The queen of the 30-minute meal would like to direct attention to her buns.
Here we have a Sicilian-style tuna burger, with tomatoes and capers on ciabatta. A portobello mushroom burger with spinach pesto. A decadent French-onion-dip beef burger, stacked with potato chips and pickles, that is, in a word, yum-o.
In "The Book of Burger" (Atria, $24.99), TV food star Rachael Ray's newest addition to her ever-expanding list of cookbooks, almost 200 creative recipes for burgers and sandwiches, plus hot dogs, sloppies, fries and sides celebrate the mass appeal of all things bunned.
"I've been obsessed with burgers for a long time because I love what burgers say to people," Ray, 43, said. "Everyone is included, you're never intimidated to pick up a burger."
Ray — whose next book, "My Year in Meals," a collaboration with her husband, John Cusimano, who was responsible for the cocktails, comes out in November — got the most media coverage of any food personality of 2011, an analysis showed, so it's hard to find a question she hasn't already been asked.
We tried anyway.
Q: What is your greatest attribute?
A. A sense of humor. I try not to take myself or anyone else, or certainly my food, too seriously.
Q. What is your greatest fault?
A. Lack of patience. Just in general, I want to do 10 things at once, I can't focus on just one thing. I don't think anyone can do their best work if they're not focused. Though certainly it also helped in my career; an impatient person created 30-minute meals.
Q. What is your greatest possession?
A. I don't care too much about things. I think that the things I care about most in my life are my family, my husband and my dog.
Q. What's the best lesson you learned from your mother or father?
A. I've learned so much. But my favorite lesson from my mom I think is that in life there really is only one choice: You can laugh, or you can cry. My mom also taught me a work ethic, she showed me by example and lesson after lesson that you should work harder than the next person and never complain about it. Work is a privilege that not everyone has.
Q. What was your proudest moment?
A. The day we launched our charity (Yum-O! Foundation, which aims to eradicate hunger and childhood obesity) with President Clinton on our daytime show. My mom was there. I think she hair-flipped for the president.
Q. What do you consider your biggest mistake?
A. I'm not a believer in mistakes — I think everything happens for a reason. Even the bad stuff, I'm still thankful for it. I like mistakes, so it's hard for me to judge that.
Q. So then what was your favorite mistake?