Friday, June 02, 2006

Magazine - Cook's Illustrated

NOTE: If you got here by clicking on a link hoping to see the recipe, go back, and try clicking on the second link with the magazine's publish date which should take you to the recipe. However, note that Cook's Illustrated is a pay site, so you need to be a member to see the recipe. I think it is worth the price to join (currently $35 a year, I believe), as I explain below.

I've always liked to cook, but when I discovered Cook's Illustrated Magazine, my cooking skill jumped up a level or two or three. I learned a lot by reading the magazine cover to cover (which is easy, because it is only 32 pages) even if the recipe didn't suit my tastes. I don't know what my success rate is really for the recipes I have tried, but I am guessing it is about 90% of the recipes I have tried, I have really liked and wanted to make again. It is definitely a higher success rate than any other recipe source I've tried.

When I discovered the magazine (in 2000 I think) I went ahead and purchased used versions all previous issues in hardback. I have since sold most of these myself, but not until I read them all, and tried the recipes I wanted.

I don't subscribe to the print version of the magazine anymore, because I found that they were repeating things they had already done. I do however, subscribe to the paid web-site (which has a frequently updated free recipe or two on it always) , so I have access to all of their recipes from the magazine. It is nice to be able to search for recipes and print out a quick copy whenever I need. A newer feature of the paid web-site is the 1-3 minute videos explaining the recipes. These are terrific.

If you can only afford one, I suggest going on-line, because that gives you 10+ years worth of recipes and the videos. They even include the detailed articles on the web now, so you don't miss a thing by reading on-line, unless you prefer a hard copy for reading.

Cook's Illustrated has also produced quite a few cookbooks, and it's own TV show, and there is a lot of overlap in the recipes, but sometimes they are different. It can get confusing trying to keep track of all the variations. I have a few, but don't purchase all of them. Recently, they have started to publish a "Best of Year" series, which is 100% duplication, but I prefer. The layout is very nice and it has pretty pictures, which I love. It highlights the best recipes from there magazines and the books recently published. I hope they continue this series, because I would prefer to purchase them over the other cookbooks.

To see recipes I've reviewed from Cook's Illustrated magazine, click on the "ci" label below.


Donna said...

If you are not going to show the recipe for something, why do you bother showing us the food!

Lisa said...

I post to this blog to review recipes, not to share them. If I alter recipes or make my own, then I do share those. But mostly this blog is a way for me to keep notes on recipes that I have tried, so if I make it again, I know what to expect.

I try to give links to the original source of the recipe when possible, but sometimes they are not on-line.

Legally, I believe I can copy the ingredients here, but not the instructions, unless I rewrite considerably. I don't have time for that, so it just seems easier to link to the originals when I can.

So, that is why. I know this blog is weird. :-) I did as a personal project, to help me keep track of the many recipes I try, and occasionaly I hear from people that it helps them too, so I keep it public.

Sue in ATL said...

Lisa, I really appreciate your blog because I cannot find a place to make comments on recipes from cooks/cooks country; I get them both. for example, I made the spinach lasagna in recent cooks country and it was NOT good.