Sunday, January 10, 2010

Au Revoir, Gourmet

I was back at work this week after two and a half weeks off, and I feel so lucky to be able to say that it was great. I love my job. It’s busy and challenging, fun, and I work with amazing people.

So let me tell you about what I cooked this week. Nothing. I cooked nothing. If fried eggs count, then put that on the list, but I don’t think they do when the only reason I cooked them was because I was out of bread for toast, milk for granola, and I didn’t feel like eating almonds and a piece of cheese for breakfast—again.

So this weekend I am giving myself an emotional jumpstart—ready to roll on Monday with food in the fridge, a few meals planned, and the intention to cook. Part of my jumpstart is finally putting an end to my mourning period for Gourmet Magazine. I was a subscriber, and now it’s time to move on.

Here are the contenders.

Saveur: I love this magazine. Really interesting articles and cool recipes from around the world. I always learn something, but when I want to read a long article, I’m going to choose the New Yorker. My food magazine fills a different need. Save Saveur for plane rides.

Martha Stewart Living: Those who know me know about my strong allegiance to Martha. I stood by her when she was in jail. But I stopped subscribing when she started giving templates to trace for craft projects. I’m not seven—seriously. But that phase seems to have ended, and this is a really good magazine again. A top contender, for sure.

Bon Apetit: Conde Nast seems to think I should switch to Bon Apetit because they sent it to me for free, but I didn’t want to be swayed.

Cook’s Illustrated: This is a little unfair because I already subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated. I love it, and will continue to subscribe. It’s more of a “teach a girl to fish” than a “give a girl a fish” magazine, and I still remember tips that I read years ago. But CI fills a different need. It is not eye candy.

Food & Wine: Bad design. I can’t even make it to the recipes because there are too many dotted lines, and double borders and weird shapes and pointless graphics. Reading my food magazine shouldn’t be painful.

Fine Cooking: I think this is the winner. A family friend recommended it to my mom, who recommended it to me. I am new to it, so only have 2 months of experience, but I want to try all the recipes, I seem to be in line with their food philosophy, it’s a good mix of easy recipes, harder recipes, tips, and food info. Visually, it’s not as stunning as Living, but it’s way better than Food & Wine, and I think I can live with it.

Am I missing anything? If no, I think I’ll go ahead and subscribe to Fine Cooking.


k8 stine said...

this is what we get:
-cooking light
-bon appetite

suprisingly, cooking light is great, although bon appetite has the strongest recipes (and gorgeous pics to accompany them). sunset is awesome because the other articles on travel and garden are always good too. it is hard to pick one...

pleasantcompany said...

We got Sunset when I was a kid....maybe time for another look. Thanks!

Todd and Monja said...

maybe you can give a "fine cooking" update after a few months? i'm just thinking that i stopped getting martha (don't they seem the same month after month?) and i could use an interesting replacement as well....

raitken said...

Well, we sure are glad to make your list. Welcome to Fine Cooking!
-Robyn from

pleasantcompany said...

Robyn, thanks for the welcome! I am excited to get to know Fine Cooking. I've already tried a few recipes.

Monja, I'll let you know how I feel in a few months!

sonyalala said...

my dad got FC for us for Xmas. I hadn't heard of it before, but we are taking a break from our long run with Saveur--let me know if you find something delicious!

Nikki K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki K said...

Let me know if you come across any with good vegetarian recipes. I find myself turning to because the regular magazines stick to pastas (more or less) for their vegetarian selections.

pleasantcompany said...

Sonya, funny we both switched to FC.

Nikki, the January issue of FineCooking has an artcle about cooking for vegetarians. Haven't tried anything from it, but it is more than pasta. Good luck!