Rachael Ray's Blog

August 29, 2014

If you’re a fan of Rachael’s, you’re probably a fan of burgers.


She has a whole cookbook devoted to them, judges burger competitions, and is always creating new, inspired twists on this American classic.


Get your grill on while the weather’s still beautiful, and change up your usual burger with these amazing recipes. We’ve picked out a range of beef, turkey, and vegetarian options for all tastes – plus a couple must-have sides to make sure your burger is complete!


Bonus tip: For the ideal burger, Rachael recommends making the center of your burger slightly less thick than the outsides. To do so, give the centers a few gentle presses with your thumb. While cooking, your burger will plump up, resulting in an even patty.


Ohio Nacho Turkey Burgers


Ohio


Buffalo sauce + Ohio-style nachos give this burger a one-two flavor punch. Add the crunch of potato chips to this crazy combo, and you’ll be asking for seconds in no-time.


Bacon Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola


BaconBurgers


White wine and rosemary may sound like the makings of a fancy roast. But they’re really just the start of a show-stopping burger that’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.


Smoke and Fireworks Bacon-Wrapped Chipotle Burgers


Smoke


The name of these burgers really says it all: savory bacon, paired with homemade BBQ sauce, and burger patties with smoky chipotle powder mixed right in. What’s not to love?


Chianti Cheeseburgers


Chianti


Feeling fancy? Add a little dry red wine right into your burger! Caramelized onions and a little foccacia take this burger to Italy – but it will taste just as great in your backyard.


Spicy Burgers with Sharp Cheddar and Chunky Blue Cheese Aioli


Spicy


These burgers aren’t messing around! Horseradish is mixed right into the patty for a serious kick, while the blue cheese aioli helps tame the fire.


Buffalo Turkey Sloppy Joes


Buffalo


Even though this isn’t a “burger” by name, it definitely belongs at your cookout. Low-fat ground turkey gets a kick from Buffalo sauce and your own homemade blue cheese ranch dressing. Use the extra ranch (if you have any, that is!) for a yummy dipper for fresh-cut veggies.


Turkey Cheeseburgers with Beer-B-Q Sauce on Pretzel Rolls


Turkey


Pretzel rolls make everything better. Their crispy outsides, soft insides, and crunchy sea salt topping are too good to pass up. Try and hold your horses long enough to make the tasty burgers and DIY barbecue sauce first!


Vegetarian: Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Sandwiches


Eggplant


Vegetarians, look out: All your meat-loving pals will be trying to steal bites of this delish sammie! While not technically labeled a “burger,” the texture of thick-cut eggplant has a meaty bite all its own. I’ll let you decide whether or not to share…


Vegetarian: Tofu Burgers


Tofu


A homemade veggie burger that’s firm, chewy, and of course, absolutely delectable. You’ll never buy frozen veggie patties again!


Bistro-Style Pommes Frites


Fries


You only need three basic ingredients to create your own fries at home. Note: If you make a big batch ahead of time and need to reheat them for your guests, just toss them on a baking sheet to crisp up in the oven (the microwave will make ‘em soggy!).


Sweet N’ SPicy Pickle Spears


Pickles


Making your own pickles is simply too fun not to try. Make sure you prep these 24 hours before you’re going to serve them, so they have plenty of time to finish pickling and for the flavors to really develop.

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Published on August 29, 2014 15:35

August 24, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Meal Planner! Whether you work all day and are out of steam when the dinner hour hits, or are fresh out of ideas and in a cooking rut, we are here to make your life easier. 


This week we are all about corn! The late summer favorite is at its peak, so check out some fabulous recipes, including two summery corn soups and an impressive corn and bacon pasta that’s quick enough for a weeknight meal.


We’ve also selected a variety of tasty and affordable chicken recipes that span the globe – from a chicken satay sandwich that’s great to bring to work to a down-home pulled barbecue chicken sammie that’s perfect for casual Saturday night entertaining.


Don’t know what to cook? Need help with a recipe? Feel free to ask us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


 Meatless Monday


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Lunch: A taste of Greek tzatziki can be found in this super-healthy soup, White Gazpacho. Pro tip: You can make this as chunky or smooth as you’d like!


Dinner: Start the week off with an easy sandwich and enjoy a satisfying Eggplant-Parm Grilled Cheese.


Dessert: Two ingredients is all it takes to make this healthy treat: Banana “Ice Cream” Fake-Out is delicious on its own or with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or maple syrup.


