Help Me Pick a Magazine
I'm doing one of those 'buy a magazine to help my school' fundraisers and I'm having trouble choosing between some of the food magazines.
Here are my options:
Food & Wine
Does anyone have opinions on what they like and why, or which to avoid at all costs?
I have, at one time or another, subscribed to all the magazines you listed except for Bon Appetit. For my purposes (minimal fuss, easy-to-find ingredients, diversity, not too many steps in the cooking process), Everyday Food and Cooking Light worked best, though the recipes in EF tend to repeat themselves (as another poster mentioned) so that after two years into my subscription, I canceled it.
I rarely made anything from Food & Wine though some of the recipes looked divine. With that magazine, I was mainly interested in the articles.
I enjoy all cooking magazines and although Everyday Food is more basic, I gain a lot of ideas and tips from it. I like how the magazine is layed out with different topics, one section dedicated to a particular ingrediant or a section on freezing quick dinners, etc. I also love cooking light but it hasn't held me over time, everyday food - I continue to love.
A word of caution about Cooks Illustrated and/or Cook's Country. They are relentless in their sales tactics and I have had many issues with books being sent to me against my wishes.
I would get books I didn't ask for, send them back and still get invoices. I asked that I be removed from their automatic book shipment program and in place of it they send you a postcard that is virtually impossible to return in top to stop shipment. I have sent it back with a "No, don't ship the book" response the day after I received the postcard, and two weeks before the due date and they send a note saying "sorry, we got it too late, just return the book if you don't like it."
Now I am sending them a nasty letter refusing to pay an invoice for a book that I returned two months ago. They are downright dishonest in their direct marketing tactics.
I wouldn't use Cooking Light for the recipes but they do have good health articles and quite a few that aren't food related at all. I don't like their emphasis on non-fat foods, eg non fat cream cheese and while they might cut calories, I don't think the food is healthier. The few things I've made from it have not been great but how good can low fat layer cake with fat free cream cheese be? Bon Appetit is okay. I enjoy flipping through it to get ideas but find epicurious.com more helpful with finding good recipes. It's more likely that I'll read it and think something looks good so I'll look it up online for different recipes. I've liked Food and Wine when I've seen it but again more for ideas. I know nothing about Everyday Food.
I subscribed to both CL and Everyday in the past. Both are fine for a couple of years but then the recipe arc starts to repeat.
CL seems to be "light" in that they emphasize small portions and low fat as opposed ot lower refined carb. Even so, I still use a few of their recipes for inspirations.
Everything I've made from EF recipes has turned out well too. But they are "everyday". If you are looking for more exotic cuisine with "stretch" recipes, I'd go with Bon Appetit or Food & Wine.
I receive both Cooking Light and Bon Appetit and use CL for easy week day meals and Bon Appetit for weekend meals - I think they both compliment eachother well. Tried Food & Wine and Gourmet and the meals weren't as easy to implement and the overall magazine was a little off topic for me. Everyday Food I bought at the airport and thought all of the recipes were way too basic and not creative at all.
You can't go wrong with Bon Appetit. I'm a long time subscriber and I enjoy the variety of recipes. The holiday issues always present new and refreshing ideas on the classics.
2nd: Everyday Food. Seasonal, easy, and any occasion recipes. I have the cookbook too and I use it all the time.
Too bad Cook's Illustrated isn't one of the choices.
Bon Appetit tends to use short cuts, prepared foods in its recipes. Some of the lifestyle articles are fun, if you're in the mood, annoying if you aren't.
Cooking Light has some good recipes, but the "light" part seems to be the tiny portion sizes they recommend.
Never seen Everyday Food.
Food & Wine: I'm not that interested in wine, but you may be.
I'd skip F&W. I used to have a subscription; dropped it when it became more ads than anything. I picked up a fall issue of Cooking Light on the way back from Las Vegas a few weeks ago; I kept it as I liked a lot of the recipes in it.
Don't know enough about Bon Appetit or Everyday Food to say yea or nay. So I'd lean towards Cooking Light myself.
I would go with either Bon Appetit (in spite of it's recent makeover) or Food & Wine. I subscribe to both and with just about every issue I find a handful of recipes that I find myself making with regularity. Bon Appetit seems to somewhat frequently have special editions dedicated to Italy, and I happen to be an Italo-phile.