I’ve been behind the scenes at Fashion Week many times, but getting “backstage” to see what goes on behind the scenes for a magazine is something new for me. I couldn’t resist the invitation to visit the Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine Test kitchen. So this isn’t a post about beauty (although the beauty of great, easy to prepare food is a beautiful thing) it is about being “backstage” where all the recipes are tested. My visit coincided with the publication of the July 2008 issue of the magazine. Here are a few of my favorite recipes from that issue (of course you’ll find more in the actual magazine and on the Everyday With Rachel Ray magazine web site:
Every Day With Rachel Ray magazine features recipes and food, but it’s also about lifestyles. There are editors who pick out the best of the best each issue in gifts, home accessories…even beauty items. The irst thing I noticed when I walked in was how pretty the tables looked. Upon closer inspections, however I realized that these clever centerpieces were simply inexpensive wine glasses overturned on a few blossoms, with votive candles on the tops. My photo doesn’t do it justice…this is super-easy and looks so pretty…a perfect centerpiece for July 4th (use red, white and blue flowers).
The real business of creating and testing recipies goes on in the test kitchen. We were told that we were the first ones to be invited in. It was absolutely a dream kitchen, with pull-out drawers and room for everything.
We (editors and bloggers) were invited to try our hand at dipping ice-cream bonbons –this is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I never could figure out how to get anything “dipped” perfectly. The secrets? First, use good chocolate in a double boiler, and when it’s melted and smooth, simply dump the “bon bon” (or strawberry, or petite fours) into the chocolate, gently move it around with a FORK until the piece is covered, and then lift it out with the fork, letting the chocolate drip through the tines! Trust me, it works. If you are dipping something like these mini ice cream bon-bons (simply ice cream made into tiny balls with a mini melon-baller and then frozen solid to a small vanilla wafer) make sure they are really solid before you try dipping them in hot chocolate. Of course that makes sense, but anything mushy or not solid will ruin your chocolate (not to mention your dessert)!
Prep: 20 minutes (plus freezing)
Cook: 25 minutes
1 pint strawberries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
25 plain vanilla wafers
1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup pistachios, chopped
In a medium saucepan, simmer the strawberries and sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
Transfer the ice cream to a large bowl; fold in ½ cup strawberry sauce (reserve the remaining sauce for another use). Cover and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
Place the cookies flat side down on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Top each cookie with 1 small scoop of ice cream. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
In a double boiler, melt three-quarters of the chocolate. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until melted. Dunk each bonbon into the chocolate to coat; return to the prepared baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the pistachios. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
1 bunch fresh mint, stems discarded
2 limes, each cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup canned crushed pineapple
1 cup light rum
4 cups ice cubes
1 cup club soda
In each of 8 highball glasses, crush together one-eighth of the mint leaves, 2 lime wedges and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir in 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple and 2 tablespoons rum until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup ice cubes and a splash of club soda to each glass. Serve immediately
I don’t have the room to add all the recipes were tried, but they were all yummy, and true to Rachel Ray’s’ signature, easy on the budget and your schedule. There are tons of recipes in the July issue of the Magazine…on newsstands now…perfect for July 4th and all Summer–and check out the the Everyday With Rachel Ray magazine web site