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Sep 17, 2006 04:53 PM

What is your favorite Cooking Magazine

My favorite for recipes has been Cook's Illustrated but I was recently looking at Fine Cooking and it also looked very good. What are your favorites for recipes?

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  1. I enjoy looking at the recipes (and pictures!) from other magazines, but I tend to actually use the ones in Cooking Light.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Cinnamon

        Cooking Light is my favorite too, been a subscriber for years! I've honestly never had a bad meal!

    1. Saveur. The recipes aren't reliable but the food-porn aspect is hard to beat.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Saveur for me too. I like their attitude.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Yes, that's what I mean. The photographs in Saveur are amazing and the writing is interesting. I rarely want to eat anything I see in it, though. Maybe it's too authentic for me. I almost think of it as a travel magazine.

          1. re: Glencora

            I'm always reading about things I want to eat in their articles. Doesn't this one make you hungry?


            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Oh, okay, you win. I'm hungry, now. Food porn, indeed. In general, I'm conflicted about eating duckies and bunnies and such. I KNOW they taste good. Sigh... I guess it's my problem, not the magazine's.

              I agree with you about Cooks Illustrated.

            2. re: Glencora

              I cook from it and have their 3 cookbooks too. I have not had any recipe failures from the magazine or the books.

              1. re: Glencora

                I agree with it being like a "travel mag". Personally I only care for about 50% of the writing. It just isnt engaging to me, but the pictures are by far superior to any other magazine, in my opinion.

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                I love Saveur, too. Everything I've ever made has turned out beautifully, but that amounts to, oh, three recipes in as many years.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Saveur is absolutely gorgeous (a little thin lately) and I'm still frequently making the stuffed clams recipe they published in the fall.

                2. Mine would be Cooks Illustrated and Fine Home Cooking.

                  I would buy any magazine that has a column with Shirley Coorhier.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    I like Cook's Illustrated, but it's not worth it. There's maybe 5 recipes per magazine and most of them are meat. My year's subscription was worth the biscuit recipe I clipped from there. And what's with charging subscribers to use the web site. That's just....wrong.

                    I read it in the check out line if there's no one interesting to talk to in line around me.

                  2. I hate Cook's Illustrated. The obsessive-compulsive engineer's approach to perfecting recipes creeps me out. The product comparisons usually include few if any of the brands availble in my area.

                    Plus they're horrible spammers. Plus they tried to trick me into subscribing by sending bogus "past due" notices.

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I have used so many recipes that do not work because somebody got sloppy, I appreciate the obsessive nature of the recipes.

                      I have noticed that many of the products tested and recommended are not in my area, but the editorial form and lack of advertising made up for it.
                      The spamming that you talk about is prevalent in all magazines that I don't pay attention to it. I know what I have subscribed to, and I know when I have to mail in my renewal, so the spam gets the "round file" apron arrival.

                      1. re: Kelli2006

                        Cook's Illustrated's the only magazine I've had send me 2nd, 3rd, and 4th "past due" notices, with the last including a warning that not paying could affect my credit rating. I finally filed a mail-fraud complaint with the USPS and they stopped.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Robert Lauriston, I have never had that experience, but I would be equally upset if that happened to me as well. I have noticed that they have gotten more aggressive, but I have never received a threat to my credit rating. That sort of behavior is unconscionable.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Actually, I think Food and Wine is worse about the constant baragge of renewal notices and past due notices. Plus, they tried to charge my credit card for a second year subscription without my authorization! I did not find Food and Wine worth it for a year, and would not recommend it to anyone.

                            That said, Cook's Illustrated does send way too many emails! Agh!!

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Unreal! And I thought my experience with Rolling Stone sending me a "May we assume you're too old to rock and roll card?" was over the top!

                            2. re: Kelli2006

                              Cook's Ilustrated - I enjoy their TV show a lot because they are silly and they joke some, but they come across as so uptight in print that I hated the magazine and cancelled it. Cookbooks are somewhere in between- useable and helpful for basics but not particularly fun or inspiring.

