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Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life: A Cookbook

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  63 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • America’s favorite self-taught cook opens up about the most memorable moments of her life in this candid memoir-inspired cookbook featuring 125 all-new recipes.


“No matter the recipe, each of us changes a dish by our own preparation of it. It’s the same with stories—once you
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  242 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She eats, lives and breaths a fabulous life, loved all her personal stories.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I wanted to read this book because I thought it would be more of a memoir than a cook. She says in the intro that it’s not a memoir, and it’s not really. There are a lot of recipes, but at the start of each chapter she does have an essay, so you do get to learn a bit about her. I don’t cook so I didn’t pay much attention to the recipes, but they looked yummy.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. From the commentary, the pictures,and the recipes, what's not to love.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I gave this book 4 stars mostly for the memories she wrote about. There is not one recipe in this book that I wanted to try, but her life story was interesting.
America’s favorite self-taught cook opens up about the most memorable moments of her life in this candid memoir-inspired cookbook featuring 125 all-new recipes.

“No matter the recipe, each of us changes a dish by our own preparation of it. It’s the same with stories—once you put them out there, readers get to interpret them and be affected
Rachel Rowlands Talcott
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wanted this cookbook because i was really interested in the stories that went with her recipes. The stories are 5 stars the recipes unlike her other cookbooks probably wont make it to my table. Too many Ingredients that my kiddos won’t eat. Still enjoyed the read and did book mark some to try.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish she would bring her 30-minute meals back...or at least your them on Netflix so I can rewatch them all.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. I loved reading Rachael’s essays. I have loved and respected her from the beginning of her 30 Minute Meal days. This book felt like having a conversation with her.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
I was so excited to win this as a giveaway! I received a paperback version. I will probably not upgrade to hardcover unless some/more/better pictures and information are added on some dishes and ingredients, but I will definitely not part with the paperback. I’ll just make notes in the margins and make it my own.

First impression: All in all, a solid recipe book with great, heartwarming stories centered on family and tradition. Never having really watched or read much Rachael Ray before, this
Jennifer Lynn
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of Rachael Ray's cookbooks since my mother gifted me with her 2,4,6,8 cookbook when I was seventeen after I had asked for a cookbook for Christmas. Her recipes have always seemed so creative and looked so beautiful. When I finally started cooking her food too, I fell in love with so many of her recipes and acquired another 3 or 4 of her cookbooks. Now in my 30s, I have a few of my favorites of her recipe collection in my family's regular menu rotation and they are always a hit ...more
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway! I received a hardcover full color copy. I'm thinking a few of the previous reviews received unfinished ARCs or something similar.

The book is beautiful and set up really nicely! It's a hefty hardcover with thick matte pages and color photography. There are pictures for a lot of the recipes, but not all. The way the book is set up, there are collections of essays followed by recipes that relate to them in some way.

I really enjoyed reading some of
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was never a huge follower of Rachael Ray, but she always seemed down to earth and approachable. I also liked that she didn't have children and was unapologetic about it. As someone who is childfree by choice I'm always on the lookout for other childfree people out there. This book was half memoir/essays and half recipes. Each chapter starts with a personal essay - some are about her and some are about other people who shaped her life - then there are a few recipes that correspond to that ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun, great book. I'm lukewarm to her food generally, but love Ray's energy and warmth. And that's abundant here, in this book filled with personal essays and recipes inspired by her past, family and friends.

It's not a traditional memoir, but you do learn a lot about the author in these short, personal essays. She really is a positive person, and most of the essays are warm and fuzzy. She also addresses some rumors that have been spread throughout her career, and is quite funny.
3.5 stars. Yes, I am back on my *ish about the lack of pictures of the finished dishes. There are some but I’m one of those weirdos who needs to see pictures of all. I’m cool with this. I’ve accepted this about myself. This isn’t the first time I’ve dinged a cookbook with this critique (see Antoni’s cookbook) or praised a book because it was pictures galore (see Jose Andres “Vegetables Unleashed).

Another caveat is that I have NOT prepared any of the recipes so I can’t speak to if they’re hits or
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rachael Ray is the reason I can cook anything. So she has always been special to me. I use to watch her show all the time. I’ve had most of her cookbooks at one time or another. This book is a fun glimpse at her life.
She writes an essay about a part of her life (25) and follows it with recipes from that story (125). The recipes are more complex than her usual “30-minute meal” style but sound amazing. The essays are really repetitive, there’s a lot of name dropping and almost lists of her
Jenn Adams
Reading as many Goodreads Choice Nominees as I can.

Throughout the years, my opinion about Rachael Ray has gone back and forth a lot. I've settled into appreciating what she does but not actively seeking out her content.

