The Rachael Ray Cookbook.

Howdy, all you gals and hubbies! Rachael Ray here, with an important message: yes, you can have it all and still eat great! In this crazy rat race we call a worlderino, we often get so busy with that pesky ol' work-life balance that doing right by our tummies takes a backseat.

But as my celebrated if I do say so myself! And I do! Ha! Late Night Bacon recipe shows you, you don't have to sacrifice your Julia Child palate when you take on a Steve Jobs lifestyle. I've handpicked some of my favorite recipes that let you live life with all pistons firing while still having one of those "yummo" moments every time you sit down to, er, chow down! Enjoy!

Rachael Ray's Pizza for One

Ingredients
One (1) bag of freezer-burned Lender's or Food Lion brand bagels
Refrigerator miscellania

Directions
Remove bagel bag from freezer. Pull hunk of two or three frozen-together bagels from bag. Break apart with claw hammer or durable chopstick, depending on extent of bagel adhesion. Place one bagel directly on microwave turntable. Press "popcorn" to defrost since it is the only microwave function that requires you to push just one button. Once thawed, tear apart with bare hands and slather with most accessible tomato-based product, such as ketchup or Bloody Mary mix. Top with Kraft Single or Kraft parmesan cheese. Possible variations include Hawaiian (add silver dollar-sized turkey rounds from box of Oscar Mayer Lunchables, plus canned pineapple or chunks of pineapple-flavored JELL-O), pepperoni (sliced Slim Jims), or supreme (shake all the spices from your spice rack onto the pizza). Eat alone with one bare lightbulb on, using paper towel in lieu of plate.

Rachael's two cents
Hiya, gang! If hubby went wild with the parmesan cheese on his sketti and meatballs, you can easily substitute cheese powder from a box of Kraft Easy Mac. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!


Rachael Ray's Five-Alarm Chili

Ingredients
One (1) 8 oz. jar of salsa
Eight (8) Armour hot dogs
2 to 4 pounds of mixed vegetables from freezer
2 cups of beans, peas, almonds, or anything else roughly bean-shaped you may find around the house

Directions
If beans or bean substitute are dried or otherwise hard, boil in water for 30 minutes to soften. Substitute salad dressing for water if utility bills have gone neglected for last four months and city has shut off your water. Blankly watch "The Big Bang Theory" rerun while bean-esque slurry reduces. Fold in salsa. Dice hot dogs in blender or food processor. Dump diced or puréed hot dogs in pot with salsa and bean-style mush. Place blender or food processor in sink, plug drain with nearest rag, and fill sink with water and hand soap or laundry detergent, whichever is closer. Intend to do dishes at later date. Dump in mixed freezer vegetables. Add water to taste. Serves four. All four should stand around the pot and eat with plastic spoons or scoop out with hands.

Rachael's two cents
Ay chihuahua! I love this recipe because it's a one-pot dealie! It also makes use of the home chef's greatest asset: the freezer. Eat local? How much more local can you get than your own freezer?! Just remember: when you want a home-cooked meal, and fast, the freezer's your oyster!


Rachael Ray's Fourth of July Burgs and Dogs

Ingredients
Salt (optional)
Pepper (optional)

Directions
Turn on the grill. First step is unnecessary if you did not feel like driving all the way out to the gas station by the airport in order to get your propane tank filled, or if you can't get the used charcoal in your hibachi to light, or if you lay helplessly on your bathroom floor listening to self-help books on tape all winter while sleet pelted your grill, grill cover flopped vainly next to it on the deck. In the event of any of the preceding, use stove. Go to Sonic and buy desired number of hamburgers and hot dogs. When you get home, remove patties and hot dogs from buns and place on grill. Heat to desired temperature. Return to buns and serve. If unable to use grill, glance helplessly at kitchen sink, filled to the brim with filmy, gray water, out of which juts at least a month's worth of mold-coated dishes and frying pans. Place hamburgers and hot dogs directly on heating coil of stove. Return to buns within three seconds and serve. If all heating coils are covered with unwashed, water- and mold-filled pots, substitute hotplate or radiator for stovetop.

Rachael's two cents
Land of the free! Show some love to Uncle Sam on his birthday with these patriotic treats! I like to serve these with a seasonal cocktail: vodka mixed with Sunny Delight or Capri Sun, or whatever my hubby most recently brought home from his softball game. Or I like to serve them with a nice, warm pitcher of tap water if we didn't bother to go to the liquor store and my car's parked all the way down the block.


Rachael Ray's Fiesta Taco Salad

Ingredients
One (1) bag of Fritos
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Black pepper

Directions
Open bag of Fritos. Shake in Tabasco sauce. If Tabasco sauce is unavailable, substitute A-1 Steak Sauce, liquid smoke, or anything else you find on the door of your refrigerator, except baking soda if possible. Season with black pepper. If finer grain of taco salad is preferred, hold bag shut and smash with nearest soup can. Eat with fork or bare hands while staring at the same page of "Us Weekly" for 20 minutes.

Rachael's two cents
Ay chihuahua! Ever get the craving for Mexican food, but life just gets in the way and you don't have the time or energy to drive all the way down to 7-Eleven for a selection of taquitos? Crave in vain no more! This tasty south-of-the-border snack even does 7-Eleven one better, because we all know that when something's homemade, like the Fiesta Taco Salad is, you can just taste the love and care that went into it. Yummers!


Rachael Ray's Hot Pocket Delight

Ingredients
One (1) Hot Pocket

Directions
Remove Hot Pocket from box. Open and discard plastic sleeve of Hot Pocket. Microwave Hot Pocket. Eat Hot Pocket.

Rachael's two cents
I like Hot Pockets.

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