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A Note from Rach: Getting Cozy

Each month, Rachael pens a personal letter to the readers of her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray. Here’s what’s on Rach’s mind for January and February, and what’s cookin’ in the magazine. Don’t forget to get your copy of the issue, out on newsstands now! 

There may be four official seasons, but I consider January and February a fifth that I like to call “stay inside.” This is the time of year when we all want to hunker down, make fires and dig in to comfort food before taking a long nap. So this issue is filled with recipes that’ll hit the spot. I love our Makeover Meal tear-out booklet with healthier versions of diner delights like chicken pot pie. That said, if you’re going to go for it, I say, go all out—and what’s better than homemade mac & cheese for that? Consult our Flavor Wheel on page 30 for the easiest stovetop method and six delicious flavor combos. Plus, check out how we turned other favorite comfort foods, like pizza supreme and jalapeño poppers, into delicious game-day dips (page 33). Whichever team you’re rooting for, I think we can all say, “Go dip!”’

Speaking of going for a dip, it’s time to start planning for spring break! Back in the day, I worked for an all-inclusive resort and I gotta say, it wasn’t much to look at. Boy, have things changed! Today’s all-inclusives feature celeb-chef restaurants and local ingredients. You’ll find five of the most exciting ones on page 56.

I always say, “The way to anybody’s anything is through their stomach.” Anyone can make a reservation for Valentine’s Day, but if you prepare something for the one you love, it will always mean more. On page 104, we show you 15 foods you can—and should!—dip in chocolate, then give to your sweetie.

In 2015, let’s all resolve to have more meals at home with friends. Brunch is a great way to go—and you don’t have to stick to the usual quiche or eggs. We’re celebrating Chinese New Year with a dim sum brunch (page 94), complete with juicy dumplings and spicy noodles. Remember, you don’t need a whole bar setup at brunch; just make one fabulous cocktail, like the mimosa variation on page 24. It’s a riff on a French 75. And you’ll also love John’s dim sum–inspired green tea cocktail featured here (see below!). Cheers to the Year of the Sheep!

Love,
Rachael Ray 

Bonus: Wanna make John’s Green Tea & Apple Martini? Here’s how:

Ingredients:
2 1/2 oz. brewed green tea, cooled
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. Calvados
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Thin apple slice

In a cocktail shaker, shake the first 4 ingredients with ice; strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the apple slice. Makes 1.

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