Similarly, I appreciate what she was going for here, and I think fans of hers would love it. This book is a tribute to her 50th birthday and all of the things that led up to it. The recipes are interspersed with short essays about different times/aspects of her life, which I
Tina Arkoff
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have followed Rachael Ray for years - both by watching her show and making her recipes. This book is basically a tribute to all those who shaped her life over the past 50 years, intertwined with more of her recipes, all written with much obvious love. Reading this memoir (even though she doesn't want to call it that) is like sharing a conversation with your BFF - warm, intimate, and revealing the fact that what you see on TV is the real Rachael. She is down to earth, humble, and loving. My ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a much better cookbook than I thought it would be. I watched Rachael Ray in the early days of her "30 Minute Meals" and "40 Dollars a Day" television shows on the Food Network but never tuned in to her talk show. That all said, I enjoyed reading this cookbook. I enjoyed the essays she wrote in between the chapters about her family traditions, her travels (especially to Italy) and how she and her husband spend their down time at their cabin in the woods and apartment in the East Village ...more
Nancy Reynolds
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really love Rachael Ray - and have for years! I couldn't give the book 5 stars because I wanted much more! But that aside, I felt each photo should have an caption and they didn't always - so I wasn't always sure exactly what the photo was showing. However, the stories themselves were lovely and real - as I've always found Rachael Ray to be - the real deal. And now finding out just how much she contributes to making the world a better place for children and animals - she went even higher up in ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rachael Ray's portrayal of her "sweet and savory life" is one in which you feel like you're at her table having a friendly conversation as she tells stories of how her life has been shaped all while sharing a cup of coffee.

Food, obviously, is the spotlight; however, the meaning behind her desire to be the best cook she can be comes through brilliantly.

Nothing pretentious about her hard-earned fame.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
If you're a fan of Rachael Ray, you will love this cookbook/memoir, which presents recipes alongside essays discussing her life and loves (food, her husband, celebrities, etc). As far as the recipes go, there are no surprises or innovations, just (mostly Italian) standards like Osso Bucco, lots of pasta dishes like Carbonara and Bolognese. Nothing you can't find on But again, if you're a die-hard fan you'll enjoy this.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rachael Ray at her culinary best! This wonderful work continues in the vein that made her famous, wonderful recipes yet easy to follow. Everything about this book is interesting.

Let’s be fair, this is much more than a cookbook! The memories are informative, and interesting to read. But, for me Rachael Ray is first and foremost about food. Therefore this book is all about the recipes for me. And, they live up to all my expectations when thinking of her.

Bottom line... great book!
Kayla Tornello
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbook
I really enjoyed Rachael's essays about her life. I also liked all the photos of her life and the gorgeous photos of the food. She seems more like your friend than a celebrity. The recipes are mostly classic Italian food. While they sound good, I don't have time to make most of them on weeknights. I will save this cookbook for special occasions.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Rachael Ray fans will love this!

I liked this cookbook. Basically, Rachael turned 50 and decided to take inventory of her life and the recipes that accompanied it. Part memoir, part recipe book, and part journal; this is an interesting book and will appeal a lot to her fan base. I, personally, share her favorite four letter words and felt like she was easy to relate to.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: duplicate
Thank you Goodreads, Random House, Ballentine Books and Rachael Ray for the Book. I can't tell you how happy I was when I got the email that I won this giveaway! I received a beautiful hard cover version of the book with appealing illustrations and recipes. I just started reading it today as soon as I got it so I don't have much of a review, but I love that it has the story of Rachael's life along with the recipes and pictures. I can't wait to read the rest. THANKS again!

I finished the book in
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My love for Rachael Ray knows no bounds. She changed my life by teaching me how to cook when I was short on both time and money. I am eternally grateful, Rach!

Loved both the essays and recipes in 50. I thought I knew all her stories, but learned a ton about her past, present, and future.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a RR fan since her beginning 14 years ago. I’m sure I’ve watched every episode of her 30 Minute Meals and $40 A Day and happy 30 Minute Meals returned in 2019. This book was a fun read between her memoirs and recipes and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jennifer Smyth
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've never been a follower of Rachael Ray but saw the book and was curious about the recipes. I was happily surprised to see that this was also a memoir (although she doesn't want to call it that). Lots of Italian recipes old and new.
Brandi Huffer
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I regretfully have yet to make anything from this book. Not to say I won't. The pictures are beautiful and so is the writing. I'm looking forward to trying a few recipie. I will update to review whatever recipie I try first.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-2019
Rachael Ray turned 50 so she decided to celebrate by writing a book that combines her recipes with charming anecdotes about her life. I’ve always been a Rachael Ray fan so I enjoyed this book immensely.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is darling! Of course it’s filled with tons of terrific recipes, but it’s more than just a cookbook. This is a book, an actual old fashioned style book - filled with stories and pictures, and memories. You can feel the warmth and laughter this book evokes. It’s lovely.
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Rachael Domenica Ray is an American television personality, businesswoman, celebrity chef, and author. She hosts the syndicated talk/lifestyle program Rachael Ray and two Food Network series, 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. Ray has also written a series of cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept, and launched a magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, in 2006. Prior to the ...more