Friday, December 22, 2006

A Last Ditch Effort

It's really different for me this year. I think this is the first time ever that I have my Christmas shopping done well before Christmas. Other than a few gift cards, we were completely done two weeks ago. It's very odd to not be rushing around shopping at the last minute, but I gotta say, it's kinda nice. Today I have to do some last-minute grocery shopping, and swing by the butcher, but other than that...

I was going to post this morning on the Buche de Noel I have made for Christmas Day dinner, but I decided to freeze it before I frosted it, so I didn't get a picture of a finished product yet. You gotta love that though, a chocolate genoise is filled with a sweetened whipped cream and rolled up. The whole thing is wrapped up, in the freezer, and all it needs is to be covered with buttercream, and it's ready for eating. If you're interested, there are definitely plenty of recipes at Recipezaar, so check them out, each one is slightly different. It was definitely easier to put together than I'd anticipated.

So today I figured there may be a person or two still scrambling to find a gift for the foodie in their life. Well, how about a gift subscription? I can offer ideas for several of my favorite magazines that I receive regularly. I know I loooove the gift subscriptions I have, and it keeps giving all year long! My favorite magazine though has to be Cooking Light. They have a little something for everyone, and it's always on the lighter side. I've been a subscriber for years, and I always find inspiration there. Another new favorite for me is Eating Well. This one I get as a gift from Andy's Mom, and I really enjoy it. The information is good and solid, and I have yet to try a bad recipe. It has a good focus on eating healthy, but the recipes are much more than wheat germ and protein shakes. Gourmet and Bon Appetit are up next. I only subscribe to Gourmet, but I do pick up Bon Appetit from time to time. I really enjoy Gourmet's everyday recipes, their executive chef is Sara Moulton, so I expect quality recipes from Gourmet. It does tend to get a little heavy on the travel and restaurant reviews, but I do enjoy reading this one cover to cover. Bon Appetit is similar, but I have to say, the recipes there are a higher tier than the other magazines I read. They are never fail though- every one I've ever made has been truly decadent, but they are not necessarily everyday fare. Still, a good magazine to be receiving, and if I remember correctly, they've picked up Iron Chef Cat Cora as their executive chef, so that will be worth checking out.

Everyday Food is a recent acquisition for me. This really is about everyday cooking, and would be an excellent gift for someone who is still familiarizing themselves with cooking. The recipes are straightforward and turn out quite good. Plenty of simple cooking for those with little time on their hands. Another one I don't subscribe to, but I have enjoyed picking it up at the bookstore is Everyday with Rachael Ray. While I'm not a huge fan of hers, the magazine is very good. Plenty of recipes and ideas for everyday cooking, and it reads easily- it's not full of a lot of pretentiousness, and I like that. And finally, for the veg-head in your life, give Vegetarian Times a whirl. This is a magazine I really enjoy. Even though we're not vegetarians, there are plenty of ideas inside each issue for introducing a vegetarian meal now and then. And while they do occasionally call for a meat-alternative product, the focus is really on healthful eating, and isn't a soy-heavy magazine. There are also vegan recipes each month, for someone who may be practicing a Vegan Lifestyle.

Hopefully that helps someone! You can click on all the links above to take you directly to their homepage, which will guide you to subsription services. Enjoy!


Mimi J. said...

I'm conting on seeing that Buche de Noel — hmm, I could be there in an hour or so eating it. LOL. I won't get one made, so I'm going to enjoy seeing yours!

eliza said...

i love bon appetit too...and don't forget fine cooking, sometimes it shows a lot of technique for different kinds of dishes.
now, i can't wait to see your buche de noel. merry christmas!

Kate said...

Eating Well is a terrific magazine. I started getting it a few years ago and promptly ordered every back issue there was available.

I just started Everyday Food and there looks to be some pretty good recipes in there. It's really laid out nicely, lots of information and checklists, etc.

I get Food and Wine, great stuff too, but I mostly read it for the wine recs, although I am finding their recs to often fall out of my price range. Still, it's got good pairing advice in it.