Tuesday


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Lunch: Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Caesar Dressing is an easy lunch with no cooking required – the ideal end-of-summer meal!


Dinner: A creamy, yet light, sauce is the perfect complement to sweet corn and bacon in this flavorful Bacon, Corn and Mascarpone Tagliatelle. Cook’s note: Cream cheese is a sub for mascarpone if you’re in a pinch.  


Dessert: Chocolate-Dipped Lace Cookies look complicated but are surprisingly easy. Give them a try!


Wednesday


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Lunch: Take advantage of corn season and whip up a batch of Rachael Ray’s Sweet Corn Soup with Mexican-Style Pesto.


Dinner: Serve this fruity, spicy Chicken Curry with rice pilaf for a crowd-pleasing weeknight dinner. Pro tip: If you”re in a time crunch, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store makes this dish even easier.


Snack: Grab some home-grown cherry tomatoes and enjoy the ultimate summertime treat: Bruschetta with Hot Cherry Tomatoes.


Thursday


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Lunch: A great make-ahead lunch, side or main, Italian Pasta Salad with Sausage is a go-to brown bag lunch that’s tasty served chilled or room temp.


Dinner: A homemade healthy version of a kids favorite, Oven-Fried, Italian-Style Chicken Tenders with Roasted Parsnip and Potatoes is an all-in-one dinner everyone will love.


Snack: A crunchy side to any sandwich, Homemade Pickle Chips also make a healthy snack. Pro tip: These come together in about five minutes and last for two weeks in the fridge – a must-make!


Friday


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Lunch: Once you make the quick and easy peanut sauce in Chicken Satay Salad Sammies, you’ll never buy the prepared version again. Pro tip: The sauce is equally delicious on pasta or stir fries or as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken. 


Dinner: Homemade spicy croutons top this well-seasoned Spicy Clam and Corn Chowder. It’s summer in a bowl!


Snack: Add some zest to your movie night popcorn when you pop up a batch of Lime and Chili Popcorn.


Entertaining Saturday


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Brunch: Pull out the waffle iron and transform a classic french breakfast sandwich into these fun Monte Cristo Waffle-Wiches.


Dinner: Have a down-home dinner with friends tonight. Pulled Chicken with Bourbon BBQ  features a zesty homemade barbecue sauce and a refreshing apple slaw.


Appetizer: Crispy Cheese-Stuffed Bellas are a lighter version of the traditional stuffed mushroom – perfect for summer entertaining.


Family Sunday


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Brunch: Get the kids in the kitchen to help make this sweet treat breakfast: Triple Chocolate Chip Pancakes.


Dinner: Now here’s something different for a meat and potatoes dish! Sliced Steak and Potato Salad uses an affordable and quick-cooking cut of steak. Cook’s note: Be sure to plan for a few hours of marinating time. 


Dessert: Berry Delicious Ice Cream has a fabulous topping that you’ll love over ice cream – and practically anything else!

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Published on August 24, 2014 10:01 • 14 views

August 23, 2014

I say “comfort food,” and you say…?


Although I can’t really hear you, I imagine your answer includes something warm and hearty. A casserole, perhaps? Are mashed potatoes are involved? Is there something baking in the oven? I bet it smells like home.


Nothing has the ability to transport you to another time and place like food. It’s so wonderful that way.


Tonight, take yourself “home,” or make new memories in a new home with the people you love. Put on your favorite music, gather around the table, and have something comforting – along with your good company.


Baked Ziti


BakedZiti


This hearty baked ziti makes enough food to feed a proverbial army (or at least a legion of starving teenagers). Whip up a big batch, and love it for leftovers!


Cajun Meatloaf


CajunMeatloaf


Paprika, fennel, and spicy green onions might not sound like your typical meatloaf ingredients, but you won’t be able to resist this delish spin on the classic dish.


It’s Not Easy Being Green Bean Casserole


GreenBean


You really can’t beat a green bean casserole with crispy onions on top. That warm balance of creamy gravy and the crunch of beans and onions is tops!


Smoky Roasted Rapini and Strozzapreti


Rapini


Warm pasta, roasted veggies, and homey spices like paprika and fennel make this simple recipe a dish that’s bound to become a new favorite in your family.


Beef Pot Pie Casserole with Cheddar Poppy Crust


BeefPotPie


While some pot pie crusts are (delicious) basic biscuits, this recipe brings it to a whole new level. Rach calls it “crazy delicious,” and you will, too!


