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!
You made it through another hectic holiday season! If you’re as exhausted as I am, check out Fast Ideas on page 19—quick and easy winter recipes ready in practically no time. Looking to stretch a buck and enjoy winter’s favorite food? Our Dinners for a Deal story on page 34—new ways to do chicken soup—is gonna get you excited. And to fire you up for the Super Bowl , we’ve got wings: smokin’-hot, curried, chipotle’d, peppery-pesto’d and beer-and-pretzeled— these wingers are real humdingers!
I also love “10 Things You Should Make This Year” (page 86), where chefs tell us their gotta-try recipes. You’ll find everything from Marcela Valladolid’s Gluten-Free Layer Cake to Ken Oringer’s Tuna Poke. For me, this year will be all about challenging myself as a cook. It’s part of a project I’m working on called Duets, where I make a meal with people who eat a different diet from mine (a diet I like to call “Everything”). So in 2017, I’m going to be cooking a lot more vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, pescatarian and beyond.
We’ve also got meat-free-ers covered in this month’s 30-Minute Meals, with my Drunken Mushroom Spaghetti on page 80. But there are plenty of meaty recipes in that story, too. Since I’ll be starting the year off cooking my husband’s favorite food group, pork, I included Bone-In Pork Chops with Brown Butter, Balsamic & Beans and Pork “Parm” with Polenta & Marinara Sauce.
Speaking of husbands, let’s not forget about Valentine’s Day. I’ve always said that the best way to anybody’s anything is through their stomach. Don’t make a reservation—stay in this Valentine’s and cook up a storm for the guy or girl of your dreams. (You’ll be dessert, so no need to make one!) And if you want to look great on that date, my friend Joe J. Simon, makeup artist to the stars (and me!), is giving you a behind-the- scenes look at how he rolls—and what he rolls all over my face. Joe breaks it all down for you on page 62. Meantime, try not to let the mud and the ice and the snow get you down. Cuddle up with someone you love and get ready for a great 2017.