I saw Rachael Ray at a Hudson Union Society event at the Cornell Club last night. She seems like a nice person, bubbling and drinking red wine throughout her interview with Joe Pascal. She has this new book out, Week in a Day – Five Dishes, One Day.
My concern with Rachael’s food is that many of her recipes are very high in calories and fat — one stick of butter or one cup of feta cheese in a recipe for a dish to serve four people! That’s just way too much. This is on the road to the Paula Deen lifestyle.
Rachel’s idea with the book is to use one day to make five meals for the week. That is certainly one way to tackle making your meals. I, however, look forward to the unwind time of making a meal at night.
I wasn’t always like that though. Truth be told, when my kids were young, I was fortunate enough to have full time, live-in help in NJ and our wonderful Jennifer had dinner made on the stove, waiting for us every night when we came home from work. So when Zach went off to college and we moved back into the city, cooking dinner every single night was new to me and a harsh reality at first. But once you get the hang of it, it’s good! In fact, if we have to go out too many nights in a row with business functions, I miss cooking. As I said, it’s a time to unwind, have a sip of wine and create something delicious with beautiful vegetables and herbs. I like to imagine what I want to eat and then see if I can achieve the flavor profile I’m looking for. It’s a design game with food!
Rachel’s idea is to encourage more people to feel empowered to cook a meal at home. That is my goal too — but not with unhealthy ingredients and portions. Because then you will not feel good, look good or have the pure energy to truly LOVE and enjoy life — because that is what it’s all about! Your body is an incredibly strong yet delicately balanced machine and you need to feed it with respect.
At this event, after the interview, the floor was opened to questions from the audience and the first question was about her use of fat and rich ingredients in her recipes. She responded that she eats pasta and macaroni and cheese and LOVES cheese and all those things. That’s ok of course — and it’s important to enjoy yourself — but all things in moderation.
I will never forget when my youngest son, Zach (who gave me the inspiration to write this blog and share my recipes) was eating a pasta dish one of our friends so nicely made for us when we moved. It was ziti with loads and loads of mozzarella and parmigiano cheese, butter, sausage, tomatoes, etc. He loved it! He was eating it slowly and said, “This is soooo good. You would never make something like this.”
And he was so right.