Food

Letter From Rach: Let’s Get 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!

I’m an odd duck. Most people look forward to spring and the first really warm days of the year, but I love to savor and celebrate the transition from cold winter to cool early spring—the last days of “cozy.” Late February and March are my catch-up time. I fill the days with books I’ve been longing to read and movies I missed seeing in theaters, throwing snowballs with my dog, and having long chats by the fire with family and close friends.

I love cozy days and that’s what this issue is all about. When it comes to food, my translation of “cozy” is “toasty.” All of this month’s 30-Minute Meals involve toasting because, as my friend chef Anne Burrell says, “brown food is good.” Toasted bread is a food hug that hits all the senses: texture, aroma and flavor, and there’s also toasted rice and pasta (toasting makes them taste nutty), French toast recipes and a bagel with lox (what’s cozier than breakfast for dinner?). Plus, my Burger of the Month is a good ole burger on toast. My favorite flashback meal is something my mom would make for cocktail parties back in the day: shrimp toast! I super-sized it and put it on buttery brioche for supper.

When winter does end, my favorite rite of spring is the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. This is my 10th year hosting Feedback, an event combining the music I love with my food and, of course, great drinks. This month our team rewinds the tape and celebrates the Texas- style fun we’ve had over the past decade. As for this year’s party, it’s gonna be our best yet, with many surprises in store. So if you live nearby or plan to be in Texas, come on over!

Until then, this issue has so many ways to celebrate these cold days: a St. Paddy’s brunch complete with Guinness cocktails, our most popular warm-you- up chili recipes, the best ways to top a baked potato and the best ways to be a couch potato. So go ahead and enjoy your downtime. You deserve it!

Love,
Rachael

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