Cool off this summer with a new strawberry lemonade recipe! Sip on this Strawberry Balsamic Lemonade and read my review of Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook!
Strawberry Balsamic Lemonade (recipe below)
Where do you all turn when you are stuck in a rut and need recipe inspiration? Being a food blogger is weird sometimes because I have an entire notebook filled with recipe ideas (seriously, HUNDREDS of recipe dreams that just require time and lots of ingredients to test and retest before sharing with you) but yet sometimes I still get stuck in a cooking rut.
Yup, even with all those ideas, sometimes I have ingredients I need to use up and for the life of me can’t think of any ways to use them. Or sometimes those recipes I dream up sound good at the time but then when I go to make them, I’m not in the mood any more.
Spicy Curry Beef Noodle Bowls (page 94)
That’s when I turn to my massive cookbook collection for ideas and inspiration. Since the beginning of this blog I’ve been trying to actually cook through my entire collection of books but as soon as I make a few recipes from a book, I get a few new cookbooks and feel like I’ll never be able to share all the cookbooks I have as part of my cookbook review series.
But, I’ll keep trekking as long as there are good recipes to be made and you all are enjoying these cookbook reviews and recipes!
This week I’m sharing about Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook cookbook. I’ve been following Rachael Ray since she first appeared on Oprah many years ago. She has written tons of cookbooks since and several of her recipes are our regular favorites. I have several of her cookbooks and I have to say her cookbooks have come a long way. Her first cookbooks were kind of boring since they had no pics and all seemed pretty much the same. The Look and Cook cookbook was her first cookbook where almost every recipe was photographed and not only had a photo of the final recipe but step by step photos.
I’ve cooked several recipes from this book and here’s the dets:
Pictures: YES! Almost all the recipes not only have a final photo but photos of the recipe making process; like 600 photos total.
Prep Time, Cooking Time, and Number of Servings listed: Servings yes, cook/prep time no
Nutritional Information Provided: No
Clear, easy to follow directions and ease of preparation: For the most part Rachael Ray writes clear easy to read recipes, but one thing I am not a fan of is how sometimes her recipe ingredients/directions are too general (like add a palmful of chili powder). However, the recipes in this book have clear and specific measurements. The only thing I would say is that the directions are not broken down into paragraphs for each step (which I prefer for easier reading), with the directions listed as one big paragraph with only a colored square separating each step.
Easily available ingredients and budget friendly: For the most part, most of these recipes contain readily available ingredients, but I would say only about half of the recipes could be considered budget friendly; as there are several recipes that use pricy seafood or beef or more expensive spices like saffron.
Variety of recipes: Yes, a ton of different recipes from twists on classic Italian dishes to Tex-Mex, Cajun and southern comfort dishes.
Special feature: As I said this cookbook has TONS of photos which I love! Each recipe takes up two pages of the book and the step by step recipe making pictures are at the bottom of the pages and the recipe is on one side and the final pic of the recipe is on the bottom.
So far, I have made:
Strawberry Balsamic Lemonade (recipe below)
Cajun Pork and Black-Eyed Pea Chili (recipe here)
Spicy Curry Beef Noodle Bowls (page 94, pictured above)
Three Bean Pasta e Fagioli (page 39)
Other recipes I have bookmarked:
Caesar Spaghetti (page 16)
Cobb Pasta Toss (page 83)
BLT Polenta Crusted Frittata (page 183)
Whether you are a Rachael Ray fan or not, I recommend this cookbook! You can purchase Rachel Ray’s Look+Cook, here.
I have made several recipes from this book, and we loved them all. While Rachael Ray is known for her quick 30-minute meals, I decided to share this Strawberry Balsamic Lemonade recipe today because it is summer after all and if you are like me, live off of ice cold beverages. The balsamic adds an unexpected layer of flavor to this strawberry lemonade recipe without being over powering! This is the perfect drink recipe for summer dinner parties and evenings hanging out on the porch.
Cool off this summer with a new strawberry lemonade recipe! Balsamic vinegar adds an unexpected layer of flavor to this strawberry lemonade recipe without being over powering!
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 cups water
- 1 ½ cups lemon juice
- For serving:
- Lemon slices
- Fresh strawberries
In a large sauce pot combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly.
Place strawberries and cooled simple syrup in blender and blend until smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large pitcher and pour strawberry puree through the strainer.
To the strawberry mixture in the pitcher, stir in the lemon juice and the remaining 5 cups of water.
Chill lemonade in refrigerator until cold or pour over ice and serve. Serve garnished with fresh strawberries and lemon slices, if desired.
Lemonade will keep for about a week if stored in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray's Look + Cook