I found gold in the giveaway bin at the Albany Public Library: Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals! The cover photo features a younger preppier RR with the late great Dan DiNicola. (She reminds me here of Patty Duke’s “cousin” played by herself in the dual role Patty Duke Show sitcom that ran way back in the 1960s).

This first edition [ISBN 1891105035 (ISBN13: 9781891105036) ] features an easy-on-the-eyes print style and there’s lots of open space on each page where you can add your notes for ingredients you have added, subtracted or substituted. I’ve watched enough cooking shows to know that you have a good deal of leeway when it comes to making adjustments to recipes!

This book was originally priced at $14.95 when Lake Isle Press released it in the fall of 1998. To me, it is far more valuable than that – and of course, the best things in life are free! This one goes right in the kitchen drawer!

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