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Rachael Ray Every Day

Go Cookie Crazy!

Rachael's sister, Maria Betar, starts her holiday cookie baking the minute Thanksgiving is over. Gingerbread for Rach. Something lemony for their mom. Candy-cane anything for her daughter, Jessica. “I make a fresh batch of cookies every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she says. “I flip on the Christmas lights and there's Bing in the background. It's 5 a.m. and I'm in my happy place.” Take a peek inside Betar's holiday baking workshop with these 11 delicious, family-favorite recipes. Choose a few—or make 'em all!—and start your own sweet tradition. (5 a.m. wakeup optional.)

Rachael Ray Every Day

Sweet on Sweet Potatoes

I WAS BORN IN Vardaman, Mississippi, the self-proclaimed "Sweet Potato Capital of the World." Since my current home state of North Carolina grows far more sweet potatoes—about as much as Mississippi and the other top-producing states of California and Louisiana combined—it seems that Vardaman should consider relinquishing this title. Locals maintain, however, that what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. In fact, one Vardaman farmer recently reported that visiting farmers from North Carolina State University went home with Mason jars filled with soil to decipher the secret to the silky sweet taste and the smoother, tighter skin of Vardaman sweet potatoes.

Prevention

Your Perfect Day: An Hour-By-Hour Guide

Is your brain a beehive of activity? Are you frequently multitasking, even though recent research shows that our minds are not meant to? (One study finds that multitasking can even temporarily lower your IQ as much as if you’d lost a night’s sleep.) If you’re still struggling to cram everything you can into a 24-hour cycle, stop. Calm down, take a deep breath, and let our health and wellness experts offer you the ideal, sometimes surprising, times to do almost anything.

Recipe Revivals

If you ever want to time travel, all you have to do is take a look through our enormous recipe archives. The food pages of Southern Living have documented how Southerners have been cooking and eating for the past five decades. As the images in our issues moved from black and white to color, our tastes also evolved—from congealed salads in the 1960s to the heirloom tomato salads of today. To celebrate our 50th anniversary year, we took our most iconic dishes and reimagined them with inventive new flavors and preparations. Here's a taste of some of our past and present-day favorites.