When Rachael Ray was born into a family of cooks, her destiny seemed written. But the energetic television host, Food Network chef, bestselling cookbook author, magazine director and healthy kids champion describes the steps leading to her meteoric rise toward household-name status as a “happy, wonderful accident.”
Like her other endeavors, Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine helps further the appeal of her signature 30-minute meals, a welcome approach for people increasingly on the go and challenged to make smart eating choices.
Advice on preparing healthy, quick meals is nothing new in today’s expansive landscape of food and cooking magazines, television shows and websites. But where Every Day With Rachael Ray excels is its focus on budgeting in terms of real dollars. Everything for the cost-conscious cook is made readily available: week-long menu planner, shopping list (with prices), preparation tips and how to spice up leftovers. A section on $10-or-less dinners features “receipts” as a budgeting guide, as well.
Critics of Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine contend the content is not geared toward more experienced cooks. Noted one online reviewer, “It’s more of a snack than a meal.” Still, her fans find comfort in knowing it only takes a half-hour to prepare something homemade and healthy.
It’s true that her youthful vibe, which is evident in the magazine, is more apt to appeal to a specific audience. Busy, colorful layouts prevalent in each issue can often be confused with its ads. Plus there’s too many of those ads, complain some readers. Though the celebrity behind the success isn’t targeting one group over another, she definitely wants to appeal to families–kids included. She encourages them to get in the kitchen to work together to choose and create a healthier lifestyle.
Note that Rachael Ray is not advocating eschewing sweets and other indulgent foods. The cover of the April 2010 issue of Every Day With Rachael Ray makes that clear. “Eat what you love and still lose,” it declares, offering examples of cheese fries, pies and pancakes. The message is one of moderation, and it’s being touted by celebrity chefs like Rachael Ray as well as reality show stars and prominent public figures.
If Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine is an indication, the “new” dietary call to action is to enjoy life and enjoy eating, but do so responsibly. Editorial content advising readers how to be healthy while traveling, how to find the best restaurants when out-of-town and how to re-create lower calorie diner favorites seem to reinforce that message.
Though the message may not differ dramatically from the rest of the cooking community, Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine is understandably a hit, not only because of its endearing celebrity subject. It offers a nutritional plan with the speed demanded by busier schedules; smarter choices necessitated by health and nutritional awareness; and a cost-conscious approach appreciated even more in a challenging economy.