Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Book Review: 30 Minute Get Real Meals, by Rachael Ray

When I moved out, I took all the cookbooks that V didn't want. One of them was Rachael Ray's "30 Minute Get Real Meals". Running out of frozen TV dinners, I thumbed through it looking for something to cook.

Here is the cover of the book:

You can see from the fake uncomfortable smile that Ray knows something is wrong with this book. How bad can it be, though? The title - "Get Real Meals" - sounds like it's just another cookbook full of quick meals. "Get Real" is a little odd, since there shouldn't be anything particularly unreal about food, but she needed to title it something different from her other books. And that pasta dish on the cover looks pretty tasty.

But then you open up the book, and there is something strange about the recipes. Everything looks OK, but not great. You can't put your finger on it, but something is missing.

Then you read the inside of the dust jacket, and you find out the horrible truth; this is a low-carb cookbook.

If there's one type of book you should be able to judge by its cover, it's a cookbook. The theme of a cookbook should be obvious before you even read the back or open it up. Yet "get real" has absolutely nothing to do with carbs. Oh, and there's a fucking bowl of pasta on the cover. What represents carbs better than pasta?

But then you read further, and discover that no, it's not really a low-carb cookbook. "Get real" actually refers to the fact that it's just not realistic to live without desserts or pasta. So it's actually a book of recipes for meals that still have carbs, just not as much as some other meals. These are, of course, useless to anyone on a low-carb diet, which requires almost no carbs for the body to go into a state of starvation and start eating itself (*). It's also useless for anyone on a normal diet, since these are just watered-down versions of meals that used to taste good.

In conclusion: Rachael Ray has a stupid laugh and is a shitty talk show host.

See also: There is something wrong with Giada De Laurentiis.

* I tried Atkins for a few weeks once. I lost a few pounds, but found that I no longer enjoyed eating. Or life. So instead, I went on this crazy new diet where I eat less calories than I burn off through exercise.

P.S. Anyone remember this?


Jen said...

I don't remember that, but is the guy on the left Michael C. Hall? I'm pretty bad at recognizing people though, so it's probably not.

Phronk said...

It's not. :)

But that dude has been in a lot of movies and TV shows since this one. He looks older now. I forget his name.

Most people will probably recognize the chick in the middle.

Jennifer said...

I do not recognize that chick in the middle.

But if you want a really good cookbook full of quick and tasty food, The Quick Recipe from Cook's Illustrated is really good. I use it, or one from the series, almost every day.

Phronk said...

There are too many Jennifers here.

The one in the middle is Anne Hathaway. She's famous now.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep an eye out for that one. Because quick and tasty is how I like both my food and my women.

Harry J. Sachz said...

"Get Real" - I GET IT! LOLz :P

Anyhow, no, I've never seen the show. However, IMDB said that its 'a fun, clever show that will appeal to males and females of all ages.'

Not sure what that means though.

Anne Hathaway (the chick in the middle) has been in plenty of young girl movies and the soon to be released - and utterly disappointing - Get Smart.

Eric Christian Olsen (on left) was Lloyd Christmas in Dumb & Dumberer.

Phronk said...


It was actually a pretty good show.

I like it when people say that something is for "both males and females". With a few rare exceptions, wouldn't it be shorter to just say it's for "people"?

Jennifer said...

I am the only important one.

Unless she played some sort of Disney Princess, I have no idea who anyone is. Dangit.

Phronk said...

Like if she played the princess in Disney's The Princess Diaries? :)

Jennifer said...

Ha! My kids haven't quite graduated to live action movies yet. The most sophisticated programming around here is Pokemon.

Jason said...

I took last Monday off (sick) and watched her show. I still can't get over "EVOO".

Phronk said...

Jen: Pokemon is pretty sophisticated. They can learn valuable lessons about capturing animals and forcing them to fight each other. Later, they can learn the same lessons from football players.

Jason: Ugh. "Eee vee oh oh" is more syllables than "olive oil", so just call it what it is. I HATE HER SO MUCH.

Butchie said...

Paula Deen is by far the hottest broad on the food network.

Shora said...

Anne Hathaway showed her boobies while getting laid in the back of a car in "Brokeback Mountain". I'm shattered. There are no princesses anymore... sniff.

Phronk said...

Butchie: True, but she's batshit crazy.

Shora: "Movies I need to watch" list updated. Thanks.

madamerouge said...

Shora's right: she bared 'em. And there was no commensurate baring of Jake Gyllenhaal's buttocks. NOT fair.

I think the most beautiful woman on Food Network is Nigella Lawson.

btw - I hope the "soul-crushing loneliness" you referred to on March 6th has abated somewhat

Phronk said...

It has, somewhat. Thanks.