Sunday, June 27, 2010

Notes on my Favorite Food Magazines

In light of some awesome June and July issues that are out on the stands now and this digital revival of Gourmet magazine it seems a good time to share with you my favorite magazines and why I love them.
Here are the food magazines I subscribe to and suggest that you should, too! 
If you like magazines but hesitate to make a commitment, remember it is always saves to subscribe!:
Okay I'm going to come right out there and declare Saveur my *favorite* food magazine! 
I didn't really know about it before I started watching Top Chef masters last year (Hi, James Oseland!) and I had not noticed it on newsstands until I moved to Manhattan and started shopping at Whole Foods. I bought my first issue this year and subscribed right away from one of the insert cards and have been salivating and learning every month since. 
What I love: 
First & foremost the reason Saveur is my favorite is the quality of the writing, photos and layout of the magazine. I get a lot of magazines and some can be so hard to read due to a hefty amount of ads and more pictures than print. I obviously am into the food writing aspect of food magazines and think pictures should compliment and be real-- no stock photos. 
You can tell by the look of the photos as well as the photo credits many of the photos are taken by the article's author-- as it should be, in my blogging opinion. 

The magazine is always relevant, indulgent, and fresh. The articles are all about what is happening now in the food world, what is in season, what people are eating and where people are going. The photos are always mouth-watering and a true feast for the eyes. The magazine does not feel dull or redundant. The ads are well placed to blend in well with the feeling of the overall issue. 
On Newsstands Now: "The Market Issue" for June/July 2010. 
Don't Miss: "The Wide World of Markets" map by The M Factory & The Editors on pages 50 and 51; "Spain's Market Masterpiece" (La Boqueria) with fabulous artwork by Carlo Stanga. 
Must Try Recipe: "Grilled Lobster with Cilantro-Chile Butter" on page 112. Have yet to try it but the photo on page 109 is irresistible.

I first saw this magazine on my first visit to Chelsea Market on an errand for work (picking up cookies at Eleni's!). It is very perfect in a lot of ways-- it is small, packed with recipes and tips, bright & colorful, and seasonally focused. I subscribed in the fall and was able to get 2-for-1 and so my sister and I both get and love it! This ma

What I love:
Where to start? I love it all. The whole little publication is recipe focused. A perfect way for someone to get breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas to last the whole month long. "Grocery Bag" supplies a perforated shopping list with recipes that follow for 5 nights of dinner that always incorporate leftovers into the late-week recipes. "In Season" highlights an ingredient at its peak during the issues current month with 5 different ways to prepare it. "Bites" features tips, tricks, fun facts and new tools and ingredients; a true wealth of knowledge in each issue (an example from this months magazine "17* Pounds of Watermelon- *the amount of watermelon the average American eats per year). Each recipe has little tips about what to serve with a given dish, how to use leftovers, how to make preparing the recipe even easier, etc. A great little magazine jam-packed with foodie goodness. 

On Newsstands Now: "Weekday Dinners, Treats & More!" July | August 2010
Don't Miss: "Instant Party" this regular feature pairs a cocktail with a quick hors d'oeuvre for exactly that- An instant party! This month mixes up 7 cocktails perfect for the summer heat. "50 Ways of Summer" 50 fun ideas to celebrate this summer like "44 A refrigerator filled with watermelon and beer." 
Must Try Recipes: All of the pizzas featured in "Pizza Out of the Box" on pages 90-97. 

A longtime classic now. I would also get Gourmet were it still being published. We'll have to see what this new digitalized Gourmet holds come fall. One thing that is different about BA from the other magazines I recieve is that for every recipe there is not a corresponding photo which takes a littleluster out of the salivating factor when flipping through the magazine. More focused on cooking and less on easy to read hints & tips and full articles BA is definitely a more serious take on a food magazine.

