You might be wondering why I am writing about food on a blog about books, but I’m over here wondering why I HAVE NOT written about food yet. I love the Food Network channel and it’s the only reason I miss having cable TV. Reading recipes, cookbooks, cooking blogs, and magazines is a casual hobby of mine.
But let’s be clear, my casual hobby of reading about cooking doesn’t necessarily translate to exemplary cooking. I’ve been in the kitchen for a relatively short time and will only serve my food to my boyfriend, who basically is required to say it tastes good. I don’t bake. But, I wanted to share some of the food blogs and magazines I turn to when I need a new recipe or just want to drool over some delicious looking food.
1. Cooking Light
This is my go-to resource for new recipes. My mom has been getting Cooking Light for as long as I remember and when I was ready to finally start cooking for myself at the ripe age of 23, this is the first place I turned to. Each magazine is full of approachable recipes that use normal ingredients. There’s nothing I hate more than when every single recipe calls for something I’d have to find at a specialty store.
Cooking Light also includes nutrition advice, shows new and interesting ingredients you might want to try (hypocritical, I know), and has a down-to-earth vibe. The people who write this magazine love food, but also try to keep the recipes at a healthy calorie count with nutritional variety. One of my favorite’s is the Spicy Thai Red Curry Beef. For how easy this is to make, it packs a ton of flavor.
I also found out about Skinnytaste through my mom! Skinnytaste was started as a food blog in 2008 and publishes new recipes on the blog multiple times a week. Skinnytaste’s creator, Gina Homolka, published the Skinnytaste Cookbook in 2014 and just released a new cookbook called Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, which features meals you can make quickly or with your slow-cooker.
Two of my favorite meals from Skinnytaste are her Lasagna Soup and the Mongolian Beef and Broccoli. I’m not a huge fan of traditional lasagna, but the lasagna soup has all the yummy flavor of lasagna and is the perfect answer to the colder temperatures. Everyone in my family loves Asian food and Asian flavors so it’s no surprise that we all love the Mongolian Beef and Broccoli. So simple and the staple ingredients in this recipe open your kitchen up to other dishes with Asian flavors!
3. Bon Appétit
I’ve never subscribed to Bon Appétit, but I once had a co-worker bring me all his old magazines and that is enough to evaluate it, right? Why have I never subscribed? Because, like cake, Bon Appétit is a bit decadent and too rich for everyday life. I seek this magazine out when I want to look at amazing food I could never reproduce on my own. This is due to my lack of patience for the recipes, but mostly because of the ingredients. Where in the heck am I going to access koji rice or ever need enough sorghum to justify buying an entire bag of it?
I don’t have any favorite recipes to share because I’ve never made anything from Bon Appétit. But, if you’re looking for some whacky food you won’t see in everyday life and really interesting features on cooking and travel, this is the magazine to reach for.
4. Joy the Baker
I started following the Joy the Baker blog in 2010, before she’d written numerous cookbooks and produced her own podcast. I fell in love with Joy’s photos, interesting recipes, and the personality of her writing. Full disclosure: I’ve never baked anything from Joy the Baker. But, I have eaten plenty of baked goods my best friend and fellow LQ contributor, Aubrey, has made! Two of my favorites are the Dulce de Leche Cupcakes and the Orange and Dark Chocolate Scones. I will say that the recipes are not for the faint of heart or beginner bakers, but the payoff is quite delicious.
5. Pioneer Woman
I almost didn’t include the Pioneer Woman because I mostly follow her day-to-day happenings on her blog and Instagram. But Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, has created an empire with her online recipes, four cookbooks, and a cookware line through Walmart. And that’s worth mentioning! Visit her website for home-cooked, family-style recipes and her hilarious, relatable prose. She has me smiling or laughing every time I take a look.
You may not initially think food and reading go hand in hand, but they’re a favorite combination of mine. Do you enjoy reading about food, or finding new recipes? Let me know in the comments!