Every Day with Rachael Ray

Creative Loafing

To beat the clock and get beautiful bread in no time, you’ve gotta bake smart. Our recommendation: Start with store-bought dough (it’ll be our little secret!), then shape and flavor it how you like. These treats are pretty enough for any breadbasket.

 

 

 Red Onion Pinwheels are the savory sister of the cinnamon bun and full of swirls of flavor.

 

Try these Salty Sticks – that remind us of pretzels! — when you’re tired of your average breadstick!

 

Grapes add a bit of sweetness in our Grape Focaccia, which is a traditional pillowy Italian bread.

 

Get more homemade bread recipes!

Milk your chocolate for what it’s worth!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a milk chocolate person. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good hunk of the dark stuff, but when I have to choose milk is my go-to goodie. And since I try to celebrate National Milk Chocolate Day every day, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes for the occasion!

 

Milk chocolate and peanut butter are a classic combination–just ask any Reese’s fan out there. Kick it up a notch with our Peanut Butter-Stuffed Milk Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.

Peanut Butter-Stuffed Milk Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Tip: Use chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips in this Chocolate-Banana Bread Pudding; they melt better than chocolate morsels, which are formulated to hold their shape during baking.

Chocolate-Banana Bread Pudding

Transform a campfire staple into a frozen treat with our Bonbon S’mores–your kids will thank you!

Bonbon S'mores

More tasty treats:

Decadent Chocolate Desserts

Fake-Out Desserts

Easy Berry Dessert Recipes

Flashback Friday: Rach’s Tuscan Vacation

Italy is the place where I feel most at home when I’m not at home. John and I were married in Tuscany, and every year we go back for a long weekend with our family and close friends. Then we take a week for just the two of us to celebrate our anniversary.

 

Written by Rachael Ray

 

 

I love to go to markets when I travel. That’s how you get to know the people, the food and the personality of the region. It’s also the most fun and affordable way to eat during the day.

We make no plans whatsoever. Mostly, we walk around all day, trying to get in enough activity to keep up with how much delicious food you’re eating! (A lot.) But I always end up trying to feed all my Tuscan friends so I can cook at the villa as much as possible.

 

More related links:

Rachael and John’s Italian Wedding

The Little Italy’s of America

Italian-American 30-Minute Meals

Hot Diggity Dog!

It seems that every summer one very important question lingers in the air “Hamburger or hot dog?!” and while we’re a fan of the burger (Rach wrote a whole book on ‘em!) we can’t argue against the love for a delicious bite of a grilled dog sandwiched between a pillowy bun. And it looks like we’re not alone—July 23 marks national hot dog day and for good reason! According to recent polls, a quarter of Americans eat only hot dogs during grilling season!

Want some more hot dog celebrating trivia? According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, we eat about 7 billion hot dogs during the summer—that’s 818 hot dogs per second! With all that hot dog eating, the mustard and relish combo might get a little old, so check out our 10 twists on a hot dog (pictured above) to spice up your cook out. Try more of our favorite recipes—from classic toppings to hot dog kebabs—like these favorites:

Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dogs with Spicy Onions

Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dogs with Spicy Onions

 

Chili-Cheese Dogs in Beach Blankets

Chili-Cheese Dogs in Beach Blankets

 

Hot Dog Pizza-Dillas

Hot Dog Pizza-Dillas

 

Hot-Dog-a-Bobs

Hot-Dog-A-Bobs

 

Classic Coney Island Hot Dogs

Classic Coney Island Hot Dogs

 

More Summer Grilling:

Onion Ring Recipes

52 Best Restaurant Burger in the United States

Cocktails, Anyone? Drink Posts

Happy Pecan Pie Day!

Pecan pie is a beginner’s dream dessert; the filling doesn’t crack the way custard pies can. Which is why we’re so excited to celebrate it! For the traditional pie, slice it up and top it off with bourbon-infused ice cream. Or try a Pecan Pie-inspired snack or sip, instead!

{Pecan Pie with Bourbon Ice Cream}

Shake up your get-together with this dessert in a glass. The pecan-perfect touch? It’s rimmed with the chopped nut, delish!

{Pecan Pie Martini}

Try to say this five time fast: Pecan Pie Popcorn. Or just give up and munch on this award-worthy snack.

{Pecan Pie Popcorn}

More related links:

Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

Easier Than Pie Desserts

Apple Dessert Recipes

Watermelon Cocktail Time

I love our Get Fresh column because, even though I freely confess to a dependency on Lay’s potato chips, I’m also a fresh fruit and vegetable enthusiast, especially in the summer. So I encourage you to check out (and tear out) “Get Fresh with Watermelon” in our July/August issue, which is full of fun facts and helpful tips.

 

What we didn’t have room to include is the recipe for my favorite watermelon cocktail. My sister, Anne, and I concocted it for our Sisters’ Secrets to Confident Entertaining newsletter long before I became editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray, but you guys are my priority now, so I’m sharing!

—Lauren Purcell, Editor-in-Chief

Watermelon Quencher
Makes 2 drinks
2 ounces fresh watermelon juice*
1 ounce vodka
½ ounce triple sec
½ ounce fresh lemon juice

 

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake 10 to 15 times to chill. Pour, with ice, into a glass rimmed with a mixture of half sugar, half salt.

