My New Hero: Rachael Ray

When the scandal broke, I was shocked. How could she? What made her do it? More importantly, what was I going to do without her? Yes, I could go to her website and continue to use her recipes. Yes, I could watch reruns of her show on the Style Channel. But I can’t get one thought out of my head: It’s over. It will never be the same. Martha is going to jail. I felt the same way when I heard that Sex and the City was ending. Like the rest of America, I’ve started to look for a replacement to fill the empty space in my heart. And I’m happy to say that I finally found one on the Food Network.

Rachael Ray is the new Martha Stewart.  With three shows on Food Network, a vocabulary that includes herbacious, and the ability to make a Thanksgiving meal in 60 minutes, she can easily fill Martha’s shoes. Rachael and I first met earlier this year when I began watching 30 Minute Meals. I was amazed that she could actually make decent dinners in 30 minutes right before my eyes! I liked the show, but wasn’t sure if I liked Rachael. Still, I found myself watching her back-to-back 30 Minute Meals every night at 6:00 and 6:30 pm. Slowly she grew on me. I started catching episodes of $40 A Day, a show where she travels around informing viewers how to eat extravagantly without wasting too much money. Our relationship was finalized and things between Ray and I turned serious when her third show, The Inside Dish with Rachael Ray, aired a couple of weeks ago.

While Ray and Stewart may hold the same spot in my heart, their cooking styles are as different as goat cheese and velveeta. Ray’s entire existence is based on her fast-paced, no-patience style of cooking. She’s all about making our lives easier. Martha, on the other hand, is the queen of meticulous cooking, where everything is one-hundred percent homemade. Rachael uses pre-chopped vegetables, store packaged salads, and canned chicken broth. Martha uses fresh vegetables grown in her garden, mixes greens herself, and would never think of using a store bought broth. Rachael is easy access, Martha is high maintenance. Perhaps the most striking difference between the two is that Rachael does not bake — a fact that could toss Martha’s cookies right out of camp cupcake. How is it, then, that Ray can even live up to Martha’s high standards? What makes her recipes worthy? Rachael’s wholesome charm and laid-back style are what make her so appealing and approachable. She teaches one how to live a rich life without having to be wealthy. I still strive to discover my inner Martha, but lack the time and space to grow a fresh herb and vegetable garden. Martha is crafty, yet Rachael is cleaver which, in the end, may make her more crafty than Ms. Stewart.

Their cooking styles differentiated, it can be said that Ray may just be in the right place at the right time. I will forever remain loyal to Martha as no one can beat her fresh lemonade and macaroni and cheese, but my current obsession is fed by the need to create a delicious and gourmet meal that is not time consuming. Ray appeals to everyone, even my Mom who can’t cook. Her simplicity and lack of perfection make her a perfect choice for people who don’t have the time, money, and skills to find their inner Martha. While Martha sits in jail, we all need someone to help guide us through our holiday dinners. Who better to do the job than the new super woman of cooking, Rachael Ray? I watched her make Thanksgiving dinner in 60 minutes! Need I say more? It’s time to get away from the computer and down to the kitchen to try out her pumpkin soup, the one that’s spiced up with a little hot sauce.

Source: Food Network

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