ProCook books. Who needs them when you have genes like mine? The women in my family are astonishing cooks, everyone who has ever tasted anything my mom or grandma has cooked- positively agree that the dishes are incomparable and the flavors are indescribable. It just feels great to whip up a fresh, homemade meal regardless of whether it takes 15 minutes or 1 hour and 15 minutes. I overcame my “kitchen phobia” when I was about 17. Cynthia and I were roommates then, we lived alone and frankly one of us had to cook to survive. Cynthia decided to be on the receiving end of this deal, I experimented with my grilling/frying/sautéing skills- and she was brave enough to try whatever I had to offer. On it went from traditional Russian borsh to good old pizzas, Christmas Turkeys and every appetizer that a university student could afford. I frequently hosted house parties, Christmases and birthdays. I loved being in the kitchen. I loved the stress, the time constrains and the experiments. It was exciting. And oh boy, it was so useful when I got married. To this day, we hardly eat out. Our breakfasts consist of pastries, cornflakes and coffee. Lunch is prepared the day before, everything from Spaghetti Bolognaise to Chinese Chicken Corn Soup.

Dinner is where I get to experiment, so what if I just got out of a 9 hour work shift- all the tension and the problems of the day melt away on the stove…

I never try the food while I am cooking, literally I never taste for salt, pepper or other spices. I just drop whatever I instinctively feel like, and my intuition has not failed me once.

“That’s why I don’t wear a chef’s coat. I don’t even wear an apron. At home, I wipe my hands on my coat, I burn my fingers, and it doesn’t look perfect. But it is my food. It’s the real deal….I’m happy that way.” Rachel Ray