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Coming Soon: Rachael Ray Photo Album

For my Rachael Ray fans….I’m in the process of putting together a photo album of Rachael Ray and John Cusimano photos. If you have any that you would like included, please drop me an email at merrimusings *at* msn *dot* com. My hope is that it will be a one stop spot for those of you actively looking for pictures of her (and her hubby, and Isaboo, etc.).

COMING SOON!


Rachael Ray Updates

Rachael Ray is featured in the August 2006 issue of “Good Housekeeping” and is even pictured on the cover. The article is titled “Rachael Ray’s Recipie for Joy.” You can find a teaser of the article here. Here’s an exerpt:

The unpretentious Rachael Ray might not seem like a top-rated television host who draws more than 18 million viewers a week. But with four programs on regular rotation at the Food Network and 14 best-selling cookbooks, she has become a force to be reckoned with. It’s an understatement to say cooking is her life: Even after a long day of cooking in front of cameras, Ray unwinds by preparing meals for her husband, John Cusimano. In fact, she knew he was The One after he requested this carbonara dish for his birthday dinner.

“I knew my boyfriend was the man to marry when I asked him what he would like for his birthday dinner,” Rachael Ray writes in her cookbook Cooking ‘Round the Clock. “I offered up lobster, steak, fine foods of all nationalities, to which he replied: ‘Can I just have some of your carbonara?’ Whoa! I was right about him….

“Carbonara is bacon-and-egg pasta, a true classic from Italian cuisine. This is the food of the people! I never order it out because everyone messes with it: They add cream, mushrooms, ham — all kinds of stuff that simply doesn’t belong. Yes, I acknowledge that this dish is heavy and bad for you, especially when eaten in copious amounts. But eating this out of the pan or one large bowl with two forks is extra-sexy. Usually, this recipe makes six servings, but late at night, when no one can see us, my husband, John, and I eat as much as we want!”

Carbonara

Ingredients:

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large egg yolks
Freshly grated Romano cheese
Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions:

1. Put a large saucepot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.

3. In a separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.

4. Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper, and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.

There’s another great Rachael Ray article out at People.com.

TV chef Rachael Ray has a lot on her plate – but worrying about her weight isn’t one of them.

The Food Network host, best-selling cookbook author and lifestyle-magazine editor – who is about to launch her own daytime talk show – says, “I don’t care about any fashion enough to give up food.”

Asked how she manages her weight, “I don’t,” she said at the Television Critics Association’s summer meeting, reports the Associated Press. “I buy jeans with stretch. Everything I have has stretch in it. I haven’t known my weight since I was 12-years-old. I have enough pressure.”

It’s easy to see how she has an ever-growing fan base. She seems like “real people” to me - down to earth and not wanting to get too far from reality. Honestly, who has time to be Martha Stewart? If you aren’t out refinishing that table from 1812, you are drying your pine cones or making your own plates for the 12 course dinner you are serving 30 tonight. I like Rachael Ray because she gets things done in 30 minutes or less, she is no-nonsense, and a bit crazy. Some people can’t stand her loud, gabby, arm-flinging antics on her show. I personally think it is part of her appeal (hint: maybe because I’m a bit like that in person?). It hasn’t hurt her pocketbook, either!


Introducing Alton Brown’s “Feasting on Asphalt”

As I have been watching my Tivo’d “30 Minute Meals” with Rachael Ray, commercials for Alton Brown’s new show “Feasting on Asphalt” have appeared. Even my kids like his show “Good Eats” because, well, he’s kind of crazy. It appears that on “Feasting on Asphalt” he’ll be just as crazy, but won’t be clean-shaven, will ride a motorcycle and will make his way around parts of the country’s backroads, diners and even VFWs and churches. Here’s some Q&A regarding the show:

What is Feasting on Asphalt?
Alton Brown’s cross-country search for the nation’s best road food.

Where is Alton Brown going?
Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California and more.

How is he going to get there?
On a motorcycle. “Why a motorcycle? As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to experience the road than from the back of a bike. Being exposed to the elements presents thrills and challenges alike, most of which can’t be captured in a ‘cage’ (that’s what motorcycle people call cars),” says Alton.

What will Alton eat?Every kind of road food available–from foraging in the forest (grubs are great protein) to camp cooking (think Lewis and Clark) to diners, truck stops and even the corporate fast food chains. Alton also intends to eat (and cook) in nifty regional joints, churches, community centers, VFW halls, RV parks and the homes of folks nice enough to offer a weary traveler a meal.

You can read more about the show here. There’s some video, great photos and a newsletter you can sign up for. I’ll definitely check out his show. After all, I bought his Sodium Chloride Containment Unit, didn’t I? Oh, and if you don’t know what this is, shoot me an email or drop a comment…always fun to see who is Alton-savvy!