Saturday, June 26, 2010
Beth Fish Reads sponsors this weekly meme where we foodies can chat about cookbooks, cooking gadgets, recipes, or anything else gustatory. Be sure to stop over there to find other terrific weekend cooking posts. Today, I'm adding a discussion of cooking magazines. We don't do many magazines anymore...they're expensive, and we don't have time to read them, so they pile up until they become out of date, and then I guiltily throw them into the kindling pile for the fire. I do however, love to cook, love to have new recipes to inspire me, and keep current subscriptions to three which I shamelessly recommend. And NO............ I'm not getting any free issues or subscriptions from the publishers. (I should be so lucky!)
These three always arrive within three days of each other, and provide me with enough new recipes until the next issues arrive in about 8 weeks. In no particular order, here they are. Links take you to their home pages where there are tons of recipes online (they have great RSS feeds) and free issues available.
CuisineAtHome is a short (only 52 pages this issue- on nice heavy paper) gorgeous spread of incredible photos, great ideas, and a wonderful website to supplement the paper mag. Today's issue provided me inspiration for tomorrow's Sunday brunch:Baby Dutch Babies with preserved berries (can you say yorkshire puddings stuffed with berries, sauce and topped with iced or whipped cream?); Sunday dinner (stuffed flank steak), and several other unique takes on ordinary food, e.g., Margherita pasta, and some decadent steak sandwiches. There's a short and sweet, will illustrated 2 pager on preserving berries, and incredible spread entitled "Backyard Bruschetta Bar", an article on heirloom tomatoes, and NO ADVERTISING. I have gotten so many 'out-of-the-box' ideas from this magazine, that I can't imagine giving it up. In the last year or so, they have also started included nutrional information with each recipe. It also comes three-hole punched so you can put it right into a binder, and has an index they send periodically.
Eating Well is another short but sweet (88 pages - lighter weight paper) publication I love. Published only 6 times a year, it focuses on healthy eating by presenting not only great recipes, but easy to understand, (although not dumbed down) articles about various issues affecting our food and our health. This month, there's a well-researched special report entitled "The Future of Milk". Worth the price of the whole issue. August's pages also have me drooling over Zucchini Salad with Saved Parmesan (we're having this one tonite), 5 recipes for weeknights requiring only 5 ingredients each, ...... Not only does EW give you a complete nutrition breakdown, they often give hints on how to prepare the recipe for two (especially appreciated by this retiree couple). And their focus on nutrition is that there are really NO foods off limits. By judiciously combining foods, flavors, and adjusting portions, you can enjoy food and enjoy life. For instance, one of my favorite recipes this month is "Brown Sugar and Toasted Almond Ice Cream". YUM YUM. They also feature heirloom tomatoes, a farm produce picnic, korean cooking, corn (several great ideas there like Corn and Basil cakes), and 'shorts' on multi-vitamins and 5 foods that good for your skin. I'll end this love fest by saying that EW's Cookbook "Eating Well serves Two" makes a great gift for newleyweds: my daughter-in-law assures me she consults it often.
And finally,Cooking Light: the one I'd choose if I had to say "Ok, I could only afford one."
This one comes monthly (I think actually 11 issues/yr) and has articles about aspects of a healthy lifestyle in addition to food. This month I was particularly thrilled to see my aerobic exercise program validated by an article here "I tried it: Water Aerobics." They have beauty tips, household tips, and the current one features how to choose healthy food at a Thai restaurant. Again, nutritional information is available for every recipe, along with tips on where to find ingredients, acceptable substitutes, etc.
The current issue (July 2010) has such yummie sections as "Super Fast - 20 minute meals" (5 gorgeous chicken or seafood salads perfect for summer); "10 Things to know about melons"; a section called "Dinner Tonite" where they even give you a shopping list for the recipes; "Less Meat More Flavor" - a great primer on grilling just in time for summer, and "Building Better Lighter Burgers" -another great grilling piece. Every month there's a "Cooking Class" with great illustrations: August features Summer fruit cobblers - I can't wait for our blackberries to ripen.
Looking at all three, I'd have to say my favorite article is Singapore Spice and Smoke, (in CookingLight). When we lived in Japan, we had the good fortune to be able to visit Singapore several times - often on our way too or from Bangkok, Penang, etc. Eating in Singapore CarPark food courts are some of my fondest memories of that beautiful city/state. The food was cheap, HOT HOT HOT (like spicy), the beer was always COLD COLD COLD, and by staking out a table, and finding an urchin waiter who wanted to earn some good tip money, we could sit with friends and eat for hours, enjoying a variety of food, (some of which we never really knew what it was - but it was soooooo good.)The article this month brought back those lovely memories.
So if you can't decide what to cook, stroll through one of these and try something new. Expanding your food horizons doesn't have to expand your waistline.