Carbonara


Carbonara


Bacon, eggs, and pasta. What’s more comforting than that? This is John’s favorite recipe, and it’s going to be one of yours, too!


Vermont Chicken Pie


Vermont


The great thing about this particular pot pie recipe is how quickly it comes together. While the chicken poaches, the veggies are quickly sautéed while you make a gravy at the same time. Pop it in the oven for about 10 minuts, and voila!


Paprika Turkey Shepherd’s Pie


Paprika


The difference between a pot pie and a shepherd’s pie is in the topping: shepherd’s pie is topped with mashed potatoes (oh yeah!), so pick your favorite taste or texture!


Deep Dish Eggplant Parmigiana


DeepDish


Eggplant parm is right up there in classic, Italian comfort foods with lasagna. This version is a bit lighter (no breading on the eggplant!), but that doesn’t mean it won’t fill you up!


New York Deli-Style Mac and Cheese: Budget-Friendly Version


DeliStyle


Warm, hearty mac and cheese is topped with a rye bread crumble. Seconds, please!


Bonus: Sweet and Salty Brownies


Sweet and Salty Brownies


What’s comfort food without a comforting dessert?  This special brownie features bittersweet chocolate, a homemade caramel center, sea salt, and a huge helping of love.

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Published on August 23, 2014 09:25 • 5 views

August 17, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Meal Planner! Whether you work all day and are out of steam when the dinner hour hits, or are fresh out of ideas and in a cooking rut, we are here to make your life easier. 


The dog days of summer are here and that means plenty of veggies and fruits are in season!


This week we are featuring recipes starring some of summer’s best produce like zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and blueberries (Blueberry Cobbler, anyone?).  A flavorful fried chicken is on the menu for Sunday supper, and don’t miss a delicious, and affordable, all-in-one chicken dinner that’s perfect for a busy weeknight. 


Don’t know what to cook? Need help with a recipe? Feel free to ask us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Meatless Monday


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Lunch: Raves are guaranteed for these super summer Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Sandwiches.


Dinner: It’s zucchini season! Enjoy Mama Elsa’s Stuffed Zucchini with a simple salad for a light and summery meal.


Snack: Make your own favorite Greek takeout snack – Spanikopita - in a snap. Store-bought phyllo dough does all the heavy lifting in this recipe.


Tuesday


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Lunch: Make a big batch of hearty Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad and enjoy for lunch all week long.


Dinner: More Flavor, Less Bun: Italian-Style Turkey Burger has half the bread but all of the flavor.


Dessert: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are the perfect afternoon treat or dessert. Pro tip: Experiment with the recipe and swap-in white or milk chocolate chips. Dried cherries or cranberries are nice additions, too. 


Wednesday


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Lunch: Packed with fresh fruits and veggies, this refreshing Red Waldorf Salad has a delicious blend of flavors and textures.


Dinner: Honey mustard sauce accents chicken, potatoes and green beans in this easy-to-make, budget-friendly Grainy Mustard Chicken Thighs.


Snack: Airplane Snacks: Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups are great for a light lunch or an afternoon treat.


Thursday


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Lunch: Why buy lunch kits at the store when you can pack up this healthy Chicken Tender Salad in just a few minutes? You’ll have fun putting together this interactive, “DIY” meal right at school, camp or work! Pro tip: You can get creative and add or swap-in a variety of additional ingredients, such as tofu or sliced grapes.



Dinner: A citrus spark of lemon and Parmigiano-Reggiano added to eggs makes a wonderful dip for Lemon-Parm Sole with Arugula Salad. Cook’s note: This recipe would work equally well with any white fish fillet like tilapia, cod, or halibut. 



Snack: Make-Your-Own-Fruit-Leather is a kid-friendly snack that’s great on-the-go!


Friday


FriedChicken


Lunch: Quick and super-simple, Chicken Caesar Pasta is great warmed up for dinner, at room temperature for a picnic, or cold in your lunch box the next day.


Dinner: Expect lots of hugs from the family tonight when you serve 10-Flavor Double-Dipped Buttermilk Fried ChickenCook’s note: This chicken is delicious hot, at room temperature, or chilled.


Dessert: Pour a big glass of milk and enjoy moist and fudgy Outrageous Brownies tonight.


Entertaining Saturday


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Brunch: A restaurant-worthy breakfast casserole, Cheesy Triple Mushroom and Bread Gnocchi Bake, is a hearty anytime meal.


