I am a firm believer that gathering for a meal (though seemingly not so easy these days) is one of life’s greatest joys. Home made, store-bought, leftovers, take out…doesn’t matter. But the smells and sounds of a meal coming together in the kitchen create memories that last a lifetime – let alone the celebration or solace a gathered meal can bring (visit the incredible Dinner A Love Story for all things family dinner). So this recipe is one of THOSE, it brings me back to the exact time and place that I first made it and LOVED it. It’s a vintage Rachael Ray, from her earliest cookbooks, and her Food Network debut days – when watching her show and reading her books taught me everything I (desperately) needed to know to feed our new family. Her show got me through many a newborn night. And I when I made this recipe this week, fifteen years after I first learned of it (and probably hundreds of times in between), I used the same Santoku knife and Boos cutting board I learned years ago were Rachael’s must-haves. My 30 Minute Meal cookbooks are dog-eared, stained, and best of all, loaded with memories (sidenote: I still remember how fab I felt serving a visiting friend Cashew God Bless You Chicken). So dive in and dig in to Rachel Ray’s Super Sloppy Joes. RECIPE IRL: As usual I used ground turkey (I just can’t kick it), improvised from the spice drawer for the Steak seasoning, skipped the bell peppers, and squeezed in ketchup instead of adding tomato sauce. Enjoy! xo CH