Blog Posts by RachaelRaymag.com

  • Let's get kids eating healthier! A letter from Rachael Ray

    To me, the health of our children is the most important issue we're facing today, both as families and as a country. One out of every three kids is overweight or obese-more than triple what the number was when I was growing up. People, this is an epidemic! And it's time for us to stop the trend.

    The healthy crusade starts at home. Years ago, when I was teaching 30-Minute Meals in grocery stores, kids would walk by and say, "That smells so good. I want to try some!" And the mother would say, "Oh, no. You don't like that." It makes me angry to think about it. Parents ask me all the time: "How do you fix a picky eater?" Start with yourself. When you only feed a kid chicken nuggets, you can't be surprised when she fights you about trying vegetables later in life. Even if you're a picky eater, you have to make a choice to have your kids try a little bit of everything.

    Many of you are doing your part on the home front but don't know how to improve food at school. To start, we all have to

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  • How to spruce up your kitchen at any price

    Rach's design buddy Evette Rios reveals her best tricks for sprucing up the kitchen, no matter how much (or little) you can spend.

    $25 AND UNDER
    : Divide resources.
    Improve the kitchen's look (and function) by corralling baking sheets, cutting boards and pot lids with plate racks ($16, organize.com) and pan dividers ($4 to $5, containerstore.com). You'll leave more space for the next item on your kitchen wish list-okay, the next two items.

    $50-$100: Fake a new appliance.
    FridgeFronts ($90, fridgefronts.com) are refrigerator-size magnets in various patterns and colors that add style to an otherwise ho-hum appliance. Evette used a powder blue one to redo a family's kitchen on the Rachael Ray show-it matches the on-set fridge!

    $100-$150: Work your backsplash.
    You might equate a pegboard with the garage, but it holds more than tools. With some paint, it can even be a showpiece! Get it primed and painted at a home-supply store, or go DIY with an oil-based, semigloss color. Add S-hooks,

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  • New "No-Labor" Rotisserie-Chicken Recipes

    Maybe you're grilled out, or maybe the weather's just not on your side. Or maybe you feel like spending more time with friends than you do in the kitchen. Whatever the reason, you don't have to explain it to us. We're planning on having the easiest weekend meals as we make our slow way to Labor Day, thanks to a couple of rotisserie chickens and some other ingredients we likely have on hand. Pick some up yourself and join us!



    GET THE RECIPES:


    Fried Chicken Rollups »


    Rotisserie Chicken Tonnato with Tomato Salad »


    Chicken Succotash »


    Charred Chicken Caesar Sammies »


    Hot Wing Sandwiches »


    Double-Decker Chipotle Chicken Clubs »


    Chicken Salad with Yogurt-Ranch Dressing »



    MORE LIKE THIS:


    See all rotisserie chicken recipes »

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  • So you want to buy a ... Slow Cooker

    Before the cooler weather comes, invest in one of these multitasking winners for home-cooked meals that practically make themselves. We picked our favorites depending on what kind of cook you are.


    1) FOR THE ENTERTAINER
    CUISINART PSC-350 3.5-QUART SLOW COOKER, $60, cuisinart.com

    UPSIDE Ideal size for soups, beans, dips, oatmeal and even cakes; LCD screen shows countdown; programmable timer; automatic keep-warm setting.
    DOWNSIDE Expensive for its small capacity; hard-to-hear cooking completion signal; hard-to-read temperature indicator.

    2) FOR THE FREQUENT POTLUCK ATTENDEE
    HAMILTON BEACH SET 'N FORGET 6-QUART PROGRAMMABLE SLOW COOKER WITH SPOON/LID, $60, amazon.com

    UPSIDE Easy-to-read LCD screen; thermometer probe for setting meat temperatures; automatic keep-warm setting; tight seal on lid, with side clips and extended handles for safe and easy transport.
    DOWNSIDE Probe can be awkward to position; bulky for storage; short cord.

    3) FOR THE BIG FAMILY ON A BUDGET
    CROCK-POT 7-QUART

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  • Taste Test: The Best Salsa!


    We taste-tested dozens of salsas from the grocery store, local stores and online to find our favorites.

    BEST MILD: Brad's Organic Salsa
    The biggest complaint about most jarred salsas: processed flavor. But panelists said this chunky combo tastes "like a bowl of fresh tomatoes;" "I could eat it like gazpacho." (bradsorganic.com for stores) Read the full review »
    Try it in: Baja Fish Tacos »

    BEST MEDIUM: Rosa Mexicano Chile Pasilla de Oaxaca Salsa
    Created by chefs at the popular restaurant chain, this salsa's "intense, smoky" flavor comes from pasilla de Oaxaca chiles (a cousin of the chipotle). (rosamexicano.com) Read the full review »
    Try it in: 3-Bean Salsa Salad »

    BEST HOT: Drew's Hot Organic Salsa
    Testers loved the chunky, balanced mix of tomatoes, cumin, jalapeño and roasted vegetables, and the measured level of heat: Great flavor without the pain. (chefdrew.com for stores) Read the full review »
    Try it in: Grilled Cola Skirt Steak Salsa Tacos »

    BEST OF THE BIG GUNS: Pace

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  • Taste Test: The best bottled iced teas

    We taste-tested bottled iced teas from the grocery store to find our thirst-quenching favorites.

