Rachael Gets a D!

Uh-oh. Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals 2 was tested by the Tulsa World newspaper with two other 30 minute meal books and got a D! The other two books, The 6 O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb and The 5:30 Challenge by Jeanne Besser fared much better. I have mentioned both of these before and both have been endorsed by Everything Rachael Ray readers.

Coming in third was Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals 2. Here's what lead to Rachael's D grade:
Overall, I would retitle this book "Hour-and-a-Half Meals That Take Too Long to Shop for Ingredients to Prepare, and Way Too Long for the Average Home Chef to Tolerate Preparing," he said.

Tell us what you really think, Joe.

"As with most of the "30 Minute Meals" recipes, it is generally assumed that you have a sous chef living in your home full time, or that you buy a great deal of your fresh vegetables already finely chopped or otherwise prepped. Neither applies in my house," Corbino said.

Another problem he had was the cost. Groceries for the three-course "Sidewalk Bistro Menu" cost him $50, and would have been more if not for cutting a few corners.

"Hardly what I would consider comfort food," he said.

Corbino made onion soup, steak frites and corn with chili and lime. Of the three, the corn went over the best, though Corbino would have added cayenne pepper. The onion soup was only "tasty-ish," and the steak frites fared even worse.

The timeframe thing is so subjective that I have to take these tests with a grain of salt. There is no mention of whether he employed the tips and tricks that Rachael uses to cut down the time.

For example, cleaning all the veggies before hand, using a garbage bowl, the chop and drop, preheating pots and pans "so they are waiting for you and you are not waiting for them," and not making your chopping perfect. She also emphasizes the use of "pockets of time," where you stay organized so that while one thing is cooking, you are working on something else. If I knew that the tester did all these things and it still took and hour and half, I would be surprised.

I also would have gotten more from this article if one person tested all three books, so that we knew the same skill level existed for the preparation of each dish. So, I am going to give the article a C+.



  1. Hmm... that article makes me MAD!! LOL I haven't tried either of the other two books.. but I have tried many of Rachael's 30 mins meals. I am definitely not an expert chef by any means.. more of a beginner and most meals take me betweek 30-45 mins. Definitely no where compared to the 1.5hrs this guy refers to.
    I also think the ingredients she chooses are for the most part; common, easy-to buy things.

  2. I know! I completely agree.

    I think my average time is about the same as yours - 30-45 minutes for most. But I don't cook her recipes in order to time them! They are delicious and usually pretty healthy, in addition to being easy to make. And, I just like to cook!

    Some people just like to be the one who doesn't like something (or someone), just for the sake of being different. They are missing out.

  3. i love your blog and i love how you aren't backing down from what/who you 'love'.

    i think all those critical reviewers are just jealous of the fame they'll never achieve.

  4. Thanks, E! Some people can't set aside their dislike of Rachael Ray to really give her recipes a fair shot.


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