What I love:
"R.S.V.P." BA takes readers requests to make their own version of favorite restaurant dishes from around the country; a great feature which gives response, a recipe, and a new restaurant to visit. "Starters" rounds up a lot of whats happening now; seasonal ingredients, hip culinary destinations, where to drink and eat, and a shopping section of what's new for the kitchen and where to get it. "Prep School" at the end of every magazine a photo breakdown shows a couple techniques that coincide with recipes from the issue-- it is a great educational section for any level cook. 

On Newsstands Now: "Summer Grilling Guide" July 2010
Don't Miss: "50 BBQ Tips & Techniques" pages 68-97 a meaty (pun intended!) section for this high summer month, a wise idea to pick up for the grill master in your circle; the section covers a variety of meats, fishes & seafood, and also desserts. "At The Market" like EDF's "In Season" this features an ingredient at its peak and ways to use it. 
Must Try Recipe: "Potato Salad with Pancetta, Rosemary, and Lemon" page 84 a super-fresh version of potato salad-- anything with potatoes and pancetta is good in my book. 

Food Network Magazine
The new kid on the block when it comes to food magazines, Food Network Magazine performs very well. Every issue is flooded with recipes, tips, and a lot of fun. The pure entertainment and love of food that is on the small screen comes out great on glossy paper. Any lover of the Food Network would be an instant lover of the magazine, too. 

What I love:
Cover to cover the magazine is overflowing with recipes with a bright photo for each. It is a great resource and each issue has more recipes in it than a typical cookbook! I particularly love their "Recipe Index" at the beginning of the issue just after the table of contents. A picture for every recipe is shown and broken down by category with title and page number. How easy is that to answer the eternal question of "what to eat?" The magazine is fun and fresh, colorful and makes things you never thought you wanted to eat look so delicious you will have to go out and buy the ingredients the same day! 

On Newsstands Now: "Cook Out!" June 2010 (yesterday I saw the July 2010 issue out at Chelsea Market (the source!) but I have yet to receive my July issue in the mail)
Don't Miss: The monthly recipe booklet highlighting a certain dish in a variety of ways; this month is Burgers former months have included Soups, Cool Drinks, and Mashed Potatoes (a November issue, naturally). "Food News" & "In The Know" the sections with new gadgets, fun facts, and tips & tricks; an example on page 34 "Le Whif" inhalable chocolate, weird! "Copy That" like BA's RSVP this section features the FNM take on a restaurant (usually a chain as opposed to local places) favorite. "Weeknight Cooking" features a seemingly never-ending array of quick dishes great for cooking during the week (pairs with the "Weekend Cooking" feature for more time consuming recipes).
Must Try Recipe: "Italian Ice" (no ice cream maker required!) on page 96.

One of my favorite things about any magazine is what they feature as their very last page. The lasting memory of a given issue-- usually where I start because I enjoy it so much! Here are what each of my favorite food mags feature on their final adieu...
SAVEUR: "Moment" a classic photo from times gone by- a glance into the past perfect for reflecting on how much has changed. This month: Checkout girls at a CA Piggly Wiggly.
EVERYDAY FOOD: "Cookie Jar" a new cookie recipe every month. This month: Puffed rice bars with peanut butter and chocolate.
BON APPETIT: "Feedback" a quick interview with a celebrity usually unrelated to the food world but talking about what they like to see on their plate. This month: Venus Williams dishes on her love of rib-eye and steamed clams.
FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE: "Recipe Contest: Cook With...____!" every month FNM has a contest where readers submit a recipe using a secret-ingredient √† la Iron Chef and the winner's recipe is printed on the previous page. This month: Beer! submissions were due June 11th for this issue but look out for the July/August issue and you could be a winner! 

I hope these detailed insights inspire you to subscribe to some or all of these magazines and get cooking and thinking! Magazines are an amazingly valuable resource and not to be overlooked! Subscribe today for you and a friend! 
And finally if you've read this far-- thanks for reading!!

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