rachael ray photograph
Photography by Jim Wright
| Credit: Photography by Jim Wright

About 20 years ago, I started teaching 30 Minute Meals—first as a three-hour class for customers at the gourmet market where I worked, hoping they'd buy more groceries if they knew how to prepare them, and later as a local-news segment that had me cooking with people in their homes, schools, dorms, firehouses, and even a radio-station booth! Since then, I've been making 30-minute meals for more than a decade on Food Network, and I've published more than 20 books, many of them on that same theme. So I'm psyched that for this issue, our team has produced a ton of 30-minute (or less) meals! 

I started the concept because, growing up in the restaurant business, I realized that kitchen skills can feel inaccessible until you get your hands on food and start to learn the basics. I know anyone who enjoys eating can enjoy cooking, and everyone can do it anytime, any day, on almost any budget—with a little creativity and willingness. 

shrimp on plate with dip
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Two decades later, I'm so happy to see people of every age more excited and educated than ever about what and how they eat. Cooking feeds the soul. That's why we do it, even as our lives get busy. So dive in with six-ingredient suppers, breakfast all day and, of course, my own 30-minute meals. And don't miss the pork-tastic panini from Sandwich King Jeff Mauro and his son. 

In other news, I love to design furniture, but I hate labels: I have many pieces in my "youth" line for boys and girls that adults love, too. I especially love the daybed with storage drawers. It's fabulous! Check it out in my Rachael Ray Home kids'-bedroom makeover; it's full of ideas you can use no matter your age. 

Final thought: Even when you cook fast, try to eat slow and enjoy it.


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