Dinner: Porterhouse Steaks with Salsa Verde is a beautiful steakhouse meal you can make in your own home. Pro tip: If you like the salsa verde in this recipe, try it with fish, poultry, grilled vegetables, or even tossed with pasta.


Appetizer: Stuffed Cherry Peppers are perfect for a crowd – half are hot peppers and half are sweet so everyone’s a winner!


Family Sunday


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Brunch: A morning spin on a dinner-time classic – Breakfast Crostini - is the star of this brunch and pairs well with some simple scrambled eggs.


Dinner: Take it easy tonight with a simple dinner that’s sure to please: Philly Steak Sandwiches are a classic favorite that are even better made at home. 


Dessert: Use locally grown blueberries, or better yet, go for a hike and pick your own for this delicious Blueberry CobblerPro tip: Serve the cobbler with good-quality vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream. 

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Published on August 17, 2014 06:27 • 3 views

August 15, 2014

I will never turn down dessert. Eating it out at a restaurant is amazing, but making it at home is even better.


It does, however, require an extra leap to fire up your oven when it’s hot outside. Even if you’re well-behaved and don’t open it up to peek at what’s baking (I’m not very good at this), you can’t help but feel the temperature in your kitchen kick up a few notches.


Instead, get inspired by fresh summer berries, classic cocktails, and favorite family treats. Make these simple, delightful, and absolutely refreshing desserts that all use ice cream as their base. There are even a few non-dairy options!


These 11 treats are everything you need to beat the heat:


Cake Shakes


CakeShakes


This German chocolate cake shake is a fun variation on the classic dessert (and even incorporates real cake into the mix!).


Apple Pie Sundaes


ApplePie


If you’ve been missing the fall flavor of apple pie, you’re in luck! Rach transforms an American favorite in this sundae of brandied hot apple slices layered with a cookie, ice cream, caramel sauce, and whipped cream.


Vanilla Ice Cream with Balsamic Fig Sauce


BalsamicFig


The balsamic-fig reduction with its sweet and savory notes is something you’ll instantly love. Make a little extra sauce for topping all sorts of treats later on!


Mango Banana Ice Cream


MangoIceCream


This one’s rich, creamy, and perfect for people who are lactose-intolerant or avoiding dairy. Frozen bananas and coconut milk give a perfectly creamy (but cream-free!) texture.


Berry Delicious Ice Cream


Berries


A reduction of cinnamon, sugar, and Grand Marnier, paired with fresh, summer berries makes a topping that you’ll love over ice cream – and practically anything else!


Deluxe Ice Cream Pie


Ice Cream Pie


A homemade chocolate cookie crust provides a perfect foundation for this cold, minty pie (although you can use any ice cream flavor you have on-hand) with your own DIY fudge topping. Get ready for the compliments to pour in as your guests devour this divine dish!


Very Berry Smash with Meringues and Sorbet


VeryBerry


Fresh, summertime berries soak in limoncello with a touch of mint for a super-refreshing flavor combination. The limoncello doesn’t get cooked off in this twist, so this one’s for the grown-ups!


Root Beer Russian Float


RootBeerRussian


A White Russian meets a root beer float for a truly indulgent drink. Grab a second straw to share with your sweetie.


Berry Easy Dessert


Berry Easy


Ok, so this treat doesn’t use ice cream exactly (it’s Greek yogurt!), but we promise you’ll love this healthy, refreshing, and oh-so-tasty dessert!


Banana “Ice Cream” Fake-out


BananaIceCream


If the tropical mango twist doesn’t strike your fancy, this simple frozen banana “ice cream” fake-out is just for you. Perfect for those bananas that are just a little too ripe, or if you’re looking for a healthier, dairy-free dessert.


Ice Cream Cake


Pound Cake


This is a great recipe that can be made quickly, but it uses super-secret tricks (like brushing the cake with spiced rum!) to make it extra-delish. Another dessert that’s best left for the adults at your table.


Bonus Recipes: Kick it up a notch with these Looking for Mr. Goodbar Sundaes, or make your own Healthy Homemade Pops.

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Published on August 15, 2014 14:57 • 2 views

August 11, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Meal Planner! Whether you work all day and are out of steam when the dinner hour hits, or are fresh out of ideas and in a cooking rut, we are here to make your life easier. 


This week we’re featuring some of Rachael’s latest recipes, including comforting pork chops with homemade creamed corn, summery chicken sandwiches, and a crowd-pleasing steak dinner perfect for Saturday night entertaining.


