Reflecting on being a younger version of myself, as a working mother and wife, I tried my utmost to do it all and be a “Super Girl.” However, I was constantly reminded of just how mortal I really was. I would work eight to ten hours a day at my corporate job (while going to college online), work out at the gym after work, pick up kids from the Boys and Girls Club, go home and fix dinner, do homework, and baths, then collapse. I would then get up again and repeat, taking scraps of my spare time to do chores (laundry, cleaning, etc.)…a domestic goddess I was NOT, but I did my best…

However, I did have my moments of glory. I discovered Rachel Ray as I was exercising at the gym one day…yes, some jokester had one of the TVs on the cooking channel! However, Rachel Ray inspired me. She was cute, quirky, funny, not perfectly thin, and cooked/made some amazing things out of very few ingredients. I was intrigued!

After getting over being hungry and tired while riding the elliptical machine or the treadmill, she distracted me from my pain and my fatigue. I was truly intrigued about the simple, yet seemingly tasty things she would concoct in half an hour! I would watch thinking, “yeah, I have that at home…that too…okay, I have something to substitute for that…omigosh! I have dinner and it’s something different than what I normally make!” By then, it was time to wipe down the machine and go pick up the children. I felt so accomplished many days, because of Rachel. And she made it look so effortless and fun!

I realize that Rachel Ray got a bad wrap from her fellow chefs and cooks, but she was my supper savior! Most of the cooking shows I’ve seen make next-to-impossible dishes for blue-collar mothers. They look incredible, but I’m a practical cook, not an elegant food chef…plus Rachel highlighted things that I knew my family would eat and enjoy. I also have to praise her for helping me to save money! Her recipes were WAY more economical!

Thank you, Rachel, for being my dinnertime muse and for making things that my family wouldn’t balk over and would actually eat! You do not know how many dinner battles you saved me from…and not necessarily the children, but their father…he wanted his meals hot and ready when he got home and with you by my side, I could make that happen! I was spared from arguments and possible physical altercations. And thank you, thank you for making the audience feel like they could make fantastic meals fun! Your upbeat personality was inspired!

She’s still inspiring me on her website and YouTube: