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One-on-One with Rachael Ray

Celebrity cook and talk show host Rachael Ray (right) answers questions posed by Adirondack Journal columnist Kathy Templeton ()left) just prior to her annual show at Lake George High School, Rachael's alma mater.

Celebrity cook and talk show host Rachael Ray (right) answers questions posed by Adirondack Journal columnist Kathy Templeton ()left) just prior to her annual show at Lake George High School, Rachael's alma mater. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

RR – You can do what Jerry Seinfeld’s wife has so brilliantly done in many cookbooks. You can puree anything and add it to anything, if you’re making macaroni and cheese you can add carrots or pureed butternut squash or a plethora of vegetables and just mix it in. Every time you make macaroni and cheese, you can just choose to use whole wheat or whole grain pasta – you get more protein, you get more fiber. You can put anything inside a quesadilla, a grilled cheese sandwich or baked pasta, and children will eat it, because the only way they can get the thing that they want is through that vessel – so, there you go. When the kids get “contaminated”, that’s what I call it, when kids start at home, their mom or dad, or both, can give them great food background and develop their palate, then they go to school and other kids say “icky.” When my niece stated saying “icky” and “What’s that green stuff?” – just make them laugh. I used to say, it’s dinosaur bugars and she would giggle and she would eat it. She didn’t care if it was parsley, tarragon or basil; as long as it was dinosaur bugars she’d eat it. So, you can lie, cheat or make a joke. Those are my tips. Also be mindful, I have a dog, not a human, so I’m not the authority.

KT: I have listened to many interviews with prominent chefs talking about their viewpoints on preparing and presenting food. How do you feel food should be?

RR – I think food should be like everything else; don’t take yourself too seriously, take your work very seriously, never complain when you put in a good long day – and that’s that, food is about sharing and caring, about other human beings. It shouldn’t be about how perfect your plate is, or how perfectly prepared it is. It should be about whether or not you made it with love and with thought. That should be true whether you are preparing it for yourself or for people you care about. In life in general, don’t take yourself too seriously or you’re gonna get brokenheartened pretty quick – Have a sense of humor.

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