And just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t make a family favorite Sunday pasta supper. Check out our pick for a satisfying veggie lasagna everyone will love. 


Don’t know what to cook? Need help with a recipe? Feel free to ask us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Meatless Monday


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Lunch: Zucchini Caponata is a delicious lunch on its own, served with toasted baguette or over quick-cooking polenta.


Dinner: For Saffron Lovers: Cauliflower with Penne is a magic mix of saffron, garlic, almonds, golden raisins, cauliflower, and pasta.


Dessert: It’s blueberry season – the perfect time to make this yummy snack, breakfast or even dessert: Try Blueberry Crumb Cake.


Tuesday


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Lunch: Fresh veggies, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pesto, and whole wheat pasta come together to make a healthy and delicious Tomato-Vegetable-Pasta Stoup. Perfect for brown bagging!


Dinner: Scadinavian cuisine meets American in this tasty meal: Pork Chops with Herb Creamed Corn is hearty and satisfying. Cook’s note: The creamed corn is just as delicious with chicken or any cut of pork. 


Snack: Frozen Fruit Sticks are a summery treat perfect for picnics or enjoying in your own backyard.


Wednesday


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Lunch: Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce on Garlic Naan is a delicious lunch or easy weeknight dinner. Pro tip: Cook the chicken the night before for a no-fuss lunch the next day. 


Dinner: Fire up the grill tonight and serve Chianti Burgers! Red wine is mixed right into the meat and the burger is topped with caramelized onions.


Snack: Skip the packaged cereal bars and make your own. Nena’s Oat Berry Bars come together in no-time with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Cook’s note: These bars freeze beautifully, so make a double batch!


Thursday


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Lunch: Looking for your favorite salad in a sammie? Cobb Clubs are the answer!


Dinner: Top your family’s favorite fish (snapper, trout, halibut, and swordfish are all great options) with a breadcrumb crust of fresh herbs, garlic and lemon zest. Fish with Mixed-Herb Gremolata Breadcrumbs is what’s for dinner tonight.


Snack: Pomegranate Guacamole is a creative take on the classic dip that’s delicious with chips, veggies, and pita crisps.


Friday


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Lunch: Treat yourself to a restaurant-quality salad for lunch when you enjoy Crispy Noodles Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing. Pro tip: If you’re brown-bagging, be sure to dress the salad just prior to serving to avoid soggy noodles.


Dinner: Make Friday night an upscale sandwich night and serve Chicken Francaise-wiches. These delicious, lemony, summer sandwiches can be made with chicken or fish. Make it last: You can also use the sauce for this dish over a side of pasta.


Dessert: Lemon zest awakens the flavors of this seasonal Lemon Black and Blue Cobbler.


Entertaining Saturday


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Brunch: Pull out the waffle maker and prepare Oat, Bacon, and Pecan Waffles with Bourbon Maple Syrup, a decadent, grown-up brunch.


Dinner: Transport your guests to Italy tonight. Steak doused with grilled lemon, topped with a flavorful parsley sauce, and accompanied by a warm potato salad are just a few of the elements that make Bistecca Fiorentina with Parsley Sauce for Steak and Warm Potato Salad a winner.


Appetizer: Who doesn’t like fondue?! Healthier Cheese Fondue with Pretzels and Veggies is just a bit healthier than the original and just as delicious.


Family Sunday


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Brunch: Grilled Caesar Salad with Poached Egg takes your prep to the grill and adds protein with poached eggs for a creative, brunch-ready dish. Pro tip: Try it with grilled chicken for dinner! 


Dinner: Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant-Ricotta Filling feeds a crowd – perfect for Sunday supper. Pro tip: Take it easy and make the lasagna up to two days in advance. 


Dessert: Making your own popsicles couldn’t be easier. Use up fruit and other pantry items that you’ve already got on-hand!

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Published on August 11, 2014 07:33 • 5 views

August 8, 2014

Warm, crispy bread. A distinctive crunch. Fresh, hot, flavorful fillings like meat, cheese and veggies. Panini are the perfect food.


You might typically think of panini as lunchtime fare, but they truly make ideal meals for any time of day. We’ve even picked a few for you that would be 100 percent suitable for brunch so you can try ‘em for yourself!


Of course, it’s hard to talk about panini and not include a few more of our favorite grilled sandwiches from Rachael. One of the main differences between the two is whether or not you add butter or some sort of oil to the outside of the bread – panini are typically grilled “dry.”


