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How Rachel Ray Cost Me $64,392.85

June 4, 2009

It was the second week of January, 2006.  My stepdaughter, my wife, and I were sitting down to dinner.  It was a Wednesday nite, which meant pork chops.  Every Wednesday nite meant pork chops.  Not just pork chops but pork chops with green beans, sometimes peas but most of the time green beans.  Monday was chicken, Tuesday was fishsticks, Thursday was hamburger. Friday and Saturday were take out, chinese and mexican respectively.  Sunday was steak day or on occasion my wife’s meatloaf. The meatloaf was a nice break because that meant left over meatloaf on Monday nite breaking the chicken routine.

Anyway, back to my story.  As we began eating our standard Wednesday faire, my stepdaughter said, “You know we should have more variety.”  I said, ” We eat what is easy to cook since I don’t have very much time afterwork to cook”.  (Side note-I do the cooking because when my wife and I first got together we agreed whoever got home first would cook, and since I seemed to always get home first it evolved into me just doing all the cooking, except for her meatloaf.  I always wondered if she circled the block until she saw my car in the driveway?)  My stepdaughter responded, “I saw a TV show about thirty minute meals and the host has a cookbook out called “365:No Repeats-A 30 Minute Meal Cookbook”.

It sounded intriquing enough to look into, so I went to a bookstore and after thumbing thru the book I bought It ($19.95).  The first recipe I tried was #266-Grilled Halibut with Fennel, Orange, Red Onions, and Oregano.  It was delicious.  My family was blown away and I was amazed at how simple the meal was to create.   The recipe had called for zesting an orange so I used my cheese grater but wondered if there was a better way.  The second recipe I tried was #91-Fancy-Pants Bangers’n’Mash, after using a spoon to mash the potatoes I again thought there has to be a better way.  So off to the store I went.  I found a masher ($22.00), a zester ($14.99), and a garlic press ($14.99).

As I made more meals my family was feeling every night like they were at a restuarant.  The food was great, there was variety, and the cooking time was indeed about thirty minutes.  I was enjoying myself.  As I soon discovered though, I needed a few more things.  I bought mixing bowls ($24.99) so that I could have everything prepped before I started the steps to the recipes.  I needed an extra skillet for some of the recipes so I bought one ($32.95).  Soon I realized I needed more counter space so I bought a stainless steel kitchen island ($350.00).  To protect the top I bought two cutting boards ($29.99 each).

With all the chopping and fileting and slicing I realized I needed new knives ($989.00).  Then with all the various sauces and pastas cooking up at the same time and not liking the ones I had, I bought new pots and pans ($735.00).  It was about this time that I realized the cooktop we had was not big enough for all the pans to be cooking simultaneously which some of the recipes were calling for (such as #239-Grilled Shrimp Scampi on Angel Hair Pasta).  This led to a total remodel of the kitchen ($9,000.00).  Which of course meant new oven, microwave, cooktop, countertop, sink, faucet, light fixtures, ceiling fans, tile floor, dining room table, hutch, chairs, and new blinds ($11,000.00).

Once all of that was complete my family really felt like they were in a restuarant.  So to enhance the effect I bought a chalkboard ($129.00) so that I could list each week’s meals, and at the top wrote “Chez Don’s”.  

The kitchen looked great, my family was happy, but the more I looked at the new tile I couldn’t help but think, we should tile our back deck.  We did ($8,000.00).  The deck now looked great but then we couldn’t help but think now we need to repaint the house ($6,000.00), which meant redoing the roof to match ($12,000.00).  The house looked great, but as we looked from across the street we said we need a new lawn ($1000.00).  Now the outside was complete.

The more we used the new kitchen the more we enjoyed it and the meals were not only fantastic but the question of variety had been silenced.  But as we used the new faucet we realized we needed to redo the ones in our bath room, and change a few other things like the towel racks, lights, toilet, which we did ($4,000.00).  And then finally as we saw how well the tile looked up against the living room hardwood floor we decided to get rid of the carpet in the rest of the house and put down hardwood ($11,000.00).

So now here I sit, with a remodeled house, a fine place to cook, a family that looks forward to dinner, and I owe it all to Rachel Ray.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2009 3:59 pm

    Wow. I’m impressed – glad it worked out so well for you!!!

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  1. rachal ray 30 minute meals – Latest rachal ray 30 minute meals news – Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals Recipe in Every Kitchen

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