 

Extra credit: Tint the sugar-salt mix with a couple of drops of red food coloring.

 

*To help you with portions: We bought a watermelon wedge that weighed about 2 1/2 pounds. That yielded about 4 cups of chunks. Puree those in the food processor (if you’re not using a seedless melon, please remove the seeds first), strain the mixture through a sieve, and you get about 1 1/2 cups of juice—enough for six cocktails. For kids and designated drivers, the watermelon juice, with or without a squeeze of lemon, is great straight up or mixed with seltzer.

 

More related content:
Get Fresh…with Strawberries!

Summer Cocktail Recipes

Easy Cocktail Upgrades

 

Flashback Friday: Feedback Party Proposal

Remember that one time a guy proposed to his girlfriend on the main stage at Rachael’s annual South by South West Feedback Party? And she said yes! We sure do. What an unforgettable moment.

But talk about a tough act to follow! The rest of the bands put on a great show and it was quite a day to remember. Do you have any summer concert plans? Tell us about them in the comments below!

Summer Picnic Essentials

If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen—get out of the house and host a picnic! We’ve got the best gear for a summer day in the park, at the beach or on the lawn—all you have to do is provide the food. Check out our fave products:

1. Forget schlepping around a bulky, boxy basket—this insulated picnic tote holds everything you need and keeps food at the right temp! $42, macys.com

2. Easily carry this large picnic mat to whatever spot you choose—the waterproof bottom means you can lay it wherever you want! Plus, store extra essentials in the hidden pocket. $32 and up, picnicfun.com Special note: 10% of all pink mat purchases will go to breast cancer research.

3. Keep food safe from bugs while you play with these hand-painted food domes. $30 and up for set of three, depending on size, worldmarket.com

4. Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! You’d never guess these servers, with intricate rope detailing on the bottoms, are melamine. Available in three colors. $18.50, potterybarn.com

5. Need inspiration? Look no further than Tori Finch’s “A Perfect Day for A Picnic” loaded with tons of decorating and recipe ideas for your outdoor party. $17, amazon.com

6. Don’t forget the wine! This three-bottle-tote ensures the vino keeps flowing all day long! $30, builtny.com

7. These bright, printed melamine plates will survive the trip outside—and impress your company! $4.50 each, westelm.com

Pair your picnic gear with these delish just-for-summer recipes:

 

More Picnic Posts:

7 Portable Cocktails

3 Small and Portable Chargers

10 Outdoor Party Ideas

 

 

The Best Father’s Day Gifts!

Here’s to you Dad!

Stumped on gift ideas? We’ve got some quirky, foodie and all-around awesome presents to show your dad just how much you love him this Father’s Day!

1. I mustache you a question! How cool would your old man look in these stache-covered socks? $12.50, fredflare.com

 

2. Whatever his title may be at work, we promise you he’s most proud of the title “Dad.” So let him brag at the office with a special for-dad-only mug. $14 each, rockscissorpaper.com

 

3. Guys aren’t all about meat and potatoes, they have a secret sweet tooth too! Fill up his candy drawer with a three piece candy collection, loaded with fruity sour gummies, gummy cola bottles and gourmet gummy papa and baby bears. $16 for set, sugarfina.com

 

4. Happy hour just got better! With this age-your-own whiskey kit he can pour friends a drink and brag about it. Each kit comes with two 110-proof bottles of un-aged White Dog Whiskey, an aging barrel and two drinking glasses. $150, binnys.com

 

5. Make a statement! This wood sign (5″x4.5″) let’s him show off just how much you care. $11, paper-source.com

 

6. If he’s more of a beer guy, try a garden kit that lets him grow his own hops! In this garden dome, he’ll grow wheat, barley and hops (seeds included in the kit) so all he has left to do is brew a pint! $28, overstock.com

 

7. Here’s a treat he’ll eat right up: Slow-roasted pecans smoked and seasoned with chili powder, thyme, brown sugar, salt and Old Bay for true Southern BBQ flavor. $24, blackberryfarm.com

 

8. If he’s a grill master that loves to entertain, he—and his guests—will get a kick out of these Claudia Pearson beach-inspired hot dog plates. Surfs up! $16 each, westelm.com

 

 

Looking for more Father’s Day ideas?

Throw a bash in his honor
 
Find more gift ideas in our Father’s Day Gift Guide
 
Try our Father’s Day recipes
 
Make him a manly breakfast

 

Self-Empowerment

The invisible battery-boosters built into these accessories let you off your leash (um, power cord) so you can roam if you want to. –Morgan Gibson

 


 

Powerbag Sling’s compact backpack can juice as many as four devices at once. When the bag isn’t in use and needs to be charged, you plug it in with a power cord. $140, mypowerbag.com

 

 

 

Rach’s newest obsession, Everpurse’s kicked-up clutch, revs your phone while you tackle your busy day. The secret: a magnetic pad that recharges the bag. $189 and up, everpurse.com

 

 

Talk, text and stay powered all at the same time with Mophie’s sleek, rubberized Juice Pack Plus. Once you’ve charged it via USB port, the case keeps your iPhone’s tank full. $100, mophie.com


 

 

 

Photography by Levi Brown

RELATED:

Wide World of Hangover Cures

Smart Kitchen Tools of the Future

10 Ways to Use A Whisk from Duff Goldman