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Look + Cook by Rachael Ray

Look + Cook

I love Rachael Ray’s easy-to-use recipes, many of which are meant to make in 30 minutes and boast an abundance of flavor. However, many of Ray’s earlier cookbooks, while offering amazing recipes, were somewhat lackluster, with just a slim insert of glossy photos illustrating the dishes.

Look+Cook is a different style cookbook for Rachael Ray. It offers step-by-step instructions for the first 100 recipes, complete with several photographs of the cooking process. The recipes are divided into three categories: Cozy Foods, Make Your Own Takeout Food, and Fancy Fake-Outs. There is also an additional “More recipes” section in the back, which you shouldn’t pass up. There is an especially cool section called “Simple Sauces and Bottom of the Jar tips,” which I can see being immensely useful.

Ray’s companion Web site ( offers accompanying videos for many of the recipes. I can’t wait to try the Make-Your-Own Take-Out: Cashew Chicken or Pork with Orange Sauce and Scallion Rice, which you can watch Ray create from start to finish in the video section. Other mouth-watering recipes include French Onion & Wild Mushroom Soup, Beef Noodle bowls, Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Marsala Sauce & Pasta, and many more.

One thing I love about Rachael Ray’s style is that she takes a favorite flavor, like Caesar salad, and applies it to something new, like spaghetti (this is the first recipe in the book, Caesar Spaghetti). Other recipes like this are French Onion Dip Pizza, Gazpacho pasta, and Cobb Pasta Toss. It’s good to know that you won’t find a lot of vegetarian dishes or desserts in Rachael Ray’s cookbooks. She really shines with such dishes as burgers, pasta, Asian noodles, and chicken and beef entrees.