Either way, you don’t need a fancy contraption to make the perfect sandwich. Something heavy to give them their distinctive “press” (Rachael has a handy glass weight, which you can use for tons of dishes!) is all that’s necessary.


Bonus: Wow your friends with your knowledge of Italian: “Panino” refers to one sandwich, while “panini” refers to many.


Grilled Rosemary Chicken Melt


RosemaryChicken


Your favorite grilled chicken salad gets a boost from crispy foccacia and melted Provolone cheese!


Spanish Ham and Cheese Panini


Spanish


Pimiento and piquillo peppers, along with Manchengo cheese and Serrano ham create a truly Spanish flavor combination that will have your tastebuds saying “Gracias!”


Saltimbocca Panini with Fresh Baby Arugula 


Arugula


The peppery bite of arugula plus a bright splash of lemon juice will make you think of a fresh, spring salad when you try this light and tasty panini.


The Absolute Best Roast Beef Sandwich 


BestRoastBeef


Ever made your own horseradish sauce? You’ll never buy it from the store again when you whip it up for this hearty roast beef sammie.


Grilled Cheese Burgers


Cheeseburgers


Cheeseburgers are great – but grilling them makes them even better! You won’t miss a typical, soft bun once you take a bite of this crunchy, savory burger.


Egg-Battered Asparagus, Ham, and Cheese Sandwiches


asparagus


Fresh asparagus in a Monte Cristo dipped in a lemon, cheese and egg mixture means this sammie is great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any snack in between!


Pizzanini


Pizzanini


Pepperoni. Roma tomatoes. Fresh, ground pepper. We don’t have to tell you why this sandwich is tops.


Rachael Patty Melts 


PattyMelts


Rach builds a variation of a classic Reuben with homemade dressing, ground turkey, sauerkraut, and two cheeses on marble rye or pumpernickel bread.


French Toast Grilled Cheese with Apples


FrenchToast


“French toast and fresh apples with a fig or maple spread” sounds like something off the menu of your favorite brunch spot. Now, enjoy it as a grilled sandwich you can make at home!


A Rachael Goes to Monte Cristo


MonteCristos2


French toast “Rachels” are go perfectly with homemade Russian dressing for dipping!


Cuban-Style Monte Cristos


Cuban


Rachael combines two classic flavors for a sandwich that’s everything you want: Crunchy, hearty, and with a surprising combination of flavors that will have you wanting to grill up another as soon as you’re done!


Italian Grilled Cheese-n-Tomato


ItalianGC


Basil, mozzarella and crusty Italian bread make this sandwich a close relative of your favorite bruschetta or caprese salad!


Eggplant-Parm Grilled Cheese


Eggplant


If you love eggplant parmigiana, you won’t be able to say no to this sandwich. Your favorite purple fruit bulks up this grilled cheese with a “meaty” texture that vegetarians and omnivores alike will love.

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Published on August 08, 2014 13:53 • 3 views

August 4, 2014

Welcome to the Weekly Meal Planner! Whether you work all day and are out of steam when the dinner hour hits, or are fresh out of ideas and in a cooking rut, we are here to make your life easier. 


Keep the summer celebration going (only one month left!) and fire up the grill for dinner this week.


We’re featuring recipes  for everything from grilled steak and burgers to chicken thighs and fish. We’re also highlighting some super easy baking recipes, including a fantastic, fudgy, dairy-free chocolate cake that comes together right in the baking pan. Little chefs will love to help (and eat!).


Don’t know what to cook? Need help with a recipe? Feel free to ask us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Meatless Monday


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Lunch: French Bread Pissaladiere – a warm, toasted bread finished with sautéed onions and two cheeses – makes a simple meal with a side of salad.


Dinner: Firm and chewy with lots of flavor, Tofu Burgers are sure to satisfy even the most die-hard meat lovers.


Snack: This flavorful homemade Herby Honey Mustard Dipper is delicious with chips, veggies or crackers – anything you feel like dipping!


Tuesday


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Lunch: Freshly baked Italian rolls, favorite cold cuts, and homemade giardiniera, make mouth-watering Italian Subs with Garlic Vinaigrette and Giardiniera Relish.


Dinner: Simple is best! Rosemary-Garlic Steaks with Arugula, Tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano is an impressive all-in-one meal perfect for a quick weeknight meal or weekend entertaining. Pro tip: Be sure to bring the steaks to room temperature prior to grilling so they cook evenly. 


