 

What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Let me know on the comments! 

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