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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cookbook Review: Rachel Ray Express Lane Meals

As always, Rachael gives twists on staples such as hamburger, cheese and bacon in Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals.

Open Face Blue Moon Burgers sound wonderful, as does Cowboy Spaghetti, which is also rated five out of five stars on Food Network's website. I'll have to tweak it to include non-dairy cheese, but that shouldn't be too difficult. The Balsamic Chicken with White Beans and Wilted Spinach is one recipe I made. I highly recommend the chicken part. The wilted spinach is good, except that I added too much liquid and it turned into spinach soup (which was still good, but in a whole different way than I expected). If you use bottled minced garlic, make sure you use a bit less than the equivalent of four minced garlic cloves. It gets stronger as it sits in your frig!

I plan to make the Smoky Sweet Potato Chicken Stoup someday when it cools off a bit. I love the concept, although I'll have to buy chipotle peppers in adobo sauce just for this recipe.

Probably the absolute best part of this cookbook is at the beginning, where Rachel has a three to four-page section discussing her 70 "go-to" staples (and the quantities in which she keeps them). It's a very useful tool for new cooks unaccustomed to stocking a pantry/frig so it's not necessary to buy ingredients for every recipe you cook.

Knowing me, I probably won't need as much hot sauce as she does, but it's a guideline. 
If there's something you won't eat, don't buy it! (Personally for me, that would be anchovies, thanks to the job of my youth working in a pizza place.)

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