Snack: Try out this spicy variation of everyone’s favorite dip: Smoky Guacamole.


Wednesday


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Lunch: Grilled Potato Salad is a terrific side or lunch, no matter if you enjoy it on its own or topped with leftover chicken.


Dinner: Grilled, juicy chicken thighs make delicious Korean Barbecue Chicken Thigh Sliders. Cook’s note: This sauce is equally wonderful with chicken breasts or pork tenderloin. 


Snack: Delicious as a snack or breakfast (or second breakfast!), Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake Muffins with Streusel Topping  are banana muffins to the max!


Thursday


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Lunch: A BLT without the bread? Genius! BLT Salad will become a regular in your lunch rotation.


Dinner: Moroccan spices, a fresh herb and lemon sauce and fluffy couscous make Grilled Fish with Moroccan Chermoula Sauce and Zucchini Couscous a winner.


Snack: Fresh corn is in season and is the key ingredient that puts this Corn Bread Crostini recipe over the top.


Friday


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Lunch: Add a new dimension to tuna melts with flavorful ingredients like capers, red onion, and lemon in these Mediterranean Tuna Melt Paninis.


Dinner: Celebrate the end of the work week with a sure-to-please, match-made-in-heaven sammie: Grilled Cheese Burgers.


Dessert: Grab the kids and make this fun, and dairy-free, Crazy No-Bowl Chocolate Cake.


Entertaining Saturday


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Brunch: Serve this perfectly balanced, sweet and salty casserole for brunch this weekend. Savory French Toast and Sausage Bake is sure to get rave reviews. Cook’s note: Plan ahead, as you’ll need to refrigerate a portion of this recipe overnight.


Dinner: It doesn’t have to be May to put together a fantastic spread that’s perfect to feed a crowd. Try Cinco de Mayo Feast: Surf and Turf Mexican Soft Tacos.


Appetizer: Bacon and Deviled Eggs is a fabulous pre-dinner snack – watch them disappear!


Family Sunday


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Brunch: Your kids will love this riff on the Dr. Seuss classic: Green Eggs and Ham!


Dinner: Clam Bake Chowder is a beach party in a bowl!


Dessert: Use your favorite brownie mix to whip up a batch of these super-simple and scrumptious Peanut Butter Brownie Cups.

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Published on August 04, 2014 10:27 • 2 views

August 2, 2014

When I was a kid, Sunday mornings were sacred in my house. My mom took our sleep seriously.


A morning person trapped in a family of night owls, she tiptoed around our kitchen while we snoozed, hoping we’d rest up enough for our busy weeks ahead (and often ready for a kindly, but stern, lecture about how we all needed more rest).


I loved waking up later than usual to the aroma of brunch wafting up to my room. It smelled like pancakes and bacon, accompanied with the sound of sizzling eggs in a skillet and toast popping up in the toaster.


We’d yawn all the way to the table to gratefully gobble everything up, and usually ended up so full that napping seemed like a good idea afterward. I think this was her plan all along.


With these amazing recipes from Rachael, my wish for all of you is the same: a little extra sleep, a wonderful meal with your friends or family, and the opportunity to hang out in your PJs for as long as you like.


Grilled Caesar Salad with Poached Eggs

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Have you ever grilled lettuce before? This amazing salad will transform your brunch table with a new flavor that everyone will love.


Rum Raisin French Toast with Maple Bananas Foster and Ham Steak

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The sweet and savory combo here is just tops. You might look at the combination of bananas and ham with a bit of curiosity, but trust me, they come together beautifully!


Brunch Burgers

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One bite of these, and you’ll forget English muffin breakfast sandwiches from the drive-thru ever existed. Peppered bacon glazed with maple syrup is the super-secret ingredient!


Gluten-Free Pancakes

Gluten-Free Pancakes


The sweetness in these gluten-free ‘cakes comes from roasted sweet potatoes, coconut oil, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bonus: No added sugar!


Apple, Cheddar, and Mushroom Monte Cristos

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Apple in a grilled sandwich?! Oh yeah, you read that right. You wouldn’t believe the superb crunch you get with this pairing, along with crispy bread.


Rachel Hash and Fried Eggs

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A “Rachel” sandwich is a Reuben made with turky or pastrami instead of corned beef. Try this hash made with the same flavors!