                              For me, Cooking Light imploded around the low carb craze time. I think they got shrill and defensive and started using more and more prepared foods - ugh. I can figure out how to buy a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad if I need to.

                              Saveur is fun and I, for one, appreciate the risks Gourmet has taken with their articles. However, I have recently noticed some sort of trend in Gourmet toward the Bon Appetite "lifestyle" picnics. You know, those picture spreads of quaint or trendy folks chowing down on home baked buscuits al fresco or on their urban rooftop gardens. Hate that stuff and I hope they get away from it soon. Give me more articles about putting wine glass shapes to the test, or the dangers of transfat, or the ethics of lobster.

                              1. re: LizATL

                                I absolutely agree with you about the 'lifestyle magazine' creep in Gourmet and B.A. I've stopped buying them because halfway through I'd hit those spreads and trash the thing.

                                1. re: LizATL

                                  The "lifestyle" picnic spreads (good description) have been showing up everywhere; Sunset does 'em, too. I think they originated w/ Martha Stewart. The thing I hope doesn't seep into other cooking mags from MS is perfume ads. That is just....nasty and evil.

                                  1. re: MollyGee

                                    That's why I can't stand Sunset. I feel that I ought to be living the west coast lifestyle with a pizza oven next to a hot tub on my patio. Their landscaping articles make me livid. I do use their recipes, sometimes. They're the best part of the magazine, I think.

                                    1. re: Glencora

                                      I thought BA started the trend, but Martha could be to blame. It is why I cancelled my BA subscription after many, many years. The absolute WORST are the ones that are seasonal or holiday spreads that are obviously done months in advance. How do they even fake that stuff like Thanksgiving? I don't recall specifically, but they must use climate neutral places for those "winter" holiday spreads that they shoot in July.

                                      Ah, there's grandpappy now, coming in with the freshly roasted goose and the homemade fudge to give to the cute twins dressed in matching LL Bean wear. Oh, and that cousin Sissy sneaking a piece of the pear tart in the Wolf-outfitted kitchen is such a scamp!

                                      1. re: Glencora

                                        Whoops. I meant to reply to Glencora on the Sunset subtopic.

                                        Yeah. Plus Sunset also does some shady subscriber stuff that makes me wonder if I should renew every year. They just about demand your subscriber name and address every time you try to use their web site, so it's almost useless, in my opinion. And they try to ding re-subscribers by charging almost twice as much via renewal notices as you'd pay if you subscribed off of a store-bought magazine's subscription card (and even the subscriber-magazine subscription cards have the higher price). That's just sleazy in my book.

                                        But, yes, good recipes.

                                      2. re: MollyGee

                                        Sunset has been around forever, and they preceded Martha by decades in the "lifestyle" stuff you're talking about. I am a big fan of the output of the Martha Stewart empire, but when I lived in Iowa, there was an article in the magazine about a "typical" Iowa farm picnic that was unintentionally laugh-out-loud hilarious. I knew the people whose farm (near Iowa City) was chosen for the shoot. The magazine staff involved asked Iowans what they like to have at picnics, and the answer was basically, "brats and beer." They replied with, "No, no! A really _nice_ picnic." The reply: "Brats and beer." The recipes developed to show a typical Iowa picnic were something like marmalade glazed chicken dish and salads with ingredients reminiscent of California. The text of the article was overly florid and great to read to groups of Iowans if you wanted a really good laugh.

                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Chris Kimball lives on a different planet.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Agreed! "We tried baking it upside down, with a three quarter turn, and some tasters thought it tasted flat. So we baked it right side up, with a 6th of a turn, and added a little supermarket mayo, and it worked. Here is the recipe....."

                                    2. I'm not really recommending this as my favorite, but the recipes in Southern Living can be amazing to read after you've just read Cooking Light. There are some indulgences, to put it mildly.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Cinnamon

                                        Man alive! I just made these muffins last night:


                                        Soooooo goood. I am almost willing to subscribe!

                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                          For those hho don't like Sunset, I believe Southern Living is a regional affiliate.