    BEST CITRUS TEA: Snapple Lemon Iced Tea
    Snapple ditched high-fructose corn syrup for real sugar; and blends strong black and delicate green teas to let the bright lemon shine through: "This one's got the tartness going on," said one taster, mid-pucker. Read full review » (at most grocery stores)
    Sound good? Try Sweet Tea »

    BEST FLAVORED GREEN TEA: Steaz Organic Iced Teaz Green Tea with Peach
    Steaz mixes fair-trade green tea with a touch of sugarcane and real peach juice. "I can almost taste the fuzz," a panelist insisted. Read full review » (at most natural grocery stores)
    Sound good? Try Bourbon-Mint Iced Tea »

    BEST FLAVORED BLACK TEA: Archer Farms Blueberry Tea
    Since black tea can be so tannic, it usually doesn't play nice with berries. So we were pleasantly surprised here, where "just a hint of blueberry and sugar lighten it up," one taster noted. Read full

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  • How to throw a last-minute party (even if you have no time, no space and no money)

    Hosting stage fright seems to stem from the lack of one of three things: time, money or space. We say, don't sweat any of them!

    NO TIME?
    New York party planners Ann David and Nicky Reinhard suggest serving Chinese or Thai takeout, arranged on platters. Use bright, lacquered chopsticks and colorful paper takeout boxes (check sites like pearlriver.com and papermart.com). If cooking, focus on the main course and fake the rest, says chef Jennifer Schaertl, author of Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens; think store-bought spinach-artichoke dip served in a bread bowl for a starter.

    More party ideas:
    Single-and-Mingle Dinner Party: panini, salad and dessert bars »
    No-Cook Cocktail Party »
    Easy Pizza Party »
    How to make an easy cheese plate »

    NO MONEY?
    Play the numbers, starting with the ones on the clock: Host noon brunch. The ingredients (eggs, fruit and juice) will cost a fraction of what you'd need to cook dinner, notes David. Ditto for a 5 p.m.

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  • Should you be drinking your beer out of a different glass?

    We pored over Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune's book The Naked Pint to discover the science behind matching beer to glass. Then we mixed up some beer-y cocktails to have some fun with our new know-how.

    1. Mug
    Bottoms up! These won't do much for the flavor of your beer-they're just for fun-but are best for the lightest, simplest brews. The shape isn't designed for much quality control, so beers tend to lose carbonation a bit faster. The same goes for pitchers.
    Try serving: Linebacker Limeade »

    2. Tulip
    Check out those curves! They're there to lock in carbonation: The bulbous bottom and narrow center create a bottleneck that keeps bubbles from escaping too fast. It's perfect for drinks like scotch ales and double or imperial IPAs, which can taste intense once their fizz fades.
    Try serving: Dark and Stormy »


    3. Pint
    This traditional beer-glass shape boosts the flavor of heavier styles like porters, stouts, IPAs and American lagers. The small bottom and

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  • 3 nail color trends that look good on everyone

    Our buddy Gretta Monahan shows us the prettiest manicure looks for right now.

    The Trend
    blues
    From navy nautical stripes to bright turquoise shades, blues are being reborn this summer. Dive in, fingertips first! This poppy tone is universally flattering.
    Shades by Barielle in A Bouquet for Ava
    ($8, barielle.com)

    The Trend
    oranges
    Turn up the volume on traditional pinks and reds. While this neon looks shockingly bright in the bottle, our staff passed it around, and it complemented every skin tone. (Promise, it goes on lighter than it looks.)
    Duri Ultra Brights Nail Color in Bedeviled
    ($5, duri.com)

    The Trend
    lilacs and grays
    Purples and grays have an elegant, almost masculine edge. This one is a good gateway to darker grays, and it'll ease the transition from summer to fall.
    Deborah Lippmann
    Nail Lacquer in Purple Rain

    ($16, deborahlippmann.com)

    How do I dress up my manicure?
    Add texture to your summer manicure for some added

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  • Taste Test: The Best Popsicles


    We taste-tested dozens of ice popsicles from the grocery store to find our favorites.

    BEST OVERALL, Dreyer's/Edy's Fruit Bars

    These bars (Dreyer's in the western U.S., Edy's in the East) came out on top for a natural taste and real bits of fruit-sweetened with sugar, not corn syrup. "It tastes like frozen fruit puree," said one judge. Read full review »

    BEST CREAMY, Creamsicle
    Creamsicle-the brand that popularized the combo of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet-beat out all the knockoffs. Judges noted "classic flavor" and "smooth consistency" compared with competitors. Read full review »

    BEST NO SUGAR ADDED, Breyers Pure Fruit Fruit Bars No Sugar Added
    Sweetened with fruit juice and sugar substitute Splenda, these 25-calorie bars tasted "surprisingly natural" and "superfruity"-particularly the strawberry. One taster noted: "I loved finding real seeds in the mix." Read full review »

    BEST FUDGE, The Skinny Cow No Sugar Added Fudge Bar
    Imagine our surprise when we discovered this

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