Cinnamon-Apple Strata

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Cinnamon, apples, and an unbelievable mish-mash of breads make this strata tops! Cook’s Note: This recipe recommends you make it the night before so all the flavors can meld. To me, this just sounds like you get to sleep in even later!


Steak and Eggwiches

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Maybe I’m partial to the breakfast sandwich, but Rachael just does them right. Try this sliced steak and deviled egg salad sammie on a biscuit for the ultimate brunchwich.


Soul Pancakes

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Cayenne pepper in a pancake? Oh yeah! These flapjacks are inspired by Rach’s upstate New York home, along with Rachael Ray show guest Rainn Wilson and his cookbook, Soul Pancake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions.


Tex-Mex Bacon and Egg Chilaquiles

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According to Rachael, a “chilaquile” is a “ripped up, toasted tortillas with toppings. Like a gigantic dinner nacho.” We’re just going to enjoy them for breakfast, instead!


Drunken Irish Soda Bread French Toast

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Hearty soda bread paired with dark rum and cinnamon is a refreshing twist on your basic French toast. If you can find the kind of bread with raisins, even better!


Coffee Cake Muffins

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What’s brunch without coffee cake? These muffins will make your kitchen smell heavenly.


Frito Frittata

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Spicy and crunchy, this frittata has it all! It’s also super-fast to prepare, so you can have a warm and hearty egg dish on the table in no-time.


(Oh, and don’t forget to mix up a few Mimosas and Bloody Marys for the grown-ups. Orange juice in champagne glasses would be fun for the kiddos, too!)


Bonus recipe: Be a kid again, and try Green Eggs and Ham!

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Published on August 02, 2014 09:50 • 2 views

July 28, 2014

The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, in its fifth and final year, has enabled shelters around the country to find homes for hundreds of thousands of pets since 2010. Hosted in partnership with our friends at the ASPCA, it challenges top shelters to be even better and race to save as many lives as they can, improving over their numbers from the previous year.


The numbers for each ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge are staggering – hundreds of thousands of animals have been saved since its start.


Looking at all these successful shelters, we wondered: What could they teach us about being better volunteers? Whether it’s at an animal shelter or any good cause you care about, we want to help everyone do a little more good in the world!


Sarah Brown is the executive director of the Humane Society of Pinellas, the largest no-kill shelter in Pinellas County, Florida. Her shelter competed in the Challenge last year – with stellar results. After an email interview, we learned a few things from Sarah, and thought they could help you, too!


1. Get started.


If you’ve always wanted to volunteer at an animal shelter, but haven’t known how to start, now’s the time to try. “Shelters wouldn’t exist without the help of the volunteers. They are so critical to the operation,” said Sarah.


She even guarantees you’ll love it: “I promise it will be a rewarding experience.”


Courtesy of Humane Society of Pinellas

Courtesy of Humane Society of Pinellas


2. Feel the love.


Give yourself a high-five: taking time out to do a little good helps the world around us. And, it helps your heart feel a bit happier, too.


“Seeing an animal get a second chance at a forever home is such a rewarding experience,” she said. “Animals end up at shelters because of unfortunate circumstances, not because they are damaged goods.”


3. Be a team.


Don’t you feel like you can save the world when you volunteer? One of the best parts of working at a shelter is by partnering up with people who are just as passionate as you.


Whether you’re volunteering or participating in ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, Sarah says be a great communicator, and don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.


“Without teamwork during the challenge, you cannot realize success,” Sarah said. “Teamwork is the core of the operation. The blood, sweat and tears that my team put forth for this challenge was mind-blowing.”


Every life counts! Image courtesy of Humane Society of Pinellas

Every life counts! Image courtesy of Humane Society of Pinellas


5. Go for it. 


Volunteering can be hard work. You might encounter challenges that you’ve never faced before. But you and your community can make a difference!


For example, Sarah explained that during the first week of the Challenge, Tropical Storm Andrea caused one of the roofs at their facility to collapse. But were they about to quit? No way!


“The sheer support from other local shelters, community members and the ASPCA team was overwhelming to us,” Sarah recounted. Despite having to shut down for a couple days during the Challenge, they still placed first in their division by the end of the first month. Bravo!


So what are you waiting for? Get out there and volunteer! And don’t forget to enter the “I Rescued My Pet” contest with an awesome photo of you and your adopted pet for a chance to win a Rachael Ray prize pack worth $400!


[Top image courtesy of the Humane Society of Pinellas]

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Published on July 28, 2014 09:01 • 4 views

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