For the cookbook of the month for the month of July I have chosen Rachael Ray’s Classic 30 Minute Meals: The All Occasion Cookbook. I will just start by apologizing for using Rachael Ray again. I know I have talked about her books several times in the past but for some reason I keep turning to her books. But I promise that I won’t use her books again for quite sometime (I already have a stack of cookbooks with months already assigned to them to be the featured cookbook of the month and no Rachael in sight!).
The reason I decided to go with her this time is that when I stumbled upon this book I was impressed. I have complained before that I did not like Rachael Ray’s cookbooks because the lack of pictures. I love pictures in cookbooks for many reasons. First, pictures help give you guidance as to how your product is supposed to turn out. Also (as I have stated before) I believe good pictures of food can make you smell the food, taste the food, want to make the food. So pictures in cookbooks are BIG for me. Another complaint I have about Rachael Ray cookbooks are the recipe set ups. She likes to list all of the ingredients and directions all together. My preference is to have the different parts to the same recipe separate. If there is a topping for a muffin, I would like the ingredients, as well as the directions, for the topping and the batter to be separate.
However, Classic 30 Minute Meals: The All Occasion Cookbook has a good number of pictures. Granted there is an overwhelmingly large amount of pictures of just Rachael (something I could do without- I already know what she looks like- do I need a pic of her on every page!?!). But still- compared to her other books- there are a large amount of food pics. The book is broken into different sections like “Everyday”, “Parties”, “Date Nights” and “Kid Chefs”. Each section has appropriately themed recipes- from drinks to desserts to appetizers, salads, sides, and the main course- this book does have it ALL.
Since the book is a compilation book, many of the recipes have been featured in her other books. However, even though some of the recipes are repeats from her older books (since I am such a Rachael Ray cookbook expert, I can attest to this) a great deal of them are new (or at least to me).
I also like this book because it is in hardback (unlike any of her other books) AND because there are a long list of recipes that I would like to try and make (well worth the purchase). I had a very difficult time narrowing down the recipes to choose only four; so you will defiantly have to check the book out.
If you do not have any Rachael Ray cookbooks in your collection I would check this one out first. If you do have quite a few of her books I would glance through it first before you buy. Like I said there are several repeats but I found enough recipes that I wanted to try, so it was worth the buy.